Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 15:23

and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Dancing;   Fatted Calf;   God Continued...;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Joy;   Penitent;   Prodigal Son;   Readings, Select;   Salvation;   Young Men;   Thompson Chain Reference - Animals;   Bible Stories for Children;   Calves;   Children;   Home;   Parental;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Prodigal Son;   Religion;   Son;   Stories for Children;   The Topic Concordance - Losing and Things Lost;   Salvation;   Seeking;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Calf, the;   Entertainments;   Joy of God over His People, the;   Parables;   Pardon;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Calf;   Feasts;   Food;   Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Dancing;   Farming;   Food;   Grace;   Joy;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Gospel;   Kill, Killing;   Offerings and Sacrifices;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Parable;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Calf;   Cook;   Feast;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Banquet;   Calf;   Cattle;   Fatlings, Fatted;   Harmony of the Gospels;   Imagery;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Prodigal Son;   Repentance;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Food;   Joy;   Love, Lover, Lovely, Beloved;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Animals;   Brotherhood (2);   Children of God;   Father, Fatherhood;   Gospel (2);   Happiness;   Joy;   Justice (2);   Laughter;   Love (2);   Luke, Gospel According to;   Man (2);   Parable;   Religious Experience;   Repentance (2);   Righteous, Righteousness;   Son, Sonship;   Spiritualizing of the Parables;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Calf;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Calf;   Cooking;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Calf;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Fare;   Food;   Joy;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for November 6;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The fatted calf, and kill it - Θυσατε, Sacrifice it. In ancient times the animals provided for public feasts were first sacrificed to God. The blood of the beast being poured out before God, by way of atonement for sin, the flesh was considered as consecrated, and the guests were considered as feeding on Divine food. This custom is observed among the Asiatics to this day.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Be merry - Literally, “eating, let us rejoice.” The word “merry” does not quite express the meaning of the Greek. “Merriment” denotes a light, playful, jovial mirth. The Greek denotes simply “joy - let us be happy, or joyful.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-15.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it,.... By which Christ is designed, in allusion to the calves offered in sacrifice, which were offered for sin offerings, and for peace offerings, and for burnt offerings; and were one of the sacrifices on the day of atonement: so Christ has offered up himself in soul and body, freely and voluntarily, in the room and stead of his people, an offering and sacrifice to God, of a sweet smelling savour; which is well pleasing to him, and effectual to the purposes for which it was offered, and therefore will never be repeated; and has hereby satisfied law and justice, procured peace and reconciliation, and made full atonement and expiation for all their sins and transgressions: or else in allusion to the feasts and liberal entertainments of friends, when the fatted calf made a considerable part, Genesis 18:7 Christ is the best provision that can be set before a believer, or he can feed upon; yea, the best that God can give, or saints desire: he is true and real food, spiritual, savoury, satisfying, and durable; what both gives and preserves life; nourishes, strengthens, refreshes, delights, and fattens. Now by "bringing it hither", is meant preaching Christ; opening the Scriptures concerning him; setting him before believers, as their only proper food, both in the ministry of the word, and in the Lord's supper: and "killing" him does not design either the slaying of him in purpose, promise, and type, from the foundation of the world; nor the actual crucifixion of him by the Jews; but the setting him forth in the Gospel in a ministerial way, as crucified and slain, for saints by faith to feed and live upon:

and let us eat and be merry: for as the JewsF6T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 9. 1. say,

"there is no mirth without eating and drinking:'

this is a mutual invitation or encouragement to eat of the fatted calf: the parties called upon to eat of it are the Father, the servants, and the returned son. The Father, to whom the salvation of his people, by the death of Christ, is as a feast; his heart was set upon this from everlasting; and he was infinitely well pleased with Christ, as the surety of his people from all eternity; his eye was upon him as such throughout the several dispensations before his coming; he sent him forth with great pleasure in the fulness of time; and not only did not spare him, but it even pleased him to bruise him; and he accepted of his sacrifice with delight; and takes pleasure in seeing his people feed upon their crucified Saviour; and this is expressive of that communion which God admits his people to with himself, and which, as it is signified by walking and talking, and sitting and dwelling, so by eating together; and is in consequence of union to him; and is only enjoyed by true believers; and is the greatest blessing on earth, and what is next to heaven. The servants, the ministers of the Gospel, they are among the "us", who are to eat; and it is but reasonable they should, and it is even necessary that they do eat, and live upon a crucified Christ themselves, whose business it is to set him forth as such to others: and especially the returned son makes a principal guest at this entertainment; for whom it is made, and for whose sake chiefly the invitation to eat is given: by which is meant not corporeal eating, but eating by faith; which supposes food to eat, of which there is plenty in the Gospel provision; a principle of life infused, for a dead man cannot eat; and spiritual hunger and thirst, otherwise there will be no appetite; and the grace of faith; which is the hand that takes, and the mouth that receives, and eats spiritual food: and believers have full and free liberty to eat of it; nor should they object their own unworthiness, but consider the suitableness of the food unto them; that it is on purpose prepared for them; that they are in their Father's house, and at his table; and the invitation to eat is hearty and cordial; and both the Father and Christ give this food, and bid welcome to it; and there is a necessity of eating it, for without this there can be no living in a spiritual sense: it is hereby that life is supported and maintained; without this the saints must be starving; it is this which preserves from hunger, and satisfies it, and nourishes up unto eternal life. The manner of eating, or the circumstance attending it, is "mirth", both in Father, son, and servants; and as corporeal, so spiritual eating should be with joy, and with a merry heart, Ecclesiastes 9:7 and indeed is the most proper means of stirring and increasing spiritual joy and pleasure; see the note on the latter part of the following verse, See Gill on Luke 15:24.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-15.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the fatted calf — kept for festive occasions.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-15.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

The fatted calf (τον μοσχον τον σιτευτονton moschon ton siteuton). The calf the fatted one. ΣιτευτονSiteuton is the verbal adjective of σιλευωsileuō to feed with wheat (σιτοςsitos). The calf was kept fat for festive occasions, possibly in the hope of the son‘s return.

