What does Mark 7:26 mean?
ESV: Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
NIV: The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
NASB: Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician descent. And she repeatedly asked Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
CSB: The woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she was asking him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
NLT: and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia,
KJV: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.
Verse Commentary:
As Jesus tries to rest in a home in the Gentile region of Tyre, a Canaanite woman enters the house seeking healing for her daughter. Canaanites were the original inhabitants of the Promised Land. They lived on the shore of the Mediterranean from Lebanon to nearly Egypt, and east to the Jordan River. Descended from Noah's grandson Canaan (Genesis 9:18–25), the Canaanites were known for being wicked and idolatrous. But this woman recognizes Jesus as the Son of David, Messiah of the Jews (Matthew 15:22).

Some versions say the woman is Greek. The woman is Hellenistic and speaks Greek, but ethnically she is a Canaanite and geographically she is Syrophoenician. Syrophoenicia is a portmanteau of "Syria," the Roman province which administers the republic of Tyre, and "Phoenicia," the Greek term for the region known for its purple dye. Syrophoenicia stands in contrast to Libophoenicia which belongs to Carthage in North Africa.

Mark states that the woman begs; Matthew adds specifics. As Jesus seemingly ignores her plea, the woman continues to the point that the disciples ask Jesus to make her leave (Matthew 15:23). Like with the woman with an issue of blood (Mark 5:25–34) and blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46–52), Jesus doesn't act until everyone's attention is where He wants it. This is part of the reason for His denial: a deliberate tactic to bring out an important point. We don't know why this woman is so desperate, but considering another demon tried to throw a young boy in fire and water (Mark 9:17–27), her determination is understandable.
Verse Context:
Mark 7:24–30 follows a lengthy dissertation on what makes a person clean or unclean. Jesus takes His disciples to Gentile territory. There, He acts in strict contrast to the elders' traditions by interacting closely with Gentiles. First, He heals the daughter of a Canaanite woman. Mark's account of the faith of the Canaanite woman is relatively short. Matthew 15:21–28, written specifically to Jews, is fleshed out to better drive home the point. Through the end of chapter 7 and into chapter 8, He heals a deaf man and several of his neighbors (Matthew 15:24–30). Finally, He decisively dismisses any concern about clean or unclean food by providing a meal for four thousand, many of whom are undoubtedly Gentiles.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus counters another traditional error from the scribes and Pharisees, explaining that food in and of itself does not make a person unclean. Rather, it is the intent of the heart that matters to God. He specifically condemns traditions which effectively undo the original intent of God's commands. Jesus heals the daughter of a persistent Gentile woman, and a man suffering from deafness and a speech impediment.
Chapter Context:
After showing His authority over demons, death, and physics, Jesus asserts His superiority over manmade traditions. For generations, Jewish religious leaders have added to the Law in an attempt to keep the nation holy. Such traditions, however, serve to make the leaders look good but unnecessarily burden the people. Jesus argues in word and action that any law that dismisses love is either misinterpreted or manmade.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 4/16/2024 12:41:23 AM
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