Luke 15:14
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.

New Living Translation
About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

English Standard Version
And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.

Berean Study Bible
After he had spent all he had, a severe famine swept through that country, and he began to be in need.

Berean Literal Bible
But of him having spent all, there arose a severe famine throughout that country, and he began to be in need.

New American Standard Bible
"Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.

King James Bible
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing.

International Standard Version
After he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.

NET Bible
Then after he had spent everything, a severe famine took place in that country, and he began to be in need.

New Heart English Bible
When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“And when he had spent everything that he had, there was a great famine in that country and he began to be wanting.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He had nothing left when a severe famine spread throughout that country. He had nothing to live on.

New American Standard 1977
“Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be in need.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

King James 2000 Bible
And when he had spent everything, there arose a great famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

American King James Version
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

American Standard Version
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.

Darby Bible Translation
But when he had spent all there arose a violent famine throughout that country, and he began to be in want.

English Revised Version
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

Weymouth New Testament
At last, when he had spent everything, there came a terrible famine throughout that country, and he began to feel the pinch of want.

World English Bible
When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need.

Young's Literal Translation
and he having spent all, there came a mighty famine on that country, and himself began to be in want;
Study Bible
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
13After a few days, the younger son got everything together and journeyed to a distant country, where he squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent all he had, a severe famine swept through that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.…
Cross References
Proverbs 13:25
The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked is in need.

Luke 15:13
After a few days, the younger son got everything together and journeyed to a distant country, where he squandered his wealth in wild living.

Luke 15:15
So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.
Treasury of Scripture

And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

arose.

2 Chronicles 33:11 Why the LORD brought on them the captains of the host of the king …

Ezekiel 16:27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over you, and have …

Hosea 2:9-14 Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, …

Amos 8:9-12 And it shall come to pass in that day, said the Lord GOD, that I …

(14) There arose a mighty famine in that land.--This again was no unwonted incident. The famine which "came to pass in the days of Claudius Csar" (Acts 11:28) was more extensive and memorable than others, but it was far from standing alone. And now the pinch came. His treasure was gone, and for the fulness of bread there was hunger and "cleanness of teeth" (Amos 4:6). In the individual interpretation of the parable, the mighty famine is the yearning of the soul's unsatisfied desire, the absence of its true food, of "the bread that cometh down from heaven." (See Notes on John 6:32.) In its wider range it is the craving of humanity for what it cannot find when appetites are not satisfied, and their wonted supply ceases--the famine, not of bread and of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord (Amos 8:11); the want of a message from the Eternal Father to sustain the life of His children.

Verse 14. - And when he had spent all. True of many a soul in all times, but especially in that age of excessive luxury and splendour and of unbridled passions.

"On that hard Roman world, disgust
And secret loathing fell;
Deep weariness and sated lust
Made human life a hell."


(Matthew Arnold.) There arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. The "mighty famine" may be understood to represent difficult times. Wax or political convulsions, so common in those days, may have speedily brought about the ruin of many like the prodigal of our story, and his comparatively small fortune would quickly have been swallowed up. Selfish evil-living, excesses of various kinds, had gained him no real friends, but had left him to meet the ruin of his fortune with enfeebled powers, homeless and friendless; hence the depth of the degradation in which we speedily find him. Not an unusual figure in the great world-drama, this of the younger son - the man who had sacrificed everything for selfish pleasure, and soon found he had absolutely nothing left but suffering. Very touchingly the greatest, perhaps, of our English poets writes of this awful soul-famine. In his case fortune and rank still remained to him, but everything that can really make life precious and beautiful had been wasted.

"My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the anguish, and the grief,
Are mine alone.


"The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle;
No torch is kindled at its blaze -
A funeral pile!"


(Byron.) And when he had spent all,.... Sin strips a man of all that is good and valuable; of the image of God, of the knowledge of divine things, of natural holiness, of moral righteousness, and of strength to perform moral good; hence man is in a wretched and miserable condition, he is poor, and blind, and naked: and if man has spent all, and sin has stripped him of all, where is his free will? there is no good thing in man, but what comes from the grace of God; nor has he any thing to recommend him to God, or to offer to his creditor, to compound his debts with; nor can he prepare himself for conversion, or any good work:

there arose a mighty famine in that land; sin brings men into a starving and famishing condition; for in the far country, the land of sin, there is a famine of the word: though the Gospel is preached, it is only food to spiritual persons; unregenerate men have no desire to it, but neglect and despise it; and if they attend it, it has no place in them: they that are in this land, are aliens from the ordinances of God, the breasts of consolation, the goodness and fatness of his house; they are in a pit, wherein is no water; their taste is vitiated to every thing that is spiritually good; they live on bread of deceit, and labour after that which satisfies not; wherefore they look like skeletons, and are as the dry bones in Ezekiel's vision:

and he began to be in want; or was in want: when the above is the case, the sinner may be truly said to be in want; an unregenerate man is in want of every thing that is good; of wisdom and knowledge, of grace and holiness, of righteousness or clothing, of food, and of all the necessaries of life: and he may be said to "begin" to be in want, because man was not originally so, but was possessed of a natural fulness; and because sin is the beginning of want, as soon as one takes place, the other does: moreover, this man now began to see and feel himself to be in want, though as yet he was not rightly and truly sensible of his wants, at least of the way to redress them. 14. when he had spent all … a mighty famine—a mysterious providence holding back the famine till he was in circumstances to feel it in all its rigor. Thus, like Jonah, whom the storm did not overtake till on the mighty deep at the mercy of the waves, does the sinner feel as if "the stars in their courses were fighting against" him (Jud 5:20).

in want—the first stage of his bitter experience, and preparation for a change.15:11-16 The parable of the prodigal son shows the nature of repentance, and the Lord's readiness to welcome and bless all who return to him. It fully sets forth the riches of gospel grace; and it has been, and will be, while the world stands, of unspeakable use to poor sinners, to direct and to encourage them in repenting and returning to God. It is bad, and the beginning of worse, when men look upon God's gifts as debts due to them. The great folly of sinners, and that which ruins them, is, being content in their life-time to receive their good things. Our first parents ruined themselves and all their race, by a foolish ambition to be independent, and this is at the bottom of sinners' persisting in their sin. We may all discern some features of our own characters in that of the prodigal son. A sinful state is of departure and distance from God. A sinful state is a spending state: wilful sinners misemploy their thoughts and the powers of their souls, mispend their time and all their opportunities. A sinful state is a wanting state. Sinners want necessaries for their souls; they have neither food nor raiment for them, nor any provision for hereafter. A sinful state is a vile, slavish state. The business of the devil's servants is to make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, and that is no better than feeding swine. A sinful state is a state constant discontent. The wealth of the world and the pleasures of the senses will not even satisfy our bodies; but what are they to precious souls! A sinful state is a state which cannot look for relief from any creature. In vain do we cry to the world and to the flesh; they have that which will poison a soul, but have nothing to give which will feed and nourish it. A sinful state is a state of death. A sinner is dead in trespasses and sins, destitute of spiritual life. A sinful state is a lost state. Souls that are separated from God, if his mercy prevent not, will soon be lost for ever. The prodigal's wretched state, only faintly shadows forth the awful ruin of man by sin. Yet how few are sensible of their own state and character!
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