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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Luke 15



Other Authors
Verse 1

Then drew near = Then were drawing near.

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

publicans = tax-gatherers.

for to hear = to hear.

Verse 2

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

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

sinners. See on Matthew 9:10.

Verse 3

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

unto. Greek. pros. App-104.

them. This determines the scope of the three parables.

Verse 4

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

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

if he lose = having lost.

not. Greek. ou. App-105.

in. Greek. en. App-104.

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

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

Verse 5

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

on. Greek. epi. App-104.

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

Verse 6

when he cometh = having come.

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

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

Verse 7

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

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

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

over. Greek. epi. App-104.

that repenteth = repenting. App-111.

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

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

Verse 8

Either. This parable is recorded only in Luke.

woman. Here representing the Holy Spirit.

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

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

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

not. Greek. ouchi. App-105.

candle = lamp. App-130.

diligently. A medical word. Used only here.

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

Verse 9

friends. Female friends (feminine)

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

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

Verse 10

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

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

God. App-98.

Verse 11

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

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

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

Verse 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verse 13

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

took his journey = went abroad.

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

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

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

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

Verse 14

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

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

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

Verse 15

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

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

Verse 16

would fain have filled = was longing to fill.

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

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

did eat = were eating.

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

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

Verse 17

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

to. Greek. eis. App-104.

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

I perish = I (emph.) am perishing.

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

Verse 18

to. Greek. pros. App-104.

sinned. App-128.

against. Greek. eis. App-104.

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

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

Verse 19

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

Verse 20

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

his = his own.

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

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

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

Verse 21

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

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

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

Verse 22

servants = bond-servants.

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

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

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

put it on him = clothe him with it.

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

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

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

Verse 23

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

Verse 24

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

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

Verse 25

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

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

Verse 26

called = called to him.,

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

asked = began to inquire. Imperf. tense.

meant = might be.

Verse 27

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

Verse 28

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

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

intreated. Greek. parakaleo. App-134.

Verse 29

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

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

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

friends. Contrast with harlots (Luke 15:30.

Verse 30

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

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

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

thy. Malignant thought.

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

Verse 31

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

ever = always. App-151.

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

Verse 32

It was meet. Compare Acts 11:18.

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


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 15:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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