Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 15:25

"Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Dancing;   Feasts;   God Continued...;   Inheritance;   Jealousy;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Joy;   Penitent;   Prodigal Son;   Readings, Select;   Salvation;   Self-Righteousness;   Young Men;   Thompson Chain Reference - Fellowship, Divine;   Prodigal Son;   Social Fellowship;   Son;   The Topic Concordance - Losing and Things Lost;   Salvation;   Seeking;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Entertainments;   Music;   Parables;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Dancing;   Grace;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Ethics;   Gospel;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Parable;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Dance;   Music;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Banquets;   Dance;   Music;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Art and Aesthetics;   Dancing;   Harmony of the Gospels;   Imagery;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   Luke, Gospel of;   Music, Instruments, Dancing;   Parables;   Prodigal Son;   Repentance;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Love, Lover, Lovely, Beloved;   Meals;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Brotherhood (2);   Children of God;   Dancing;   Debt, Debtor (2);   Elder (2);   Father, Fatherhood;   Gospel (2);   Justice (2);   Laughter;   Love (2);   Luke, Gospel According to;   Man (2);   Music (2);   Parable;   Religious Experience;   Righteous, Righteousness;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Dance;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Banquets;   Marriage;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - As;   Elder in the New Testament;   Games;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for November 6;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

His elder son - Meaning probably persons of a regular moral life, who needed no repentance in comparison of the prodigal already described.

In the field - Attending the concerns of the farm.

He heard music - Συμφωνιας, a number of sounds mingled together, as in a concert.

Dancing - Χορων . But Le Clerc denies that the word means dancing at all, as it properly means a choir of singers. The symphony mentioned before may mean the musical instruments which accompanied the choirs of singers.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In the field - At work. This eldest son is designed to represent the Pharisees who had found fault with the Saviour. Their conduct is likened to that of this envious and unnatural brother.

Music and dancing - Dancing was not uncommon among the Hebrews, and was used on various occasions. Thus Miriam celebrated the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt in dances as well as songs, Exodus 15:20. David danced before the ark, 2 Samuel 6:14. It was common at Jewish feasts Judges 21:19-21 and in public triumphs Judges 11:34, and at all seasons of mirth and rejoicings, Psalm 30:11; Jeremiah 31:4, Jeremiah 31:13. It was also used in religious services by the idolaters Exodus 32:19, and also by the Jews, at times, in their religious services, Psalm 149:3; Psalm 150:4. In this case it was an expression of rejoicing. Our Lord expresses no opinion about its “propriety.” He simply states “the fact,” nor was there occasion for comment on it. His “mentioning it” cannot be pleaded for its lawfulness or propriety, any more than his mentioning the vice of the younger son, or the wickedness of the Pharisees, can be pleaded to justify their conduct. It is an expressive image, used in accordance with the known customs of the country, to express joy. It is farther to be remarked, that if the example of persons in Scripture be pleaded for dancing, it can be “only for just such dances as they practiced” - for sacred or triumphal occasions.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-15.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Now the elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.

The logical thing for the elder son to have done would have been to go at once to the father; but apparently something was missing from the rapport which he should have had with the father. He was living the life of a slave in the house of his father; and it is to be feared that many a child of God is doing the same thing.

