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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Luke 15

Verse 1

Then drew near = Then were drawing near.

all . Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6 , for a large number.

publicans = tax-gatherers.

for to hear = to hear.

Verse 2

Pharisees. See App-120 . This settles the scope of all that follows.

murmured = were muttering. The word implies subdued threatening. Occurs only here and Luke 19:7 .

sinners . See on Matthew 9:10 .

Verse 3

this parable. It had already been uttered in Matthew 18:12-14 with another object (Luke 15:11 ), and with a different application (Luke 15:14 ). It is now repeated, later, under different circumstances (Luke 15:1 , Luke 15:2 ), in combination with two other similar parables, with quite another application (verses: 6, 7; 9, 10; 23, 24). Hence the change of certain words.

unto. Greek. pros. App-104 .

them. This determines the scope of the three parables.

Verse 4

man. Greek. anthropos. App-123 . Here representing Christ.

of = from among. Greek. ek. App-104 .

if he lose = having lost.

not . Greek. ou. App-105 .

in . Greek. en. App-104 .

wilderness . A place of wild fertility. Compare Luke 2:8 . after. Greek. epi. App-104 .

until he find it? Note the importance of this expression.

Verse 5

when he hath found it = having found it. In Matt., "If so be that he find it. "For the reason, see note on Luke 15:3 .

on. Greek. epi. App-104 .

his shoulders = his own shoulders; not those of another.

Verse 6

when he cometh = having come.

home = into (Greek. eis. App-104 .) the house.

with me ; not with the sheep (because of the scope of the parable). See note on Luke 15:3 . The joy is in heaven (Luke 15:7 ).

Verse 7

I : i.e. I who know. John 1:51 .

you . Murmuring Pharisees. This is the point of the parable.

heaven. Singular. See notes on Matthew 6:9 , Matthew 6:10 .

over . Greek. epi. App-104 .

that repenteth = repenting. App-111 .

just persons: i.e. the Pharisees. Compare Luke 15:2 ; Luke 16:15 ; Luke 18:9 . Greek. ou. App-105 .

repentance. App-111 . Compare Matthew 3:2 .

Verse 8

Either . This parable is recorded only in Luke.

woman. Here representing the Holy Spirit.

ten . See the Structures of Luke 15:2 in the Luke book comments.

pieces of silver. Greek drachmas. Occurs only here, and in Luke 15:9 . See App-51 .

if she lose. An uncertain contingency. App-118 .

not . Greek. ouchi. App-105 .

candle = lamp. App-130 .

diligently . A medical word. Used only here.

till . Same as "until" in Luke 15:4 .

Verse 9

friends . Female friends (feminine)

the piece. Not "my", as in Luke 15:6 .

I had lost = I lost. Compare "was lost" in Luke 15:6 .

Verse 10

is = becomes, or takes place, or results. Same as "arose" in Luke 15:14 .

in the presence of = before. It does not say that the angels rejoice; but it is the divine joy in their presence.

God . App-98 .

Verse 11

And He said . This parable is peculiar to this gospel. Seenote on Luke 15:8 .

man (as in Luke 15:4 ). Here representing the Father (God).

two sons . See the Structure (V3, above).

Verse 12

give me . Contrast "make me" (Luke 15:19 ).

the portion. According to Jewish law, in the case of two sons the elder took two-thirds, and the younger one-third of movable property, at the father's death.

goods = movable property. Greek. ousia. Only here and Luke 15:13 .

falleth to me. This is the technical term in the Papyri, in such cases. See Deissmann's Light, &c., p. 152, and Bib. Stud., p. 230.

them . Including the elder, who did not ask it.

living. Greek. bios, life. App-170 . Put by Figure of speech Metonomy (of Effect), App-6 , for his means or property which supported his life.

Verse 13

after . Greek meta. App-104 . Referring to the rapidity of the fall of Israel.

took his journey = went abroad.

into . Greek. eis. App-104 .

far country. Compare Acts 2:39 . Ephesians 2:17 .

substance = property. Same word as "goods" in Luke 15:12 .

with riotous living = living ruinously. Greek. asotos. Occurs only here. The kindred noun (asotia) occurs only in Ephesians 5:18 . Titus 1:6 . 1 Peter 4:4 .

Verse 14

when he had spent = having spent. Greek. dapanao. Elsewhere only Mark 5:26 . Acts 21:24 . 2 Corinthians 12:15 .James 4:3 .

in = throughout. Greek. kata. App-104 . Not the same word as in verses: Luke 15:4 , Luke 15:7 , Luke 15:25 .

began to be in want . Contrast "began to be merry" (Luke 15:24 ).

Verse 15

joined himself to = cleaved to (Greek. Pass. of kollao glue together); i.e. he forced himself.

a citizen = one of the citizens. Contrast Philippians 1:3 , Philippians 1:20 .

Verse 16

would fain have filled = was longing to fill.

with = from. Greek. apo. App-104 .

husks = pods of the carob tree. Only here in N.T.

did eat = were eating.

and. Note the emphasis of the Figure of speech Polysyndeton ( App-6 ), here.

no man. Greek. oudeis, compound of ou . App-105 .

