|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:24-30 Christ never put any from him that fell at his feet, which a poor trembling soul may do. As she was a good woman, so a good mother. This sent her to Christ. His saying, Let the children first be filled, shows that there was mercy for the Gentiles, and not far off. She spoke, not as making light of the mercy, but magnifying the abundance of miraculous cures among the Jews, in comparison with which a single cure was but as a crumb. Thus, while proud Pharisees are left by the blessed Saviour, he manifests his compassion to poor humbled sinners, who look to him for children's bread. He still goes about to seek and save the lost.
Verses 25-27. - The construction of this verse is Hebraistic (see Acts 15:17). Instead of ἀκούσασα γὰρ, the approved reading is ἀλλ εὐθὺς ἀκούσασα: But straightway a woman, whose young daughter literally, little daughter; St. Mark is fond of diminutives - had an unclean spirit. All ages were liable to this incursion of unclean spirits. The woman seems to have come from a distance. She was a Greek - that is, a Gentile - a Syro-phoenician by race, as distinguished from the Libyan Phoenicians, of Carthage. She was a descendant from those seven nations of Canaan which had been driven out by God's command. They were called in their own language "Canaanites," And she besought him (ἠρώτα); literally, asked him. St. Matthew (Matthew 15:22) says that "she cried (ἐκραύγασεν), have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David." Aristotle says that "parents love their children more than their children love them; because love descends, and because parents desire that their children should survive them, that they may live on in their children, as it were, after death; that they become, so to speak, immortal through their children, and possess that eternity, which they cannot have in themselves, in their children and their children's children." St. Matthew (Matthew 15:23) tells us that at first "he answered her not a word," and he does not record the remarkable saying, Let the children first be filled, which in St. Mark precedes the words, it is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs. Dogs abound in Palestine and the surrounding districts, but they are not cared for. They go about in packs, with no particular masters and no particular homes. They seem to be chiefly useful as scavengers. Nevertheless, the dog of the East is amenable to kindness shown him by man, and there, as in England, children and young dogs soon become friendly. It is of (κυνάρια) "little dogs" that our Lord here speaks. Our Lord here speaks after the manner of the Jews, who called the Gentiles dogs, as distinguished from themselves, the children of the kingdom. Let the children first be filled. Suffer me first to heal all the Jews who need my help. Our Lord makes at first as though he would refuse her request; and yet it is not an absolute denial. There might be hope for her when the children were filled. Thus Christ oftentimes deals with holy souls, namely, by humbling and mortifying them when they desire anything at his hands, in order that with yet greater importunity and humility they may seek and obtain it. St. Chrysostom says, "Whether we obtain that which we seek for, or whether we obtain it not, let us ever persevere in prayer. And let us give thanks, not only if we obtain, but even if we fail to obtain. For when God denies us anything, it is no less a favor than if he had granted it; for we know not as he does what is most expedient for us."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For a certain woman,.... One way and means by which he came to be more openly discovered who he was, was this; a woman in those parts,
whose young daughter had an unclean spirit; a devil, with which she was possessed; hearing of some miracles he had wrought in healing the sick, and casting out devils;
heard of him, and came; and understanding that he was in such a place made all haste to him;
and fell at his feet; and with great respect and reverence to so venerable a person, threw herself at his feet, and earnestly entreated mercy for her child; believing he had power to cast the devil out of her, though at a distance from her.
Mark 7:25 Parallel Commentaries
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