Matthew 15

Matthew 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28


Matthew 15:1

Τότε προσέρχονται τῷ Ἰησοῦ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων Φαρισαῖοι καὶ γραμματεῖς λέγοντες

Then Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus saying,

Paraphrase:  While Jesus was still in this deserted area, some Pharisees and Scribes came to him.  They had some questions for Him.


Starting in Matthew 14:13, we have Jesus’ withdrawals, first into a deserted place and then into the region of Phoenicia (Matthew 15:21), then to the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 15:29), and finally to Magadan. (Matthew 15:39)

See Schurer and Edersheim on the Pharisees.


Matthew 15:2

Διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταί σου παραβαίνουσιν τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων; οὐ γὰρ νίπτονται τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν ὅταν ἄρτον ἐσθίωσιν.

“On account of what, do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?  For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

Paraphrase:  “Why are your disciples so careless about the traditions which have come down to us from the founders and leaders of our religion?” they asked.  “We have even noticed that sometimes they don’t even wash before they sit down to eat a meal!”



Matthew 15:3

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Διὰ τί καὶ ὑμεῖς παραβαίνετε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ θεοῦ διὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν;

But answering, He said to them, “On account of what do even you transgress the law of God on account of your tradition?

Paraphrase:  Jesus responded sharply, “Why are you so careless about God’s laws?  I have noticed on repeated occasions that observing your traditions requires one to violate the laws of God!”



Matthew 15:4

ὁ γὰρ θεὸς εἶπεν· Τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα, καί· Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω·

For God said, “Honor your father and your mother and the one insulting his father or mother let him be terminated by death.”

 Paraphrase:  “Let me give you an example.  God says in his law that we are to honor our father and our mother and that anyone who does not do so, shall be brought to his end by being executed. (Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9)


See principle 18.

For τελευτάτω, see BBG 33.3.


Matthew 15:5

ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε· Ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί· Δῶρον ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς,

but you say,



Both the position and the fact that it is explicit shows the increased emphasis being given to ὑμεῖς.  cf principle 2.


Matthew 15:6

οὐ μὴ τιμήσει τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἠκυρώσατε τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ διὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν.


Matthew 15:7

ὑποκριταί, καλῶς ἐπροφήτευσεν περὶ ὑμῶν Ἠσαΐας λέγων·


Matthew 15:8

Ὁ λαὸς οὗτος τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ·

Matthew 15:9 μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με, διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων.

Matthew 15:10 Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν ὄχλον εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Ἀκούετε καὶ συνίετε·

Matthew 15:11 οὐ τὸ εἰσερχόμενον εἰς τὸ στόμα κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἐκπορευόμενον ἐκ τοῦ στόματος τοῦτο κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

Matthew 15:12 Τότε προσελθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· Οἶδας ὅτι οἱ Φαρισαῖοι ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον ἐσκανδαλίσθησαν;

Matthew 15:13 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· Πᾶσα φυτεία ἣν οὐκ ἐφύτευσεν ὁ πατήρ μου ὁ οὐράνιος ἐκριζωθήσεται.

Matthew 15:14 ἄφετε αὐτούς· τυφλοί εἰσιν ὁδηγοί τυφλῶν· τυφλὸς δὲ τυφλὸν ἐὰν ὁδηγῇ, ἀμφότεροι εἰς βόθυνον πεσοῦνται.

Matthew 15:15 Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Φράσον ἡμῖν τὴν παραβολήν ταύτην.

Matthew 15:16 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Ἀκμὴν καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀσύνετοί ἐστε;

Matthew 15:17 οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸ στόμα εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν χωρεῖ καὶ εἰς ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκβάλλεται;

Matthew 15:18 τὰ δὲ ἐκπορευόμενα ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ἐκ τῆς καρδίας ἐξέρχεται, κἀκεῖνα κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

Matthew 15:19 ἐκ γὰρ τῆς καρδίας ἐξέρχονται διαλογισμοὶ πονηροί, φόνοι, μοιχεῖαι, πορνεῖαι, κλοπαί, ψευδομαρτυρίαι, βλασφημίαι.

