When he had spent (dapanhsanto autou). Genitive absolute. The verb is here used in a bad sense as in James 4:3 . See on dapanh "Lu 14:28". He (auto). Emphasis. To be in want (ustereisqai). The verb is from ustero, behind or later (comparative). We use "fall behind" (Vincent) of one in straitened circumstances. Plummer notes the coincidences of Providence. The very land was in a famine when the boy had spent all.