Matthew 15

Matthew 15


1 Then PhariseesI and scribesII cameIII to JesusIV from JerusalemV and said,

Notes on verse 1

I “Pharisees” = pharisaios. From Aramaic peras (to divide, separate) and from Hebrew parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter). This is a Pharisee, a member of a Jewish sect active in the 1st century. Their name meant separate in the sense of wanting to live a life separated from sin. Whereas the Sadducees were part of the priestly line and inherited their religious position and responsibilities, Pharisees were regular people who studied the scriptures and offered guidance to regular folk. Sadducees were often wealthier and willing to sacrifice their identity to rub elbows with Roman society. Pharisees were often more concerned with what it meant to follow God without compromising what made them different as followers of God. Sadducees primarily believed in that which was written down (the first five books of the Bible) and Pharisees believed in the Bible and the traditions of the elders. Pharisees had a very wide range of interpretations and diversity of opinion. Their standard mode of religion engagement was lively debate with one another. To argue religion with another teacher was to recognize that they had something of value to offer.
II “scribes” = grammateus. From gramma (what is drawn or written so a letter of the alphabet, correspondence, literature, learning); from grapho (to write). This is a writer, scribe, or secretary. Within Judaism, it was someone learned in the Law, a teacher. Also used in the Bible of the town-clerk of Ephesus. See Sirach 38:24-39:11 for a lengthier, positive passage about who scribes were and what they meant in society.
III “came” = proserchomai. From pros (for, at, towards) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to approach, draw near, come up to. It is also used figuratively to mean worship.
IV “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
V “Jerusalem” = Hierosoluma. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.

“Why do your disciplesVI breakVII the traditionVIII of the elders?IX

Notes on verse 2a

VI “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
VII “break” = parabaino. 3x in NT. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + the same as basis (step, hence foot; a pace); {from baino (to walk, to go)}. This is literally to go past. So it can be to violate, break, or transgress. It is intentionally stepping across a boundary that one is aware of. It can also mean to turn aside or depart.
VIII “tradition” = paradosis. 13x in NT. From paradidomi (literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement); {from para (from beside, by) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is something handed down or handed over. So, it could be some kind of instruction, ordinance, or tradition. It can be used to refer to the tradition of the elders within Judaism.
IX “elders” = presbuteros. From presbus (old man). This is an elder as one of the Sanhedrin and also in the Christian assembly in the early church.

For they do not washX their handsXI beforeXII they eat.”XIII 

Notes on verse 2b

X “wash” = nipto. 17x in NT. From nizo (to cleanse). This is to wash, particularly the hands, feet, or face. This word is often used for ceremonial or ritual ablution as when Jesus washes the disciples’ feet in John 13 and during debates about the tradition of the elders as in Matthew 15 and Mark 7.
XI “hands” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.
XII {untranslated} = artos. Perhaps from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is bread or a loaf. It is a loaf as raised.
XIII “eat” = esthio. This is to eat or figuratively to devour or consume like rust.

He answered them, “And why do you break the commandmentXIV of GodXV for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘HonorXVI your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evilXVII of father or mother must surelyXVIII die.’XIX 

Notes on verses 3-4

XIV “commandment” = entole. From entellomai (to charge, command, give orders or instructions) {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + tellomai (to accomplish); {from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one)}}. This is an order, command, ordinance, or law. It focuses on the purpose of the command and its end result.
XV “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
XVI “honor” = timao. From time (worth or perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something; can be esteem or dignity; can also mean precious or valuables); from tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value). Properly, this is setting a value or price on something, to estimate. Figuratively, it speaks to what level of honor we afford someone or something depending on our personal feeling toward it. By implication, this can mean to revere or honor.
XVII “speaks evil” = kakologeo. 4x in NT. From kakos (bad, evil, harm, ill. It is evil that is part of someone’s core character – intrinsic, rotted, worthless, depraved, causing harm. It refers to deep inner malice that comes from a rotten character) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is to curse, speak evil of, abuse. It is words chosen specifically to cause harm or misconstrue – to make evil look like good or wrong like right.
XVIII “must surely” = teleutao. Related to “commandment” in v3. 13x in NT. From teleute (end, finishing, consummation; can also be used for death); from teleo (to complete, fulfill, accomplish, end); from telos (see note XIV above). This is to complete or come to the end/end goal. It can also mean to finish life or to meet one’s ultimate fate in heaven or hell.
XIX “die” = thanatos. This is death, whether literal or spiritual. It can also refer to something that is fatal.

