Matthew 17:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.

New Living Translation
"Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.

English Standard Version
said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.

New American Standard Bible
"Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.

King James Bible
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Lord," he said, "have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers severely. He often falls into the fire and often into the water.

International Standard Version
and said, "Sir, have mercy on my son, because he is an epileptic and suffers terribly. Often he falls into fire and often into water.

NET Bible
and said, "Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire and into the water.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he said to him, “My lord, have mercy on me, my son has a lunatic demon and has become ill, for he has fallen many times into fire and many times into water.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
and said, "Sir, have mercy on my son. He suffers from seizures. Often he falls into fire or water.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is lunatic and suffers miserably; for many times he has fallen into the fire and often into the water.

King James 2000 Bible
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is epileptic, and is very ill: for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.

American King James Version
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for often he falls into the fire, and oft into the water.

American Standard Version
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is epileptic, and suffereth grievously; for oft-times he falleth into the fire, and off-times into the water.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic, and suffereth much: for he falleth often into the fire, and often into the water.

Darby Bible Translation
Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is lunatic, and suffers sorely; for often he falls into the fire and often into the water.

English Revised Version
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is epileptic, and suffereth grievously: for oft-times he falleth into the fire, and oft-times into the water.

Webster's Bible Translation
Lord, have mercy on my son; for he is lunatic, and grievously distressed; for often he falleth into the fire, and often into the water.

Weymouth New Testament
"Sir," he said, "have pity on my son, for he is an epileptic and is very ill. Often he falls into the fire and often into the water.

World English Bible
"Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water.

Young's Literal Translation
and saying, 'Sir, deal kindly with my son, for he is lunatic, and doth suffer miserably, for often he doth fall into the fire, and often into the water,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:14-21 The case of afflicted children should be presented to God by faithful and fervent prayer. Christ cured the child. Though the people were perverse, and Christ was provoked, yet care was taken of the child. When all other helps and succours fail, we are welcome to Christ, may trust in him, and in his power and goodness. See here an emblem of Christ's undertaking as our Redeemer. It encourages parents to bring children to Christ, whose souls are under Satan's power; he is able to heal them, and as willing as he is able. Not only bring them to Christ by prayer, but bring them to the word of Christ; to means by which Satan's strong-holds in the soul are beaten down. It is good for us to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it is displeasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived from him, or granted by him. There was also something in the malady which rendered the cure difficult. The extraordinary power of Satan must not discourage our faith, but quicken us to more earnestness in praying to God for the increase of it. Do we wonder to see Satan's bodily possession of this young man from a child, when we see his spiritual possession of every son of Adam from the fall!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 15. - This verse in the Vulgate is contained in ver. 14. Have mercy on my son. According to St. Luke, the father makes his plea more touching by adding that he was his only son - an appeal to which the Saviour's tender heart was always open, as when he stopped the bier at Nain, and said to the childless widow, "Weep not." He is lunatic (σεληνιάξεται). The Revised Version most unnecessarily renders the verb, he is epileptic. Doubtless the case in many respects simulated epilepsy, and might have been so described; but it seems inexpedient to conceal the actual word used, which gave the popular and probably correct view of one phase of the complaint. Surely a real fact well known to medical science underlies the term lunacy, in the catalogue of the diseased persons who were brought to Christ to be healed (Matthew 4:24), we find a class called lunatics, distinct from the paralytic and possessed. It is by no means an exploded fallacy that the moon has some mysterious influence on certain constitutions, and produces an aggravation of symptoms in accordance with some of its changes. It was from observation of this phenomenon that this form of insanity was termed seleniasmus or lunacy. In the present instance the disease was complicated and of no ordinary nature. The other synoptists state that the child was possessed by a demon. This was the fact which differentiated the malady from any merely organic sickness. It was in truth epilepsy accompanied by or occasioned by demoniacal possession. St. Matthew does not mention the possession in his introductory account, but he afterwards (ver. 18) speaks of the demon departing. Sore vexed (κακῶς πάσχει); is in evil case; suffers grievously. He was affected with terrible paroxysms, which are detailed more at length by Mark and Luke. Matthew narrates some of the effects of the mania upon the victim. Ofttimes he falleth into the fire. The fits, coming on suddenly and without warning, brought the sufferer into imminent dangers, perhaps produced suicidal tendencies, which urged him to destroy himself.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Lord, have mercy on my son,.... He addressed him with great marks of honour and respect, not only by gesture, but by words; he craves mercy, pity, and compassion; for the case he had to present, was a miserable one; and his earnestness and importunity he hoped might be excused, since it was for a child of his own. Luke adds "for he is mine only child"; and therefore his affection for him must be thought to be very strong, and he greatly concerned for its grievous affliction, and earnestly desirous of its health and life.

For he is lunatic: not a mad man, but troubled with the epileptic disease; upon which, as on madness or lunacy, the changes and full of the moon have an influence: hence the next clause,

and sore vexed, is rendered in the Arabic version, "and sore vexed at the beginning of full moons"; at which times, he had very grievous and frequent fits of his disorder:

for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water: which shows it to be the "epilepsy", or "falling sickness", he was afflicted with; which, whenever it seized him, whether by the fireside, or by the side of a river or brook, or any place of water, or in any other dangerous situation, he fell into it, not being able to help himself, or avoid any danger to which he was exposed. A larger account of this child's disorder, and of the circumstances of his cure, are related by Mark 9:17 where this case will be more fully considered. See Gill on Mark 9:17. See Gill on Mark 9:18.



Matthew 17:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon
14When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15"Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16"I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him."…
Cross References
Matthew 4:24
News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.

Matthew 17:16
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him."

Mark 9:22
"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

John 18:2
Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
Treasury of Scripture

Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for often he falls into the fire, and oft into the water.

have.

Matthew 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried …

Mark 5:22,23 And, behold, there comes one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus …

Mark 9:22 And often it has cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to …

Luke 9:38-42 And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech …

John 4:46,47 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water …

for.

Matthew 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought to him all …

Mark 9:17,18,20-22 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought …

he is. [Seleniazomai,] from [selene,] the moon, one who was affected with his disorder at the change and full of the moon. This is the case in some kinds of madness and epilepsy. This youth was no doubt epileptic; but it was evidently either produced or taken advantage of by a demon or evil spirit.

for ofttimes.

Matthew 8:31,32 So the devils sought him, saying, If you cast us out, suffer us to …

Job 1:10-19 Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about …

Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job …

Mark 5:4,5 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and …

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