Lazarus and Dives
The Parable of the rich man and Lazarus (also called the Dives and Lazarus or Lazarus and Dives) is a well known parable of Jesus
Parables of Jesus
The parables of Jesus can be found in all the Canonical gospels as well as in some of the non-canonical gospels but are located mainly within the three synoptic gospels. They represent a key part of the teachings of Jesus, forming approximately one third of his recorded teachings...

 which appears in one of the Four Gospels of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....


According to Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 , the parable tells of the relationship, in life and in death, between an unnamed rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. The traditional "name" Dives, is not in fact a name but the word for "rich man", dives, in the text of the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Bible, the Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

. The rich man was also given the names Neuēs (i.e. Nineveh
Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, and capital of the Neo Assyrian Empire. Its ruins are across the river from the modern-day major city of Mosul, in the Ninawa Governorate of Iraq....

) and Fineas (i.e. Phineas
In Greek mythology, Phineas was a Phoenician King of Thrace.The name 'Phineas' or 'Phineus' may be associated with the ancient city of Phinea on the Thracian Bosphorus.-Phineas, Son of Agenor:...

) in the third and fourth centuries.

Along with the parables of the Ten Virgins
Parable of the Ten Virgins
The Parable of the Ten Virgins, also known as the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, is one of the well known parables of Jesus. It appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament...

, Prodigal Son
Parable of the Prodigal Son
The Prodigal Son, also known as the Lost Son and the Prodigal Father, is one of the parables of Jesus. It appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament. According to the Gospel of Luke a father extravagantly gives his sons their inheritance before he dies...

, and Good Samaritan
Parable of the Good Samaritan
The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus and is mentioned in only one of the Canonical gospels. According to the Gospel of Luke a traveller is beaten, robbed, and left half dead along the road. First a priest and then a Levite come by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a...

, it was one of the most frequently illustrated parables in medieval art, perhaps because of its vivid account of an afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...


The name Lazarus (from the Hebrew: אלעזר, Elʿāzār, Eleazar
Eleazar , was a priest in the Hebrew Bible, the second Kohen Gadol - succeeding his father Aaron. He was a nephew of Moses.-Life:...

 - "God is my help") is also given to a second, and arguably more famous, figure in the Bible: Lazarus of Bethany
Lazarus of Bethany
Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, is the subject of a prominent miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death...

, also known as Lazarus of the Four Days. He is the subject of a prominent miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death. However, the two are generally understood to be two separate characters. Many allusions to Lazarus (particularly those involving the idea of resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 from the dead) should be understood as referring to the Lazarus described in John, rather than to the poor beggar of this story.

The story

The story is as follows:


There are different views on the historicity and origin of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The story is unique to Luke and is not thought to come from the hypothetical Q document.

As a literal, historical event

Some Christians view the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man as an actual event which was related by Jesus to his followers; this was generally the view of the medieval Church. According to this view, this story is not a parable but literal biography. Supporters of this view point to the amount of detail in the story. For example, in no other parable does Jesus give a character's personal name, but refers to the characters as "a certain man", "a sower", etc.

As a parable created by Jesus

Other Christians consider that this is a parable created by Jesus and told to his followers. Tom Wright and Joachim Jeremias
Joachim Jeremias
Joachim Jeremias was a German Lutheran theologian, scholar of Near Eastern Studies and university professor for New Testament studies. He was abbot of Bursfelde, 1968–1971....

 both treat it as a "Parable". Proponents of this view argue that the story of Lazarus and the rich man has much in common with other stories which are agreed upon parables, both in language and content (e.g. the reversal of fortunes, the use of antithesis, and concern for the poor).

