Many people are unsure whether Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) happened or whether it is only a parable (a Jewish story with a deeper meaning). Typically, parables do not include personal names like Lazarus and Abraham, but on the other hand, the concepts of “Abraham’s bosom” or dialogue with souls in Hades that we find in the Lukan parable are unattested elsewhere in the Bible. Plenty of Jewish sources outside of the Bible, however, indicate that these themes were common beliefs at the time: that the bosom of Abraham and other patriarchs is the resting place for the righteous, and that there was a fiery holding realm for the wicked until the final judgment (cf. 4 Maccabees 13:17; Apocalypse of Zephaniah; b. Kiddushin 72b).

Jesus describes the main character of the parable as (1) rich, (2) dressed in purple and fine linen (spoiler alert: see Exod 28:5), (3) living in luxury, (4) receiving good things, (5) living in his father’s house (6) with five brothers (7) who all had Moses and the prophets (8) though they did not listen to them, such that (9) they would not repent even if someone were resurrected. This nine-pointed description may be too detailed not to refer to someone specific.

For many reasons, including the testimony of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus who stated that Caiaphas’ father-in-law Anas had five priestly sons (Antiquities XX, 9i; John 18:13), it is likely that Jesus had someone very specific in mind!

Rereading the nine points about the rich man reveals that Caiaphas as the high priest is an excellent candidate for Jesus’ parabolic “rich man” insofar as he fits the first seven criteria perfectly. But did he and his family refuse to believe even after someone was raised from the dead? Twice, actually!

After Jesus resurrected his friend Lazarus, the priests collaborated to kill him (John 12:10). Later, after Jesus was raised from the dead, their hard hearts remained unchanged as they persecuted Jesus’ apostles and denied Jesus’ own resurrection (Acts 4:1-3).

So, was the “Rich Man and Lazarus” parable based on real life events? It most certainly seems so!

By Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg and Jared Seltzer

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

100 COMMENTS

  1. Dr.Eli,
    thanks for your insights
    Iam curious to know whether any of the five sons of Annas the high priest die during Jesus’ time?

    • Ananus ben Seth (6-15 CE) is the father who, though eventually deposed, remained highly influential.
      His five sons (in addition to Caiaphas) along with the dates they served (according to David Flusser) were:

      Eleazar ben Ananus (16-17)
      Joseph Caiaphas (18-36, Son-in-law)
      Jonathan ben Ananus (36-37)
      Theophilus ben Ananus (37-c.41)
      Matthias ben Ananus (42)
      Ananus ben Ananus (62)

      To answer your question, then, Eleazar and Caiaphas served as High priests in Jesus’ lifetime, but Ananus’ other sons were considered “priests” (John 12:10) because of their pedigree even if they had not yet been high priests.

  2. Thank you Dr Eli for this item. I must admit though I did believe that this parable was based on a real truth but I haven’t before associated it with Caiaphas. That’s food for thought. I can see the reasoning Thank you Dr.

      • I believe u Doc. Job is asked, “where were u when I laid the foundations of the world and the morning stars/sons of God shouted for joy?” Caiaphas could not believe coz he was ordained not to. He was not one of the chosen few. ForeOrdination is by predestination. Only the attributes of God can believe. The scripture says”He chose us in Him,before the foundation of the world”. Know ye not that even Israel was blinded so that the wild branch could be grafted in? The scripture says that by grace we are saved,not by works,might,nor power,but by the Spirit

        • I also believe we were predestination before the foundation of the world.

          • Predestination is total nonsense. Through BELIEF in the WORD-LOGOS-the LORD we receive the blessings of his GRACE, because we only then choose to obey HIS WILL and HIS COMMANDMENTS. That is why the Bible challenges us so often to choose between good and evil, between the Lord and the accuser.

        • Many are called ( many meaning all); few are chosen ( those who respond to the call).those that respond to the call are both chosen and predestined in Gods economy because of their choice to respond to God’s call. Predestination always refers to the positive , not the negative choice. We have responsibility to respond to Gods love. Matthew 22

    • This happens 3000.Years after written. Rev 20:11-14 says the 2nd resurrection is for those who are not Christians who go into the fire and instant death. Couldn’t literally have happened . Malachi4:3 showing the space between us and others cannot be spanned. A huge stretch to living 3000 years ago.