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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-15.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Now his elder son was in the field,.... By "the elder son" is meant, not angels, as has been observed on Luke 15:11 nor truly converted persons, of some standing in the church; for though these may be said to be elder than young converts, and are more solid and settled, yet they are not ignorant of spiritual mirth; nor of the Gospel sound; nor are they angry at the conversion of sinners; nor will they ever speak in such commendation of themselves; or say that they never had a kid, much less a fatted calf, as this elder brother does: nor the Jews in general, in distinction from the Gentiles, as has been remarked in the above place: the Scribes and Pharisees in particular are meant, in opposition to the publicans and sinners: now these are said to be "in the field"; in the world, which is comparable to an uncultivated field; being overrun with the briers and thorns of sin, and sinful men; where beasts of prey inhabit, and who are fitly signified by lions, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword; and out of which the garden of the church is taken and separated, and fenced by distinguishing grace: now this elder brother, the Scribe and Pharisee, notwithstanding all his sobriety and morality, was in a state of nature and unregeneracy, in the same condition he came into the world; and was under the influence of the god of the world; and was taken up with the things of the world, the honours, riches, and profits of it; and though he was in the Jewish church state, yet was in the field of the world; the ceremonies of that state, were the rudiments of the world; and the sanctuary in it, was a worldly sanctuary; and the chief men in it, were the princes of the world: and this elder son was in the field at work, working for life: to work is right, when men work from a principle of grace, in the name, faith, and strength of Christ, to the glory of God and religion, and their own and others good; and ascribe all they do to the grace of God, and acknowledge their own unworthiness; but to work, in order to obtain righteousness, life, and salvation, proceeds from wretched ignorance, and is an instance of the pride and vanity of human nature; and is not only a vain and fruitless attempt, but a piece of wickedness, it being a denial of Christ, as God's salvation: now while the younger son, the publicans and sinners, were received and entertained in the house and kingdom of God their Father, the elder son, the Scribe and Pharisee, were without in the field, labouring to obtain life by doing;

and as he came and drew nigh to the house. The Ethiopic version reads, "to the border of the city": he "came" out of the field, the world; not that he was come out from the world, and had left the company of the men of it, or parted with the sins and lusts of it; but he came from his labour, having done his day's work, and the task of duty he had set himself; and was now going for his hire, for what he imagined he had merited: and

drew nigh to the house; for he did not go in, Luke 15:28 he only made some advances to it, and took some steps towards entrance into it; namely, into a visible church; he came to hear the word, as the Scribes and Pharisees did; and to attend on ordinances, particularly at the administration of the ordinance of baptism, and seemed desirous of submitting to it in John's time; but never came to Christ in a spiritual way; nor entered into the kingdom of heaven, the Gospel dispensation; and did all that could be, to hinder others, especially publicans and sinners;

he heard music and dancing. The Syriac; Persic, and Ethiopic versions, leave out "dancing": the former only reads, "the voice of the singing of many", and the next, "the voice of singing"; and the last, "pipes and songs"; by "music" is meant not the instrumental music used in the Old Testament church; nor vocal singing in the new; but the preaching of the Gospel by the ministers of it, the servants, in Luke 15:22 setting forth the love of God, the righteousness of Christ, peace, pardon, and salvation by him; in which, as in music, there is a distinction of sounds, the voice of Christ in the Gospel, and the several doctrines of it, are distinctly pronounced, discerned, and understood: and there is also, as in music, an harmony and agreement; the Gospel does not give an uncertain sound, nor contradict itself; it is not yea and nay: and, like music, it is delightful and charming; it is a sound of love in all the three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit; of free grace, and rich mercy; of liberty, reconciliation, forgiveness, righteousness, and eternal life: and as music, has a powerful and attractive virtue in it; so the Gospel is mighty and efficacious in the hand of the Spirit of God to quicken even dead sinners, to draw them to Christ, to allure, charm, and comfort them: "dancing" may design those expressions of joy, which are delivered by young converts at hearing the Gospel, as by the three thousand, in Acts 2:41 by the inhabitants of Samaria, Acts 8:6 and by the jailor and his household, Acts 16:34 and by many others: now all this the elder brother, the Scribes and Pharisees, "heard"; not so as to know the true meaning of it, as appears from the following verse; nor as to approve of it; or so as to feel the power, and enjoy the sweetness of it; nor as to practise what was heard; only externally hearing, they heard, but understood not, their eyes were blinded, and their hearts were hardened.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

5 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

(5) Those who truly fear God desire to have all men join them in fearing him.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

in the field — engaged in his father‘s business: compare Luke 15:29, “These many years do I serve thee.”

