Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 15:4

"What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - God Continued...;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Lost Sheep;   Penitent;   Pharisees;   Repentance;   Salvation;   Sheep;   Thompson Chain Reference - Seeking Saviour, the;   The Topic Concordance - Losing and Things Lost;   Repentance;   Salvation;   Seeking;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Parables;   Shepherds;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Shepherd;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Desert;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Sheep;   Shepherd;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Gospel;   Imagery;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   Luke, Gospel of;   Mammon;   Names of God;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ethics;   Love, Lover, Lovely, Beloved;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Agriculture;   Children of God;   Circumstantiality in the Parables;   Doctrines;   Eternal Punishment;   Gospel (2);   Ideal;   Ideas (Leading);   Man (2);   Numbers (2);   Personality;   Poet;   Questions and Answers;   Redemption (2);   Religious Experience;   Rufus;   Salvation;   Sheep, Shepherd;   Unity (2);   Wilderness (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Sheep;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Shepherd;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Children of God;   Perdition;   Redeemer;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Didascalia;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for April 23;   Every Day Light - Devotion for November 14;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

What man of you - Our Lord spoke this and the following parable to justify his conduct in receiving and conversing with sinners or heathens.

A hundred sheep - Parables similar to this are frequent among the Jewish writers. The whole flock of mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, belongs unto this Divine Shepherd; and it is but reasonable to expect, that the gracious proprietor will look after those who have gone astray, and bring them back to the flock. The lost sheep is an emblem of a heedless, thoughtless sinner: one who follows the corrupt dictates of his own heart, without ever reflecting upon his conduct, or considering what will be the issue of his unholy course of life. No creature strays more easily than a sheep; none is more heedless; and none so incapable of finding its way back to the flock, when once gone astray: it will bleat for the flock, and still run on in an opposite direction to the place where the flock is: this I have often noticed. No creature is more defenceless than a sheep, and more exposed to be devoured by dogs and wild beasts. Even the fowls of the air seek their destruction. I have known ravens often attempt to destroy lambs by picking out their eyes, in which, when they have succeeded, as the creature does not see whither it is going, it soon falls an easy prey to its destroyer. Satan is ever going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour; in order to succeed, he blinds the understanding of sinners, and then finds it an easy matter to tumble them into the pit of perdition. Who but a Pharisee or a devil would find fault with the shepherd who endeavors to rescue his sheep from so much danger and ruin!

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-15.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

What man of you having an hundred sheep,.... A flock of sheep, consisting of such a number; See Gill on Matthew 18:12,

if he lose one of them, by straying from the flock,

doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, upon the common where they were feeding,

and go after that which is lost until he find it? by which parable Christ vindicates his conduct in conversing with sinners, and neglecting the Scribes and Pharisees; for if it was right for an owner of an hundred sheep, when he had lost one of them, to leave all the rest, and go in search after that one till he had found it; then it was right in Christ to do what he did. The Jewish nation seems to be designed "by the hundred sheep", who are frequently represented as a flock of sheep, Psalm 77:20 which are divided into ninety nine, and one: for by the "ninety nine" left in the wilderness, cannot be meant angels, as some have thought; for angels are never called sheep; and besides, the one lost sheep is of the same kind with the ninety and nine; and, according to this sense, must design an angel, or angels likewise; whereas none of the fallen angels are sought up, recovered, and saved. Moreover, when Christ became incarnate, he did not leave the angels; they accompanied and attended him in his state of humiliation; and much less in a wilderness, and still less can heaven be so called; to which may be added, that the angels in heaven are distinguished from the ninety nine as well as from the one lost sheep in Luke 15:7 nor can elect men be designed by them, who are already called by grace, whether they be in heaven or on earth; for though they in heaven are the spirits of just men made perfect, and are in a state that need no repentance, yet it cannot be said of them, that they went not astray, as in Matthew 18:13 for all God's people have been like sheep going astray, and were as such considered when Christ was here on earth, and bore their sins; and especially those could never be said to be left in a wilderness: nor the saints on earth: for though they are just persons, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, yet they daily need repentance; nor can it be said of them that they went not astray; nor are they left by Christ in the wilderness of this world; nor can there be more joy in heaven over one repenting sinner, than over these; but the self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees, that murmured at our Lord's receiving sinners, are meant. These were sheep, at least were in sheep's clothing; they were nominal professors, and belonged to the Jewish fold, or national church state; their number was ninety nine, to one; which is not to be taken strictly, as though only one in a hundred of them were saved; but it shows, that the greater part of the Jews were of this sort. The dividing of an hundred after this manner, into ninety nine and one, was usual with the Jews; so in their traditionsF16Misn. Pesach. c. 4. sect. 1, 2. , concerning distributing filberts to the poor,

"R. Simeon says, if "ninety nine" say "divide", and "one" says spoil, or scatter, they hearken to him, because he speaks according to the constitution; but of a vine and date, it is not so: if "ninety and nine" say spoil, and "one" says divide, they hearken to him, for he speaks according to the constitution.'

