The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 16:22-23 ~ The Rich Man & Lazarus, Part 2: A Study of the Angelic Realm ~ Jesus Defines Hades for the Believer & the Unbeliever.

Vol. 19, No. 47 – December 13, 2020

12 13 20 - Luke 16 vs 22-23 Rich Man Lazarus Pt 2 Angelic Realm Hades Believer UnbelieverThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 16

d. The rich man and Lazarus, vs. 19-32, good stewards will be rewarded.

    2) The perspective of death, vs. 22.

Vs. 22

Luke 16:22, “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.”

Here, we see the death of both main characters. The “poor man,” PTOCHOS, “died,” the Verb APOTHNESKO ἀποθνῄσκω, which is also used in Luke 8:42, 52-53, that means, “die, be put to death,” or sometimes “renounce.” Likewise, the “rich man,” PLOUSIOS, “died,” APOTHNESKO. Therefore, both men died, as all men do, with the exception of the Rapture generation, 1 Thes 4:15-17; Enoch, Gen 5:24; Heb 11:5; and Elijah, 2 Kings 2:9-12.

Gen 5:23-24, “So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”

Yet, there were two very different outcomes for these two men upon their death, as the poor man “was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom,” and the rich man “was buried.” It was a glorious event for the poor man and a rather somber, non-eventful one for the rich man.

Was carried away,” is the Verb APOPHERO, “carry or lead away,” also used in Mark 15:1, for Jesus being led away by the Pharisees to Pontius Pilate; Acts 19:12, for handkerchiefs being taken from Paul’s presents to the sick for healing; 1 Cor 16:3, for carrying gifts; Rev 17:3; 21:10, for John being carried by the angel to the visions of the end times.

By the Angels,” is HUPO HO and the Plural of the Noun AGGELOS, ἄγγελος. ANGELOS means, “one who brings a message.” In the OT “angels” are revealed as heavenly beings sent by God to carry messages and perform certain tasks. One of the main Hebrew words translated with ANGELOS in the Septuagint IS MALAKH that means, “messenger.” They were also called “sons of God, spirits, or winds” in the OT. The Sadducees of the Sanhedrin did not believe in angels, or the resurrection, or in spirits, Acts 23:8.

These are the elect angels as part of God’s creation before the creation of mankind. Angels are generally classified as 1) unfallen, holy, elect, Mark 8:38, or 2) fallen, Mat 25:41, were as the “fallen angels” are typically classified as such or as demons.

Here, we see elect angels in their office as ministers to the heirs of salvation, Mat 24:31; Mark 13:27; Heb 1:14.

Heb 1:14, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”

Mat 24:31, “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

Mark 13:27, “And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.”

A brief study of the elect angels includes:

1. Angels are created beings, Psa 148:2, 5; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11. According to Col 1:16, creation included “things” invisible as well as things visible and angels are among the things that are invisible.

Psa 148:5, “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.”

Col 1:16, “For by Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

2. They make up an innumerable company of spirit beings, Rev 5:11, that the Scriptures give much testimony about.

Rev 5:11, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.”

They are mentioned 117 times in 108 verses in the OT and 182 times in 172 verses in the NT, predominately in the Gospels and Revelation. “Angel” in the Hebrew is MALAK that generally means “messenger.” But in the Greek, it is AGGELOS where we get our English word “angel,” (a double “γ” or “g” in Greek, is pronounced like ng in English.) In any case, ANGELOS also simply means “messenger,” and in rare instances it is used of men, cf. Luke 7:24; James 2:25; Rev 1:20.

3. They are spirit beings, Psa 104:4; Heb 1:13-14; 12:22-23; Col 1:16, although at times can take on visible form according to God’s will, cf. Luke 1:11-38; 2:13-15.

Luke 2:13, “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying…”

4. They are immortal, Luke 20:34-36, though not eternal beings because they were created, yet they will have no end.

Luke 20:36, “For they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”

5. They are presently higher than man, Psa 8:4-5; 103:20; Heb 2:7; 2 Peter 2:11, yet in heaven we will be higher than angels, 1 Cor 6:3.

Psa 8:5, “Yet You have made him (Jesus Christ) a little lower than God (angels), and You crown Him with glory and majesty!”

1 Cor 6:3, “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?”

6. They have freewill, Isa 14:12-14; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6, 9.

Jude 1:9, “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!””