    • My apologies, Robert. I honestly don’t remember you writing or your questions. There hundreds of comments that I respond to each day. But I can tell you that some I simply delete if I find them disrespectful of either me or others on the forum. So if you can kindly restate the question I will try to make sure not to miss it this time.

    • I have taught Hebrew for about 50 years. Part of it I still struggle with, but have done a comparison of the 4 Gospels with the 4 “levels” of Jewish Interpretation. I would like your feedback on it. I am writing a commentary on Genesis 1-11 from an exegetical, phenomenological, rabbinic, and scientific perspective–for the common man. I would also like your feedback on that. I know your time is very limited, so I keep my hopes under control. Query: Do you have an elementary course for beginners? If so, what would it cost? I’ve had several who want to learn the basics of Hebrew. Thank you for your comments on “Dives and Lazarus.” I’ve struggled with that one over the years, too. You may well be right. G-d bless you and your work. -mb

      • Dear Dr. Berrier, we have a course that allows people begin pronouncing Hebrew and for those who know the basics of Hebrew grammar few courses that they can practice their Hebrew readings, but we are not a heavy Hebrew grammar school. Unfortunately I personally do not have time (and I am not kidding) to examine your valuable works. I however wish them wide readership and perhaps will benefit from them some time in the future!

      • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Exodus and The New Testament and The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  3. Dr. Eli,

    If this was not a parable how do explain Mar. 4 since he was addressing the Pharisees(those outside of the kingdom). Mar 4:11
    And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,

    • Joel, the cool thing about a parable is that it can be based on a real time events. No contradiction here. Not to mention that many among Pharisees were in fact the children of the Kingdom! 🙂

      • Luke 16:14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.

        Although I would agree many Pharisees were in the kingdom
        this verse in the context seems to indicate thexe were not.

        Shalom

        • “…the Pharisees, who were lovers of money” is specifying a group of Pharisees, in particularly the Shammai pillar. Hillel of the alternate pillar which Jesus often sided with (except mainly on divorce) lived a life of poverty during his teaching. In general when Christ speaks out against Pharisees, it is a particular group and not the whole. Paul calls himself a Pharisee in Acts. It’s not a singular group.

    • Joel Steinhauser What version bible you use but Mark 4:10 in the KJV Jesus in NOT talking to Pharisees but multitudes . : 11IN FACT that knowledge was given ONLY to His disciples. In the reply it calls Lazarus real time when the time is 1000 years ahead not Priests28-30’sAD.

  4. Sounds quite intriguing and imaginative! I guess they caught on to that fast because they were living it out so to speak!

  5. Well thank you for making me do some thinking because this parable is one that there is even more to it than what you have brought out in this little bit I have read and rereading Acts 4:1-3 I seen what you meant. yes I would love to take your course but at this time it would have to be 100% free for me because I am not working and it cost to take the course and i know i would learn a lot of new meanings of scriptures but it will not be at this time because I need to find a job.
    If you do not mind i would like to pass this information on to my Bible study group I have. Please
    thank you

    deb dumler

  6. Just a thought…. to have 5 brothers wouldn’t there have to be 6 sons? Although interestingly Leah was the mother of 6 of Israel’s sons.
    Thanks for you ongoing thought provoking insights.

    • I hazard the same question, at first. But, one of the comments explains that Caiaphas had 5 brothers-in-law. Would they have simply used the term brother?
      Intriguing idea to apply this story/parable to a specific person.

  7. Dr. Eli, I always find your comments interesting, but I don’t always agree with you.
    Your statement that the account of the rich man and El’azar ( Lazarus ) is not a parable runs smack dab against the Bible’s teachings on the state of the dead and the fate of the wicked.
    My question is; would heaven and hell be in close proximity to each other and whether the redeemed in heaven or anyone for that matter would be within the range of sight and sound of the wicked always screaming and suffering in hell for all eternity?
    Also just because real names are used doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not a parable. There are stories even fictional ones that use real names. I think the focus should be on the main point of the account, or in my view, parable. That even a resurrection couldn’t convince the Jewish authorities to believe in Yeshua as the true Messiah.
    Not all Jews believed in an intermediate state of existence after death. Certainly, that is the case even to this day.
    I consider your comment on the rich man and El’azar speculative interpretation which doesn’t harmonize with the rest of Scripture. If you believe in the unity of the Bible, you would weigh and take into account what the rest of the Scriptures say.