And elsewhereF17T. Hieros. Sabbat, fol. 14. 3. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 16. fol. 158. 4. they say,

""ninety and nine" die by an (evil) eye, and "one" by the hand of heaven; R. Chanina and Samuel, both of them say, "ninety and nine" die by cold, and "one" by the hand of heaven---R. Samuel bar Nachman, in the name of R. Jonathan says, "ninety and nine" die by heat, and "one" by the hand of heaven; and the Rabbans say, "ninety and nine" die by transgression, and "one" by the hand of heaven. Says R. Eleazar, "ninety and nine" die by bitterness, and "one" by the hand of heaven.'

And in another placeF18T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 107. 2. it is said,

""ninety and nine" die by an evil eye, and "one" by the way of the earth;'

in the common way: once more it is saidF19Vajikra Rabba, sect. 27. fol. 168. 3. ,

"of the "hundred" cries which a woman cries, when she sits upon the stool (in travail), "ninety and nine" are death, and "one" for life.'

And this way of speaking also prevailed in other eastern nations, as in Arabia; in the Alcoran of MahometF20C. 38. there is such an expression as this;

"this my brother had "ninety nine sheep", and I had only "one" ewe.'

The "one lost sheep" in this parable, though it may include all the elect of God, and be accommodated to a single elect sinner, yet chiefly respects the chosen of God among the Jews; which were very few, a remnant according to the election of grace: and which lay among the profane part of them, the publicans and sinners; Who are particularly pointed out here, as appears from the context: these are called "sheep", even before conversion; not because they had the agreeable properties of sheep, for they were all the reverse; nor could some things be said of them before as after, as, that they heard the voice of Christ, and followed him; nor because they were unprejudiced against, and predisposed to receive the Gospel: but they are so called by anticipation, because they would be so; or rather in virtue of electing grace, by which they were chosen, and separated from others, and made the care and charge of Christ the great shepherd, and were the sheep of his hand: these are represented as going astray from the shepherd, and from the fold, and out of the right way; and who being like sheep, stupid and insensible of their danger, wander about, and never return of themselves till they are returned to, and by the great shepherd and bishop of souls. And in their unregenerate estate they are lost sheep, not irretrievably and eternally lost, as the world's goats; for though they are lost in Adam, yet not in Christ; and though lost in themselves, so as there is no possibility of ever recovering and saving themselves; yet as they were preserved in Christ, they are recovered and saved by him; who is the owner and proprietor of the whole flock, of all the "hundred" sheep, of the whole body of the Jewish nation; who were his by creation, and by being chosen from, and above all other people; and were distinguished by peculiar favours, had the "Shekinah", and presence of God among them, and his worship, word, and ordinances. Christ was peculiarly promised to them, and was born of them; and was a minister of the circumcision, being sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel: though the "ninety and nine" were not his sheep in the most peculiar sense, or in such sense as the "one" lost sheep, which were his by his Father's gift, as all the elect are; hence he knows them, calls them, and receives them, and keeps them, and highly values them: he had them, they were put into his hands, he took the care and charge of there, he undertook to bring them in, to feed them, to die for them, and save them; and they are his by purchase, and he asserts his right to them, by calling them by his grace, and will distinguish them as his own, at the last day: and now, because of the different interest Christ has in the ninety and nine, and the one, different regards are had to them; the ninety and nine, the self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees,

