4. Salvation by grace through faith, 8:1-9:34

v] The raising of the ruler's daughter


Jesus has just finished speaking on the issue of fasting and he is approached by one of the leaders of the local synagogue and asked to come and attend his child who has just died. On the way to the home a woman with a hemorrhage touches his cloak for healing. Jesus commends her faith and then proceeds to attend to the girl in private, raising her to life.


As a gift of God's grace, faith in Christ facilitates the promised blessings of the covenant - cleansing and new life.


i] Context: See 9:9-13.


ii] Structure: Two intertwined healing miracles:

At the house of the tax collector, v18:

a faith request - "lay your hand on her and she will live."

On the road to the house of the ruler, v19-22:

the healing of the woman with a hemorrhage.

In front of the ruler's home, v23-24:

Jesus dismisses a skeptical crowd.

In the ruler's home, v25-26:

Jesus raises the deceased girl.


iv] Interpretation:

Matthew's treatment of this episode, as compared with Mark, gives us a clue as to his intended purpose. Matthew treats his source concisely, emphasizing that the child is already dead and that the woman believed that her healing was possible without Jesus' conscious will, so emphasizing faith, a faith openly confirmed by Jesus; "your faith has healed you." Contextually the episode is tied to the question on fasting, even syntactically tied to the sayings / parables of the cloth patch and the wine bottles - tauta autou lalountoV autoiV, "while he was saying these things to them." The fact that both the unclean woman and the arcwn, "synagogue leader", represent an old order (cloak / bottle) unable to make clean, unable to give life, further highlights the answer to the problem posed in the Great Sermon. The new age / day has dawned in Jesus, the long promised kingdom realized in him, the promised blessings of the covenant fulfilled in him, such that the unclean are cleansed and the dead are given new life, and this by grace through faith apart from works of the law.


iii] Synoptics:

Most commentators identify Mark as Matthew's source, but again it is interesting to note that Matthew agrees with Luke in some instances. Mark's account is much more detailed, Mk.5:21-43, cf., Lk.8:40-56, but it is not unreasonable for Matthew to simplify his source, leaving out those elements of the story that do not fit his immediate purpose, but of course, the source may well be an independent oral account rather than Mark's written gospel. See Rist On the Independence of Matthew and Mark, SNTSMS 32 Cambridge, 1978.

Text - 9:18

The healing of the ruler's daughter and the woman with an issue of blood, v18-26. i] At the house of the tax collector where the banquet was held, v18: In Matthew's shorter account the synagogue leader tells Jesus that his daughter has just died and asks Jesus to raise her to life - a request evidencing faith; note Mark's longer account, Mark 5:21-43.

lalountoV (lalew) gen. pres. part. "while he was saying" - [he] was speaking [these things]. Together with the genitive personal pronoun "he", the participle forms a genitive absolute construction, best treated as temporal, as NIV.

autoiV dat. pro. "-" - to them. Dative of indirect object. cf., BDF #423.1 for the nonclassical construction of a dative following a genitive absolute.

arcwn (wn wnoV) "a ruler / a synagogue leader" - [behold one] ruler. Nominative subject of the verb "to do obeisance." Matthew allows us to conclude that this "ruler" is a religious ruler rather than a secular one. Mark and Luke specify that he is a religious official.

elqwn (ercomai) aor. part. "came and [knelt before]" - coming [fall down before = did obeisance before]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "fall down before", as NIV. Mark and Luke name the ruler Jairus.

autw/ dat. pro. "him" - Dative of direct object after the proV prefix verb "to fall down before."

legwn (legw) pres. part. "saying" - The participle is best treated as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of his coming before Jesus; he was saying / speaking / uttering the words ....

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of direct speech expressing what the synagogue leader said.

alla "but" - [the daughter of me has now died] but. Adversative. She may be dead, but the ruler believes that Jesus can do something about it. The temporal adverb arti, "now", implies immediacy; "just died."

elqwn (ercomai) aor. part. "come and [put]" - coming [lay the hands of you upon her and she will live]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the imperative verb "to place, lay." "Come and lay your hands on her and she will come back to life", Phillips.


ii] On the road to the house of the ruler - the healing of the woman with a hemorrhage, v19-22. An action evidencing faith.

egerqeiV (egeirw) aor. pas. part. "[Jesus] got up" - [and] getting up [Jesus followed]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to follow after." The implication is that Jesus is sitting when approached by the ruler, presumably in a house (Matthew's house in Capernaum ???), although such details are little more than a continuity issue.

autw/ dat. pro. "him" - Dative of direct object after the verb "to follow after."

kai "and so" - and [the disciples of him]. Somewhat consecutive here; "and as a result, so did his disciples."


idou "just then" - [and] behold. This interjection is often used to introduce a new element in an account; structurally expressed in English with a new paragraph.

aiJarroousa (aiJarroew) pres. part. "who had been subject to bleeding" - [a woman] bleeding [twelve years]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "woman", as NIV. This condition made the woman unclean and so cut her off from the religious life of her community, cf., Lev.15:25-27.

proselqousa (prosercomai) aor. part. "came up" - having come to. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to touch"; "came up ..... and touched."

opisqen adv. "behind him" - Adverb of place; "from behind."