    • James, shalom. I speculate a lot and I think it is a good idea to speculate as long as one is aware of it and is openly acknowledges that he or she is thinking out loud without having all information to make a definitive judgement (in the end this is what speculation in our context means). 🙂 Now… the difficulty is that most people when speculating (like what you are actually are doing in your email) 🙂 are not aware of it :-). No offense intended. Truly.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity and The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

      • Doctor, you’re saying that I don’t know what I am talking about. I do know what I am talking about. Let the Bible be it’s own interpreter without speculating about it. That rule of thumb has served me well and it would serve you well too.

        • In the definition and nature of a parable maybe? It means to be cast beside, juxtapositioned, metaphorical, a parallel narrative for comparison. Technically, yes, it could be something that actually happened, but for this parable, you’d have to disregard what the Torah says about death and afterlife.

  8. It is definitely a true story, for the mere fact that Jesus cannot lie, he only speaks TRUTH. He never had to fabricate a story to to get out His Word. All the true parables are also truth. He had many hundreds of years of history to draw on to tell stories about to make a point. He cannot lie, and had no need to fabricate anything.

    • Darrell, lying has nothing to do with what we are discussing. Parable is not a fabrication in a sense of not be TRUTH :-). It is TRUTH, but allegorical. This article argues that this was a parable that people were meant to understand ABOUT WHOM was Jesus talking about.

    • From reading Dr. Eli’s writing, it makes a lot of sense. The fact he admitted that the person Christ had mind mind when telling this ‘parable’ was a real person stated in a parable.

      The story is told to Pharisees so obviously it would got them thinking. Reference to Lazarus,would pricked their thoughts to the man whom Christ resurrected.

      The way I read this and the Bible is that Christ is using real persons, although not directly referencing them to illustrate a point by way of a parable, as He most often does.

  9. Dear Dr. Eli,
    I very much enjoy the information you provide. I’ve always felt that Hebrew translation is key to understanding the Holy Word of God. I found a text in which the Old Testament was translated from the original Hebrew language to today’s English. Even though the translation was written from right to left, I was still able to read and understand it. The translation of Genesis gave me a whole new perspective on the Creation as well as the interaction between Eve and the “shiny one” in the Garden.

    I really wish I had the time to take your courses. Thanks again for your spiritual enlightenment.

    • Dear Tanya, if you are a living and breathing organism (which you are) you do have the time. Our courses do not take more than one hour per week! 🙂 Blessings and peace!

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King and The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  10. Hi…Saul of Tarsus as a religious scholar definetely would have heard of Jesus, why is there no record of Saul ever investigating the claims of Jesus…. or even after his conversion wht doesn’t Paul mention that he ver heard of Jesus. Surely Jesus claims and ministry would have gotten a serious response from Gamaliel and his students.

  11. Hi Dr. Eli, A question I have always had about this parable is, how does it fit with the Pharisaic Jewish expectation and belief in the Resurrection of the Dead? are both Abraham, Lazarus, and the Rich man in Hades (Heb: Sheol) awaiting the Final Judgment after the Resurrection? is this consistent with other second temple Jewish literature? a few questions I know but their all connected.

    • Aaron, I think the thing to keep in mind is that we have a very basic understanding of pharisaic thought and that on the top of it we seem to have a plurality of views on this topics so it is hard to speak of this lining up with something, if you know what I mean.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity and The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  12. Dr. Eli,
    A thought came across my mind concerning this discussion and it has to do with verses 27-29 where the rich man pleaded with Avraham to send El’azar to his five brothers to warn them that a place of torment was awaiting them. The patriarch mentions the Torah ( Moshe ) and the prophets as a point of reference.
    My question is does the Torah and the Prophets has any indication of a final place of torment for the unrighteous?
    While you point out that the narrative of Luke 16 was meant for the people who first heard it concerning whom Yeshua was referring to, isn’t there more to it?
    Is it to show that the positions or roles of the rich and poor are reversed at the end and to show also that even a resurrection wouldn’t be enough to convince some people concerning the final judgment?
    While the Jewish religious leaders weren’t convinced of Yeshua’s resurrection, so weren’t the majority of Jews.