he leaves in the wilderness, in a state of unregeneracy; so called, because in those that are in such a state, nothing is sown or planted, what grows there is natural; there is no seed of grace, no plants of pleasure, no ingrafted word, no fruits of righteousness, nothing but thorns and briers, of sins and corruptions: and also because of the want of provisions; no bread of life, nor water of life; no sincere milk of the word, no breasts of consolation; nothing but husks, and bread of deceit: and it is like a wilderness, because of solitariness; such as are in this state, are alone, without God, and Christ, and the blessed Spirit; they are aliens from the people of God, and converse with none but wicked men, comparable to savage beasts of the desert: moreover, it may be so called, because of the various perplexing cross ways in it; the ways of sin are many, and crooked, and dark; and indeed, such are the religious ways of unregenerate men: to which may be added, that it bears this name, because of the danger of it; for such as are in it are exposed to beasts of prey; particularly to Satan, the red dragon, and roaring lion; and to pits, gins, and snares, to hellfire, destruction, and misery. Christ's "leaving" persons in such a state, supposes they were in it, antecedent to their being left: man was originally placed in a garden, sinning against God, he forfeited his happy situation, and was drove out from it; and wandering from God he fell into this wilderness state. Christ does not lead any into it, but leaves them in it; which is done in consequence of his Father's act of preterition, or passing them by when he chose others; and this he does, when he does not call them by his grace, as he does others; does not manure, till, and cultivate them as he does his own husbandry and vines; makes no provision of food and pasture for them; leaves them to themselves, and without the enjoyment of himself; to follow their own ways, without a guide, and to beasts of prey without a guard. Now the persons he thus leaves are such whom the Father has left out in his choice and covenant; and who left Christ, rejected and despised him; and were persons that made great pretensions to religion, were righteous in their own eyes, and in their own account never were astray, nor needed repentance. On the other hand, the one lost sheep, the chosen of God among publicans and sinners, a special regard is had to them: Christ

goes after that which is lost until he find it; not after all mankind; for though they are all lost, yet they are not all redeemed by Christ; nor are they made sensible of their lost condition; nor effectually called by grace; nor brought home: nor does he go after the ninety nine, for Christ came not to call the righteous; though these were lost, and irretrievably too, yet they were not sensible of their condition: but God's elect among the Jews are the persons here said to be lost; to show their common condition with the rest of mankind; to express the love of Christ towards them the more; and to magnify the riches of his grace in their salvation: these he went after in redemption, he came forth from his Father, and came down from heaven for their sakes; he died to gather them together, and represented them all in his sufferings and death; he bore all their sins, and made reconciliation for them, and procured the full pardon of them; he satisfied the law and justice of God, wrought out an everlasting righteousness, and obtained eternal redemption, and a complete salvation for them: and he went after them in the effectual calling; before conversion an elect sinner is without Christ, and goes astray from him; nor does he ever come to Christ till Christ comes after him, and lays hold upon him; he sends his ministers after such, and his Spirit into them, and comes himself, and takes possession of them. To find his lost sheep by redeeming grace he came into this world, a world of wickedness, sorrow, and trouble, of cruelty, and barbarity; and the reason of his coming here was, because his sheep were here; he came after them, and on their account: and to find them by effectual calling, he still comes into the world by his word and Spirit; God's elect are in the world, Christ sends his Gospel into it, and by his Spirit and grace comes and separates them from the men of it. In Matthew 18:12 he is said to go "into the mountains" after his lost sheep; which, with respect to redemption, may denote the difficulties that lay in the way of it; such as his incarnation, obedience, sufferings and death, and the many enemies he had to grapple with and subdue; and with respect to calling grace, may express the state and condition God's elect are in by nature, being on the mountains of sin, of Sinai, of the law, and of their own righteousness. Now Christ goes after them "till he finds" them; which denotes continuance, his indefatigable industry and diligence, his resolution and courage, and his success. The reasons why he thus goes after them are not their number, for they are the fewest of all; nor their nature, which is no better than others, nor any previous dispositions, or good characters, for those designed here were publicans and sinners; nor any future improvements and service by them, for they were the base and foolish things of this world; nor because near at hand, and so easily looked up, for they were afar off; but because of his love to them, and the relation between them as shepherd and sheep; and because of his Father's will, and his own obligation by covenant; and because of his own interest and glory.

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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 15:4". "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

leave the ninety and nine — bend all His attention and care, as it were, to the one object of recovering the lost sheep; not saying. “It is but one; let it go; enough remain.”

go after … until, etc. — pointing to all the diversified means which God sets in operation for recovering sinners.

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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.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-15.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

[Ninety-and-nine.] This was a very familiar way of numbering and dividing amongst the Jews, viz. betwixt one and ninety. I have given instances elsewhere, let me in this place add one more: "Of those hundred cries that a woman in travail uttereth, ninety-and-nine of them are to death, and only one of them to life."

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-15.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

In the wilderness (εν τηι ερημωιen tēi erēmōi). Their usual pasturage, not a place of danger or peril. It is the owner of the hundred sheep who cares so much for the one that is lost. He knows each one of the sheep and loves each one.

