Matthew 15:29-39

Matthew 15:29-39
A Women’s Lectionary 30


29 After JesusA had leftB that place, he passedC along the SeaD of Galilee,E

Notes on verse 29a

A “Jesus” = Ieosus. 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.
B “left” = metabaino. 12x in NT. From meta (with, among, behind, beyond) + baino (to walk, to go). This is to pass over, leave, remove, change place.
C “passed” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
D “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.
E “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.

and he went upF the mountain,G where he satH down. 30 GreatI crowdsJ cameK to him,

Notes on verses 29b-30a

F “went up” = anabaino. Related to “left” in v29. From ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + baino (see note B above). This is to come up in a literal or figurative sense – ascent, rise, climb, enter.
G “mountain” = oros. Perhaps from oro (to rise); perhaps akin to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is mountain or hill.
H “sat” = kathemai. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + hemai (to sit). This is to sit, be enthroned, or reside.
I “great” = polus. This is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent.
J “crowds” = ochlos. Perhaps from echo (to have, hold, possess). This is a crowd, the common people, a rabble. Figuratively, it can refer to a riot.
K “came” = proserchomai. Related to “passed” in v29. From pros (for, at, towards) + erchomai (see note C above). This is to approach, draw near, come up to. It is also used figuratively to mean worship.

bringingL with them the lame,M the blind,N the maimed,O

Notes on verse 30b

L “bringing” = echo. Related to “crowds” in v30. See note J above.
M “lame” = cholos. 14x in NT. This is lame or limping. It can also mean missing a foot.
N “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.
O “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.

the mute,P and manyQ others.R

Notes on verse 30c

P “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.
Q “many” = polus. Same as “great” in v30. See note I above.
R “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.

They putS them at his feet,T and he curedU them, 

Notes on verse 30d

S “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).
T “feet” = pous. This is foot in a literal or figurative sense.
U “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 amazedV when they sawW the mute speaking, the maimed whole,X the lame walking,Y and the blind seeing.

Notes on verse 31a

V “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.
W “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.
X “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.
Y “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.

And they praisedZ the GodAA of Israel.BB

Notes on verse 31b

Z “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.
AA “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
BB “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.

32 Then Jesus called his disciplesCC toDD him and said, “I have compassionEE for the crowd because they have beenFF with me now for threeGG daysHH

Notes on verse 32a

CC “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.
DD “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.
EE “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.
FF “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.
GG “three” = treis. This is three.
HH “days” = hemera. Related to “sat” in v29. Perhaps from hemai (see note H above). This is day, time, or daybreak.

and have nothing to eat,II and I do not wantJJ to send them awayKK hungry,LL for they might faintMM on the way.”NN 

Notes on verse 32b

II “eat” = phago. This is to eat or figuratively to consume like rust does.
JJ “want” = 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.
KK “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.
LL “hungry” = nestis. 2x in NT. From ne- (not) + esthio (to eat or figuratively to devour or consume like rust). This is not eating or fasting for religious reasons.
MM “might faint” = ekluo. Related to “send…away” in v32. 5x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + luo (see note KK above). This is to loose, release, lose. It can mean to succumb or be faint, i.e. become weak.
NN “way” = hodos. This is way, road, path, or journey. It can imply progress along a route.

33 The disciples saidOO to him, “Where are we to get enough breadPP in the desertQQ to feedRR so great a crowd?” 

Notes on verse 33

OO “said” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
PP “bread” = artos. Related to “mountain” in v29. Perhaps from airo (see note G above). This is bread or a loaf. It is a loaf as raised.
QQ “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.
RR “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.

34 Jesus askedSS them, “How many loavesTT have you?”

They said, “Seven,UU and a fewVV small fish.”WW 

Notes on verse 34

SS “asked” = lego. Same as “said” in v33. See note OO above.
TT “loaves” = artos. Same as “bread” in v33. See note PP above.
UU “seven” = hepta. This is seven or seventh. Figuratively, seven is the number of completeness or perfection.
VV “few” = oligos. This is few or small – it can be a short time or extent, low light, amount, or worth.
WW “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 orderingXX the crowd to sit downYY on the ground,ZZ 36 he tookAAA the seven loaves and the fish,BBB

Notes on verses 35-36a

XX “ordering” = paraggello. From para (from beside, by) + aggello (to announce, report) {from aggelos (angel, messenger – supernatural or human envoy of God); probably from ago (lead, bring, drive, carry, guide, go)}. 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.
YY “sit down” = anapipto. 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.
ZZ “ground” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.
AAA “took” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
BBB “fish” = ichthus. Related to “small fish” in v34. See note WW above.

and after giving thanksCCC he brokeDDD them and gaveEEE them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And allFFF of them ate and were filled,GGG

Notes on verses 36b-37a

CCC “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.
DDD “broke” = klao. 14x in NT. This is to break, to break in pieces as one breaks bread.
EEE “gave” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
FFF “all” = pas. This is all or every.
GGG “filled” = chortazo. Same as “feed” in v33. See note RR above.

and they took upHHH the broken piecesIII left over,JJJ seven basketsKKK full.LLL 

Notes on verse 37b

HHH “took up” = airo. Related to “mountain” in v29 & “bread” in v33. See note G above.
III “broken pieces” = klasma. Related to “broke” in v36. 9x in NT. From klao (see note DDD above). This is a fragment or broken piece.
JJJ “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.
KKK “baskets” = spuris. 5x in NT. Perhaps from speiro (to sow seed, spread, scatter); probably from spao (to pull, to draw a sword). This is a reed basket used to carry food.
LLL “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 eatenMMM were four thousandNNN men,OOO besides womenPPP and children.QQQ 

Notes on verse 38

MMM “eaten” = esthio. Related to “hungry” in v32. See note LL above.
NNN “four thousand” = tetrakischilioi. 5x in NT. From tessares (four) + chilioi (thousand literal and figurative; can mean total inclusion). This is four thousand.
OOO “men” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
PPP “women” = 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.
QQQ “children” = paidion. Related to “walking” in v31. From pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (see note Y 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.

39 After sending away the crowds, he gotRRR into the boatSSS and wentTTT to the regionUUU of Magadan.VVV

Notes on verse 39

RRR “got” = embaino. Related to “left” and “went up” in v29. 17x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + baino (to walk, to go). This is to step onto – embark on a boat.
SSS “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.
TTT “went” = erchomai. Same as “passed” in v29. See note C above.
UUU “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.
VVV “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: “The Miraculous Feeding” by Jan Frearks van der Bij, 1979. Photo by Ytzen, 2014.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply