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Luke 15:28-30

15:28 But the older son 1  became angry 2  and refused 3  to go in. His father came out and appealed to him, 15:29 but he answered 4  his father, ‘Look! These many years I have worked like a slave 5  for you, and I never disobeyed your commands. Yet 6  you never gave me even a goat 7  so that I could celebrate with my friends! 15:30 But when this son of yours 8  came back, who has devoured 9  your assets with prostitutes, 10  you killed the fattened calf 11  for him!’

1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the older son, v. 25) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn The aorist verb ὠργίσθη (wrgisqh) has been translated as an ingressive aorist, reflecting entry into a state or condition.

3 sn Ironically the attitude of the older son has left him outside and without joy.

4 tn Grk “but answering, he said.” This is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “but he answered.”

5 tn Or simply, “have served,” but in the emotional context of the older son’s outburst the translation given is closer to the point.

6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to bring out the contrast indicated by the context.

7 sn You never gave me even a goat. The older son’s complaint was that the generous treatment of the younger son was not fair: “I can’t get even a little celebration with a basic food staple like a goat!”

8 sn Note the younger son is not “my brother” but this son of yours (an expression with a distinctly pejorative nuance).

9 sn This is another graphic description. The younger son’s consumption had been like a glutton. He had both figuratively and literally devoured the assets which were given to him.

10 sn The charge concerning the prostitutes is unproven, but essentially the older brother accuses the father of committing an injustice by rewarding his younger son’s unrighteous behavior.

11 sn See note on the phrase “fattened calf” in v. 23.

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