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "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

As he came and drew nigh (ως ερχομενος ηγγισενhōs erchomenos ēggisen). More exactly, “As, coming, he drew nigh,” for ερχομενοςerchomenos is present middle participle and ηγγισενēggisen is aorist active indicative.

Music (συμπωνιαςsumphōnias). Our word “symphony.” An old Greek word from συμπωνοςsumphōnos (συνsun together, and πωνηphōnē voice or sound), harmony, concord, by a band of musicians. Here alone in the N.T.

And dancing (και χορωνkai chorōn). An old word again, but here alone in the N.T. Origin uncertain, possibly from ορχοςorchos by metathesis (ορχεομαιorcheomai to dance). A circular dance on the green.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "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

Music ( συμφωνίας )

A symphony: concerted music.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "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

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

The elder son seems to represent the Pharisees and scribes, mentioned Luke 15:2.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-15.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The elder son seems to be introduced not to represent any particular persons, but only as an incident naturally connected with the narrative, and furnishing an occasion, by the conversation which ensued, to exhibit more vividly still the feelings of the father.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-15.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

Ver. 25. His elder son] The self-justiciary, that is good in his own eyes, and needs no repentance.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-15.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Luke 15:25

We may see from this passage:—

I. That the position of the elder son is preferable to that of the younger, because of the risk he escaped.

II. Because a life of continuous godliness is far easier than a life of godliness succeeding a life of sin.

III. Viewed as a whole, the life of the son who remained at home must yield far more pleasure to God than the life of the son who wanders and then returns.

E. Mellor, In the Footsteps of Heroes, p. 195.


References: Luke 15:25.—J. Burton, Christian Life and Truth, p. 398. Luke 15:25, Luke 15:29.—D. Thomas, Christian World Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 184 Luke 15:25-32.—G. Cross, Ibid., vol. xviii., p. 350; Homilist, vol. i., p. 342.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-15.html.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

By the murmuring of the elder son at the prodigal's returning to, and reception with, his father, some think the Jews in general are to be understood, whose peevishness to the Gentiles, and the repining at the offer of salvation made unto them by the gospel, is very evident from many places of scripture: others understand it of the scribes and Pharisees in particular, who presuming on their own righteousness, as if they had never transgressed God's commandments at any time, murmured at our Saviour for conversing with sinners, though it were in order to the bringing of them to repentance; which instead of being frowardly discontented at, they ought to have rejoiced at.

Learn hence, there is such an envious spirit in men, yea, even in the best of men, as inclined them to repine at such dispensations of divine grace and favor, as others receive, and they want.

Learn, 2. That to indulge such a spirit and temper in ourselves, argues great sin, and great folly: great sin in being dissatisfied with God's dispensations, and affronting his wisdom and justice; and great folly, in making another's good our grief; as if we had less, because another has more: The eldest son was angry, and would not go in: it follows, therefore came his father out and intreated him. This shows the meekness of God in dealing with us under, our frowardness; and the high satisfaction he takes in a sinner's conversion and returning to his duty.

Lastly, this points out unto us our duty to imitate God, and be followers of him as dear children. Does he rejoice at a sinner's return to this duty? So should we. It is the devil's temper to regret and envy the good and happiness of others: he gnashes his teeth, when the prey he thought himself sure of, is snatched out of his jaws. But to God, and all his holy angels, nothing is so agreeable as their repentance and conversion of a sinner from the error of his ways, and the saving of a soul from death; this is looked upon as a resurrection from the dead, and a ground of the greatest joy and rejoicing: It was meet that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.

Whence note, that regeneration is the term from which all true pleasure commences. We never live a merry day until we begin to live unto God; when the prodigal son returned to his father, then, and not until then, they began to be merry.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-15.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

25.] ἐν ἀγρῷ—probably working, in the course of his δουλεύειν, as he expresses it, Luke 15:29.

ἐρχόμ., at meal-time.

συμφ. κ. χορ.] This is one of those by-glances into the lesser occupations and recreations of human life, by which the Lord so often stamps his tacit approval on the joys and unbendings of men. Would these festal employments have been here mentioned by Him on so solemn and blessed an occasion, if they really were among those works of the devil which He came into the world to destroy?

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". 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 15:25. ἐν ἀγρῷ, in the field) as one serving [in the slave-like spirit] his Father: see Luke 15:29.— χορῶν, bands [of dancers]) joyously dancing [or exulting].

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". 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

Ver. 25-32. This last part of the parable is not so exactly applicable to that which it is brought to represent as the former parts are, but it serveth excellently to show us that envy which is found in our hearts by nature to the spiritual good and advantage of others. Two things are observable in it:

1. Man’s peevishness and envy.

2. God’s meekness towards us under our frowardness.

By the elder son some think the Jews are represented, whose peevishness to the Gentiles, and the offer of the grace of the gospel to them, is made appear to us from many places of holy writ. Others think that by the elder son are represented hypocrites, who swelling in all opinion of themselves, and their own righteousness, have no patience to hear that any others should be preferred in the favour of God before them. Why may we not say that all are understood by it, even the best of God’s people, who, if they narrowly search their own hearts, will find something of pride and envy remaining in the best of them? And as the former prompts them to judge themselves as much deserving the favour of God, even in special particular dispensations, as any others; so the latter inclineth them to repine at such dispensations of Divine grace as others receive, and they want: two corruptions which we are as much concerned to keep watch upon, or against, as any other; speaking both a peevishness to the honour and glory of God, a dissatisfaction in his dispensations, and an offer at the control of his wisdom and justice, and also a great degree of uncharitableness, our eye being evil because the Lord is good. Besides that it seemeth to put in a claim of merit; and the soul that indulges itself in such thoughts seems to say that it hath deserved more than it doth receive; for without such a supposition, it is the most unreasonable thing imaginable, that any person should be displeased that another should have a greater share in the favour of God than he, while he himself receives more than he can lay a claim unto, and God may do with his own what he pleaseth. The meekness of God in dealing with us under our frowardness is as much remarkable.

Son, ( saith this father in the parable), thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad; for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; was lost, and is found. This must be understood of God anyrwpopaywv as spoken after the manner of men, who show greater passions upon the receiving of a good that is new to them, and possibly surprising, than they ordinarily show upon the view of a good of which they have had longer fruition; so it confirms what was before said in Luke 15:7,10. We must take heed of thinking that any thing can make a change or alteration in God, but must look upon it only as an expression of God’s high satisfaction and well pleasedness in a sinner’s conversion, and turning unto him; so as if it were possible any good should more than other affect the Divine Being, it would be this. So as this whole parable is of excellent use, not only to instruct sinners in their miserable state, till they be reconciled to God, but to deliver them from all temptations to fear that, heartily returning, they shall not be accepted.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 15:25". 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

Старший... сын Он символизирует собой фарисея – религиозного лицемерного человека, который находится близко к месту пребывания Отца (в храме), но у него нет осознания греха, нет настоящей любви к Отцу (чтобы разделить с Ним радость), и он не проявляет интереса к кающимся грешникам.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-15.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

His elder son; he represents the scribes and Pharisees, who found fault with Jesus for receiving and kindly treating sinners who came to him.

Music and dancing; expressions of joy.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-15.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Now his elder son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.”

But then a new figure comes into the picture. It is the elder brother. He had been at work, ‘in the field’. He was the quiet hard worker, the faithful son, who had worked hard all these years and had enjoyed few luxuries. And as he approached his home from his day of honest toil he was astonished to hear the sound of music and dancing. The fact that he had not already been immediately informed of the situation may well have been simply because no one knew precisely where he was. Or it may simply be because it is a necessity for the story. The music and the dancing would puzzle him. He would be able to think of no reason for it.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-15.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

25.Was in the field—Rather, at labour; but he strangely does not appear; or, at any rate, no one seems to have thought it necessary to notify him of the common joy.