Luther, a parable of the conscience

Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 taught that the story was a parable about rich and poor in this life and the details of the afterlife not to be taken literally:
"Therefore we conclude that the bosom of Abraham signifies nothing else than the Word of God,.... the hell here mentioned cannot be the true hell that will begin on the day of judgment. For the corpse of the rich man is without doubt not in hell, but buried in the earth; it must however be a place where the soul can be and has no peace, and it cannot be corporeal. Therefore it seems to me, this hell is the conscience, which is without faith and without the Word of God, in which the soul is buried and held until the day of judgment, when they are cast down body and soul into the true and real hell." (Church Postil 1522-23)

Lightfoot, a parable against the Pharisees

John Lightfoot
John Lightfoot
John Lightfoot was an English churchman, rabbinical scholar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and Master of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.-Life:...

 treated the parable as a parody of Pharisee belief concerning the Bosom of Abraham
Bosom of Abraham
"Bosom of Abraham" refers to the place of comfort in sheol where the Jews said the righteous dead awaited Judgment Day.-Origin of the phrase:The word found in the Greek text for "bosom" is , meaning "lap" "bay"...

, and from the connection of Abraham saying the rich man's family would not believe even if the parable Lazarus was raised, to the priests failure to believe in the resurrection of Christ:
"Any one may see, how Christ points at the infidelity of the Jews, even after that himself shall have risen again. From whence it is easy to judge what was the design and intention of this parable" (From the Talmud and Hebraica, Volume 3‎)

E. W. Bullinger in the Companion Bible cited Lightfoot's comment above, expanding it to include coincidence to lack of belief in the resurrection of the historical Lazarus (John 12:10, see below). Additionally Bullinger considered that the lack of identification "parable" by Luke is because contains a parody of the view of the afterlife in the story:
"It is not called a parable because it cites a notable example of the Pharisee's tradition which had been brought from Babylon. See many other examples in Lightfoot vol.xii. pp.159-68" (Companion Bible, p.1488)

Drioux, a parable against the Sadducees

An alternative explanation of the parable is a satirical parable against the Sadducees. One writer to identify the Sadducees as the target was Johann Nepomuk Sepp
Johann Nepomuk Sepp
Johann Nepomuk Sepp was a German historian, and politician.-Life:Johann Nepomuk Sepp was born the son of a tanner and dyer. He studied philosophy and Catholic theology, law, philology and history in Munich, 1834-1836 and 1837-1839...

. The arguments in favour of identification of the Rich Man as the Sadducees are (1) the wearing of purple and fine linen, priestly dress, (2) the reference to "five brothers in my father's house" as an allusion to Caiaphas
Joseph, son of Caiaphas, Hebrew יוסף בַּר קַיָּפָא or Yosef Bar Kayafa, commonly known simply as Caiaphas in the New Testament, was the Roman-appointed Jewish high priest who is said to have organized the plot to kill Jesus...

' father in law Annas
Annas [also Ananus or Ananias], son of Seth , was appointed by the Roman legate Quirinius as the first High Priest of the newly formed Roman province of Iudaea in 6 AD; just after the Romans had deposed Archelaus, Ethnarch of Judaea, thereby putting Judaea directly under Roman rule.Annas officially...

, and his five sons who also served as high priests according to Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, (3) Abraham's statement in the parable that they would not believe even if he raised Lazarus, and then the fulfillment that when Jesus did raise Lazarus of Bethany the Sadducees not only did not believe, but attempted to have Lazarus killed again: "So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well" (John 12:10). This last interpretation had wide circulation in France during the 1860-'90s as a result of having been included in the notes of the pictorial Bible of Abbé Drioux
Claude-Joseph Drioux
Abbé Claude-Joseph Drioux was a French priest, popular educator, cartographer, geographer, historian, and religious writer.Drioux was born 17 February 1820 at Bourdons, Haute-Marne. He was first priest, then professor at the seminary of Langres, vicaire général, finally chanoine.Drioux was the...

Perry, a parable of a new covenant

Simon Perry has argued that the Lazarus of the parable (an abbreviated transcript of 'Eleazer') refers to Eleazer of Damascus, Abraham's servant. In Genesis 15, God says to Abraham "this man will not be your heir" (Gen 15:4). Perry argues that this is why Lazarus is outside the gates of Abraham's perceived descendent. By inviting Lazarus to Abraham's bosom, Jesus is redefining the nature of the covenant. It also explains why the rich man assumes Lazarus is Abraham's servant.

Afterlife doctrine

Christians debate what the story says about the afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...