Go after that which is lost (πορευεται επι το απολωλοςporeuetai epi to apolōlos). The one lost sheep (απολωλοςapolōlos second perfect active participle of απολλυμιapollumi to destroy, but intransitive, to be lost). There is nothing more helpless than a lost sheep except a lost sinner. The sheep went off by its own ignorance and folly. The use of επιepi for the goal occurs also in Matthew 22:9; Acts 8:26; Acts 9:11.

Until he find it (εως ευρηι αυτοheōs heurēi auto). Second aorist active subjunctive of ευρισκωheuriskō common verb, with εωςheōs common Greek idiom. He keeps on going (πορευεταιporeuetai linear present middle indicative) until success comes (effective aorist, ευρηιheurēi).

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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 15:4". "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

In the wilderness

Not a desert place, but uncultivated plains; pasturage. Note that the sheep are being pastured in the wilderness. A traveller, cited anonymously by Trench, says: “There are, indeed, some accursed patches, where scores of miles lie before you like a tawny Atlantic, one yellow wave rising before another. But far from infrequently there are regions of wild fertility where the earth shoots forth a jungle of aromatic shrubs” (“Parables”).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "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

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness — Where they used to feed: all uncultivated ground, like our commons, was by the Jews termed wilderness or desert.

And go after — In recovering a lost soul, God as it were labours. May we not learn hence, that to let them alone who are in sin, is both unchristian and inhuman! Matthew 18:12.

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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 15:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-15.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

What man of you1, having a hundred sheep2, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness3, and go after that which is lost, until he find it4?

  1. What man of you. The word "man" is emphatic; it is made so to convey the meaning that if man would so act, how much more would God so act.

  2. Having a hundred sheep. A large flock.

  3. Doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness. The place of pasture, and hence the proper place to leave them.

  4. And go after that which is lost, until he find it? The ninety-nine represent the Jewish respectability, and the lost sheep stands for a soul which has departed from that respectability.

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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 15:4". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-15.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Scofield's Reference Notes

lost

(Greek - ἀπόλλυμι)." (See Scofield "John 3:16").

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 15:4". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-15.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE SHEEP THAT WAS LOST

‘What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?’

Luke 15:4

It was along this plain and among these ‘wildernesses’ that our Blessed Saviour was most likely now travelling. And, perhaps, while the scribes and Pharisees were making their unkind murmurs. He could even then lift up His eyes, and see the hillside dotted over with the sheep and lambs (for it was spring-time) cropping the tender grass under the watchful care of the shepherd. And then He turned to those proud men who would have Him cast out the publicans and sinners when they came to Him, and spake this parable unto them. And Jesus bade them learn that as the heaven is high above the earth, as the eternal love of God is greater and more glorious than the selfish interests of a mere human shepherd, so certain it is that He could never cease to care for His wandering sheep, and they, the shepherds of Israel, would never be like Him until they learned to love and to seek out those erring men whom they were calling ‘publicans and sinners.’

I. The Shepherd.—We should have known, even if He had not told us, that by the shepherd in the parable He means Himself, the Shepherd of the fold of God, the Shepherd and the Bishop of the souls of men, the Guide and Guardian of mankind. And by the sheep He must mean His helpless creatures, who cannot live without Him, who ‘live and move and have their being’ in Him, each separate, single one of whom is ‘as much His care as if beside nor man nor angel lived in heaven or earth.’ He tends them all. He loves them all.

II. Who are these ninety and nine who never went astray?—The witness of your own hearts, the voice of that conscience by which God speaks within you. If your conscience does bear witness that you ‘lack nothing’—if you have never for one moment swerved from the obedience and love of a child of God’s family—if you can lift up your head and say, ‘I am perfect, even as my Father which is in heaven is perfect’—then learn what you can from this part of the parable, for it is your own.

III. The wandering sheep.—But, if not, if your conscience tells you of many shortcomings and misdoings, if you feel that you have been trying to be your own shepherd, setting up your own will against God’s will, and so have been wandering away into desert places, solitary and sad and unsatisfied, then, brethren, you must turn your thoughts away from these ninety and nine which went not astray. Whatever this part of the parable may mean, the lesson is not now for you. You must look at something else. You must fix your eyes upon that other sheep, the one which is wandering away into the dry and sandy waste, away from the fold, away from the shepherd’s care, away from the rest of the flock, in loneliness and solitude, in danger and peril, in weakness and misery. In all this you must see the image of yourself. Jesus spoke these words in order that you might claim them for your own. There is not one single person who has not a right to say to himself, ‘I, even I, am that one sheep which was lost; the Chief Shepherd has come forth and is seeking me, even me.’

