Dying of hunger (Lk 15:17-15:17)

“But when he came

To himself,

He said.

‘How many

Of my father’s

Hired hands

Have bread enough

To spare.

But here I am

Dying of hunger.’”

 

εἰς ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐλθὼν ἔφη Πόσοι μίσθιοι τοῦ πατρός μου περισσεύονται ἄρτων, ἐγὼ δὲ λιμῷ ὧδε ἀπόλλυμαι.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that when this prodigal son came to his senses or himself (εἰς ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐλθὼν), he said that many of his father’s hired servants (ἔφη Πόσοι μίσθιοι τοῦ πατρός μου) had bread enough to spare or an abundance of bread (περισσεύονται ἄρτων).  However, he was dying or perishing from hunger (ἐγὼ δὲ λιμῷ ὧδε ἀπόλλυμαι).  This prodigal son realized that he had come from a privileged upbringing.  Even the hired hands on his father’s and brother’s farm had more than enough bread to eat.  He, on the other hand, was starving to death.  Do you ever remember being very hungry?

Nothing to eat (Lk 15:16-15:16)

“He would gladly

Have filled himself

With the pods

That the pigs

Were eating.

However,

No one gave him

Anything to eat.”

 

καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν κερατίων ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this prodigal son was longing to fill his belly or would have gladly filled himself (καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ) with the pods (ἐκ τῶν κερατίων) that the pigs were eating (ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι).  Once again, this is a unique word of Luke, κερατίων that does not appear in any of the other biblical literature writings that means a dark brown pea pod of the carob tree.  However, no one gave him anything to eat (καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ).  This prodigal son was forced to feed the unclean pigs, while he himself was still hungry.  I wonder why he did not eat some of these brown pea pods.  Perhaps, it may have been culturally inappropriate.  Have you ever been really so hungry that you would eat anything?

Feed the pigs (Lk 15:15-15:15)

“Thus,

He went

And hired himself out

To one of the citizens

Of that country.

He sent him

To his fields

To feed the pigs.”

 

καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης, καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ βόσκειν χοίρους·

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this young prodigal son went and hired himself out (καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη) to one of the citizens of that country (ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης), where he was living.  This land owner sent him to his fields (καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ) to feed the pigs (βόσκειν χοίρους).  Obvious, this was a non-Jewish country where pigs were raised for food, not a Jewish country where there would be no pork eaten.  What could be more humiliating for a Jewish person than taking care of unclean swine or pigs?  Have you ever had a job that you felt was degrading to you?

The famine (Lk 15:14-15:14)

“When he had spent

Everything he had,

A severe famine

Took place

Throughout that country.

He began

To be in need.”

 

δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἰσχυρὰ κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην, καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that when this young prodigal son had spent everything that he had (δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα), a severe famine took place (ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἰσχυρὰ) throughout that country (κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην).  He began to be and feel needy (καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι).  Having dissipated his wealth, he was broke in a foreign land, where there was a famine.  He really began to feel like he needed help.  Have you ever felt like you needed help?

The younger son squanders his property (Lk 15:13-15:13)

“A few days later,

The younger son

Gathered all he had.

He traveled

To a distant country.

There he squandered

His property

In dissolute living.”

 

καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν, καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως.

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a few days later or not too many days later (καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας), this younger son gathered all that he had (συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς), without any indication of how much stuff he actually had.  He then traveled or went away to a distant country (ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν), since he did not stay close to home.  There he squandered his property in dissolute living (καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term ἀσώτως that means prodigal or extravagantly wasteful, because of loose living in a debauched, profligate lifestyle.  Thus, this story came to be known as the prodigal son.  In other words, this young son took off for a Las Vegas kind of city in a faraway place.  There he spent his new-found inheritance very quickly in a number of stupid ways.  It is not clear how he was able to convert his inheritance property into cash, but presumably he did.  Have you ever thought about running away and spending a lot of money foolishly?