7. They are legion, Psa 68:17; Dan 7:10; Mat 26:53; Heb 12:22; Rev 5:11; they form the hosts of heaven, Luke 2:13. Numerically, angels neither increase nor decrease.

Heb 12:22, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels.”

Rev 5:11, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.”

8. Although we have a description of Satan, the Seraphim (six winged angels), and Cherubim (four winged angels), we are not given description of the rank-and-file angel’s bodies. However, we know they are spirit beings, Psa 104:4; Heb 1:13-14; 12:22-23; Col 1:16. They appear as men when so required, Gen 18:2; Mat 28:3; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:12; Heb 13:2. They are said to fly, Isa 6:2; Ezek 1:6; Dan 9:21; Rev 14:6.

Isa 6:2, “Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.”

Luke 24:2-4, “And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing.”

Heb 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

9. Their abode is evidently in heaven; but reference is made to the second heaven, the stellar universe, Mat 24:29. Christ passed through the angelic sphere going to and coming from earth, Eph 1:21; Heb 2:7; 4:14.

Heb 4:14, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”

10. The ministries of the angels are varied and are described in the Bible, but generally they serve and worship God. Psa 34: 7; 91:11; 103:20; 104:4; Dan 4:13, 17, 23; 6:22; Mat 4:11; Luke 16:22; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 10:3; 12:7; 27:23; 1 Cor 11: 10; Col 2:18; Rev 22:8-9.

11. The vast empires of angels are occupied with many enterprises and the execution of their governments, and they behold the things of earth, Luke 12:8-9; 15:10; 1 Cor 11:10; Eph 6:12; Col 1:16; 1 Tim 3:16; Rev 14:10.

Col 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

12. Their presence is recorded at creation, Job 38:7, at the giving of the Law, Acts 7:53; Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2; cf. Rev 22:16, at the birth of Christ, Luke 2:13, at the scene of His temptations, Mat 4:11; Luke 22:43, at the resurrection, Mat 28:2, at the ascension, Acts 1:10, and they will be at the Second Coming, Mat 13:37-39; 24:31; 25:31; 2 Thes 1:7.

13. There will be war in heaven between the two classes of angels in the end times, Rev 12:7-10.

So, there were at least two angels who escorted the poor man to “Abraham’s bosom,” ABRAAM KOLPOS. This indicates that the believer will be personally escorted by angels at their death to heaven.

This ABRAAM is the OT character as the father of the Hebrews and of all those who believe. KOLPOS, means, “bosom, breast, chest,” here and vs. 23, with John 1:18; John 13:23; and Luke 6:38, “lap,” and sometimes as “bay,” Acts 27:39. In the NT, it is used to express a very close and personal relationship. In John 13:23, it was used during the Passover banquet to relate the close relationship of John to our Lord. It is used figuratively to denote paradise in our passages and heaven in John 1:18.

John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

Therefore, to be in “Abraham’s bosom,” was to be in a place of honor and fellowship; on the couch at Abraham’s right at the banquet table. As such, the poor man is being honored by enjoying close fellowship with Abraham at the Messianic banquet, cf. Luke 13:29. As the poor man Lazarus was shunned and abused by society and the rich man, being left in great hunger, in the eternal state, he was given great honor and is enjoying a great banquet.

Next, we see what happened to the rich man upon his death, “and the rich man also died and was buried.”

Rich man,” is PLOUSIS once again, and “died” is APOTHNESKO as seen previously for Lazarus’ death.

Was buried,” is the Aorist, Passive, Indicative of the Verb THAPTO, θάπτω that means, “to bury.” It is used in Mat 8:21-22; Luke 9:59-60, for the principle taught by our Lord, “Let the dead bury the dead;” for the burial of John the Baptist, Mat 14:12; for the fact of the burial of David, Acts 2:29; for the Sin Unto Death disciple of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:6, 9-10; and for our Lord’s burial regarding the Gospel principles, 1 Cor 15:4.

THAPTO was used in classical Greek for all the activities involved in “burying someone,” including funeral rites, expenses, and even cremation. In this story, our Lord did not use this word for Lazarus’ death, but only for the rich man’s. It indicates the continuation of his earthly wealth and riches, having a funeral and prestigious place of burial, cf. Mat 27:57-60.

