And the younger of them said to his father
God's chosen ones among the publicans and sinners, are fitly signified by the younger son, since man, as a sinner, is younger than man as righteous; and since there are instances of God's choice of the younger, before the elder, as Jacob before Esau and the characters and conduct of young men agree with God's elect, in a state of nature; who are imprudent and ignorant, without any knowledge of divine and spiritual things, and of themselves, their state and condition, and of Christ, and salvation by him; and yet are conceited of themselves, and fancy themselves very wise and knowing, and capable of acting for themselves, independent, and without any assistance or advice; do not care to be under restraints, withdraw from all yokes, and break all bands asunder; and so become children of disobedience, prone to every vice, and servants and slaves to every lust; by which they are deceived, and in which they take a great deal of imaginary pleasure; and are often envious and spiteful, and live in malice, hateful, and hating one another: the request made by this younger son, is "to his Father"; to God, who was his Father by creation, by providential care, and by national adoption, and by special grace; though as yet he knew it not, nor could he call him so in faith: many call God Father, who should not, and many that should, do not: the request follows;
father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me:
this portion may be considered, as internal or external; as internal, and such who think the Gentiles are meant by the younger son understand it of the light of nature, and of natural gifts and talents. The ancients generally interpret it, of man's free will: it may intend natural knowledge in general, to which there is in man a natural desire, and in which he is self-sufficient: or rather as external, such as the outward blessings of food, raiment, health the honours, pleasures, and riches of the world: the good things of this world belonged to men by right of creation, and according the laws and dues of it, but have been all forfeited by the sin of man; and yet this is a portion, which in the apprehension of men, of right belongs to them; and which suits their nature, which is carnal and worldly:
and he divided unto them his living;
natural gifts, external privileges, and worldly good things; which of all men in the earth, the Jewish nation shared; see ( Psalms 115:16 ) ( 106:15 ) .