IV. God Himself is seeking you.—You have wandered from the fold, but you bear the Shepherd’s mark. He would have you return to the fold you have left. He seeks for you ‘as for hid treasure.’ He has chosen you to be ‘holy and without blame before Him in love.’ He has chosen you, and think not that He will leave you to yourself, until you have become entirely His own. Think not that the Good Shepherd can go forth to seek His wandering sheep, and then go back to the fold without having found it. You may have forgotten Him, but He can never forget you; you may be one thing to-day and another to-morrow, but His love is unchangeable, His ways are everlasting. You may wander far into the desert, but He knoweth the way that you take—He can never cease to seek for you, if haply you may feel after Him and find Him, for He is not far from every one of you.

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-15.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Ver. 4. See Matthew 18:13.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 15:4. In the wilderness, Uncultivated ground, used merely as common pasture, was called wilderness, or desart, by the Jews, in distinction from arable, or inclosed land, as we have had occasion more than once to observe. Some would read, Doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and go into the wilderness after that which was lost?

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-15.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

4.] It is the Owner Himself who goes to seek, see Ezek., Luke 15:11God in Christ.

The ἑκατὸν πρόβ. are the house of Israel, see Matthew 10:6; but in the present application, mankind (not, ‘believers in Christ:’ see on Luke 15:7).

The argument is to their self-interest: but the act on the part of the good Shepherd is, from the nature of the case, one of love: or, as Stier remarks, also human love for his own; for in Him, Love, and His glory, are one and the same thing.

καταλ. τὰ ἐνν.] These pass altogether into the background, and are lost sight of. The character of the good Shepherd is a sufficient warrant for their being well cared for. The ἔρημος is not a barren place, but one abounding in pastures (John 6:10, compared with Matthew 14:15).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". 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 15:4. τίς, what man) The lost sheep, the lost drachm (piece of money), and the lost son, express respectively the stupid (senseless) sinner, the sinner altogether ignorant of himself, and the knowing and wilful (voluntary) sinner.— ἐκατὸν, a hundred) From the greatness of the flock, the solicitude of the Shepherd for His one ewe sheep is evidenced— ἐν τῆ ἐρήμῳ in the wilderness) where the flock is pastured.— πορεύεται, goeth away) In the recovery of the soul, it is not man but God, who as it were labours. See Luke 15:8.— εὥς, even until) He does not previously give over the search: see Luke 15:8. It was for this reason that Jesus Christ followed sinners, even as far as to where their daily food was taken, even to their tables, where the greatest sins are committed.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". 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 15:3"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 15:4". 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

не пойдет за пропавшею Обе первые притчи характеризуют Бога как проявляющего инициативу в поиске грешников. Раввины учили, что Бог примет грешников, которые досточно ревностно добиваются Его прощения, но здесь Бог Сам ищет грешника (см. пояснение к 19:10). На Ближнем Востоке пастух отвечал за каждую овцу. Он обязывался перед своим хозяином следить за тем, чтобы ни одна из них не поранилась, не потерялась или не погибла (ср. Мф. 18:11-14).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-15.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness (the semi-desert pasture-land), and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”

Jesus deliberately addresses the ‘sinners’ among the crowd by saying, ‘Which man of you’, indicating by this that He is classing His listeners with shepherds, who were seen as almost permanently unclean, and as rogues into the bargain. (It probably made the Pharisees cringe to think that they were being included with shepherds). The question would awaken their interest. Note the emphasis on ‘man’. This is partly as a contrast to ‘woman’ in Luke 15:8.

The one hundred sheep represents a complete flock (an intensifying of ten). There is a perfect number, and of them not one must be lost (compare John 17:12). Each shepherd would know each of his sheep by name (John 10:3) and would not need to count them. He would see almost immediately which one was missing. (Most shepherds probably could not count to a hundred). Distressed at the realisation this shepherd leaves his remaining sheep with his fellow-shepherds and goes out to seek the one that is lost. And he does not cease in his search until he has found it. All faithful shepherds would immediately respond to the picture, recognising in it their common experience. But behind the parable is the theme of the care of God and His Messiah over His flock. ‘I, I Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out’ (see Ezekiel 34:11-12; Ezekiel 34:23-24).

