Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 15:30

but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Inheritance;   Jealousy;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Joy;   Penitent;   Prodigal Son;   Readings, Select;   Salvation;   Self-Righteousness;   Young Men;   Thompson Chain Reference - Harlots;   Pleasure, Worldly;   Prodigal Son;   Prodigality;   Self-Indulgence-Self-Denial;   Son;   Wantonness;   Women;   Worldly;   The Topic Concordance - Losing and Things Lost;   Salvation;   Seeking;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Murmuring;   Parables;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Grace;   Prostitution;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Ethics;   Gospel;   Kill, Killing;   Offerings and Sacrifices;   Prostitution;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Parable;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Harlot;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Zipporah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Calf;   Fatlings, Fatted;   Harlot;   Harmony of the Gospels;   Imagery;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Prodigal Son;   Repentance;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Harlot;   Love, Lover, Lovely, Beloved;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Animals;   Brotherhood (2);   Children of God;   Debt, Debtor (2);   Father, Fatherhood;   Gospel (2);   Harlot;   Justice (2);   Living (2);   Love (2);   Luke, Gospel According to;   Man (2);   Parable;   Religious Experience;   Righteous, Righteousness;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Son, Sonship;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Calf;   Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Crime;   Forgiveness;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for November 6;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

This thy son - This son of Thine - words expressive of supreme contempt: This son - he would not condescend to call him by his name, or to acknowledge him for his brother; and at the same time, bitterly reproaches his amiable father for his affectionate tenderness, and readiness to receive his once undutiful, but now penitent, child!

For Him - I have marked those words in small capitals which should be strongly accented in the pronunciation: this last word shows how supremely he despised his poor unfortunate brother.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

This thy son - This son of “thine.” This is an expression of great contempt. He did not call him “his brother,” but “his father‘s son,” to show at once his contempt for his younger brother, and for his father for having received him as he did. Never was there a more striking instance of petty malice, or more unjustifiable disregard of a father‘s conduct and will.

Thy living - Thy property. This is still designed to irritate the father, and set him against his younger son. It was true that the younger son had been guilty, and foolish, and ungrateful; but he was penitent, and “that” was of more consequence to the father than all his property; and in the joy that he was penitent and was safe, he forgot his ingratitude and folly. So should the older son have done.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-15.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

But when this thy son came, who hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou killest for him the fatted calf.

The charge of immorality against the younger son is not denied by anything in the parable, but neither is it affirmed. Selfishness always alleges unworthiness against those who should have been the beneficiaries of charity. The big point in the older brother's mind had nothing to do with a brother rescued, but with the relative value of a kid vs. that of the fatted calf!

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "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

But as soon as this thy son was come,.... He will not own him in the relation of a brother, though the father had owned him in that of a son; and the offence he took was, that the fatted calf should be killed, or that a crucified Christ should be preached; that he should be preached at all, and much less that he should be preached to sinners; and still less that he should be preached so soon to them, as soon as ever they became sensible of their sin, as it was the will of his father it should be: for such are not to be sent away to cleanse themselves from sin by any thing they do, and then apply to Christ; or to heal themselves, and then come to him for a cure; or to get peace by doing so, and then come to him for rest; or to do any thing to fit themselves for him, for their case requires present help: now at this the self-righteous man is displeased. The elder brother would have had another method taken with this younger son: he would have had him soundly whipped with the rod of the law, for his former sins; and sent into the fields along with him to work out his salvation; and not to have a rag put upon him, or a shoe on his foot, or a morsel of bread given him, till he had earned them; but instead of this, to be received and entertained in the manner he was, and so soon, highly provoked him: for he thought such a conduct was unbecoming God, and his moral perfections; and what his brother was undeserving of; and opened a door to, licentiousness; and highly reflected on his services, as of no value and regard.

Which hath devoured thy living: given to his son; that part of his goods he had divided to him, Luke 15:12

with harlots; in rioting and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness, in gluttony and debauchery:

thou hast killed for him the fatted calf; See Gill on Luke 15:23

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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 15:30". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-15.html. 1999.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

This thy son (ο υιος σου ουτοςho huios sou houtos). Contempt and sarcasm. He does not say: “This my brother.”

Came (ηλτενēlthen). He does not even say, came back or came home.

Devoured (καταπαγωνkataphagōn). We say, “eaten up,” but the Greek has, “eaten down” (perfective use of καταkata -). Suggested by the feasting going on.

With harlots (μετα πορνωνmeta pornōn). This may be true (Luke 15:13), but the elder son did not know it to be true. He may reflect what he would have done in like case.

