Luke 16:23

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments,.... Which may design the place of torment, and the miserable state the Scribes and Pharisees, as all wicked men, enter immediately into upon death, Psalms 9:17 who in their lifetime were blind, and are called blind guides, blind watchmen, blind leaders of the blind, and who were given up to judicial blindness and hardness of heart; but in hell their eyes are opened, and they see their mistakes about the Messiah, and find themselves in torments, under dreadful gnawings, and remorse of conscience; and having a terrible sensation of divine wrath, their worm dies not, and their fire is not quenched: or this may regard the vengeance of God on the Jews, at the destruction of Jerusalem; when a fire was kindled against their land, and burned to the lowest hell; and consumed the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains; and the whole land became brimstone, salt, and burning; and they were rooted out of it in anger, wrath, and great indignation; see Deuteronomy 29:23 or rather, the dreadful calamities which came upon them in the times of Adrian at Bither; when their false Messiah Bar Cochab was taken and slain, and such multitudes of them were destroyed in the most miserable manner {z}, when that people, who before had their eyes darkened, and a spirit of slumber and stupidity fallen upon them, in those calamities began to be under some convictions:

and seeth Abraham afar off: the covenant of circumcision given to him, and to them his natural seed, now of no use to them; their descent from him, of which they boasted, and in which they trusted, now of no avail; and him in the kingdom of heaven, and themselves thrust out; see Luke 13:28.

and Lazarus in his bosom; they now found the Messiah was come, and was gone to heaven, whither they could not come, John 7:33. The Jews are convinced that the Messiah is born, though not revealed; and they sometimes confess, that he was born the same day Jerusalem was destroyed; and sometimes they say, he sits at the gates of Rome among the lepers, and at other times, that he is in the walks of paradise {a}. This is said in agreement with the notions of the Jews, that wicked men will see the righteous in happiness, and themselves in torment; by which the latter will be aggravated, to which the allusion is; for they say {b},

"the gates of paradise are fixed over against the gates of hell, so that they can see the righteous in rest, and themselves in distress.''

{z} Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Talmud. col. 372.
{a} Synagog. Jud. c. 50. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 1. Aben Ezra in Cant. vii. 5. T. Hieros Beracot, fol. 5. 1.
{b} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 125. 3.