Most Christians believe in the immortality of the soul and particular judgment
Particular judgment
Particular judgment, according to Christian eschatology, is the judgment given by God that a departed person undergoes immediately after death, in contradistinction to the General judgment of all people at the end of the world....

 and see the story as consistent with it. The parable teaches that both identity and memory remain after death. Eastern Orthodox Christians see the story as consistent with their belief in Hades
Hades in Christianity
According to various Christian faiths, Hades is "the place or state of departed spirits".-Hades in the Old Testament:In the Septuagint , the Greek term "ᾅδης" is used to translate the Hebrew term "שׁאול" in, for example,...

, where the righteous and unrighteous alike await the resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

. Western Christians usually interpret Lazarus as being in Heaven or Limbo
In the theology of the Catholic Church, Limbo is a speculative idea about the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the damned. Limbo is not an official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church or any other...

 and the rich man in Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...


Some Christians believe in the mortality of the soul ("soul sleep") and general judgment
General judgment
General judgment is the Christian theological concept of a judgment of the dead by nation and as a whole. It is related closely to Judgment day and often is just another phrase for the Last judgment, but is not necessarily part of any eschatology...

 ("Last Judgement") only. This view is held by some Anglicans such as E. W. Bullinger
E. W. Bullinger
Ethelbert William Bullinger AKC was an Anglican clergyman, Biblical scholar, and ultradispensationalist theologian.-Life and work:...

. Proponents of the mortality of the soul, and general judgement, for example Seventh-day Adventists
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

, Christadelphians
Christadelphians is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century...

, and Christian Universalists, argue that this is a parable using the framework of Jewish views of the Bosom of Abraham
Bosom of Abraham
"Bosom of Abraham" refers to the place of comfort in sheol where the Jews said the righteous dead awaited Judgment Day.-Origin of the phrase:The word found in the Greek text for "bosom" is , meaning "lap" "bay"...


Conflation with Lazarus of Bethany

Historically within Christianity, the begging Lazarus of the parable (feast day June 21) and Lazarus of Bethany
Lazarus of Bethany
Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, is the subject of a prominent miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death...

 (feast day December 17) have often been conflated, with some churches celebrating a blessing of dogs, associated with the beggar, on December 17, the date associated with Lazarus of Bethany.

Another example of this conflation can be found in Romanesque
Romanesque art
Romanesque art refers to the art of Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style in the 13th century, or later, depending on region. The preceding period is increasingly known as the Pre-Romanesque...

 iconography carved on portals in Burgundy and Provence. For example, at the west portal of the Church of St. Trophime
Church of St. Trophime
The Church of St. Trophime is a Roman Catholic church and former cathedral built between the 12th century and the 15th century in the city of Arles, in the Bouches-du-Rhône Department of southern France...

 at Arles
Arles is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence....

, the beggar Lazarus is enthroned as St. Lazarus. Similar examples are found at the church at Avallon
Avallon is a commune in the Yonne department in Burgundy in center-eastern France.-Geography:Avallon is located 50 km south-southeast of Auxerre, served by a branch of the Paris-Lyon railway and by exit 22 of the A6 motorway...

, the central portal at Vézelay
Vézelay is a commune in the Yonne department in Burgundy in north-central France. It is a defendable hill town famous for Vézelay Abbey. The town and the Basilica of St Magdelene are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites....

, and the portals of the cathedral of Autun.

In literature and poetry

Chaucer's Summoner
The Summoner's Prologue and Tale
The Summoner's Tale is one of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.The tale is a fierce counterpunch to the preceding tale by The Friar which had been an offensive attack on summoners. Summoners were officials in ecclesiastical courts who summoned people to attend and worked in a similar way...

 observes that "Dives and Lazarus lived differently, and their rewards were different."

In William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's Henry IV Part I, Sir John Falstaff
Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare. In the two Henry IV plays, he is a companion to Prince Hal, the future King Henry V. A fat, vain, boastful, and cowardly knight, Falstaff leads the apparently wayward Prince Hal into trouble, and is...

 alludes to the story while insulting his friend Bardolph about his face, comparing it to a memento mori
Memento mori
Memento mori is a Latin phrase translated as "Remember your mortality", "Remember you must die" or "Remember you will die". It names a genre of artistic work which varies widely, but which all share the same purpose: to remind people of their own mortality...

: "I never see thy face," he says "but I think upon hell-fire and Dives that lived in purple; for there he is in his robes, burning, burning" (III, 3, 30-33).

