Greek Study Matthew 15:10-28
v10 προσκαλεσαμενος (προσκαλεω) aor. mid. part. "Jesus called" i.e. he summoned the crowd.
ακουετε και συνιετε pres. imp. "listen and understand" phrase is used to introduce an important statement, here a revolutionary understanding of the law.
v11 το εισερχομενον (εισερχομαι) pres. mid. part. "what goes into" – (this is an usual form) but it is
εκπορευομενον εκ, "the thing going out from"
κοινοι (κοινοω) pres. Which "defiles" the word means "to make common".
v12 προσελθοντες (προσερχομαι) aor. part. "[the disciples] came" and
εσκανδαλισθησαν (σκανδαλιζω) aor. pas. "were offended" - [the Pharisees] have taken offense. The base sense means "to trip up" so "to cause someone to sin." It is suggested that the sense here is Jesus' words prompted Pharisees to reject him, and thus sin. If the Pharisees understood that Jesus is dispensing with the purity regulations of the Old Testament they would certainly react negatively. Jesus didn’t set aside OT purity regulations, rather he emphasized substance over form.
ακουσαντες (ακουω) aor. part. "when they heard [this]".
v14 αφετε (αφιημι) aor. imp. "leave [them]" – forgive, abandon, leave alone, let it go, let it go. The "them" is presumably the teachings of the Pharisees, although some commentators argue that the reference is to the Pharisees themselves.
τυφλων gen. adj. οδηγοι (ος) blind guides – an idiom; blind leading the blind.
v17 το εισπορευομενον (εισπορευομαι) pres. part. "whatever enters" – basic biology, if vulgar, that everything entering the mouth, passes through the stomach and ends up in the crapper!
v18 τα .. εκπορευομενα (εκπορευομαι) pres. mid. part. "the things that come out" – do you need me to draw you a picture?
v19 διαλογισμοι πονηροι "evil thoughts" - interesting how Matthew heads six concrete evils with what amounts to "wicked impulses."
βλασφημιαι (α) "slander" - taken in the general sense this word is used to describe speaking against someone else, reviling or insulting them, but a few translators opt for "blasphemy", of course, in Western societies, blasphemy has been decriminalized, but replaced by laws against racism, homophobia and sexism. All the same crap.
v20 τα κοινουντα (κοινοω) pres. part. "what defile" – as above (18).
το ..... φαγειν (εσθιω) aor. inf. "eating" – In my more aggressive youth I wore a T-shirt that had E S and D on it (which meant “eat shit and die”. How I sometimes wish I had that shirt still today! Here it refers to eating with unwashed hands (which, according to Jesus, does not defile one)"
χερσιν (ειρ ειρος) dat. adj. "with [unwashed] hands"
τον ανθρωπον (ος) [does not defile] a person." These closing words specify the issue at hand. This is not a discussion over whether Old Testament purity laws should or should not be followed but whether the tradition of the elders have a moral binding force. (BTW, the clear answer here is “maybe, depends….I dunno!)
v21 εξελθων (εξερχομαι) aor. part. "leaving [that place]"
ανεχωρησεν (αναχωρεω) aor. "[Jesus] withdrew" Possibly carrying the sense of "take refuge." Jesus could have left either the growing danger, or the crush of the crowds or possibly just "left Galilee”
τα μερη (ος) "the region" - making the point that Jesus has crossed the border.
v22 εξελθουσα (εξερχομαι) aor. part. "came [to him]" – this widow she lived in the boarder region and came out of her home to meet Jesus.
εκραζεν (κραζω) imperf. "crying out" idiom, "shouting at the top of her voice".
υιος Δαυιδ "son of David" – either a messianic title used to convey his office, or equally likely meaning "hey Jew!" And while this latter would imply a racist tone, hardly unsurprising from a citizen of Tyre and Sidon, her next comment indicates she understands the relationship between her and Jesus regardless of social convention…
ελεησον (ελεεω) aor. imp. "have mercy" -take pity, be kind, help me".
κακως adv. "suffering terribly" - badly, severely - the word conveys the evil of her situation; she is "wickedly possessed.”
v23 προσελθοντες (προσερχομαι) aor. part. "came" - why is the disciples' action a result of Jesus ignoring the woman?
