Luke 14:2

ESV And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy.
NIV There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body.
NASB And there in front of Him was a man suffering from edema.
CSB There in front of him was a man whose body was swollen with fluid.
NLT There was a man there whose arms and legs were swollen.
KJV And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.

What does Luke 14:2 mean?

Jesus is at a banquet at the home of a Pharisee leader (Luke 14:1). At such banquets, the guests recline on couches around a low table while passers-by stand against the walls, listening in on the conversation (Luke 14:15). The guests often have philosophical and theological discussions. The Pharisees may not agree with Jesus, but He makes a lively dinner guest (Luke 7:36–50; 11:37–52), and they are eager to entice Him to say something so outrageous they can justify His death (Luke 11:53–54).

The condition translated as "dropsy" is also referred to as "edema." This involves extreme swelling and can be quite painful and debilitating. The man is not identified as a guest; he may be part of the crowd that has been following Jesus (Luke 14:25). On the other hand, he may have secretly been invited by the host to tempt Jesus into, once again, healing on the Sabbath.

The Mosaic law implies that this condition makes the person ceremonially unclean: "When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this is the law of his uncleanness for a discharge: whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is blocked up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness'" (Leviticus 15:2–3). Anything the man touches will be ritually unclean (Leviticus 15:4–12).
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