tou karspedou (on) gen. "the edge" - [touched] the fringe, boarder. Genitive of direct object after the verb "to touch." The sense here may be "tassel", the loose end of the cord that was tied around the waste. All Jews had a tassel, often with a fringed end, cf., Num.15:37-38, Deut.22:12. The Pharisees tended to have long ones; of course!!!

tou iJmatiou (oV) gen. "of [his] cloak" - of the garment [of him]. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.


gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the woman has taken this opportunity to touch Jesus' coat / hem / tassel, given that, under normal circumstances, it would have made him ceremonially unclean, "because ......"

en + dat. "to [herself]" - [she was saying] in [herself]. Local, expressing sphere, "within herself", or better, adverbial, expressing the manner of her "saying" / musings; idiomatic. Phillips has "kept saying to herself", so bringing out the durative sense of the imperfect elegen, although an imperfect is often used of speech as a matter of course.

ean + subj. "if" - if [only i might touch the garment of him]. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd. class where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, I might only touch the garment of him, then I will be healed" = "if I touch only his cloak, I will be cured", Barclay.

swqhsomai (swzw) fut. pas. "I will be healed" - i will be saved. In the context the word means "I will be made well", but the choice of this particular word and its use three times in v21-22, a word constantly used by Matthew of salvation (1:21, 10:22, 16:25, .....), indicates that Matthew wants his readers to recognize the double meaning carried by the word - as faith heals, so it saves; so Hagner, Beare. The problem posed by the Great Sermon of the potential for cursing rather than blessing, is met by saving grace through faith


No human action is without conflicting motivations and this woman's action would have been driven by all sorts of motivators. Jesus sets aside all the motivators but one, the motivator which has saved her from exclusion from the religious life of her community, namely, faith. Faith saves!

strafeiV (strefw) aor. pas. part. "[Jesus] turned" - [and jesus] turning [and seeing her said]. As with "seeing", attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "said".

hJ pistiV sou seswken "your faith has healed you" - the faith of you has saved you. The key statement of the episode. "Faith" in the sense of dependance / reliance on Jesus to heal / save. Reinforced by eswqh, "was saved", in the next clause.

apo + gen. "at [that moment]" - [and the woman was healed / saved] from [that hour]. Temporal use of the preposition.


iii] In front of the ruler's home - Jesus dismisses a skeptical crowd, v23-24. Proclaiming the victory of death.

elqwn (ercomai) aor. part. "when [Jesus] entered" - [jesus] having come [into]. The participle, as with idwn, "seeing" is usually treated as adverbial, best taken as temporal, as NIV; "and when Jesus came into the synagogue official's house and saw ..."

tou arcontoV (wn ontoV) gen. "the ruler's / the synagogue leader's [house]" - [the house] of the ruler. The genitive is adjectival, possessive.

qoruboumenon (qorubew) pres. mid./pas. part. "[the] noisy [crowd]" - [and having seen the flute players and the crowd] being stirred up. The participle serves as the accusative complement of the object "crowd" standing in a double accusative construction. Jesus sees "the flute players and mourners in a great commotion." The Mishnah states "even the poorest in Israel should hire not less than two flutes and one wailing woman." The mourners would be a mixture of relatives, friends and professional wailers, and in line with custom, proceedings were underway even before Jesus had arrived.


gar "-" - [he was saying go away] for [the girl is not died]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the crowd needs to go away.

alla "but [asleep]" - Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not .... but ....." - not dead, but actually alive. She is probably not alive, but she is alive as far as Jesus is concerned; as good as alive. The idea is carried through the NT such that believers who have died are in a state nothing more than sleep as far as Jesus is concerned; we await our wakening at the day of resurrection.

kategelwn (katagelaw) imperf. "[but] they laughed at" - [and] they were laughing at, ridiculing [him]. The imperfect is treated differently by translators at this point. It may mean nothing other than laughing is a durative process in itself, much the same as speaking, as NIV. It may be emphasizing a durative aspect, extended laughter. It may be emphasizing the nature of the laughter, "scornful laughter." Culy suggests an immediative imperfect where the action follows immediately after a previous action; "everyone started laughing at him", CEV. The prefix possibly strengthens the laughing, so giving the possible sense "laughed him down / derided him", Morris. Professional mourners should know better!!!!

autou gen. pro. "him" - Genitive of direct object after the kata prefix verb "to laugh at."


iv] In the ruler's home - Jesus raises the deceased girl, v25-26. Proclaiming victory over death.

oJte "after" - [and/but] when [the crowd]. The temporal conjunction serves to introduce a temporal clause.

exeblhqh (ekballw) aor. pas. "had been put outside" - was cast out. Possibly indicating force such that the crowd was ejected. It is very unlikely that they graciously departed. "After turning them all out", REB. The messianic secret may be in play here, but even so, sensitivity demanded that the child not be confronted with a wailing crowed when woken.

eiselqwn (eixercomai) aor. part. "he went in" - having entered. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "he grasped"; "he went inside and took her by the hand", Cassirer.

thV ceiroV (eir roV) gen. "[took the girl by] the hand" - [he grasped] the hand [of her and the girl was raised]. Genitive of direct object after the ek prefix verb "to take hold of."


auJth "[News of] this" - this [report went out into all that land]. Nominative subject of the verb "to go out." Variants: authV, "her" = "the report about her", and autou, "of him" = "the report of him" = "his fame." The more difficult reading, "this report" = "the report about this", is generally accepted. "The incident made a deep impression and was widely spoken of", Morris.


Matthew Introduction


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