Matthew 15:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 15:27, NIV: "Yes it is, Lord,' she said. 'Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table.'"

Matthew 15:27, ESV: "She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”"

Matthew 15:27, KJV: "And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."

Matthew 15:27, NASB: "But she said, 'Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.'"

Matthew 15:27, NLT: "She replied, 'That's true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters' table.'"

Matthew 15:27, CSB: ""Yes, Lord," she said, "yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.""

What does Matthew 15:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Canaanite woman who approached Jesus seeking healing for her daughter has already proven herself loud and persistent (Matthew 15:21–26). Here, she shows she is also wise and spiritually humble. That Christ would initially deny such a request is new in Matthew's gospel (Matthew 13:1–2; 14:13–14, 34–36) and reveals that Jesus' mission has been focused only on the people of Israel.

He has said something to the woman that sounds harsh, at least to modern English readers. According to Jesus, for Him to heal her daughter would be as inappropriate as taking food from a child to give to a pet dog (Matthew 15:26). Rather than being offended, the woman seems to clearly grasp the analogy. The children are God's chosen people Israel. The bread is Jesus' ability to heal and cast out demons. The dogs are the pagan Gentiles. That "food" has a primary purpose, and a primary recipient—there's an obligation to use it correctly.

And yet, she is not deterred. Her response doesn't, at all, challenge Jesus' position. Rather, she echoes a sentiment Christ used earlier. Then, He had condemned Israel's lack of belief by referring to this very same Gentile territory (Matthew 11:20–24). She quickly answers the Lord that even dogs can eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table. This analogy raises a question of the master's compassion—and does so without denying the truth of what Jesus is saying. Would any dog owner refuse to allow the dogs to eat crumbs from the floor?

Christ sees great faith in her response. She acknowledges that He is the Master and suggests that He can serve whomever He chooses with the crumbs of His time and power in this moment outside of Israel. That which the "children" have either ignored or rejected is all she is asking for. This reflection, it seems, was the purpose of Jesus' initial delay (Matthew 15:28).