But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever supportXX you might have had from me is givenXXI to God,’ then that person need not honor the father.XXII 

Notes on verse 5

XX “support” = doron. Related to “tradition” in v2. 19x in NT. From didomi (see note VIII above). This is gift, offering, sacrifice; emphasizes that the gift is given freely, voluntarily.
XXI “given” = opheleo. 15x in NT. From ophelos (help, gain, profit); from ophello (to heap up or increase). This is to help, benefit, do good, or be useful.
XXII Some manuscripts add “or his mother.”

So, for the sake of your tradition, you make voidXXIII the wordXXIV of God. You hypocrites!XXV IsaiahXXVI prophesiedXXVII rightlyXXVIII about you when he said:

Notes on verses 6-7

XXIII “make void” = akuroo. 3x in NT. From a (not, without) + kuros (authority). This is revoke, make void, or cancel.
XXIV “word” = logos. Related to “speaks evil” in v4. See note XVII above.
XXV “hypocrites” = hupokrites. 18x in NT. From hupokrinomai (to answer, pretend, respond as an actor on stage; figuratively, to lie) {from hupo (by, under, about) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.)}. This is literally an actor. Figuratively, it is someone playing out a role, which is to say, lying, pretending, or being a hypocrite. This is where the word “hypocrite” comes from.
XXVI “Isaiah” = Esaias. Related to “Jesus” in v1. From Hebrew Yeshayahu (Isaiah, salvation of the Lord); {from yasha (see note IV above) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note IV above)}}. This is Isaiah, meaning “salvation of the Lord.”
XXVII “prophesied” = propheteuo. From prophetes (prophet or poet; one who speaks with inspiration from God); {from pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}}. This is to prophesy, foretell, or tell forth.
XXVIII “rightly” = kalos. From kalos (good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy; external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues; a different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good). This is nobly, rightly, well-perceived, seen as appealing, morally pleasing, honorably.

8 ‘This peopleXXIX honors me with their lips,XXX
    but their heartsXXXI are far from me;

Notes on verse 8

XXIX “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.
XXX “lips” = cheilos. 7x in NT. Perhaps from the same as chasma (chasm, gap, gulf); from chasko (to yawn); from chao (to gape, yawn). This is lip, edge, shore, mouth, language.
XXXI “hearts” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.     

9 in vainXXXII do they worshipXXXIII me,
    teachingXXXIV humanXXXV preceptsXXXVI as doctrines.’”XXXVII

Notes on verse 9

XXXII “in vain” = maten. 2x in NT. From mate (a folly) OR from the base of massaomai (to chew, gnaw); {from masso (to kneed, squeeze)}. This is in vain, aimlessly, pointless, fruitless.
XXXIII “worship” = sebo. 10x in NT. This is to worship, revere, adore, be devout. Properly this is personally placing a high value on someone or something, showing respect.
XXXIV “teaching” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.
XXXV “human” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
XXXVI “precepts” = entalma. Related to “commandment” in v3 & “must surely” in v4. 3x in NT. From entellomai (see note XIV above).  This is a command, religious precept, ordinance.
XXXVII “doctrines” = didaskalia. Related to “teaching” in v9. From didaskalos (teacher, master); from didasko (see note XXXIV above). This is instruction or teaching – applied teaching.

10 Then he called the crowd toXXXVIII him and said to them, “ListenXXXIX and understand:XL 

Notes on verse 10

XXXVIII “called…to” = proskaleo. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to oneself, summon.
XXXIX “listen” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
XL “understand” = suneimi. From sun (with, together with) + hiemi (to send, put). This is to put together – used figuratively to mean understand, consider, gain insight. It is bringing together facts or notions and synthesizing them into a whole. It is making a summary to arrive at a final conclusion that includes how to apply the insight to life. It can also imply acting piously or being wise.

11 it is not what goes into the mouthXLI that defilesXLII a person,XLIII but it is what comesXLIV out of the mouth that defiles.” 

