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The prodigal son and the best robe

Greek, Bible

In the story of the prodigal son, the first thing the father ordered to be done was to bring forth the best robe and put it on his son.

Luke 15:22-23 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

When we read "best robe", we might imagine the servant picking out the best bath robe that was hanging in the father's closet. But, that is not the meaning of best robe. The "best robe" in Greek is "prōtos stolē" (πρῶτος στολή).

stolē is used in the Bible for:
- Scribes wearing a "stolē" - Mark 12:38, Luke 20:46
- Angel wearing a "stolē" - Mark 16:5
- "stolē" given to martyrs - Rev 6:11
- Lamb of God wearing a "stolē" - Rev 7:9

A stolē is a garment that symbolizes importance, high worth, and a mark of dignity. It is worn by kings, priests, and persons of rank.

During graduation ceremonies, a stole is worn by valedictorians, members of professional organizations, and people of special status.

In churches, stole are worn by the clergy.

prōtos means first, chief, first in rank.

So, the prodigal son was given the highest ranking garment that was worn by the most special people, such as priests and kings.


New Advent

Posted: 2019-06-25 10:39:37

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