Music and dancing—According to the custom of the ancients, this may be supposed to be a hired concert of musicians and dancers.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "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 15:25. Now his elder son was in the field. ‘The elder son at the return of the younger brother is not in the house, but has spent the day in hard, self-chosen, slavish service, and now first returns home at evening, when the feast was already in progress’ (Van Oosterzee).

Music and dancing. Usual at feasts in the East. Dancing in the East was usually performed by those hired for the purpose.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "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 15:25. , on the farm; of course there every day, doing his duty, a most correct, exemplary man, only in his wisdom and virtue so cold and merciless towards men of another sort. Being at his work he is ignorant of what has happened: the arrival and what followed.— , coming home after the day’s work is over, when the merriment is in full swing, with song and dance filling the air.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-15.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

His elder son, &c. We have already remarked, that this son represents the Jews. He boasts of having always served his father faithfully, and of never disobeying him. This is the language of that presumptuous people, who believe themselves alone holy; and despising the Gentiles with sovereign contempt, could not bear to see the gates of salvation laid open also to them. The 28th, 29th, and 30th verses express admirably the genius of the Jewish people; particularly his refusing to enter his father's house, shews their obstinacy. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "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

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

Now his elder son was in the field - engaged in his father's business. Compare Luke 15:29, "Lo, these many years do I serve thee."

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "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

(25) He heard musick and dancing.—This brings in a new feature. The father, like the chief actors in the other parables, had called together his “friends and neighbours,” and they were rejoicing after the manner of the East. There was “musick,” literally, a symphony, or concert, implying voices as well as instruments. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, but it is found in the LXX. version of Daniel 3:5; Daniel 3:10, Where indeed the Hebrew, or rather the Aramaic, word is but the Greek transliterated. The word for “dancing,” also, is found here only in the New Testament, and is the same as that used, in classical Greek, for the chorus of the Greek drama, and from which we get our English “choir.” It probably implied, i.e., song as well as dancing. Spiritually, these outward signs of gladness answer to the overflowing demonstrative joy which thrills through the hearts of those whose sympathies with God’s work in the souls of men are keen and strong, and to which those who live only in the colder religionism of outward service are so insensible that they cannot understand it. They ask now, as the elder son asked, as the Pharisees were in their hearts asking, what it means? Why this departure from the even tenor of men’s wonted life?

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
his
11,12
he
7:32; Exodus 15:20; 2 Samuel 6:14; Psalms 30:11; 126:1; 149:3; 150:4; Ecclesiastes 3:4; Jeremiah 31:4
Reciprocal: Genesis 34:5 - now his;  Matthew 11:17 - piped;  Acts 13:45 - they

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-15.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

This latter portion of the parable charges those persons with cruelty, who would wickedly choose to set limits to the grace of God, as if they envied the salvation of wretched sinners. For we know that this is pointed at the haughtiness of the scribes, (543) who did not think that they received the reward due to their merits, if Christ admitted publicans and the common people to the hope of the eternal inheritance. The substance of it therefore is, that, if we are desirous to be reckoned the children of God, we must forgive in a brotherly manner the faults of brethren, which He forgives with fatherly kindness.

25.And his elder son was in the field. Those who think that, under the figure of the first-born son, the Jewish nation is described, have indeed some argument on their side; but I do not think that they attend sufficiently to the whole of the passage. For the discourse was occasioned by the murmuring of the scribes, who took offense at the kindness of Christ towards wretched persons who had led a wicked life. He therefore compares the scribes, who were swelled with presumption, to good and modest men, who had always lived with decency and sobriety, and had honorably supported their family; nay, even to obedient children, who throughout their whole life had patiently submitted to their father’s control. And though they were utterly unworthy of this commendation, yet Christ, speaking according to their belief, attributes to them, by way of concession, their pretended holiness, as if it had been virtue; as if he had said, Though I were to grant to you what you falsely boast of, that you have always been obedient children to God, still you ought not so haughtily and cruelly to reject your brethren, when they repent of their wicked life.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:25". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-15.html. 1840-57.