Luke 16:19

ESV “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
NIV There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
NASB Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, enjoying himself in splendor every day.
CSB "There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen, feasting lavishly every day.
NLT Jesus said, 'There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury.
KJV There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

What does Luke 16:19 mean?

In this story, a wealthy man dies and goes to eternal punishment while the beggar he refused to care for goes to "Abraham's bosom" or "Abraham's side": the place of paradise where God-following Jews wait for the resurrection. The two men's situations in death are the exact opposite from those in life. The rich man learns that he can do nothing to alter his state; all the decisions he made while living are irrevocable.

Luke 16 intertwines several themes. Like the parable of the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1–8), this story talks about the proper use of money. Then it touches on how a greedy attitude towards money is a strong sign that someone doesn't know God (Luke 16:9–13). Finally, it teaches the role of the Law and Prophets for the Jews in the church age (Luke 16:16–17).

Scholars debate as to whether this should be referred to as a "parable." In our view, it should not. However, that doesn't necessarily mean the story is based on a literal event. Here, unlike in His "parables," Jesus includes a character's name: Lazarus. It doesn't follow the format of using an earthly scene to present a metaphorical spiritual application. Most likely, it's just a story with literal applications. How the narrative is labeled is not especially important, but we must grasp the point: we should not be like the rich man; we should care for those in need and trust what the Scriptures say about our fallenness, salvation, and who Jesus is.

Presumably, the rich man's cloak was purple and his undergarment was fine linen; both are signs of great wealth and comfort. The food most often mentioned throughout Jesus' travels are bread and fish; to eat "sumptuously every day" is a luxury few could afford. The description shows that this man is blessed in worldly ways. His living condition strongly contrasts with both the beggar Lazarus and with his own later state in damnation (Luke 16:20–21, 24).
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