Notes on verse 11

XLI “mouth” = stoma. Perhaps from tomoteros (sharp, keener); from temno (to cut). This is mouth, speech, language, the tip of a sword, an opening in the ground.
XLII “defiles” = koinoo. 14x in NT. From koinos (common, shared, unclean, ritually profane); probably from sun (with, together with). This is to make something common i.e. treated as ordinary and so not ceremonially pure/sacred. So, it can also mean to pollute or desecrate.
XLIII “person” = anthropos. Same as “human” in v9. See note XXXV above.
XLIV “comes” = ekporeuomai. From ek (from, from out of) + poreuomai (to go, travel, journey, die; refers to transporting things from one place to another; focuses on the personal significance of the destination); {from poros (passageway)}. This is to go forth, depart from, be spoken, flow out, project. This word emphasizes the result a process or passage – how it impacts the person or thing.

12 Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you knowXLV that the Pharisees took offenseXLVI when they heard what you said?”XLVII 

Notes on verse 12

XLV “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
XLVI “took offense” = skandalizo. From skandalon (the bait or portion of the trap that closes down on the victim – the trap’s trigger; a stumbling block, offense, or cause for error; something that sets into motion a negative cause and effect; something that causes one to stumble); perhaps from kampto (to bend or bow). This is to put a stumbling block in someone’s way. Figuratively, causing someone to sin or preventing them from good action. It can also mean to shock or offend. Literally, this is falling into a trap or tripping someone up. So, here, enticing someone to sin or apostasy.
XLVII “what…said” = logos. Same as “word” in v6. See note XXIV above.

13 He answered, “Every plantXLVIII that my heavenlyXLIX Father has not plantedL will be uprooted.LI 

Notes on verse 13

XLVIII “plant” = phuteia. 1x in NT. From phuteo (to plant, implant; figuratively to teach or plant doctrines); from phuton (a plant) or from phuo (to grow, produce, spring up; perhaps from the sense of puff or blow – to swell up; hence, to germinate; to grow literally or figuratively). This is a plant, shrub, or vegetable.
XLIX “heavenly” = ouranios. 9x in NT. From ouranos (air, sky, the atmosphere, heaven; the sky that is visible; the spiritual heaven where God dwells; implies happiness, power, and eternity); {perhaps from oros (mountain, hill)}. This is heavenly or celestial. It can mean in, belonging to, or coming from heaven or the sky.
L “planted” = phuteuo. Related to “plant” in v13. 11x in NT. See note XLVIII above.
LI “uprooted” = ekrizoo. 4x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + rhizoo (to plant, take root, establish, become stable); {from rhiza (a root literally or figuratively; the root of what comes from it – shoot, source, descendant)}. This is to pull out by something’s roots or to root out.

14 LetLII them alone; they are blindLIII guidesLIV of the blind. And if one blind person guidesLV another, both will fall into a pit.”LVI 

Notes on verse 14

LII “let” = aphiemi. Related to “understand” in v10. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (see note XL above). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
LIII “blind” = tuphlos. Derivation unclear. Perhaps from tuphoo (to be conceited, foolish, puffed up, haughty; properly, to blow smoke; figuratively being muddled or cloudy in mind; poor judgment that harms spiritual clarity; also, being covered with smoke – so filled with pride); from tuphos (smoke, vanity, arrogance); from tupho (to raise smoke, smolder, slowly consume without flame). This is blind or a blind person – perhaps in the sense of smoke making things opaque and impossible to see. This is blind literally or figuratively.
LIV “guides” = hodegos. 5x in NT. From hodos (way, road, path, or journey; can imply progress along a route) + hegeomai (to think, suppose, have an opinion; to lead the way, what comes in front or first, initial thought, high esteem or authority; one who commands in an official capacity); {from ago (lead, bring, carry, drive, go)}. This is leader or guide. It can be used figuratively for a teacher.
LV “guides” = hodegeo. Related to “guides” in v14. 5x in NT. From hodegos (see note LIV above). This is to show someone the way in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be to guide and lead or it could be to teach.
LVI “pit” = bothunos. Related to “break” in v2. 3x in NT. Probably from bathus (deep in a literal or figurative sense); from the same root as basis (see note VII above) OR similar to bathuno (to excavate, deepen); from bathus (see above). This is a hole in the ground. So, it could be a pit, ditch, or a cistern.

