Luke 15:25
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.

New Living Translation
"Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house,

English Standard Version
“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

Berean Study Bible
Meanwhile the older son was in the field, and as he approached the house, he heard music and dancing.

Berean Literal Bible
And his elder son was in the field, and while coming up, he drew near to the house; he heard music and dancing.

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

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

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Now his older son was in the field; as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.

International Standard Version
"Now the father's older son was in the field. As he was coming back to the house, he heard music and dancing.

NET Bible
"Now his older son was in the field. As he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.

New Heart English Bible
"Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But his older son was in the field and as he came, he approached the house and he heard the sound of many people singing.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"His older son was in the field. As he was coming back to the house, he heard music and dancing.

New American Standard 1977
“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now his elder son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

King James 2000 Bible
Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

American King James Version
Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

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

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing:

Darby Bible Translation
And his elder son was in the field; and as, coming [up], he drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.

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

Webster's Bible Translation
Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.

Weymouth New Testament
"Now his elder son was out on the farm; and when he returned and came near home, he heard music and dancing.

World English Bible
"Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

Young's Literal Translation
'And his elder son was in a field, and as, coming, he drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing,
Study Bible
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate. 25Meanwhile the older son was in the field, and as he approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked what was going on.…
Cross References
Luke 15:24
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found!' So they began to celebrate.

Luke 15:26
So he called one of the servants and asked what was going on.
Treasury of Scripture

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

his.

Luke 15:11,12 And he said, A certain man had two sons…

he.

Luke 7:32 They are like to children sitting in the marketplace, and calling …

Exodus 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand…

2 Samuel 6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was …

Psalm 30:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing: you have put off …

Psalm 126:1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Psalm 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises to him …

Psalm 150:4 Praise him with the tambourine and dance: praise him with stringed …

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Jeremiah 31:4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel: …

(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?

Verse 25. - Now his elder son was in the field. The broad universal interest of the parable here ceases. Whereas the story of the sin and the punishment, the repentance and the restoration, of the prodigal belongs to the Church of the wide world, and has its special message of warning and comfort for thousands and thousands of world. workers in every age, this division of the story, which tells of the sour discontent of the prodigal's elder brother, was spoken especially to the Pharisees and rulers of the Jews, who were bitterly incensed with Jesus being the Friend of publicans and sinners. They could not bear the thought of sharing the joys of the world to come with men whom they had despised as hopeless sinners here. This second chapter of the great parable has its practical lessons for every day common life; but its chief interest lay in the striking picture which it drew of that powerful class to whom the teaching of Jesus, in its broad and massive character, was utterly repulsive. Now, while the events just related were taking place, and the lost younger son was being received again into his father's heart and home, the elder, a hard and selfish man, stern, and yet careful of his duties as far as his narrow mind grasped them, was in the field at his work. The rejoicing in the house over the prodigal's return evidently took him by surprise. If he ever thought of that poor wandering brother of his at all, he pictured him to himself as a hopelessly lost and ruined soul. The Pharisees and rulers could not fail at once to catch the drift of the Master's parable. They too, when the Lord came and gathered in that great harvest of sinners, those firstfruits of his mighty work - they too were "in the field" at work with their tithings and observances, making hedge after hedge round the old sacred Hebrew Law, uselessly fretting their lives away in a dull round of meaningless ritual observances. They - the Pharisee party - when they became aware of the great crowds of men, whom they looked on as lost sinners, listening to the new famous Teacher, who was showing them how men who had lived their lives too could win eternal life - they, the Pharisees, flamed out with bitter wrath against the bold and daring Preacher of glad tidings to such a worthless crew. In the vivid parable-story these indignant Pharisees and rulers saw themselves clearly imaged. 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. 25. in the field—engaged in his father's business: compare Lu 15:29, "These many years do I serve thee."15:25-32 In the latter part of this parable we have the character of the Pharisees, though not of them alone. It sets forth the kindness of the Lord, and the proud manner in which his gracious kindness is often received. The Jews, in general, showed the same spirit towards the converted Gentiles; and numbers in every age object to the gospel and its preachers, on the same ground. What must that temper be, which stirs up a man to despise and abhor those for whom the Saviour shed his precious blood, who are objects of the Father's choice, and temples of the Holy Ghost! This springs from pride, self-preference, and ignorance of a man's own heart. The mercy and grace of our God in Christ, shine almost as bright in his tender and gentle bearing with peevish saints, as his receiving prodigal sinners upon their repentance. It is the unspeakable happiness of all the children of God, who keep close to their Father's house, that they are, and shall be ever with him. Happy will it be for those who thankfully accept Christ's invitation.
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