Matthew 15:20 ταῦτά ἐστιν τὰ κοινοῦντα τὸν ἄνθρωπον, τὸ δὲ ἀνίπτοις χερσὶν φαγεῖν οὐ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

Matthew 15:21

Καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἐκεῖθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνεχώρησεν εἰς τὰ μέρη Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος.

and Jesus, departing from there, withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon.

Paraphrase:  After these disputes with the Jewish leadership, Jesus withdrew from Gennesaret (Matthew 14:34) and entered the district where the cities of Tyre and Sidon were.



Matthew 15:22

καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ Χαναναία ἀπὸ τῶν ὁρίων ἐκείνων ἐξελθοῦσα ἔκραζεν λέγουσα· Ἐλέησόν με, κύριε υἱὸς Δαυίδ· ἡ θυγάτηρ μου κακῶς δαιμονίζεται.

and behold a Canaanite woman from that area, coming out cried saying, “Mercy me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is terribly demon-possessed.”

Paraphrase:  As they passed through this country, they were accosted by a woman who was clearly in great distress.  She was from one of the cities in this district and had heard of Jesus’ arrival.  She had quickly gone out to find Him; and when she did, she began to call out loudly to him, “Have pity on me, please, Jesus.” she cried out.  “Clearly, you are the great King which Israel is expecting and Lord of heaven and earth.  You have the power to help me.  A demon has entered into my daughter and is torturing her terribly.  Please don’t pass me by; please help me; please come and heal my daughter!”



Matthew 15:23

ὁ δὲ οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῇ λόγον. καὶ προσελθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἠρώτουν αὐτὸν λέγοντες· Ἀπόλυσον αὐτήν, ὅτι κράζει ὄπισθεν ἡμῶν.

Then, He did not answer her a word and his disciples, coming to, were asking Him saying, “Please dismiss her because she is crying out after us.”

Paraphrase:  But Jesus continued on His way without even acknowledging her presence.  The disciples were irritated by her constant calling and loud cries.  “Please, Jesus,” they said, “Give her what she wants and send her on her way.  She is driving us crazy with her constant crying and pleading.  We won’t have a moment’s peace and quiet if she continues to follow us everywhere!”


Ἀπόλυσον is an imperative but softened into an entreaty; cf Robertson (p947).

That the disciples did want Jesus to grant her request and then send her on her way is implied by Jesus’ answer in the next verse.


Matthew 15:24

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· Οὐκ ἀπεστάλην εἰ μὴ εἰς τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ.

Then answering, He said, “I did not come except for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Paraphrase:  “Listen,” said Jesus to His disciples, “My Father has sent me on a mission to save the lost remnant of Israel.  The Son of man is here to seek and save those who are lost. (Luke 19:10)


For εἰ μὴ, see §476.

Jesus’ answer here is given to the disciples and was for their training.  That Jesus’ answer here is not to be understood as His real intent is hinted at by the very fact that he is now in Gentile country.  What was He doing here if He had nothing to do with them?  See what Jesus’ real intent was in these passages: Matthew 21:43; 24:14; 28:19.  Riddle (bottom of p205) writes:

This answer might suggest to the disciples: ‘Is not such a one really a daughter of the spiritual Israel, though a woman of Canaan.’ It was not a refusal, but a postponement, to educate her faith and train the disciples for their world-wide mission.


Matthew 15:25

ἡ δὲ ἐλθοῦσα προσεκύνει αὐτῷ λέγουσα· Κύριε, βοήθει μοι.

Then coming, she worshipped Him saying, “Lord, help me.”

Paraphrase:  Finally, the woman caught up to them.  Immediately, she fell at Jesus’ feet and begged Him for help.



Matthew 15:26

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· Οὐκ ἔστιν καλὸν λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων καὶ βαλεῖν τοῖς κυναρίοις.

Then, answering He said, “It is not good to take the bread of the children and to cast it to dogs.”

Paraphrase:  Then Jesus looked at her.  “Listen,” He said, “you know that I came for the salvation of My own people.  I can’t take what is rightfully theirs and give it to you.  You have no place at My table.  The meal I am serving is for the Jewish people, not for you outsiders.”


