Luke 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus,


Luke 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,


A beggar, however, a someone by name, Lazarus, had tossed himself on the side of that gateway of his, suffering himself from sores.


This is the second verse of the most atypical story Jesus tells. It gives a character in the story a name, something that Jesus does nowhere else. Notice, that the man tosses himself at the rich man's gate, which means that the rich man didn't place him there, but that he must have seen him there. Lazarus had sores (called ne'gim under Jewish law), which actually made him a religious "untouchable".  Under Jewish law, someone who is unclean with a skin disease it required to remove himself from among people and keep away from them. Lazarus does not do this. It is never suggested that the rich man played any part in Lazarus's suffering other than ignoring him. This verse also contains two unique words. 

The Greek word translated as "and" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

There is no verb "there was" in the Greek. This phrase was also a construct in the previous verse, Luke 16:19, but at least that verse had the verb. 

The word translated as "a certain" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but can be used to mean someone of note as we would say "a someone".  This is the same word as used in the previous verse. 

"Beggar" is an adjective that means "a beggar" and "beggarly" and it a metaphor for being lacking in something. This is the adjective translated as "poor" in the Beatitudes, "blessed are the poor". 

The Greek word translated as "named" is not a verb, but a noun in the form of "by  name". However, the word is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as in English, this can be many things. It doesn't mean the thing itself, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss."

"Lazarus" is the Greek form of the word. 

There is no word "which" in the Greek. It is added because the "there is" phrase as added earlier.

The word translated as "was laid " has a number of meanings revolving around "throw" as we do in English with both "throw" and "toss."  It is not one of the common verbs usually translated as "laid". Jesus often uses this word in the same way we use "dump" in English. In dice, it means "to throw" the dice, but with the sense of being lucky. The form is not "passive", but the form where the subject, "a beggar" acts on himself, "tossed himself".  The tense indicates something completed in the past, "had tossed himself." 

The word translated as "at" means "towards", "on the side of," "by reason of (for)," and "against."

This word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 

"Gate" is a Greek noun used uniquely here that means "gateway", "gate tower", and "gate house."

"Full of sores" is a Greek verb, also used uniquely here that means to "wound", "lacerate", "ulcerate", of wounds, "suppurate", and in the passive, of people, "suffer from wounds or sore",  It is in the form of an adjective, "suffering from sores". Jesus also doesn't use this root word for "sores" anywhere. 


πτωχὸς (noun sg masc nom) "Beggar" is ptochos, which means "beggar", "beggar-woman," and "beggarly."  -- 

δέ (conj/adv) "And" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). 

τις (pro sg masc nom) "A certain" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

ὀνόματι (noun sg neut dat) "Name" is onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative. 

Λάζαρος (Hebrew name) "Lazarus" is Lazaros which is the Greek form of the name "Lazarus". 

βέβλητο (verb 3rd sg plup ind mp) "Was laid" is ballo, which means "to throw", "to let fall," "to cast," "to put", "to pour", "to place money on deposit", "push forward or in front [of animals]", "to shed", "to place", "to pay,"to throw [of dice,]" "to be lucky", "to fall", "to lay as foundation", "to begin to form", "to dash oneself with water," and "to bathe."

πρὸς (prep) "At" is pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

τὸν πυλῶνα [unique](noun sg masc acc) "Gate" is pylon, which means "gateway", "gate tower", and "gate house."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 

εἱλκωμένος {ἑλκόμενος} [unque](part sg pres mp masc nom) "Full of sores" is helkoōwhich means "wound", "lacerate", "ulcerate", of wounds, "suppurate", and in the passive, of people, "suffer from wounds or sore", 

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