15 But PeterLVII said to him, “ExplainLVIII this parableLIX to us.” 

Notes on verse 15

LVII “Peter” = Petros. Related to petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; can also be cave or stony ground). This is Peter, a stone, pebble, or boulder.
LVIII “explain” = phrazo. 1x in NT. Perhaps akin to phrasso (to stop, fence in; figuratively, to silence); perhaps from phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb). This is to tell, declare, interpret, or explain. It can indicate using words or deeds to clarify. This is where the word “phrase” comes from.
LIX “parable” = parabole. From paraballo (literally to throw beside, compare, arrive, liken); {from para (by, beside, in the presence of) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a parable, comparison, adage. Quite often a tale told or a metaphor to establish a point, but it could be a true story.

16 Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding?LX 17 Do you not seeLXI that whatever goesLXII into the mouth entersLXIII the stomach,LXIV and goes outLXV into the sewer?LXVI 

Notes on verses 16-17

LX “without understanding” = asunetos. Related to “understood” in v10 & “let” in v14. 5x in NT. From a (not, without) + sunetos (intelligent, wise, discerning, clever; finding understanding within one’s own frame of reference by connecting facts and concepts; focuses on the mental process of putting things together – being prudent or wise); {from suneimi (see note XL above)}. This is literally not understanding or undiscerning. It is someone who doesn’t comprehend, is foolish because they do not connect facts or process information meaningfully. It is an illogical person who chooses not to reason well. It can also imply moral fault and wickedness.
LXI “see” = noeo. 14x in NT. From nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience)}. This is to think, understand, conceive, realize, see. It is one who thinks things through sufficiently to reach a conclusion or value judgment. It is also one’s moral reasoning.
LXII “goes” = eisporeuomai. Related to “comes” in v11. 18x in NT. From eis (to, into, for, among) + poreuomai (see note XLIV above). This is to enter in a literal or figurative sense – to journey, come into, intervene.
LXIII “enters” = choreo. 10x in NT. From choros (a particular space or place); from chora (space, land, region, fields, open area); from chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). This is to leave in order to make room or space. It can also be to advance, receive, accept, or make progress. Figuratively, it can also refer to being open-hearted.
LXIV “stomach” = koilia. From koilos (hollow). This is belly or organs in the abdomen. So, it could be stomach, womb, or heart. Figuratively, this refers to one’s inner self.
LXV “goes out” = ekballo. Related to “parable” in v15. From ek (from, from out of) + ballo (see note LIX above). This is to throw, put out, produce, expel, banish. It is eject in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVI “sewer” = aphedron. 2x in NT– both in parallel passages. From apo (from, away from) + hedraios (sitting, well-seated, immovable; figuratively, steadfast, firm, morally fixed); {from hedra (a seat) or from hezomai (to sit)}. This is a privy, drain, or latrine. Literally, it is a place where one wits apart (from others).

18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart come evilLXVII intentions,LXVIII murder,LXIX adultery,LXX

Notes on verses 18-19a

LXVII “evil” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.
LXVIII “intentions” = dialogismos. Related to “speaks evil” in v4 & “word” in v6. 14x in NT. From dialogizomai (to consider, have a back and forth debate with an uncertain conclusion; multiple confused minds reinforcing a faulty conclusion); {from dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + logizmai (to compute or reckon up, to count; figuratively, it is coming to a conclusion or decision using logic; taking an inventory in a literal or figurative sense); {from logos (see note XVII above)}. This is reasoning, plotting, argument, discussion that reinforces faulty reasoning, debate.
LXIX “murder” = phonos. 9x in NT. From pheno (to slay). This is killing, murder, or slaughter. It is one of the crimes that Barabbas and Saul are accused of. Here, in plural.
LXX “adultery” = moicheia. 3x in NT. From moicheuo (committing adultery or adultery itself; a man with a married woman or a married man with anyone other than his wife); from moichos (adulterer; a man who has been with a married woman; used figuratively of an apostate). This is adultery. It is used for the woman caught in adultery in John 8:3 (“whoever is without sin cast the first stone”). Here, in plural.

fornication,LXXI theft,LXXII false witness,LXXIII slander.LXXIV 20 These are what defile a person, but to eatLXXV with unwashedLXXVI hands does not defile.”

