Luke 13:11
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
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(11) Behold, there was a woman. . . .—The description indicates the accuracy of the trained observer. The duration of the affliction (as in Acts 9:33), the symptoms of permanent curvature of the spine, the very form of the two participles, bent together. . . . unable to unbend, are all characteristic. The phrase a “spirit of infirmity,” i.e., an evil spirit producing bodily infirmity, implies a diagnosis that the seat of the powerlessness, as in some forms of catalepsy and aphasia, was in the region in which soul and body act and react on each other. The presence of such a sufferer in the synagogue may, perhaps, be held to imply habitual devotion, and therefore the faith that made her receptive of the healing power.

13:10-17 Our Lord Jesus attended upon public worship on the sabbaths. Even bodily infirmities, unless very grievous, should not keep us from public worship on sabbath days. This woman came to Christ to be taught, and to get good to her soul, and then he relieved her bodily infirmity. This cure represents the work of Christ's grace upon the soul. And when crooked souls are made straight, they will show it by glorifying God. Christ knew that this ruler had a real enmity to him and to his gospel, and that he did but cloak it with a pretended zeal for the sabbath day; he really would not have them be healed any day; but if Jesus speaks the word, and puts forth his healing power, sinners are set free. This deliverance is often wrought on the Lord's day; and whatever labour tends to put men in the way of receiving the blessing, agrees with the design of that day.There was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity - Was infirm, or was weak and afflicted. This was produced by Satan, Luke 13:16.

Eighteen years - This affliction had continued a long time. This shows that the miracle was real; that the disease was not feigned. Though thus afflicted, yet it seems she was regular in attending the worship of God in the synagogue. There in the sanctuary, is the place where the afflicted find consolation; and there it was that the Saviour met her and restored her to health. It is in the sanctuary and on the Sabbath, also, that he commonly meets his people, and gives them the joys of his salvation.

11. spirit of infirmity—Compare Lu 13:17, "whom Satan hath bound." From this it is probable, though not certain, that her protracted infirmity was the effect of some milder form of possession; yet she was "a daughter of Abraham," in the same gracious sense, no doubt, as Zaccheus, after his conversion, was "a son of Abraham" (Lu 19:9). See Poole on "Luke 13:10"

And behold there was a woman,.... In the synagogue, who, as infirm as she is hereafter described, got out to the place of worship; and which may be a rebuke to such, who, upon every trifling indisposition, keep at home, and excuse themselves from an attendance in the house of God:

which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years; or a weakness that was brought upon her by an evil spirit, by Satan; as appears from Luke 13:16 who, by divine permission, had a power of inflicting diseases on mankind, as is evident from the case of Job; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "whom a demon had made infirm": and this disorder had been of a long standing; she had laboured under it for the space of eighteen years, so that it was a known case, and had been given up as incurable, which made the following miracle the more illustrious and remarkable.

And was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself; or lift up her head, look up, or stand upright; it was a thing utterly impossible, which she could by no means do; her body was convulsed, and every part so contracted, that, as the Persic version renders it, "she could not stretch out a hand or foot".

And, behold, there was a woman which had a {d} spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

(d) Troubled with a disease which Satan caused.

Luke 13:11. πνεῦμα ἀσθενείας: the Jews saw the action of a foreign power in every form of disease which presented the aspect of the sufferer’s will being overmastered. In this case the woman was bent and could not straighten herself when she tried.—συγκύπτουσα, bent together, here only in N.T.—εἰς τὸ παντελές goes with ἀνακύψαι, and implies either that she could not erect her head, or body at all, or entirely. The former is more in keeping with the idea of bondage to a foreign spirit (Schanz). Similar use of the phrase in Hebrews 7:25.

11. a spirit of infirmity] Her curvature is thus directly attributed to Satanic agency. Job 2:6-7; Acts 10:38.

Luke 13:11. Γυνὴ, a woman) This seems to have been a pious woman; for she was one to whom it was not said in this passage [as in the case of others], Thy sins are forgiven thee: nay, even she is called a daughter of Abraham in Luke 13:16.—συγκύπτουσα, bowed together) The state and posture of her body, which turned her face from the gaze of heaven, was in consonance with her misery in having a “spirit of infirmity” (πνεῦμα ἀσθενείας).

Verse 11. - And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. The description of the sufferer, so accurate in its details, marks the medical training of the compiler here. The malady was evidently a curvature of the spine of a very grave character. Her presence in the synagogue that day gives us a hint, at least, that this poor afflicted one loved communion with her God. Doubtless the faith and trust on her side necessary to the cure were there. Her first act, after she was sensible of the blessed change wrought in her poor diseased frame, was an outpouring of devout thanks to God. Luke 13:11Spirit of infirmity

A spirit which caused infirmity. An evil demon, see Luke 13:16, though it is not certain that it was a case of possession. The details of the disease, and the noting of the time of its continuance, are characteristic of a physician's narrative.

Bowed together (συγκύπτουσα)

Only here in New Testament.

Lift herself up (ἀνακύψαι)

Only here in New Testament, unless John 8:7-10 be accepted as genuine. Used by Galen of strengthening the vertebrae of the spine.

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