In Luke 16:26, the Greek text according to the Textus Receptus states,

καὶ ἐπὶ πάσιν τούτοις μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἐντεῦθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται μηδὲ οἱ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν

which is translated as,

And besides all these things, there is a great chasm fixed between us and you*, so that those desiring to cross over from here to you, cannot, nor may those cross over from there to us.”


The phrase μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται contains a 1st person and 2nd person plural pronoun: ἡμῶν, "us," and ὑμῶν, "you (pl.)."

Abraham and Lazarus were on one side. I suppose ἡμῶν could refer to other people besides Lazarus and Abraham, but at the least, it would refer to the two of them. On the other hand, we only know of "the certain rich man" (τις πλούσιος ἄνθρωπος; v. 19) on the other side. But, since the word is plural, who else would ὑμῶν be referring to?


2 Answers 2


Consider the last clause of the verse "nor may those cross over from there to us." from μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν. That is a plural pronoun. It seems logical to assume that the 'you' and the 'those' are the same group of people which strongly implies that the rich man was not alone on his side of the gulf. So the 'you' must refer to the people in Hades (v23)



This parable speaks of the coming separation of the believers (the “Lazarus’s” of the churches) from the unbelievers (those who will follow in the rich man’s way…the rich pastors who love to be first in their churches). There will be many in the company of the “rich man” so to speak.

The unbelievers will not be “persuaded” (believe) by someone risen from the dead if they do not “hear” Moses and the Prophets.

How do we hear them today?

By doing unto others as we would have them do to us (Matthew 7:12). This is the Law and the prophets. Without doing this, there is no way to enter in and understand.

Luke 16:29-31 KJV (29) Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. (30) And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. (31) And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

What supposedly are they to hear and be persuaded by?

The testimony of Jesus who comes to open up the Scriptures to our understanding which will not conform to what carnally-thinking men have been preaching for many, many years.

Not everyone will hear and remember to let brotherly love continue but will instead open their mouth to speak evil of what they hear and deride those who will speak His words to their ears.

He must increase but we must decrease. We must lose our lives to preserve them. We must use very few words in response to what we hear: the testimony of Jesus who speaks to us from Heaven.

John 3:30-36 KJV (30) He must increase, but I must decrease. (31) He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. (32) And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. (33) He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. (34) For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (35) The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. (36) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Paul is our example. He “lost” his life (the religious life he once had) in order to gain the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus who comes to give us an understanding by the opening of the Scriptures to our ears.

Paul did not go about trying to defend his own righteousness in contention against what he heard but instead counted all of those religious thoughts and ways as a “loss” so that he might win Christ (who is our life). Paul believed in what he heard and was found in Christ.

Philippians 3:8-9 KJV (8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

We must receive His testimony in faith. The Lord will open His mouth and teach those who will come to Him.

Blessed are the poor in “spirit”….that is, the poor in “breath” as they will use few words towards the hearing of His words of life and spirit (the “angels” = His words…His sayings).

Matthew 5:1-3 KJV (1) And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

He opens His mouth and teaches us….

(2) And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

….and blessed are the poor in breath…the poor in words. They will not be found of Him speaking a multitude of words against His testimony but will be found of "little strength" as they use few words towards the open door of utterance.

They will enter in to know the mysteries of the kingdom while those who will use a multitude of words (the open mouth) will not be able to.

(3) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We must be “poor” in words towards what we hear Him saying.

The “beggar” will die in the Lord…dying to sin (evil speaking) towards what he hears. The “beggar” will die to evil words and be carried away by the “angels”….His words of life and spirit…into a place of peace (Abraham’s bosom).

The “beggar” will believe (Abraham believed) His words and get carried away with them as they will receive in faith of what they will hear while the rich will not.

Luke 16:22 KJV (22) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

The “rich” will use an abundance of evil words towards what they will hear and will not refrain their lips from speaking. They will die in their “sins”…in the multitude of their words that will bring them torment until they perish from this earth in the righteous judgment of God .

Proverbs 10:19 KJV (19) In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

They shall die in their sins as judgment upon them for their unbelief when they hear the Lord speaking to them.

John 8:23-24 KJV (23) And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. (24) I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

The “great gulf fixed” is the open mouth that will speak a multitude of words....all kinds of evil.... and will not refrain from speaking as the final judgment of God upon them for their unbelief. They shall die in their sins…the open mouth that will speak a multitude of words which will bring them grief.

The judgment upon them will be final….”fixed”.

The unbelievers cannot then be persuaded by the believers who would seek to convince them. One cannot then “pass” from here to them. One cannot then make them believe as they rejected what they heard (His testimony from Heaven) and did things that did not please Him. There will be no remedy then.

Luke 16:26 KJV (26) And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

There will then be “no remedy” as they will have mocked His messengers and despised His words and misused His prophets….until His wrath arises. The judgment is then “fixed”.

2 Chronicles 36:15-16 KJV (15) And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: (16) But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

There will then be no more sacrifice for continued willful sins when the Lord comes to give us His knowledge.

There will be no mercy but only a certain fearful looking forward to judgment and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. The tongue is a fire. The evil tongue will not cease speaking evil nor will the torment that it will produce for the speaker. They will die in their sins....without His mercy upon them.

Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV (26) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (28) He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: (29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (30) For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (31) It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The "worm"....from "yala" (to blurt or utter inconsiderately)...shall not die neither shall their fire be quenched. The "torment" their own tongue will bring shall not cease as they speak evil.

Isaiah 66:24 KJV (24) And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

We are to believe in the light that shines within our very hearts when we hear His voice and not be found walking in “darkness”….in envy, strife, contentions, wrath.

John 12:35-40 KJV (35) Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. (36) While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. (37) But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: (38) That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

We cannot then believe as judgment for walking in “darkness”. We shall not then understand….see with the eyes of our understanding...nor will be able to believe. A believer will not then be able to "cross over" to convince them as they are under His judgment.

(39) Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, (40) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

This is what the parable illustrates. The rich man was in “Hades”…the unseen…the not knowing….and looked for understanding for his torment as he “lifted up his eyes”. Being in Hades means not knowing as the wicked shall not have understanding nor peace. He shall go to the grave in his sins as the judgment is final.

Luke 16:23-25 KJV (23) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

He looks for mercy….”have mercy on me”…but does not find it. There will be no remedy until one perishes from this earth.

The righteous will not return evil for the persecutions that the unbelievers will give them. They will not “cool” their tongues (that will be as fire) from speaking evil by returning evil for their evil.

(24) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (25) But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

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