Kill (τυσατεthusate). Not as a sacrifice, but for the feast.

Make merry (ευπραντωμενeuphranthōmen). First aorist passive subjunctive (volitive). From ευπραινωeuphrainō an old verb from ευeu (well) and πρηνphrēn (mind).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-15.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The fatted calf

The article denoting one set apart for a festive occasion. Tynd., “that fatted calf.”

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-15.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Let us be merry — Both here, and wherever else this word occurs, whether in the Old or New Testament, it implies nothing of levity, but a solid, serious, religious, heartfelt joy: indeed this was the ordinary meaning of the word two hundred years ago, when our translation was made.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-15.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

and bring the fatted calf, [and] kill it, and let us eat, and make merry1:

  1. And bring the fatted calf, [and] kill it, and let us eat, and make merry. The fatted calf, according to Eastern custom, was held in readiness for some great occasion (Genesis 18:7; 1 Samuel 28:24; 2 Samuel 6:13), and which some custom still exists.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-15.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Ver. 23. And bring hither the fatted calf] Christ is that fatted calf, saith Mr Tyndale martyr, slain to make penitent sinners good cheer withal, and his righteousness is the goodly raiment to cover the naked deformities of their sins.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 15:23. Bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; And sacrifice it. Elsner.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-15.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

23. τ. μόσχ. τ. σιτ.] So, Judges 6:25, Gideon is commanded to kill τὸν μόσχον τὸν ταῦρον ὅς ἐστιν τῷ πατρί σου ( τ. μ. τ. σιτευτὸν τοῦ πατρός σου α):—some calf fatted for a particular feast or anniversary, and standing in the stall. No allusion must be thought of to the sacrificing of Christ:—which would be wholly out of place here,—and is pre-supposed in the whole parable.

εὐφρανθ.] So Luke 15:6, ‘joy in heaven;’—all rejoice.

Some of these are δοῦλοι who have entered into the joy of their Lord: Matthew 25:21; Matthew 25:23.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-15.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 15:23. τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτὸν) Judges 6:25, τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτὸν καὶ μόσχον δεύτερον ἑπταετῆ.(163) The article denotes pre-eminent excellence.— εὐφρανθῶμεν, let us enjoy ourselves [‘lætemur,’ rejoice: Engl. Vers. “be merry”]) This word is repeated with the greatest emphasis in Luke 15:24; Luke 15:32.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-15.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 15:22"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 15:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-15.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

откормленного теленка Теленок предназначался только для самых особых случаев – жертвоприношения или пира по случаю большого праздника. Все это (ст. 22, 23) символизирует обилие благословений спасения (ср. Еф. 1:3; 2:4-7).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-15.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Be merry; be joyful and happy; literally, eating, let us rejoice.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-15.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.The fatted calf—Which had been reserved, by the father’s hospitality, for some special occasion, as the delicacy of the season.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-15.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 15:23. The fatted calf. Some calf standing in the stall, probably in readiness for a feast, is to be killed, as the best, for this sudden festivity. There is no allusion to any sacrifice.

Make merry. The ‘joy in heaven’ (Luke 15:6) is again alluded to; the parties feasting are ‘the servants’ (Luke 15:22), including the whole family; angels and redeemed men.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-15.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 15:23. : always one fattening for high-tides; could not be used on a better occasion.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-15.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-15.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

And bring hither the fatted calf (kept for festive occasions), and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry - denoting the exultation of the whole household: "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:10). But though the joy ran through the whole household, it was properly the father's matter. Accordingly it is added,

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-15.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) Bring hither the fatted calf.—It is interesting to remember the impression which this part of the parable made on one of the great teachers of the Church as early as the second century. Irenaeus (see Introduction) saw in it an illustration of what seemed to him the special characteristic of St. Luke’s Gospel, viz., the stress which it lays on the priestly aspect of our Lord’s work and ministry. We note, after our more modern method, (1) that in the framework of the story, the definite article points to “the calf” that had been fattened as for some special feast of joy. It answers accordingly to the “feast of fat things” of Isaiah 25:6 - i.e., to the joy of the full fruition of the presence of God; and there is, perhaps, in the command to “kill it” (the word used is the technical one for slaying a sacrificial victim) a half-suggestion that this was only possible through a sacrifice and death. The fatted calf thus comes to represent to us that of which the Eucharistic feast is at once a symbol, a witness, and a pledge.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
the fatted
Genesis 18:7; Psalms 63:5; Proverbs 9:2; Isaiah 25:6; 65:13,14; Matthew 22:2-14
Reciprocal: Exodus 24:11 - did eat;  Deuteronomy 28:63 - rejoiced over;  1 Samuel 28:24 - a fat calf;  Proverbs 23:15 - even mine;  Song of Solomon 3:11 - in the day of the;  Isaiah 53:10 - the pleasure;  Isaiah 55:2 - eat;  Jeremiah 31:4 - again;  Micah 7:18 - he delighteth;  Zephaniah 3:17 - will rejoice;  Matthew 18:13 - he rejoiceth;  Matthew 26:29 - until;  Luke 15:5 - rejoicing;  Luke 15:27 - and thy;  Luke 15:30 - devoured;  John 15:11 - my;  Acts 15:3 - they caused;  1 Corinthians 10:27 - bid

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 15:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-15.html.