Notes on verses 19b-20

LXXI “fornication” = porneia. From porneuo (to fornicate – used figuratively for practicing idolatry or doing immoral things); from porne (prostitute, whore); from pornos (fornicator or immoral person); perhaps from pernemi (to sell off or export); related to piprasko (to sell with travel involved; to sell into slavery; to be devoted to); from perao (to travel); from peran (over, beyond). This is sexual immorality or unchastity. It could include adultery or incest. Here, in plural.
LXXII “theft” = klope. 2x in NT. From klepto (to steal secretively). This is stealing by stealth or fraud. It is not done using force or in the open. Here, in plural.
LXXIII “false witness” = pseudomarturia. 2x in NT. From pseudomartus (false witness); {from pseudes (false, lying, wicked); {from pseudomai (to lie, deceive, falsify)}} + martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr). This is false testimony or false witness. Here, in plural.
LXXIV “slander” = blasphemia. Related to “prophesied” in v7. 18x in NT. From perhaps blapto (to harm or to hinder) + pheme (saying, news, rumor, fame) {from phemi (see note XXVII above)}. This is slander, blasphemy, or abusive language. It is calling something wrong that is right or calling something right that is wrong – mis-identifying what is good and bad. This is particularly used for vilifying God. This is where the word “blasphemy” comes from. Here, in plural.
LXXV “eat” = phago. This is to eat or figuratively to consume like rust does.
LXXVI “unwashed” = aniptos. Related to “wash” in v2. 2x in NT. From a (not, without) + nipto (see note X above). This is unwashed or ritually unclean.

21 Jesus left that place and went awayLXXVII to the district of TyreLXXVIII and Sidon.LXXIX 

Notes on verse 21

LXXVII “went away” = anachoreo. Related to “enters” in v17. 14x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, anew) + choreo (to make space, receive, have room for, progress, depart so as to make room; figuratively, living open-heartedly); {from choros (see note LXIII above)}.  This is to withdraw, depart, retire, or leave. It can give a sense of seeking safety from harm or of retiring.
LXXVIII “Tyre” = Turos. 11x in NT. From Phoenician t-s-r (rock; “after the rocky formation on which the town was originally built”). This is Tyre, the capital of Phoenicia. See
LXXIX “Sidon” = Sidon. 10x in NT. From Phoenician tsydon (Sidon; probably meaning fishery or fishing town). This is Sidon – a city in Phoenicia. See &

22 Just thenLXXX a CanaaniteLXXXI womanLXXXII from that regionLXXXIII came out and started shouting,LXXXIV

Notes on verse 22a

LXXX “just then” = kai + idou. Literally “and behold.” Idou is related to “know” in v12.  From eido (see note XLV above). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
LXXXI “Canaanite” = Chananaios. 1x in NT. From chanaan (Canaan); from Hebrew kenaan (Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled; perhaps meaning lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt); from kana (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaan – perhaps a reference to Phoenicia.
LXXXII “woman” = gune. Perhaps from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
LXXXIII “region” = horion. 12x in NT. From horos (limit, boundary). This is a boundary on land or a coast. It could be district, region, territory, or frontier.
LXXXIV “started shouting” = krazo. This is to cry out, scream, shriek. It is onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call. Figuratively, this means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt.

“Have mercy onLXXXV me, Lord,LXXXVI Son of David;LXXXVII my daughter isLXXXVIII tormented by a demon.”LXXXIX 

Notes on verse 22b

LXXXV “have mercy on” = eleeo. From eleos (mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion; generally understood in action by word or deed). This is to have pity on, show mercy to, be compassionate; often used for God’s grace. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is from this root verb.
LXXXVI “Lord” = kurios. Related to “make void” in v6. From kuros (see note XXIII above). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
LXXXVII “David” = Dauid. From Hebrew David (David); from the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
LXXXVIII {untranslated} = kakos. Literally “miserably.” Related to “speaks evil” in v4. 16x in NT. From kakos (see note XVII above). This is wrongly, badly, cruelly, with bad motives, misery connected to affliction. It can be physically badly or morally badly, i.e. evilly.
LXXXIX “tormented by a demon” = daimonizomai. 13x in NT.  From daimon (evil spirit, demon, fallen angel); perhaps from daio (giving out destinies). This is being demon-possessed or under an evil spirit’s power. This root is where the word “demon” comes from.