    • Hi James, the rich man wanted to warn his brothers to keep them from that “place of torment.” Abraham mentioned the Torah and prophets to serve as a warning, not because of what they say concerning the existence of some final place of torment. True, the Hebrew Bible consistently has the dead, righteous or wicked, in “Sheol” which is the pit/grave, and not in some kind of holding place for the conscious dead. But this topic is too big for a comment and merits an article of its own.

    • Rather than being some portrayal of reversing roles, this parable was in short a stinging prophecy (that the priests would not believe in Jesus, even after resurrection), but also it would serve as a warning to everyone else listening so as not to follow in those priests’ unbelief. Nevertheless, Jesus introduces plenty of “reversals”: the Jewish myth had a mere river separating the two sides, had the patriarchs interceding for the wicked and even had Abraham bringing the resurrection of 7000 (Testament of Abraham A 18:11). But Jesus put a chasm, and refused intercession or resurrection.

    • Lastly, You’re right that a majority of Jews did not believe, but after Lazarus’ resurrection many believed (John 12:11) and after Jesus’ resurrection, 3000 believed at Pentecost and another 5000 later thereafter. What’s amazing is that such a small movement ultimately changed the world with believers everywhere!

    • The Rich man has to fit all of the criteria, not just one. For instance, Judah did not have the Torah or Prophets since they weren’t written yet.

      • Does “Lazarus” have to fit all of the criteria also? Connecting the statement about the rich man having five brothers and dressing in purple, faring sumptuously, etc. , and the house of the High Priest in Jesus’ day is pretty straight forward in a literal sense. But the text says that Lazarus was laid out at the gate of the High Priest’s house, longing for a few crumbs and letting dogs lick his sores. Shouldn’t there be the direct connection here also? This parable is full of terms where one thing stands for something else. Explained in my next reply.

        • There are indications that Simon the Leper and Lazarus were the same person or else closely related. So maybe there are more connections with Lazarus than are mentioned in the article.

      • Abraham is a real person. “Abraham’s bosom” is not talking about that person’s chest, it’s figurative. Moses and the prophets were real people. The rich man’s brothers did not literally have “Moses and the prophets”, those terms are symbolic of their writings. The “rich man” is not the literal Judah from the book of Genesis, but the current group of people which had that literal Judah as their corporate head. Same thing for the 5 brothers. And at the time Jesus was speaking, the corporate body that each of those 5 brothers represented did have “Moses and the Prophets” (writings).

      • The referral to “crumbs falling from the table” and “dogs” in reference to “Lazarus” brings to mind the Syro-Phoenician woman, a GENTILE, whose great faith prevailed in getting Jesus to heal her daughter (Matt 15:27, Mk 7:28). Would Jesus’s friend Lazarus, obviously was a Jew, have allowed dogs to lick his sores? A Jew never would have done that. In this parable, Lazarus is symbolic of Gentile believers. The rich man is symbolic of the tribe of Judah, with the temple and priesthood in its midst (purple, fine linen)and could feast on the Word of God every day, unlike Gentiles.

  13. After becoming a believer only 20 years ago, and all that time before that saying I would NEVER be, I have come to a very thoughtful conclusion: we can surmise, and guess, and study, and study the scriptures, but in the end we can never be sure of exactly what some passages are saying, as the bible was written that way. I believe God wrote it (inspirationally) that way on purpose to say: don’t let the words itself tell you the answer, as much as let Him give you the answers thru listening to God.

    • Thank you for your input Barney. Although we cannot be sure of the meaning of some texts, God gave us the ability to study, learn and share, and it would be a shame not to do so.

  14. Olá! Shalom Dr.Eli
    Pro favor, espero não ser tão desconhecida sobre o assunto, mas gostaria de saber do amado, a despeito de “Lázaro”. O homem rico, o amado especulou e nos levou a Caifás. Mas quando a Lázaro? Quem poderia ser? Espero não ter sido uma pergunta ignorante! Aguardo! Shalom!

    • Thank you for your question. Yeshua probably included Lazarus’ name in the parable explicitly because Lazarus would later be resurrected. So Lazarus in the Parable is Lazarus the friend of Yeshua.