On dogs, see p89.  Jeremias, however, asserts that Aramaic, which is the language Jesus would have spoken here, has no has no such diminutive form.  He says, “We must assume that Jesus used the word כֵּלְבָּא (dog), and He is not likely to have used גוּרָא (‘cub’, ‘puppy’).  Jesus’ Promise to the Nations, p29.


Matthew 15:27

ἡ δὲ εἶπεν· Ναί, κύριε, καὶ γὰρ τὰ κυνάρια ἐσθίει ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τῶν κυρίων αὐτῶν.

Then, she said, “Yes, Lord, for even the dogs eat from the crumbs falling from the table of their lords.

Paraphrase:  Then, the woman looked up and replied, “I don’t deny that I am an outsider and that I am not entitled to the blessings which You brought for Your people.  I know that I have no place at your table; I am no member of Your family, but you did mention the bread of the children.  Now isn’t it the case that even here, the dogs eat the bread which the children carelessly drop from their plates?  Could not there be something then on Your table even for an outsider like me? something that perhaps could fall from it and bless a dog like me?”


Henry (right column (para 2):  “With a holy skillfulness of faith…”


Matthew 15:28

τότε ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῇ· Ὦ γύναι, μεγάλη σου ἡ πίστις· γενηθήτω σοι ὡς θέλεις. καὶ ἰάθη ἡ θυγάτηρ αὐτῆς ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρας ἐκείνης.

Then answering, Jesus said to her, “Oh woman, great is your faith; let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

Paraphrase:  Then Jesus exclaimed with joy, “Dear woman, your faith is powerful and persistent.  This is the faith that God loves and cherishes more than any other thing.  This kind of faith shows your complete confidence in Me to save.  Now, your faith shall have its reward.  Whatever you desire, it will be done.  Do you desire your daughter to be healed?  It will be done.  Do you desire the forgiveness of your sins and reconciliation to God?  It will be done.  Do you desire to serve God faithfully in your life while it lasts?  It will be done.”  Then, the woman returned to her home and found it even as Jesus had said.  Her daughter was completely healed.



Matthew 15:29

Καὶ μεταβὰς ἐκεῖθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἦλθεν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ ἀναβὰς εἰς τὸ ὄρος ἐκάθητο ἐκεῖ.


Matthew 15:30

καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἔχοντες μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν κωφούς, τυφλούς, χωλούς, κυλλούς, καὶ ἑτέρους πολλούς, καὶ ἔρριψαν αὐτοὺς παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς·


Matthew 15:31

ὥστε τὸν ὄχλον θαυμάσαι βλέποντας κωφοὺς λαλοῦντας κυλλοὺς ὑγιεῖς καὶ χωλοὺς περιπατοῦντας καὶ τυφλοὺς βλέποντας· καὶ ἐδόξασαν τὸν θεὸν Ἰσραήλ.


Matthew 15:32

Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν· Σπλαγχνίζομαι ἐπὶ τὸν ὄχλον, ὅτι ἤδη ἡμέραι τρεῖς προσμένουσίν μοι καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν τί φάγωσιν· καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτοὺς νήστεις οὐ θέλω, μήποτε
ἐκλυθῶσιν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ.

Matthew 15:33 καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί· Πόθεν ἡμῖν ἐν ἐρημίᾳ ἄρτοι τοσοῦτοι ὥστε χορτάσαι ὄχλον τοσοῦτον;

Matthew 15:34 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Πόσους ἄρτους ἔχετε; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν· Ἑπτά, καὶ ὀλίγα ἰχθύδια.

Matthew 15:35 καὶ παραγγείλας τῷ ὄχλῳ ἀναπεσεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν

Matthew 15:36 ἔλαβεν τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς ἰχθύας καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις.

Matthew 15:37 καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν, καὶ τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων ἦραν ἑπτὰ σπυρίδας πλήρεις.

Matthew 15:38 οἱ δὲ ἐσθίοντες ἦσαν τετρακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων.

Matthew 15:39 καὶ ἀπολύσας τοὺς ὄχλους ἐνέβη εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς τὰ ὅρια Μαγαδάν.

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