23 But he did not answer her at all.XC And his disciples came and urgedXCI him, saying, “Send her awayXCII, for she keeps shouting after us.” 

Notes on verse 23

XC “at all” = logos. Literally “a word.” Same as “word” in v6. See note XVII above.
XCI “urged” = erotao. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.
XCII “send…away” = apoluo. From apo (from, away from) + luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). This is letting go, setting free, or releasing. So, it can be to discharge, dismiss, divorce, pardon, or set at liberty.

24 He answered, “I was sentXCIII only to the lostXCIV sheepXCV of the houseXCVI of Israel.”XCVII 

25 But she came and kneltXCVIII before him, saying, “Lord, helpXCIX me.” 

Notes on verses 24-25

XCIII “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
XCIV “lost” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
XCV “sheep” = probaton. Related to “break” in 2 & perhaps “pit” in v14. Probably from probaino (to go forward literally or to advance in years); {from pro (before, ahead, earlier than, above) + the same as basis (see note VII above)}. This is literally easily led and so a sheep or another grazing animal. Also use figuratively of people who are led easily.
XCVI “house” = oikos. This is house – the building, the household, the family, descendants, the temple.
XCVII “Israel” = Israel. From Hebrew Yisrael (God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring); {from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god)}. This is Israel the people and the land.
XCVIII “knelt” = proskuneo. From pros (advantageous for, at, to, toward, with) + kuneo (to kiss); {may be related to kuno (dog)}. This is to do reverence, kneel, to prostrate oneself in homage, to worship.
XCIX “help” = boetheo. 8x in NT. From boethos (helping or helper; one meeting urgent need); perhaps from boe (to cry, shout for aid; mimics the sound of a desperate shout for help with deep emotion); {from boao (cry out, make a distress call, ask for desperately need assistance); from boe (a cry, shout)} + theo (to run). This is running to help someone who has made an urgent call for help – coming to their rescue. Originally, this was used in a military context, but came to apply more generally to assistance in time of intense distress.

26 He answered, “It is not fairC to take the children’sCI foodCII and throwCIII it to the dogs.”CIV 

Notes on verse 26

C “fair” = kalos. Related to “rightly” in v7. See note XXVIII above.
CI “children’s” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.
CII “food” = artos. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XII above.
CIII “throw” = ballo. Related to “parable” in v15 & “goes out” in v17. See note LIX above.
CIV “dogs” = kunarion. 4x in NT– all in retellings of the Canaanite/Syro-Phoenician woman in Matthew 15 & Mark 7. Diminutive from kuon (a dog as a scavenger; figuratively, a spiritual predator). This is little dog or puppy.

27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbsCV that fall from their masters’CVI table.”CVII 

Notes on verse 27

CV “crumbs” = psichion. 2x in NT. From psich (crumb) OR from psallo (to twang, play, sing psalms, pluck a stringed instrument such as a harp); {from psao (to rub)}. This is a crumb or small morsel. It can specifically refer to a breadcrumb.
CVI “masters’” = kurios. Same as “Lord” in v22. See note LXXXVI above.
CVII “table” = trapeza. 15x in NT. Probably from tessares (four; figuratively, can mean total inclusion or universality) + peze (by foot or land) or pezos (by foot or land); {from pous (foot)}. This is a table – whether for eating or conducting business. Literally, four feet. This is where the word “trapeze” comes from.

28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith!CVIII Let it beCIX done for you as you wish.”CX And her daughter was healedCXI instantly.CXII

Notes on verse 28

CVIII “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.
CIX “let it be” = ginomai. Perhaps related to “woman” in v22. See note LXXXII above.
CX “wish” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
CXI “healed” = iaomai. This is to heal, particularly from a physical illness, but it could also be a spiritual difficulty. This is to cure or make whole in a literal or figurative sense.
CXII “instantly” = apo +ho + hora + ekeinos. Literally “from that hour.” Hora is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.

29 After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the SeaCXIII of Galilee,CXIV and he went up the mountain, where he satCXV down. 

