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29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends.

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29. these many years … neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment—The words are not to be pressed too far. He is merely contrasting his constancy of love and service with the conduct of his brother; just as Job, resenting the charge of hypocrisy by his friends, speaks as if nothing could be laid to his charge (Job 23:10-12), and David too (Ps 18:20-24). The father attests the truth of all he says.

never … a kid—I say not a calf, but not even a kid.

that I might make merry with my friends—Here lay his misapprehension. It was no entertainment for the gratification of the prodigal: it was a father's expression of the joy he felt at his recovery.

thy son … thy living—How unworthy a reflection on the common father of both, for the one not only to disown the other, but fling him over upon his father, as if he should say, Take him, and have joy of him!




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