  15. I was taught years ago that whenever Jesus started a story by saying “A certain man … …” it was a true story. I’m not sure if that can be proved, but that’s (a part of) my basis for believing scripture.
    However, I’m not sure that this story is about Mary & Martha’s brother – there is never any suggestion in the gospels that he was poor enough to be called a beggar.

    • There are many parables in Jewish sources that start with “a certain man…” or “there once was a king…” It was a common method of teaching. Whether it actually happened was less important than the lesson that emerged from it.
      About Lazarus, some people contend that Simon the Leper and Lazarus were the same person, or at least closely related since the same event in multiple gospels uses the two different names.

  16. Interesting. But if Jesus was taking a jab at Anas, it was because the High Priest stood as a symbol for the whole nation. Jesus mentioning dogs, and crumbs falling from the table, links to the one other place in the new testament that uses those terms – when the Syro-Phonecian woman (a Gentile) begs Jesus to help her daughter. This parable addresses the exclusive, privileged attitude that Israel has often shown towards people who aren’t part of “the chosen”. Once the northern tribes were scattered, Judah was the only one left. Judah had five brothers.

    • Being chosen and being privileged are absolutely not the same thing, Chris. Israel is the people God chose for His purpose, and being chosen means having certain responsibilities. Like Paul preached to Jews before Gentiles, so Yeshua was sent to Israel and then afterward, his disciples were sent to the rest of the world. It was a matter of order, not preference.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King and The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

      • You’re right, they’re not the same. But to “the rich man” they were. This seems to be what Jesus is addressing. Ever wonder what God would’ve done with Israel if they responded to His offer in Exodus 19, saying, “Sorry, we’re all sinners who can’t stand to hear Your voice. We’ve failed to believe You several times already. Is there any other way we can still be Your people?”? James Alison’s book, “Raising Abel” interprets the bible from a viewpoint based on Rene Girard’s mimetic theory of violent scapegoating and exclusion. It’s a good read. So is Girard’s “Things Hidden……”

        • Sorry, but I’m really not sure what you’re getting at, Chris. In spite of Israel’s sin and disobedience, God indeed still named them His people.

  17. Thank you Brother bringing a insighful thoughts that is a blessing to our ministry and church… I wish to study your course. Will you give books or only oral class…

    • Shalom! Please, visit our registration page (above menu) there is a video that explains the structure of our program. Blessings!

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Leviticus and The New Testament and The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  18. I believe you are correct in your assessment. To take it further I strongly suspect this was polemical on the part of Christ, taking the parable of Bar Maayan from Simeon ben Shetah who started the area schools (found here: https://books.google.co.kr/books?id=oUVs1eqlzaEC&lpg=PA57&ots=5jrzkqghj3&dq=incident+in+Ashkelon+%22Bar+Maayan%22&pg=PA57&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=incident%20in%20Ashkelon%20%22Bar%20Maayan%22&f=false) and flipping it on it’s head.. Instead of the tax collector getting the torment and the pious man comfort, the High Priest is in torment and the poor who God helps (meaning of Lazarus) is rewarded.

  19. Thank you Dr Eli for all your Biblestudy Emails. I’ve been an Evangelical Christian for nearly 40 years, and a lot of what you say is new to me . I am a State Pensioner and can’t afford to sign up for courses. Please come to Cape Town. Shalom

  20. If you read 1Peter chapter 3 verses from 18 to 20 you will read that the Lord went to the Spirit world to preach the Gospel to the disobedient at the time of Noah. I do believe He was telling a true story.

  21. How many brothers did Judah have? What was the name of Abraham’s best “Gentile” friend. The condemnation of that current brood of vipers was the culmination of several centuries of lies, fables and the traditions of men. Hades is Sheol, always was and always will be. Christ condemned them with their own lies.

    • Plainly, Leah had six sons of which one was Judah, and Abraham’s inheritor before Isaac was Eleazar of Damascus, but you’re mixing stories and you lost me.

  22. The Rich man and Lazerus, it is very interesting concept that Jesus was speaking about the High priest and his family because of the turn of events because it was the High Priest who stated that one man die for the country. this was all during the same time period. the priests and pharisee did not believe they were sinful

  23. I believe that the real message of the parable is hidden in the meaning of the name ‘LAZARUS’ – God has helped. It is only through God’s help that one is able to go to His kingdom and that help is in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Not because we are in the bottom pile of this earthly life and that those on top have denied us assistance will we at the end on God’s justice settle in Abraham’s bosom. Rich or poor, each of us must accept the offered grace through the blood of Jesus to have eternal life.

