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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 15 - Verse 25

Verse 25. In the field. At work. This eldest son is designed to represent the Pharisees who had found fault with the Saviour. Their conduct is likened to that of this envious and unnatural brother.

Music and dancing. Dancing was not uncommon among the Hebrews, and was used on various occasions. Thus Miriam celebrated the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt in dances as well as songs, Ex 15:20. David danced before the ark, 2 Sa 6:14. It was common at Jewish feasts (Jud 21:19-21) and in public triumphs (Jud 11:34), and at all seasons of mirth and rejoicings, Ps 30:11; Jer 31:4,13.

It was also used in religious services by the idolaters (Ex 32:19), and also by the Jews, at times, in their religious services, Ps 149:3; 150:4. In this case it was an expression of rejoicing. Our Lord expresses no opinion about its propriety. He simply states the fact, nor was there occasion for comment on it. His mentioning it cannot be pleaded for its lawfulness or propriety, any more than his mentioning the vice of the younger son, or the wickedness of the Pharisees, can be pleaded to justify their conduct. It is an expressive image, used in accordance with the known customs of the country, to express joy. It is farther to be remarked, that if the example of persons in Scripture be pleaded for dancing, it can be only for just such dances as they practised —for sacred or triumphal occasions.

{t} "music and dancing" Ps 30:11; 126:1,2

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