Luke 16:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.

King James Bible
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

Darby Bible Translation
Now there was a rich man and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, making good cheer in splendour every day.

World English Bible
"Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day.

Young's Literal Translation
'And -- a certain man was rich, and was clothed in purple and fine linen, making merry sumptuously every day,

Luke 16:19 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

There was a certain rich man - In the Scholia of some MSS. the name of this person is said to be Ninive. This account of the rich man and Lazarus is either a parable or a real history. If it be a parable, it is what may be: if it be a history, it is that which has been. Either a man may live as is here described, and go to perdition when he dies; or, some have lived in this way, and are now suffering the torments of an eternal fire. The account is equally instructive in whichsoever of these lights it is viewed. Let us carefully observe all the circumstances offered hereto our notice, and we shall see - I. The Crime of this man; and II. His Punishment.

I. The Crime of this man.

1. There was a certain rich man in Jerusalem. Provided this be a real history, there is no doubt our Lord could have mentioned his name; but, as this might have given great offense, he chose to suppress it. His being rich is, in Christ's account, the first part of his sin. To this circumstance our Lord adds nothing: he does not say that he was born to a large estate; or that he acquired one by improper methods; or that he was haughty or insolent in the possession of it. Yet here is the first degree of his reprobation - he got all he could, and kept all to himself.

2. He was clothed with purple and fine linen. Purple was a very precious and costly stuff; but our Lord does not say that in the use of it he exceeded the bounds of his income, nor of his rank in life; nor is it said that he used his superb dress to be an agent to his crimes, by corrupting the hearts of others. Yet our Lord lays this down as a second cause of his perdition.

3. He fared sumptuously every day. Now let it be observed that the law of Moses, under which this man lived, forbade nothing on this point, but excess in eating and drinking; indeed, it seems as if a person was authorized to taste the sweets of an abundance, which that law promised as a reward of fidelity. Besides, this rich man is not accused of having eaten food which was prohibited by the law, or of having neglected the abstinences and fasts prescribed by it. It is true, he is said to have feasted sumptuously every day; but our Lord does not intimate that this was carried to excess, or that it ministered to debauch. He is not accused of licentious discourse, of gaming, of frequenting any thing like our modern plays, balls, masquerades, or other impure and unholy assemblies; of speaking an irreverent word against Divine revelation, or the ordinances of God. In a word, his probity is not attacked, nor is he accused of any of those crimes which pervert the soul or injure civil society. As Christ has described this man, does he appear culpable? What are his crimes? Why,

1. He was rich.

2. He was finely clothed. And

3. He feasted well.

No other evil is spoken of him. In comparison of thousands, he was not only blameless, but he was a virtuous man.

4. But it is intimated by many that "he was an uncharitable, hard-hearted, unfeeling wretch." Yet of this there is not a word spoken by Christ. Let us consider all the circumstances, and we shall see that our blessed Lord has not represented this man as a monster of inhumanity, but merely as an indolent man, who sought and had his portion in this life, and was not at all concerned about another.

Therefore we do not find that when Abraham addressed him on the cause of his reprobation, Luke 16:25, that he reproached him with hard-heartedness, saying, "Lazarus was hungry, and thou gavest him no meat; he was thirsty, and thou gavest him no drink, etc.;" but he said simply, Son, remember that thou didst receive thy good things in thy lifetime, Luke 16:25. "Thou hast sought thy consolation upon the earth, thou hast borne no cross, mortified no desire of the flesh, received not the salvation God had provided for thee; thou didst not belong to the people of God upon earth, and thou canst not dwell with them in glory."

There are few who consider that it is a crime for those called Christians to live without Christ, when their lives are not stained with transgression. If Christianity only required men to live without gross outward sin, paganism could furnish us with many bright examples of this sort. But the religion of Christ requires a conformity, not only in a man's conduct, to the principles of the Gospel; but also a conformity in his heart to the spirit and mind of Christ.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Luke 12:16-21 And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully...

Luke 18:24,25 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!...

James 5:1-5 Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you...


Luke 16:1 And he said also to his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward...

Luke 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country...

Job 21:11-15 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance...

Psalm 73:3-7 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked...

Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters...

Amos 6:4-6 That lie on beds of ivory, and stretch themselves on their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock...

Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls...

Revelation 18:7,16 How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she said in her heart...


Judges 8:26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars...

Esther 8:15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold...

Ezekiel 16:13 Thus were you decked with gold and silver; and your raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; you did eat fine flour...

Ezekiel 27:7 Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which you spread forth to be your sail...

Mark 15:17,20 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head...

The Unjust Steward
Eversley, 1866. NINTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. Luke xvi. 8. "And the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely." None of our Lord's parables has been as difficult to explain as this one. Learned and pious men have confessed freely, in all ages, that there is much in the parable which they cannot understand; and I am bound to confess the same. The puzzle is, plainly, why our Lord should SEEM to bid us to copy the conduct of a bad man and a cheat. For this is the usual interpretation.
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

February 7. "Faithful in that which is Least" (Luke xvi. 10).
"Faithful in that which is least" (Luke xvi. 10). The man that missed his opportunity and met the doom of the faithless servant was not the man with five talents, or the man with two, but the man who had only one. The people who are in danger of missing life's great meaning are the people of ordinary capacity and opportunity, and who say to themselves, "There is so little I can do that I will not try to do anything." One of the finest windows in Europe was made from the remnants an apprentice boy
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Good Steward
"Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward." Luke 16:2. 1. The relation which man bears to God, the creature to his Creator, is exhibited to us in the oracles of God under various representations. Considered as a sinner, a fallen creature, he is there represented as a debtor to his Creator. He is also frequently represented as a servant, which indeed is essential to him as a creature; insomuch that this appellation is given to the Son of God when, in His state of humiliation,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Rich Man and Lazarus
"If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:31. 1. How strange a paradox is this! How contrary to the common apprehension of men! Who is so confirmed in unbelief as not to think, "If one came to me from the dead, I should be effectually persuaded to repent?" But this passage affords us a more strange saying: (Luke 16:13:) "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." "No! Why not? Why cannot we serve both?" will a true servant of mammon say.
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Cross References
Proverbs 31:22
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Ezekiel 16:49
"'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

Luke 16:18
"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Luke 16:20
At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores

James 5:5
You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.

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