Matthew Chapter 15

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Man’s Tradition vs God’s Commandments
  1. Then some scribes(1)“scribes” in the New Testament, this Greek word is typically applied to those learned in the Mosaic Law. and Pharisees from Jerusalem approached Jesus, saying;
  2. Why( do your disciples defy the tradition of the elders?  For, they don’t wash their hands whenever 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.'(2)quotation/allusion to Exodus 20:12.  And; ‘The man who curses(3)“curses” 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, he must end in death.'(4)quotation/allusion to Exodus 21:17
  5. “But you say; ‘anyone may tell their father or mother; ‘If something from me might’ve helped you, it’s a gift to God instead.'(5)it’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(6)“definitely won’t”. In Greek, this is a double negative (no, not) to add emphasis. Since English double negatives cancel each other out (instead of adding emphasis) the word “definitely” was added to keep the emphatic sense of the Greek. honor his father [or his mother].  And thus you nullify God’s command through your tradition.
  7. “Hypocrites!  Isaiah prophesied about you correctly, saying;
  8. This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away(7)“far away” the Greek word here literally means “to have something, because far away from something else“. from Me.
  9. They worship Me pointlessly, teaching man’s precepts as doctrine.”(8)quotation/allusion to Isaiah 29:13
What Defiles A Man
  1. And summoning the crowd, He told them; “Listen and understand:
  2. “what goes into the mouth doesn’t defile a man, but what goes out of the mouth; this defiles a man.”
  3. Then approaching Him, the disciples said; “Did you know the Pharisees were offended because they heard your 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 also without understanding,(9)“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.(10)“sewage pit” the Greek word here literally means “a place of sitting apart”, referring to a drain or latrine for human waste.
  9. But what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and these defile a man.
  10. For out of the heart comes wicked thoughts,(11)“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,(12)“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.  Whereas the English word “adultery” means either spouse engaging in sex with someone else.  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. sexual immoralities, thefts, perjuries, and blasphemies.
  11. These are what defiles a man.  But to eat with unwashed hands doesn’t defile a man.
The Canaanite Woman’s Faith
  1. And departing 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.(13)“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 approaching Him, His disciples were urging Him saying; “Send her away, because she cries out after us.”
  4. But answering her, He said; “No. I was only sent to the sheep of the house of Israel who were – and are – lost.”(14)who were – and are – lost” is one word in Greek.  It’s a verb in the Greek perfect tense, which is (sort of) a combination of our past and present tenses.
  5. But coming to Him, she was bowing down at His feet and saying; “Lord, help me.”
  6. But answering, He said; “It’s not good to take children’s bread and throw it to little dogs.”(15)“little dogs” The Greek word here is the diminutive form of the Greek word that means “dog”.  Hence, a small dog or a puppy.  The connotation 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, and yet the little dogs eat from the breadcrumbs which fall from their master’s 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 departing from there, Jesus went along the Sea of Galilee. And going up the mountain, He was sitting there.
  2. And many crowds approached Him, having with themselves lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others.  And they dropped(16)“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. Therefore, the crowd marveled at seeing the mute speaking, and crippled made whole, and lame walking, and blind seeing.  And they glorified the God of Israel.
  4. And summoning His disciples, Jesus said; “I feel compassion for the crowd, because they’ve remained with me three days already and don’t have something to eat.  And I don’t wish to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.
  5. And the disciples said to Him; “Where in this wilderness would we get enough bread to feed so great a crowd?”
  6. And Jesus said to them; “How many loaves of bread do you have?”  And they said; “Seven, and a few small fish.”
  7. And commanding the crowd to recline(17)“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 giving 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 excess pieces, seven baskets full.
  10. Now, the men who ate were four thousand men, without counting women and children.
  11. And sending away the crowds, He stepped into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.


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