In his novel Moby-Dick
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, was written by American author Herman Melville and first published in 1851. It is considered by some to be a Great American Novel and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod,...

, Herman Melville
Herman Melville
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd....

 alludes to Lazarus and Dives in Chapter Two as part of a metaphor describing a cold night in New Bedford
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States, located south of Boston, southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, and about east of Fall River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts...

"Now, that Lazarus should lie stranded there on the curbstone before the door of Dives, .." ( 1786)

References to Dives and Lazarus are a frequent image in socially conscious fiction of the Victorian period. For example:
"workers and masters are separate as Dives and Lazarus" "ay, as separate as Dives and Lazarus, with a great gulf betwixt" (Elizabeth Gaskell
Elizabeth Gaskell
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, née Stevenson , often referred to simply as Mrs Gaskell, was a British novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era...

; Mary Barton
Mary Barton
Mary Barton is the first novel by English author Elizabeth Gaskell, published in 1848. The story is set in the English city of Manchester during the 1830s and 1840s and deals heavily with the difficulties faced by the Victorian lower class.-Plot summary:...

 a tale of Manchester life
"Between them, and a working woman full of faults, there is a deep gulf set." (Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

; Hard Times
Hard Times
Hard Times - For These Times is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book appraises English society and is aimed at highlighting the social and economic pressures of the times....


Although Dickens' A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first published by Chapman & Hall on 17 December 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of...

and The Chimes
The Chimes
The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In, a short novel by Charles Dickens, was written and published in 1844, one year after A Christmas Carol and one year before The Cricket on the Hearth...

 do not make any direct reference to the story, the introduction to the Oxford edition of the Christmas Books does do so.

Richard Crashaw
Richard Crashaw
Richard Crashaw , English poet, styled "the divine," was part of the Seventeenth-century Metaphysical School of poets.-Life:...

 wrote a metaphysical stanza for his Steps to the Temple in 1646 entitled, "Upon Lazarus His Tears":
Rich Lazarus! richer in those gems, thy tears,
Than Dives in the robes he wears:
He scorns them now, but oh they'll suit full well
With the purple he must wear in hell.

Dives and Lazarus appear in Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell
Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell DBE was a British poet and critic.-Background:Edith Sitwell was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, the oldest child and only daughter of Sir George Sitwell, 4th Baronet, of Renishaw Hall; he was an expert on genealogy and landscaping...

's poem "Still falls the Rain" from "The Canticle of the Rose", first published in 1941. It was written after The Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 on London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in 1940. The poem is dark, full of the disillusions of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. It speaks of the failure of man, but also of God's continuing involvement in the world through Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...


Still falls the Rain
At the feet of the Starved Man hung upon the Cross.
Christ that each day, each night, nails there, have mercy on us—
On Dives and on Lazarus:
Under the Rain the sore and the gold are as one.

The poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, commonly known as Prufrock, is a poem by T. S. Eliot, begun in February 1910 and published in Chicago in June 1915. Described as a "drama of literary anguish," it presents a stream of consciousness in the form of a dramatic monologue, and marked the beginning of...

" by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
Thomas Stearns "T. S." Eliot OM was a playwright, literary critic, and arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century. Although he was born an American he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.The poem that made his...

 contains the lines: 'To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,/Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all", in reference to Dives' request to have Beggar Lazarus return from the dead to tell his brothers of his fate.

Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

 set Sitwell
Sitwell can refer to someone from the notable Sitwell literary family:* Edith Sitwell* Osbert Sitwell* Sacheverell SitwellAlso* George Sitwell* Stan Sitwell, fictional character...

's text to music in his third Canticle in a series of five.