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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 15:30". "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

This thy son

Not my brother, but with the bitterest sarcasm.

Was come ( ἦλθεν )

He says came, as of a stranger. Not returned.

Devoured ( καταφαγών )

We say “eat up; the Greek said “eat down ( κατά )The word is suggested, no doubt, by the mention of the calf, the kid, and the feasting.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "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.

The Fourfold Gospel

but when this thy son came1, who hath devoured thy living with harlots2, thou killedst for him the fatted calf.

  1. But when this thy son came. He thus openly disclaims him as a brother.

  2. Who hath devoured thy living with harlots. And not decent friends such as mine.

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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 15:30". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-15.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

Ver. 30. But as soon as this thy son] He saith not, this my brother; he would not once own him, because in poverty.

Which hath devoured thy living] q.d. which you were so hasty to give unto him before your death (which you need not have done), and now he hath made a fair hand of it.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-15.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

30.] ὁ υἱ. σου οὗτος, the last degree of scorn and contempt,—just such as was shewn by the Pharisees towards the publicans and sinners (see ch. Luke 18:11). ‘I will not count such an impure person my brother.’

σου τ. βίον, a covert reproach of his father for having given it to him.

μετὰ τῶν πορνῶν, a charitable addition on the part of the elder brother, such as those represented by him always take care to make under similar circumstances. Even supposing it a necessary inference from the kind of life which he had been leading, it was one which nothing but the bitterest jealousy would have uttered at such a time.

ἔθυ. αὐ. τ. σ. μ. parallel with ἁμαρτωλοὺς προσδέχεται, καὶ συνεσθίει αὐτοῖς, Luke 15:2. ‘Thou hast not only made him equal to me, but hast received him into superior favour.’

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". 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 15:30. οὗτος, that son of thine) [Pointing to him contemptuously, as the Pharisee at the Publican]. See ch. Luke 18:11, where see the note.— καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον, who hath devoured thy living) The elder brother speaks invidiously.— ἦλθεν) He says, has come, speaking of him as he would of an alien: not, has returned.— αὐτῷ, for him) The Dativus commodi (Dative of advantage). [The elder brother means to say, for that profligate.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". 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 15:25"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 15:30". 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

этот сын твой Выражение глубокого презрения (ср. «этот мытарь» в 18:11). Он не мог заставить себя говорить о нем «мой брат».

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-15.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

This thy son; an expression of scorn and pride. He refuses to say. This my brother.

Devoured thy living; squandered the property assigned to him.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-15.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 15:30. When this thy son came. He will not say ‘brother.’ In expressing contempt of his brother the greatest sin against his father is uttered; so Pharisees sin most heinously against God in their feelings and acts towards their fellow-men.

Devoured thy living. There is a reproach of the father implied here also.

With harlots. It was preeminently Pharisaical to recall just then this fact

Thou killedst, etc. In contrast with the latter part of Luke 15:29.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "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 15:30. : contemptuous, this precious son of yours.— : hard, merciless judgment; the worst said and in the coarsest way. How did he know? He did not know; had no information, jumped at conclusions. That the manner of his kind, who shirk work and go away to enjoy themselves.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-15.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "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

But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. Mark the unworthy reflection on the common father of both, implied in these expressions - "thy son," "thy living;" the one brother not only disowning the other, but flinging him back upon his father, as if he should say, 'If such be the emotions which his return awakens, take him, and have joy of him!'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "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

(30) As soon as this thy son was come.—The feeling of discontent passes into scorn and bitterness. The sin of the wanderer is painted at once in the coarsest and darkest colours. The very turn of the phrase, “this thy son” speaks of a concentrated malignity.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
this
32; 18:11; Exodus 32:7,11
devoured
13,22,23
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:7 - GeneralGenesis 37:32 - thy son's;  Deuteronomy 25:3 - vile unto thee;  Proverbs 5:10 - strangers;  Proverbs 6:26 - by;  Proverbs 19:26 - wasteth;  Proverbs 28:7 - but;  Proverbs 29:3 - he;  Jeremiah 31:19 - I did;  Ezekiel 16:33 - give;  Matthew 20:12 - borne;  Mark 7:28 - yet;  Mark 12:44 - all her;  Luke 11:13 - heavenly;  Luke 15:27 - Thy brother;  Luke 16:1 - wasted;  Luke 18:9 - and despised;  Acts 9:17 - Brother;  James 4:3 - ye may

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 15:30". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-15.html.