Friday, March 25, 2011

Mark 7:24-30, The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith (The Study of Mark)

     24 And after getting up from there, he departed into the region of Tyre. And after going into a house, he was wanting no one to know about it1, but he was not able to escape notice2. 25 But immediately after hearing about him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, came3 and fell down before his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek4, Syrophoenician by race5, and was asking him that he may cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied6 first7, for it is not good to take the bread of the children and to throw it to the dogs8.” 28 And she answered and says to him, “Master9, even the dogs under the table eat from the crumbs of the children.” 29 And he said to her, “Because of this saying10 , go! The demon has gone out11 from your daughter.” 30 And after departing into her house, she found the child lying12 on the bed and the demon having had gone out13.


Jesus has an encounter with a Gentile women while he is searching for a little privacy.  Jesus reputation has preceded him and everywhere he goes, he is recognized and sought out.

1 In other words, Jesus was looking for some privacy.

2 λαθεῖν (to escape notice) 

Greek: “to be hidden”. Jesus had become like our modern day celebrities, no matter where he went, the people found him.

3 ἐλθοῦσα (came) 

Greek: “coming” or “after coming”.

4 Ἑλληνίς (Greek) 

This could also be translated “Gentile”. There are many instances in the New Testament where Greek just means Gentile.

5 τῷ γένει (by race) 

or “by birth”.

6 χορτασθῆναι (satisfied) 

To eat one’s fill. In other words, the children (Israel) should eat all that they wanted first.

7 This passage does offer some hope to the woman as well as Gentiles. Jesus merely said that the children should be satisfied first. He never said that the Gentiles would never be able to partake in the bread.

8 τοῖς κυναρίοις (to the dogs)

Israel considered dogs to be unclean animals. This give us some insight as to how Jews viewed Gentiles. Although it is somewhat shocking that Jesus would say something like this, it was probably expected by the Gentile woman.

9 κύριε (Master)

or “Lord”. This shows that the woman was not going to let the harsh language that Jesus spoke deter her from her mission. The Textus Receptus adds “Ναί” which means “Yes” as in “Yes, Master”. It is not original to the text as it doesn’t appear in the oldest and best manuscripts. It can be found in the King James Version.

10 τὸν λόγον (saying) 

Greek: “word”.

11 ἐξελήλυθεν (has gone out)

The verb is in the perfect tense which means that the demon had already left the little girl and the effects of that were still being felt. Jesus had cast out the demon without uttering a word, thus showing a new level to his exorcisms.

12 βεβλημένον (lying)

Greek: “having had thrown herself”. The participle is in the perfect middle tense. It basically means that the little girl earlier thrown herself onto the bed and was still on the bed when her mother arrived.. It is also possible that the demon had been working here as well as cause the girl to do this before he was cast out.

13 ἐξεληλυθός (having had gone out)

The participle is in the perfect tense, so the demon had left the girl prior to the mother’s arrival and was still gone when she got there.

The Greek

Μάρκον 7·24 Ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἀναστὰς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὰ ὅρια Τύρου. Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς οἰκίαν οὐδένα ἤθελεν γνῶναι, καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθη λαθεῖν· 25 ἀλλ ̓ εὐθὺς ἀκούσασα γυνὴ περὶ αὐτοῦ, ἧς εἶχεν τὸ θυγάτριον αὐτῆς πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον, ἐλθοῦσα προσέπεσεν πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ· 26 ἡ δὲ γυνὴ ἦν Ἑλληνίς, Συροφοινίκισσα τῷ γένει· καὶ ἠρώτα αὐτὸν ἵνα τὸ δαιμόνιον ἐκβάλῃ ἐκ τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς. 27 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτῇ· ἄφες πρῶτον χορτασθῆναι τὰ τέκνα, οὐ γάρ ἐστιν καλὸν λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων καὶ τοῖς κυναρίοις βαλεῖν. 28 ἡ δὲ ἀπεκρίθη καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· κύριε· καὶ τὰ κυνάρια ὑποκάτω τῆς τραπέζης ἐσθίουσιν ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν παιδίων. 29 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· διὰ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ὕπαγε, ἐξελήλυθεν ἐκ τῆς θυγατρός σου τὸ δαιμόνιον. 30 καὶ ἀπελθοῦσα εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς εὗρεν τὸ παιδίον βεβλημένον ἐπὶ τὴν κλίνην καὶ τὸ δαιμόνιον ἐξεληλυθός.

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