1 NOW THE tax collectors and [notorious and especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus] to listen to Him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them.
3 So He told them this parable:
4 What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his [own] shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he gets home, he summons together [his] friends and [his] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [especially] wicked person who repents (changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.
8 Or what woman, having ten [silver] drachmas [each one equal to a day's wages], if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and look carefully and diligently until she finds it?
9 And when she has found it, she summons her [women] friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the silver coin which I had lost.
10 Even so, I tell you, there is joy among and in the presence of the angels of God over one [especially] wicked person who repents (changes his mind for the better, heartily amending his ways, with abhorrence of his past sins).
11 And He said, There was a certain man who had two sons;
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the part of the property that falls [to me]. And he divided the estate between them. [Deut. 21:15-17.]
13 And not many days after that, the younger son gathered up all that he had and journeyed into a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and loose [from restraint] living.
14 And when he had spent all he had, a mighty famine came upon that country, and he began to fall behind and be in want.
15 So he went and forced (glued) himself upon one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed hogs.
16 And he would gladly have fed on and filled his belly with the carob pods that the hogs were eating, but [they could not satisfy his hunger and] nobody gave him anything [better]. [Jer. 30:14.]
17 Then when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have enough food, and [even food] to spare, but I am perishing (dying) here of hunger!
18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] make me like one of your hired servants.
20 So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently].
21 And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son [I no longer deserve to be recognized as a son of yours]!
22 But the father said to his bond servants, Bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. [Gen. 41:42; Zech. 3:4.]
23 And bring out that [wheat-]fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry,
24 Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel and feast and make merry.
25 But his older son was in the field; and as he returned and came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 And having called one of the servant [boys] to him, he began to ask what this meant.
27 And he said to him, Your brother has come, and your father has killed that [wheat-]fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and well.
28 But [the elder brother] was angry [with deep-seated wrath] and resolved not to go in. Then his father came out and began to plead with him,
29 But he answered his father, Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command. Yet you never gave me [so much as] a [little] kid, that I might revel and feast and be happy and make merry with my friends;
30 But when this son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you have killed for him that [wheat-] fattened calf!
31 And the father said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 But it was fitting to make merry, to revel and feast and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found!
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