Therefore, it emphasizes his earthly riches, which could not save him. As such, the rich man simply died and was buried, without any heavenly honors. To the end of his life, he enjoyed luxury and did not suffer any earthly loss. But death is the great equalizer, even reverser, since after death the one thing that counts is the human heart. Possessions and status symbols are all left behind. As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.” What God considers is not written down with numbers and dollar signs.

As such, Lazarus dies and is welcomed into Divine favor; being placed in Abraham’s bosom. He is in the place of blessing. Yet, when the rich man dies and is buried, and as we will see in the next verse, he ends up in Hades, a.k.a., hell, in torment, far away from Lazarus. In that place their roles are reversed. Lazarus is now in a place of prominence; the rich man is now outside of that place looking in, laying at the gate in agony, as it were. Cf. Psa 49:16-20.

Psa 49:16-20, “Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 17For when he dies he will carry nothing away; His glory will not descend after him. 18Though while he lives he congratulates himself— and though men praise you when you do well for yourself— 19He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they will never see the light. 20Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish.”

3) The perspective of Hades / Sheol after death, vs. 23-31.

Vs. 23

Luke 16:23, “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.”

Here we see the two contrasting environments of Hades prior to the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

In Hades,” in the Greek is, EN HO HADES, where HADES, ᾅδης is the Greek Noun that is transliterated in the English to Hades and means, “the underworld or the realm of the dead.” It is used in Mat 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; Acts 2:27, 31; Rev 1:18; 6:8; 20:13-14.

Rev 20:13, “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.”

There are three Greek words that can refer to “hell,” including Hades, Gehenna, and Tartaroo, not to mention the “Lake of Fire.” In ancient Greek usage and culture, Hades was the name of the Greek god of the underworld and the name of the underworld itself.

Another seeming synonym is the word Gehenna, but it is analogous only to the compartment in Hades called the Place of Torments, where the rich man resides, and also for the Eternal Lake of Fire. Gehenna is from two Hebrew words GE HINNOM meaning “valley of Hinnom.” It originally referred to a ravine on the south side of Jerusalem where pagan deities were worshiped, 2 Kings 23:10; Jer 7:32; 2 Chron 28:3; 33:6. Later, it became a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem and a place of abomination, where fire burned continuously, 2 Kings 23:10; cf. Mat 18:9; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; James 3:6. Gehenna became synonymous with “a place of burning,” and therefore hell or later the Lake of Fire.

Next is the Greek word TARTAROO, “cast into hell,” that we call Tartarus, 2 Peter 2:4. The word appears in classical Greek to refer to a subterranean region, miserable and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead. It was thought of as a place of punishment. In the sole use of the word in the NT, it refers to the place of punishment for rebellious fallen angels.

2 Peter 2:4, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.”

The NT understanding of Hades is built upon the OT, with the Hebrew word Sheol, (SHE’OL, שְׁאוֹל), and closely parallels the conceptions of later Judaism. Sheol is used 65 times in the OT. With rare exceptions, like Elijah, 2 Kings 2:1-12, all people were believed to go to Sheol when they die, Job 3:11-19; Psa 89:48. It is a place which is “down” in contrast to heaven which is “up,” Mat 11:23; Luke 10:15. It is the place where the soul goes, Acts 2:27, while the body is destroyed, Acts 2:31.

In our passages, Jesus made a close distinction between the two conditions in Hades, at that time. Lazarus was in “the bosom of Abraham,” where he was being comforted, while the rich man was at the “place of agony,” where he was suffering. As we will note below, the compartment of Hades called Abraham’s bosom was taken to heaven upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Eph 4:8; cf. Psa 68:18.

On the cross, Jesus promised the repentant thief, “Today you will be with me in Paradise,” Luke 23:43. Later, Paul wrote that he was caught up into paradise (the third heaven), 2 Cor 12:2-4. It is interesting that nowhere in the NT epistles does it say that the believer of the Church Age who dies goes to Hades, but it does say that he goes to be with the Lord, 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23. Today, Christ is in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father, therefore, Jesus is not in Hades today, neither is Abraham’s Bosom / Paradise, as they are now with Christ in heaven / Paradise, Eph 4:8, as all Church Age believers go directly to upon their death. 2 Cor 5:6-8; Phil 1:23; Rev 6:9; 7:9ff; 15:2ff, all teach that the current abode of believers immediately after death is with Christ and God in heaven.

Phil 1:23, “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#’s 20-130, 20-131 & 20-132

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

Leave a Reply