And he said to him, Your brother is come; and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Because he hath received him safe and sound.—Literally, in health. The participle is the same which we have noted as characteristic of St. Luke and St. Paul in Luke 5:31; Luke 7:10.See Poole on "Luke 15:25"
thy brother is come; for in the relation of a brother, the younger son stood to him; being of the same nature and species, of the same nation, and both sons by national adoption: who was "come" to his father, and to his father's house; not as a righteous and worthy person in himself, but as a sinner, a sensible and penitent one; as hungry, naked, and ready to perish; and as unworthy, in his own opinion, of the least mercy and favour, and especially to be called a son:
and thy father; who was so by creation, by national adoption, and by profession:
hath killed the fatted calf, by which Christ is meant: See Gill on Luke 15:23 and designs either the concern the Father had in the death of Christ; or rather, his orders to his ministering servants, to preach a crucified Christ, to the comfort of poor sinners; and in general, expresses the large and rich entertainment God makes for souls, when they are brought home to him by repentance: and the Persic version adds, "and hath made a feast"; the reason of which is given in the next clause:
because he hath received him safe and sound; or "in good health". This is left out in the Persic version, but rightly retained in all others: the word translated "received", signifies the recovery, or enjoyment of any thing before had, but since lost, and the taking it at the hands of another: the elect of God, signified by the younger son, were his in a peculiar sense, being chosen by him; but through the fall of Adam, and their own transgressions, were in some sense lost unto him; but in consequence of redemption by Christ, and through efficacious grace in calling, are found, received, and enjoyed again: and so the Ethiopic version reads it, "because he found him alive"; and so took him again, as he did, at the hands of his son: all the elect of God were put into the hands of Christ, as the surety of them; and being redeemed by his blood in the effectual calling, they are brought by him to the Father, and come to God by him: as they are also received by the Father from the hands of his Spirit, who convinces them of sin, causes them to believe in Christ, witnesses their adoption to them; in a view of which, they come to God, and are received by him; and even from their own hands too, for under the power of divine grace, they are made willing to give up themselves to the Lord, and do so; who kindly and graciously receives them into his arms; into his heart's love, and affection, into the open enjoyment of it; into his care and protection, into his family, and into communion with himself, and will afterwards receive them to glory: the case and condition in which he was received is,
safe and sound; there is but one word in the original; some translate it "safe", as the Arabic version; and others "sound", as the Syriac; and ours both: he was received "safe", though he had been in a far country, and in a mighty famine, and almost starved: God's elect fell in Adam, as others; their nature is corrupted by sin, and they are guilty of actual transgressions, which deserve death; yet they were preserved in Christ, and being redeemed by him, are safe; so that the law cannot lay hold on them, nor sin, nor any thing else condemn them, nor Satan destroy them: and he was received "sound"; in his right mind, being come to himself, and brought to true repentance for his sin; and willing to part with his own righteousness, and to be clothed with the best robe; and having his spiritual senses exercised, to discern between good and evil, and upon the person and grace of Christ; or he was received "sound", being in good health, and as opposed to being sick or diseased: sins are diseases, and as all men, so God's elect, are attended with them; but being made sensible of them, they come to Christ for healing; and they are perfectly cured by him; by his stripes and wounds, all their iniquities are forgiven; so that they have no reason to say any more, they are sick: and hence the Father receives them safe and sound; and which is matter of joy, and was the occasion of all this music, dancing, and feasting.And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 15:27. In simple language the servant briefly explains the situation, showing in his words neither sympathy nor, still less, the reverse, as Hofmann thinks.—ὑγιαίνοντα, in good health; home again and well, that is the whole case as he knows it; no thought in his mind of a tragic career culminating in repentance, or if he has any suspicion he keeps it to himself; thoroughly true to nature this.
Luke 15:28. ὠργίσθη, he was angry, a very slight description of his state of mind into which various bad feelings would enter: disgust, chagrin that ail this merriment had been going on for hours and they had not thought it worth while to let him know—an impolitic oversight; a sense of wrong and general unfair treatment of which this particular neglect was but a specimen.—ὁ δὲ πατὴρ, etc.: the father goes out and presses him to come in, very properly; but why not send for him at once that he might stop working on the farm and join in the feasting and dancing on that glad day? Did they all fear he would spoil the sport and act accordingly? The elder son has got a chance to complain, and he makes the most of it in his bitter speech to his father.Luke 15:27. Ὁ ἀδελφός σου, thy brother) what should have been a moving argument.—ἥκει) Hesychius says, ἥκει, i.e. ἔρχεται or ἦλθεν, he is come.—ἔθυσεν, hath killed) The servant [εἷς τῶν παίδων] is represented as mentioning the killing of the calf rather than the robe, the ring, and the shoes, because it has the chief connection [rather than these latter] with the music and dancing. It is owing to this also that the elder son alludes to it in Luke 15:30, before that he saw his brother so beautifully clothed.—ὑγιαίνοντα) Safe and sound. Joshua 10:21, בשלום, in peace, which the LXX. render ὑγιής.
Compare is alive - is found. "How nice is the observance of all the lesser proprieties of the narration. The father, in the midst of all his natural affection, is yet full of the moral significance of his son's return - that he has come back another person from what he was when he went, or while he tarried in that far land; he sees into the deep of his joy, that he is receiving him now indeed a son, once dead but now alive; once lost to him and to God, but now found alike by both. But the servant confines himself to the more external features of the ease, to the fact that, after all he has gone through of excess and hardship, his father has yet received him safe and sound" (Trench).
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