    • well when i looked at this evening and the answer came to me we are to help our fellow person no matter rich or poor. yes we are saved by grace and we are to help each other no matter who they are.

  24. Continuing;… 4)covered with sores, 5) dogs licking sores. To me this does not sound like Jesus friend Lazarus who He raised fro the dead.

    • Agreed, the Bible does not provide all such details about Lazarus, but you would be hard-pressed to identify anyone else with the Rich Man other than the high priest. Nevertheless, there are two nearly identical passages (Mrk.14:3-9/Mat.26:6-13 and John 12:1-8) that differ in naming the host. Matt/Mark says “Simon the Leper” whereas John says “Lazarus”. It is possible that Simon is Lazarus and that before meeting Yeshua He was a leper.

    • Not necessarily, the Tabernacle and first two temples were built by people from all tribes of Israel. But the Levites will serve in it.

  25. Caiaphas is just too handy to escape being the “goat” in this parable. Caiaphas’ actions look as if he “paid his ticket to hell.”

  26. The Rich Man represented the tribe of Judah. Judah had five brothers. The New Covenant has Christ as King and Priest from tribe of Judah.

    • Jokshan (Gen 25:2) and Bocheru (1Chr 8:38) also had five brothers each, but the criteria do not stop there. Was the tribe of Judah “accustomed to don purple robes and fine linen, making merry in luxury day by day”? True, Judah had five brothers from his mother, but there are other clues that just don’t fit, wouldn’t you agree, Dennis? And Yeshua himself was of the tribe of Judah. Was He condemning himself?

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World and The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  27. Thank You, your insights have become like an ointment to me. So many questions and so many answers, but you Sir, make much sense!
    Sincere regards, Manfred

  28. You make a good case for identifying the rich man as Caiaphas. One more possible point: was Caiaphas known for meanness – giving only the crumbs from his table to beggars at his gate?

    • Good question. Everything we know today about Caiaphas comes only from the New Testament and from Josephus, and they explicitly say almost nothing about his character. Now, of course he did convene a partial midnight kangaroo court with known false witnesses testifying in order to condemn an innocent man in an attempt to protect his own position and interests, and then later on try to squelch the disciples’ teachings even though God wrought an undeniable miracle through them. Sure, I think he could fit the bill of being stingy.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity or The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

    • Yes, at least seven different kinds of Pharisees according to a discussion in the Talmud, most of which but not all were hypocritical.

  29. Dr. Eyzenberg, Hi! I want to know if you ever visited the Tomb of Lazarus/El’azar in Bethany. Do you think you can share photos with us showing the tomb and the interior especially where Yeshua was standing when He called El’azar from the dead? It be an interesting view.

    • No I did not visit. Thanks for the idea. Just a word of caution. Many places like that are traditionally connected with such figures is Lazarus, but it does not mean that this in fact WAS the very cave.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I or The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  30. Why did Lazarus go to heaven while Dives went to a place of torment? What was God’s basis (their life in connection to the Torah)?

    • The tenor of the article was that the passage was merely a parable prophesying the tenacious unbelief of the high priests. Lazarus suffered in his life, so he went to the place of comfort. The rich man lived a life of comfort so he went to the place of torment. It was a deliberate reversal of expectations to illustrate Yeshua’s teaching of the first being last and the last being first.

  31. This article is an interesting analysis of the “Parable” of Lazarus & the Rich Man, giving it 1st person connections to people in Jesus’ time & experience. I have never heard it described this way before. In the traditional way as parable, it has disturbed me, pondering the many Lazarus persons living for crumbs vs privileged/important people any/everywhere. It seems that “righteous pharisee or believer in Jesus” is not the essential criterion, but rather, the sharing w/& treatment of one’s fellows. No matter how many or from where come the messengers, the message goes ignored. So I wonder even more: regardless of living, study, professing, do we really know what is God’s choosing? Placing the story into historical context & identifying peoples’ names w/whom Jesus interacted, takes it from the subjective into objective hearing/reading, thus able to “move on”.

  32. Thanks to you Dr Eli for this first move of me to know all I have been wishing for thanks once again, I believe my been hear will help me more.

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