In the parable of the prodigal son, what do the setting details of the story mean to us readers? Any explanation why the setting is in a rich family?

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lsumner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In The Prodigal Son parable, the setting represents the kingdom of God. Naturally, God's kingdom would be a rich setting. In Psalm 50: 10-11, the Bible states that God owns it all:

10For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

11I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

The Prodigal Son represents wayward children, those who have strayed away from God and his kingdom.

In Luke Chapter 15, Jesus was sharing parables about those who had strayed from God's kingdom. Then Jesus shares another parable along the same lines. The parable is about the Prodigal Son who left his father's home.

No doubt, the setting of the father's rich homeland is a representation of the kingdom of God.

Remember, the Prodigal Son is still his father's son. Although he had it all, he wanted another setting--the world. He wanted freedom to see the world and all that it had to offer.

After wasting all that his father had given him, the Prodigal Son realizes that the world has nothing to offer but heartache and disappoinment. The Prodigal Son returns home to a setting which has everything he needs.

The two settings are compared--the father's house and the world.

No doubt, he will wander no more. He will most likely be grateful for all that he has in his father's setting.

Truly, the setting in The Prodigal Son parable is a representation of God who is our father and his kingdom which is our eternal home.

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clairewait eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are two aspects of the setting for this parable that are important for the lessons taught.

First, take the context in which...

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