Matthew Chapter 15

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

Man’s Tradition vs God’s Commandments
  1. Then some scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem approach Jesus, saying;
  2. “Why do your disciples defy the tradition of the elders?  For, they don’t wash their hands when they eat bread.”
  3. But answering, He said to them; “And why do you defy the command of God because of your tradition?
  4. “For God commanded; ‘Honor your father and mother‘,1quotation/allusion to Exodus 20:12 and: ‘The man cursing2“cursing” the Greek word which means to curse literally means to speak evil of.  Likewise, the Greek word for bless literally means to speak well of.  Therefore, in this verse it could also be translated “speaks evil of”.  Either or both could be intended. his father or mother must end in death.’3quotation/allusion to Exodus 21:17
  5. “But you say; ‘Someone may tell his father or mother; ‘If you might be helped by something from me, it’s a gift to God instead.’4it’s a gift to God instead”.  In Greek, this phrase is only one word, “δῶρον” meaning “gift” or “sacrifice”.  Mark 7:11 uses the word “Corban”, which is specifically a gift consecrated/devoted to God.   The Pharisees believed that it was wrong to use something which was devoted/consecrated to God for “normal” use.   Therefore, the Pharisees said if a man devoted (gave) everything he owned to God, he couldn’t use it for another purpose (such as helping family).  However, there was no time requirement to deliver his goods, so he could keep them indefinitely while avoiding his obligations.  This loophole was apparently invented by the Pharisees to allow men to shirk the Biblical and moral obligation of taking care of their own parents.
  6. “He definitely won’t honor his father [or his mother], and thus you nullified God’s command because of your tradition.
  7. “You hypocrites!  Isaiah prophesied about you rightly, saying;
  8. This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me
  9. and they worship Me pointlessly, teaching the precepts of men as doctrines.”5quotation/allusion to Isaiah 29:13
What Defiles A Man
  1. And having summoned the crowd, He told them; “Listen and understand:
  2. It’s not something entering into the mouth that defiles a man, but something coming out of the mouth; this defiles the man.”
  3. Then having approached Him, the disciples say; “Do you *know that the Pharisees were offended after hearing this word?”
  4. And answering, He said; “Every plant that My heavenly Father didn’t plant will be pulled up by the roots.
  5. “Leave them alone.  They are blind guides of the blind; and if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
  6. And answering, Peter said to Him; “Explain this parable to us.”
  7. But He said; “Are you men also still without understanding,6“without understanding” is one word in Greek.  It specifically refers to those who are unable or unwilling to put facts together in a coherent manner.  Thus it also has the connotation of being foolish or stupid. even now?”
  8. “Don’t you recognize that everything entering into the mouth proceeds into the stomach and is expelled into a sewage pit.7“sewage pit” the Greek word here literally means “a place of sitting apart”, referring to a drain or latrine for human waste.
  9. “But the things coming out of the mouth come out of the heart, and these defile a man.
  10. “For from the heart come out wicked thoughts,8“thoughts” the Greek word here indicates back-and-forth reasoning, sometimes with yourself.  It also carries the connotation of leading to confusion or doubting. murders, men having sex with other men’s wives,9“men having sex with other men’s wives” is one word in Greek, usually translated “adulteries” in this verse.  However, the Greek (and Hebrew) words specifically mean a man (married or unmarried) having sex with another man’s wife.  The Hebrews divided sexual sins into two classes based on the marital status of the woman.  A man having sex with another man’s wife (or betrothed) was adultery.   A man having sex with an unmarried woman was fornication. Both are serious sins, but they are differentiated by the Greek and Hebrew words. fornications, thefts, perjuries, and blasphemies.
  11. “These are the things defiling a man.  But to eat with unwashed hands doesn’t defile a man.”
The Canaanite Woman’s Faith
  1. And having departed from there, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
  2. And behold; a Canaanite woman from that region came to Him.  She was crying out and saying; “Have mercy on me Lord, Son of David.10“Son of David” was a title of the promised messiah in Jewish eyes. This stems from 2 Samuel 7:12-13, in which God promised David would have a descendant who would sit on the throne forever. This could be construed as declaration of faith by the Canaanite woman.  My daughter is grievously demon possessed.”
  3. But He didn’t answer her a word.  And having approached Him, His disciples were urging Him saying; “Send her away because she cries out after us.”
  4. But answering her, He said; “I wasn’t sent to anyone except to the *lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
  5. But having come to Him, she was bowing down at His feet, saying; “Lord, help me.”
  6. But answering, He said; “It’s not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the pet dogs.”11pet dogs” The Greek word here is the diminutive form of the Greek word that means “dog”.  Hence, a small dog or a puppy.  The implication is of a household pet (which would probably be beloved), but it doesn’t have to be a pet.
  7. But she said; “Yes Lord, for even the pet dogs eat from the breadcrumbs falling from their masters’ table.”
  8. Then answering, Jesus said to her; “O woman, your faith is great!  Let it happen to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Feeding Four Thousand
  1. And having departed from there, Jesus went along the Sea of Galilee.  And having gone up to the mountain, He was sitting there.
  2. And many crowds approached Him, having with themselves lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others.  And they dropped12“dropped” is literal.  The Greek word means to throw or set down carelessly (drop).  It’s used 7 times in the New Testament, 6 of which it’s typically translated “throw” or “cast”. them at His feet, and He healed them.
  3. So the crowd marveled at seeing the mute speaking, and the crippled made whole, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing.  And they glorified the God of Israel.
  4. And having summoned His disciples, Jesus said; “I’m moved with compassion for the crowd, because they already remain with Me three days and don’t have anything they could eat.  And I don’t wish to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
  5. And the disciples say to Him; “From where in this wilderness would we get so much bread as to satisfy so numerous a crowd?”
  6. And Jesus says to them; “How many loaves of bread do you have?”  And they said; “Seven, and a few small fish.”
  7. And having commanded the crowd to recline13“recline” is literal.  In the 1st century, they didn’t sit at a table.  Rather, they laid down with their feet sticking out. on the ground,
  8. He took the seven loaves and the fish.  And having given thanks, He broke them.  And He was giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
  9. And all ate and were satisfied.  And they picked up the leftover pieces, seven baskets full.
  10. Now, the men eating were four thousand men, without counting women and children.
  11. And having sent away the crowds, He stepped into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.


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