A SQUANDERED INHERITANCE

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This verse is part of Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). An estate was normally divided by a father among his sons at his death. But the father in this parable did so while he was still alive.

Under Jewish law, the firstborn son received a double portion of his father’s estate (Deut 21:17) because he assumed responsibilities as head of the clan. Since there were two brothers in this parable, the younger son received one-third of the inheritance and the older son received one-third of the inheritance and the older son received two-thirds.

The younger son turned his inheritance of property and goods into cash (“got together all he had,” Luke 15:13 NIV), left the country, and wasted it all on a spending spree. The father’s love when he welcomed his destitute son back home represents God’s love and forgiveness of repentant sinners.

LUKE 15:12 – The younger of them [two sons] said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me [my share of the estate, NIV]. And he divided unto them his living [property, NIV].

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