ηρωτουν (ερωταω) imperf. "urged" or better, "pleaded with him".
απολυσον (απολυω) aor. imp. "send (her) away" – a strong emotion being represented here, the word lilterally means “destroy her” but there is he possibility that wanting Jesus to get rid of her they are saying "give her what she wants, she's driving us nuts!"
v24 αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. "he answered" a common Semitic construction.
τα απολωλοτα (απολλυμι) perf. part. "the lost [sheep]" - the ones facing destruction. The meaning "destroy" takes the sense " perishing" when used in a religious context.
οικου (ος) gen. "[of the house [of Israel]. The genitive is either possessive, "the lost sheep which belong to the house of Israel", or partitive, "the lost sheep among the house of Israel". It is an important distinction; e.g. was Jesus sent only to a particular group of Jews who had gone astray like lost sheep or to . the lost sheep is the house of Israel. The second option is preferred and such the clear implication is that this Gentile woman did not have the right to enjoy the benefits of the covenant to the Jews.
v25 ελθουσα (ερχομαι) aor. part. "[she] came" and προσεκυνει (προσκυνεω) imperf. "knelt before" – i.e. was worshiping, doing obeisance, adoring him. The word carries the sense of adoration, therefore possibly "knelt". I wonder what this actually connotes? Was it a recognition of Jesus Messiahship, or her paganism coming to the fore? The Greek and the context is unclear.
βοηθει (βοηθεω) pres. imp. "help" - come to the aid of, come to the rescue of, come to the help of. Here an excited request for help.
v26 αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. "he replied" - answered - redundant.
καλον adj. "it is right" - good. here in the sense of ethically good, therefore "fair".
λαβειν (λαμβανω) aor. inf. "to take" epexegetic, explaining what is not right, or a dependent statement of perception expressing that which is perceived to be "not right" - here in the sense of "deprive".
των τεκνων (ον) gen. "the children's [bread]" – so the while phrase would be translated, “the bread that rightly belongs to the children”.
βαλειν (βαλλω) aor. inf. [and] "toss it" - to “throw/fling"
τοις κυναριοις (ον) dat. "to the dogs" - Dative of destination - probably house dogs or even "puppies". There is a strong possibility that the imagery here is "children" = Jews, and "dogs" = Gentiles but note how Mark's tradition produces a softer image, although the message is different, spec. children are fed first! It is more than likely this image frames the ordinary and establishes the principle that at this point in salvation-history the standing of Jews and Gentiles is different. It is though true that Jews viewed Gentiles as "dogs" it seems uncharacteristic for Jesus to adopt such imagery (although he is not adverse to testing the strength of a person's faith with a harsh hurdle). If this is the case here, then maybe te translation should not be “puppies” but is "scavenging dogs".
v27 ναι "yes" - In direct speech this particle is used to express strong agreement. In this case, what Jesus has just said is a negative statement and therefore the particle is being used to contradict Jesus' ουκ, "it is not right". Jesus has said it is not right to give and she replies (in effect) "oh yes it is!"
γαρ "but [even]" – an emphatic, underlining the και, "but even", although if ναι is contradictive then γαρ introduces a causal clause explaining why what Jesus has just said is "not right". The woman disagrees with what Jesus said, making the point that the dogs ("puppies") do eat from the master's table, if only scraps. "It is not right to take the children's bread..." "Yes it is", she says, "puppies get…
των ψιχιων (ον) "the crumbs" - the smallest of pieces. The woman is making a good point. She is not asking that any of the messianic blessings be taken away from the people of Israel and given to her, rather that her daughter's healing be part of the overflowing blessings that inevitably will follow the dawning of the kingdom; "even puppies eat the leftovers”.
των πιπτοντων (πιπτω) pres. part. "that fall" "the crumbs that accidentally fall."
v28 αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. "[Jesus] said" - redundant.
μεγαλη (μεγας) adj. "great" – an emphatic, serving to underline the quality not the quantity of her faith.
γενηθητω (γινομαι) aor. pas. imp. "let it be done [as you desire] – very Semitic and oriental despot.