Notes on verse 29

CXIII “Sea” = thalassa. Perhaps from hals (sea, salt, a boy of saltwater) or halas (salt; can be figurative for prudence). This is the sea, a lake, or seashore.
CXIV “Galilee” = Galilaia. From Hebrew galil (cylinder, circuit, district); from galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is Galilee, meaning perhaps region or cylinder.
CXV “sat” = kathemai. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + hemai (to sit). This is to sit, be enthroned, or reside.

30 Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame,CXVI the maimed,CXVII the blind, the mute,CXVIII and many others.CXIX They putCXX them at his feet, and he curedCXXI them, 

Notes on verse 30

CXVI “lame” = cholos. 14x in NT. This is lame or limping. It can also mean missing a foot.
CXVII “maimed” = kullos. 4x in NT. Perhaps from kulioo (to roll, wallow); from kulindo (to roll, roll along); from kuma (wave, billow, curve, bend); from kuo (to swell as one pregnant). This is crippled or lame. It is particularly a maiming of hands or feet.
CXVIII “mute” = kophos. 14x in NT. Perhaps from kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is literally blunted or dull. Figuratively, it can be deaf or mute or a person who is deaf or mute.
CXIX “others” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
CXX “put” = rhipto. 7x in NT. Perhaps related to rhapizo (to hit with a rod or to slap); from a derivation of rhabdos (staff, rod, cudgel; a staff that denotes power, royalty, or authority); from rhepo (to let fall, to rap). This is to cast, toss fling, or disperse. It is a quick toss in contrast to another word ballo, intentional hurling, and teino (stretching outward).
CXXI “cured” = therapeuo. From therapon (servant, attendant, minister); perhaps from theros (properly heat and so used for summer); from thero (to heat). This is to serve, care, attend, heal, or cure. Since it means to attend to, it can be used for doctors, but also for those who serve God. So, it can mean worship. This is where the word “therapy” comes from.

31 so that the crowd was amazedCXXII when they sawCXXIII the mute speaking, the maimed whole,CXXIV the lame walking,CXXV and the blind seeing. And they praisedCXXVI the God of Israel.

Notes on verse 31

CXXII “amazed” = thaumazo. From thauma (a wonder or marvel; used abstractly for wonderment or amazement; something that evokes emotional astonishment); may be from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance). This is to marvel, wonder, or admire. To be amazed out of one’s senses or be awestruck. Being astonished and starting to contemplate what was beheld. This root is where the word “theatre” comes from.
CXXIII “saw” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
CXXIV “whole” = hugies. 12x in NT. Perhaps from auksano (to grow or enlarge, whether literal or figurative). This is healthy, whole, pure, normal, restored, wholesome. Figuratively, it can mean a sound or true teaching. It is where “hygiene” comes from.
CXXV “walking” = peripateo. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively); {from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)}. This is to walk. Going from Hebrew figurative language, to walk referred to how you conducted your life, how you chose to live. This word is most literally walking around. Figuratively, it is living, behaving, following, how you occupy yourself. This is where “peripatetic” comes from.
CXXVI “praised” = doxazo. From doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to render or hold something as glorious, to glorify, honor, magnify, or celebrate. This is ascribing weight to something by recognizing its true value or essence.

32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassionCXXVII for the crowd, because they have beenCXXVIII with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not wantCXXIX to send them away hungry,CXXX for they might faintCXXXI on the way.”CXXXII 

Notes on verse 32

CXXVII “have compassion” = splagchnizomai. 12x in NT – 8x of Jesus having compassion on people or crowds. From splanxnon (inner organs, entrails; seen as the root of emotions). This is moved to compassion from deep within oneself – visceral empathy or sympathy, being deeply moved.
CXXVIII “been” = prosmeno. 7x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is to remain, adhere to continue, remain together in a place or with someone. Figuratively, to persevere in something.
CXXIX “want” = thelo. Same as “wish” in v28. See note CX above.
CXXX “hungry” = nestis. Related to “eat” in v2. 2x in NT. From ne- (not) + esthio (see note XIII above). This is not eating or fasting for religious reasons.
CXXXI “might faint” = ekluo. Related to “send…away” in v23. 5x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + luo (see note XCII above). This is to loose, release, relax, be faint, to be exhausted. It is to relax in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXXII “way” = hodos. Related to “guides” and “guides” in v14. See note LIV above.