Verse 17

came to himself . Compare "came to his father" (Luke 15:20 ).

to. Greek. eis. App-104 .

have bread enough and to spare , or abound in food.

I perish = I (emph.) am perishing.

with hunger = from the famine. The texts add hode = here.

Verse 18

to . Greek. pros. App-104 .

sinned . App-128 .

against . Greek. eis. App-104 .

heaven. Singular with Art. See notes on Matthew 6:9 , Matthew 6:10 . "Heaven" put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6 , for God Himself.

before. Greek. enopion. Same word as in Luke 15:10 "in the presence of".

Verse 19

am no more worthy = I no longer deserve. make me. Contrast "give me " (Luke 15:12 ).

Verse 20

came to his father . Compare "came to himself" (Luke 15:17 ).

his = his own.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton ( App-6 ).

ran . Compare Isaiah 6:6 , "Then flew". See note on Luke 15:21 , and compare Isaiah 65:24 .

kissed = fervently kissed. Same word as in Matthew 26:49 .

Verse 21

I have sinned = I sinned. Confession of sin is the necessary condition for receiving the blessing. Compare 2 Samuel 12:13 .Psalms 32:5 .Isaiah 6:5 , Isaiah 6:6 . Isaiah 5:8 , &c. And so with Israel (Leviticus 26:40-42 .Isaiah 64:6 , Isaiah 64:7 . Hosea 5:15 ; Hosea 14:1 , Hosea 14:2 ).

in thy sight . Same Greek words as "before thee" in Luke 15:18 .

son. Note the Figure of speech Aposiopesis ( App-6 ), for he did not finish what he meant to have said.

Verse 22

servants = bond-servants.

Bring forth. L [Tr. ] A WH R add "quickly".

best = first. Either the first that comes to hand, or the former robe the son used to wear. See on Genesis 27:15 .

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton ( App-6 ), emphasizing each particular.

put it on him = clothe him with it.

ring = a signet-ring. Occurs only here. See James 2:2 , and compare Genesis 41:42 .

on = for (Greek. eis. App-104 .)

shoes = sandals. The ring and the sandals mark a free man. Servants went barefoot.

Verse 23

kill it = sacrifice it. It was a sacrificial feast.

Verse 24

was . Not the past tense of the verb "die", but of the verb "to be". He had been as a dead man (Greek. nekros. App-189 ) to his father.

is found = was; i.e. "when he came to himself" (Luke 15:17 ), which shows that that was the result of the father's seeking. began, &c. Contrast "began to be in want" (Luke 15:14 ).

Verse 25

his elder son . This is the point of the parable (Compare Luke 15:2 ). It was addressed "unto them" specially (v 3), as the correction of their murmuring.

musick and dancing. Greek. symphonies and chorus, i.e. a "choral dance". Both words Occurs only here.

Verse 26

called = called to him.,

servants = young men. Greek. pais . See App-108 . Not the same word as in verses: Luke 15:17 , Luke 15:19 , Luke 15:22 .

asked = began to inquire. Imperf. tense.

meant = might be.

Verse 27

is come . . . safe and sound. Corresponding with the father's dead and lost . . . alive and found (Luke 15:24 ).

Verse 28

he was angry . Referring to the deep-seated feeling of the Pharisees against Messiah and those who followed Him. This increased steadily (and is seen to-day). Compare Acts 11:2 , Acts 11:3 , Acts 11:17 , Acts 11:18 ; Acts 13:45 , Acts 13:50 ; Acts 14:5 , Acts 14:19 ; Acts 17:5 , Acts 17:6 , Acts 17:13 ; Acts 18:12 , Acts 18:13 ; Acts 19:9 ; Acts 21:27-31 ; Acts 22:18-22 .Galatians 5:11 . 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 ,

would not go in = was not willing ( App-102 .) to go in.

intreated. Greek. parakaleo. App-134 .

Verse 29

Lo . Greek. idou. App-133 . Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

neither transgressed I , &c. This was the Pharisees' claim and boast. Compare Luke 18:11 , Luke 18:12 ; Luke 18:18-21 .

a kid. In contrast with "the fatted calf" (Luke 15:23 ). with. Greek. meta. App-104 .

friends. Contrast with harlots (Luke 15:30 .

Verse 30

thy son. Not "my brother". Contrast with "thy brother" (Luke 15:32 ).

was come = came as though a stranger. Not "returned".

devoured = eaten up. Contrast with Luke 15:23 .

thy. Malignant thought.

harlots. Contrast with "my friends" (Luke 15:29 ).

Verse 31

Son =. Child. Greek. teknon. Affectionately reminding him of his birth. App-108 .

ever = always. App-151 .

all that I have. See Romans 9:4 , Romans 9:5 , and compare Matthew 20:14 .

Verse 32

It was meet. Compare Acts 11:18 .

thy brother. Contrast with "thy son" (Luke 15:30 ).

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 15". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/luke-15.html. 1909-1922.