‘Lost.’ The verb is used in all three parables in this chapter. The verb stem means to perish, but it extended to include what was lost, for such things had perished as far as the speaker was concerned.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-15.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

FIRST PARABLE.

The Lost SheepThe stupid sinner, Luke 15:3-7.

4.What man of you—Our Lord puts the case home to them as the official shepherds of the people, grounding his appeal on their own conscience.

Having a hundred sheep—The hundred and one was a favourite comparison among the Jewish teachers.

Sheep—The emblem of the flock of Israel; and, hence, here more principally the Jewish sinner, who more or less knew the law or ought to know it. It hence takes in the case of the publican whom he is defending.

In the wildernessIn the pastures of the rural sections. The term does not imply that the ninety and nine are abandoned, or left out of the shepherd’s care.

Until he find it—There is no giving over the search until the lost is found; for even here, in the outskirts of Israel, I am seeking and finding them.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "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 15:4. I am resolved, etc. The plan just strikes him.

They, i.e., the debtors with whom he intends to deal, may receive into their houses. He would thus secure future shelter for himself. Further than this the verse must not be pressed (see Luke 15:9).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "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 15:4. , what man of you. Even the Pharisees and scribes would so act in temporal affairs. Every human being knows the joy of finding things lost. It is only in religion that men lose the scent of simple universal truths.— .: a hundred a considerable number, making one by comparison insignificant. The owner, one would say, can afford to lose a single erring sheep. Yet not so judges the owner himself, any owner. Losing only one ( ) he takes immediate steps to recover it.— , in the unfilled, unfenced pasture land; but of course not so as to run the risk of losing the whole flock: it is left under the care of an assistant, the master taking the more arduous task to himself.— after indicates not only direction but aim: goeth after in order to find. (Schanz; Kypke remarks that with verbs of going or sending often indicates “scopum itionis” and is usually prefixed to the thing sought. Similarly Pricaeus.)— : the search not perfunctory, but thorough; goes on till the lost one be found, if that be possible.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-15.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

What man, &c. Christ left the ninety-nine in the desert, when he descended from the angelic choirs, in order to seek last man on the earth, that he might fill up the number of the sheepfold of heaven, from which his sins had excluded him. (St. Ambrose) --- Neither did his affection for the last sheep make him behave cruelly to the rest; for he left them in safety, under the protection of his omnipotent hand. (St. Cyril in St. Thomas Aquinas)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "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

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness. Instead of saying, ''Tis but one; let it go; enough remain,' will he not bend all his attention and care, as it were, to the one object of recovering the lost sheep?

And go after that which is lost, until he find it? - pointing to all the diversified means which God sets in operation for recovering sinners, and the patience and perseverance with which He continues to ply them.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "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

(4) What man of you, having an hundred sheep . . .?—The meaning of the parable is so clear that it requires but little in the way of explanation. It gains, however, fresh force and interest if we remember that it followed on the great parable of the Good Shepherd in John 10:1-16, and on the compassion for the lost sheep of which we read in Matthew 9:36. The thought was, if we may use the language which rises to our lips, a dominant idea in the mind of Him who spoke. The primary application of that idea is clearly to be found in the immediate occasion of the parable, in the love which bids the Son of Man to concentrate His thoughts and energy and prayers on some one soul among those publicans and sinners who were thus gathered together; but it is, at least, a legitimate extension of it to think of it as embracing also His whole redemptive work as the Son of God, leaving the “ninety and nine,” the hosts of unfallen angels and archangels, or, it may be, unfallen beings more like ourselves in other worlds than ours, and coming to the rescue of the collective humanity which had fallen and wandered from the fold.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
man
13:15; Matthew 12:11; 18:12; Romans 2:1
having
Psalms 119:176; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 50:6; Ezekiel 34:8,11,12,16,31; Matthew 18:12,13; John 10:15,16,26-28; 1 Peter 2:25
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 22:1 - Thou shalt;  Psalm 78:52 - like a;  Isaiah 27:12 - ye shall be;  Isaiah 62:12 - Sought out;  Jeremiah 33:13 - shall;  Jeremiah 50:17 - a scattered;  Ezekiel 18:23 - not that;  Ezekiel 34:4 - sought;  Matthew 15:24 - I am not;  Luke 15:24 - he;  Luke 19:10 - GeneralLuke 23:43 - To day;  John 4:34 - My meat;  John 10:7 - the sheep;  Galatians 6:1 - restore

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-15.html.