33 The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough breadCXXXIII in the desertCXXXIV to feedCXXXV so great a crowd?” 

34 Jesus asked them, “How many loavesCXXXVI have you?”

They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.”CXXXVII 

Notes on verses 33-34

CXXXIII “bread” = artos. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XII above.
CXXXIV “desert” = eremia. 4x in NT. From eremos (properly, a place that is not settled or farmed, not populated; could be a deserted area or a desert place; secluded, solitary, or lonesome; any kind of vegetation is sparse, but so are people generally). This is solitude or an uninhabited place like a desert or desolate region.
CXXXV “feed” = chortazo. 16x in NT. From chortos (food, grass, grain, hay; a place for feeding, a court, garden; by implication, a pasture or vegetation). This is to feed, fodder, fill, or satisfy. It carries the sense of abundantly supplied food – even gorging on food.
CXXXVI “loaves” = artos. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XII above.
CXXXVII “small fish” = ichthudion. 2x in NT. From ichthus (fish; an early, secret Christian symbol – the “sign of the fish.” It was short for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” in Greek). This is little fish. See

35 Then orderingCXXXVIII the crowd to sit downCXXXIX on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish;CXL and after giving thanksCXLI he brokeCXLII them and gaveCXLIIII them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 

Notes on verses 35-36

CXXXVIII “ordering” = paraggello. Related to “guides” and “guides” in v14. From para (from beside, by) + aggello (to announce, report) {from aggelos (angel, messenger – supernatural or human envoy of God); probably from ago (see note LIV above)}. This is to send a message, order, notify, command. It is a charge – a proper command as a military term that has followed proper channels. It can also mean to entreat solemnly.
CXXXIX “sit down” = anapipto. 12x in NT. 12x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, anew) + pipto (to fall literally or figuratively). This is to fall back, recline, lie down. One reclined at the dinner table.
CXL “fish” = ichthus. Related to “small fish” in v34. See note CXXXVII above.
CXLI “giving thanks” = eucharisteo. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); {from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards)}. This is giving thanks, being thankful. It is a recognition that God’s grace is good and actively showing gratitude. It can also be used for saying grace before eating. This is where “eucharist” comes from.
CXLII “broke” = klao. 14x in NT. This is to break, to break in pieces as one breaks bread.
CXLIII “gave” = didomi. Related to “tradition” in v2 & “support” in v5. See note VIII above.

37 And all of them ate and were filled;CXLIV and they took upCXLV the broken piecesCXLVI left over,CXLVII seven baskets full.CXLVIII 

Notes on verse 37

CXLIV “filled” = chortazo. Same as “feed” in v33. See note CXXXV above.
CXLV “took up” = airo. This is to lift up in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could mean to lift, carry, or raise. It could also imply lifting something in order to take it away or remove it. Figuratively, this can be used for raising the voice or level of suspense. It can mean sailing off as raising the anchor. It can also correspond to a Hebrew expression for atonement of sin (lift/remove sin).
CXLVI “broken pieces” = klasma. Related to “broke” in v36. 9x in NT. From klao (see note CXLII above). This is a broken piece or fragment.
CXLVII “left over” = perisseuo. From perissos (abundant, more, excessive, advantage, vehemently); from peri (all-around, encompassing, excess). This is more than what is ordinary or necessary. It is abounding, overflowing, being leftover, going above and beyond. It is super-abounding in number or quality.
CXLVIII “full” = pleres. 16x in NT. From pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is to be full, complete, abounding in, or occupied with.

38 Those who had eaten were four thousand men,CXLIX besides women and children.CL 39 After sending away the crowds, he got into the boatCLI and went to the region of Magadan.CLII

Notes on verses 38-39

CXLIX “men” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
CL “children” = paidion. Related to “walking” in v31. From pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (see note CXXV above). This is a child as one who is still being educated or trained. Perhaps one seven years old or younger. Used figuratively for an immature Christian.
CLI “boat” = ploion. From pleo (to sail, voyage); probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow). This is a boat, ship, or vessel.
CLII “Magadan” = Magadan. 1x in NT. Perhaps related to Hebrew Migdal (tower); from gadal (to grow, grow up, be great). This is Magadan or perhaps Magdala.

Image credit: “Jesus Heals the Blind and the Lame on the Mountain” by James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894.

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