In music and song

  • "Dives Malus" (the wicked rich man) also known as "Historia Divitis" (c.1640) by Giacomo Carissimi
    Giacomo Carissimi
    Giacomo Carissimi was an Italian composer, one of the most celebrated masters of the early Baroque, or, more accurately, the Roman School of music.-Biography:...

     is a Latin paraphrase of the Luke text, set as an oratorio
    An oratorio is a large musical composition including an orchestra, a choir, and soloists. Like an opera, an oratorio includes the use of a choir, soloists, an ensemble, various distinguishable characters, and arias...

     for 2 sopranos, tenor, bass; for private performance in the oratories of Rome in the 1640s.
  • Mensch, was du tust a German sacred concerto by Johann Philipp Förtsch
    Johann Philipp Förtsch
    Johann Philipp Förtsch was a German baroque composer, statesman and doctor.-Life:Förtsch was born in Wertheim and possibly received his musical education from Johann Philipp Krieger. Moving to Hamburg in 1674 to write librettos he then became in the 1680s one of the main composers in the heyday of...

  • The story appeared as an English folk song whose oldest written documentation dates from 1557, with the depiction of the afterlife altered to fit Christian tradition. The song was also published as the Child ballad Dives and Lazarus
    Dives and Lazarus (ballad)
    Dives and Lazarus is Child ballad 56, and a Christmas carol. Francis James Child collected two variants, in The English and Scottish Popular Ballads...

     in the 19th century. Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

     based his orchestral piece Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus (1939) on this folk song, and also used an arrangement as the hymn tune Kingsfold.
  • "Poor Man Lazarus." (19thC) a spiritual
    Spiritual (music)
    Spirituals are religious songs which were created by enslaved African people in America.-Terminology and origin:...

     sung by North American slaves in the 19th century, is unrelated to the Child Ballad.
  • "The Tramp on the Street" (1948) by husband-and-wife bluegrass
    Bluegrass music
    Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

     duo Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper
    Stoney Cooper
    Dale Troy Cooper , known professionally as Stoney Cooper, was an American country star and member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was a master of the fiddle and the guitar.-Biography:...

  • "Diversus and Lazarus" (2004) by Steeleye Span
    Steeleye Span
    Steeleye Span are an English folk-rock band, formed in 1969 and remaining active today. Along with Fairport Convention they are amongst the best known acts of the British folk revival, and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles "Gaudete" and "All Around My Hat"....

     on the album They Called Her Babylon
    They Called Her Babylon
    They Called Her Babylon is an album by the electric folk band Steeleye Span.The album, the band's 18th studio album, was released in 2004. The album is perhaps most noteworthy for the return of Maddy Prior, the band's most central member, who had departed the band in 1996...

    is based on the Child Ballad.
  • "No Second Chances" (2007) by Christian metal band Whitecross
    Whitecross is a Christian metal band that formed in 1985 in Waukegan, IL releasing their first recording in the year 1987. Their early albums, which often invite comparisons to Ratt, are laced with fast, technical guitar work. In 1994, bandleader, primary songwriter and producer Rex Carroll split...

  • "Chasm" (2009) song on the 2009 album, Memento Mori, by alternative rock band Flyleaf.

The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem

The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem (OSLJ) is an order of chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

 which originated in a leper
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

 hospital founded by Knights Hospitaller
Knights Hospitaller
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta , also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's...

 in the twelfth century by Crusaders of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
Kingdom of Jerusalem
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a Catholic kingdom established in the Levant in 1099 after the First Crusade. The kingdom lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks, but its history is divided into two distinct periods....

. The Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the most ancient of the European orders of chivalry, yet is one of the less-known and less-documented orders. The first mention of the Order of Saint Lazarus in surviving sources dates to 1142.

The Order was originally established to treat the virulent disease of leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

, its knights originally being lepers themselves. According to the Order's official international website, "From its foundation in the 12th century, the members of the Order were dedicated to two ideals: aid to those suffering from the dreadful disease of leprosy and the defense of the Christian faith." Sufferers of leprosy regarded the beggar Lazarus (of Luke 19:19-31) as their patron saint and usually dedicated their hospices to him.

The order was initially founded as a leper hospital outside the city walls of Jerusalem, but hospitals were established all across the Holy Land dependant on the Jerusalem hospital, notably in Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

. It is unknown when the order became militarised but militarisation occurred before the end of the twelfth century due to the large numbers of Templars
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

 and Hospitallers
Knights Hospitaller
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta , also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's...

 sent to the leper hospitals to be treated. The order established ‘lazar houses’ across Europe to care for lepers, and was well supported by other military orders which compelled lazar brethren in their rule to join the order on contracting leprosy.

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