wash their hands: That is, a ceremonial cleansing to adhere to tradition rather than out of concern for hygiene. Later, the Babylonian Talmud (Sotah 4b) puts eating with unwashed hands on par with having relations with a harlot, and it states that those who lightly esteem hand washing will be “uprooted from the world.”
a gift dedicated to God: The scribes and Pharisees taught that money, property, or anything that a person dedicated as a gift to God belonged to the temple. According to this tradition, a son could keep the dedicated gift and use it for his own interests, claiming that it was reserved for the temple. Some evidently evaded the responsibility of caring for their parents by dedicating their assets in this way.
hypocrites: The Greek word hy·po·kri·tesʹ originally referred to Greek (and later Roman) stage actors who wore large masks designed to amplify the voice. The term came to be used in a metaphoric sense to apply to anyone hiding his real intentions or personality by playing false or putting on a pretense. Jesus here calls the Jewish religious leaders “hypocrites.”
illustration: Or “parable.”
adulteries: The plural form of the Greek word for “adultery” (moi·kheiʹa) is used here and could be rendered “acts (cases) of adultery.”
look!: The Greek word i·douʹ, here rendered “look!,” is often used to focus attention on what follows, encouraging the reader to visualize the scene or to take note of a detail in a narrative. It is also used to add emphasis or to introduce something new or surprising. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the term occurs most frequently in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and in the book of Revelation. A corresponding expression is often used in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Phoenician: Or “Canaanite.” Greek, Kha·na·naiʹa. The early inhabitants of Phoenicia descended from Canaan, and in time, “Canaan” came to refer primarily to Phoenicia.
did obeisance to him: Or “bowed down to him; paid him homage.” By calling Jesus “Son of David” (Mt 15:22), this non-Jewish woman evidently recognizes him as the promised Messiah. She renders obeisance to him, not as to a god or a deity, but as to a representative of God.
children . . . little dogs: Since dogs were unclean according to the Mosaic Law, the Scriptures often use the term in a derogatory sense. (Le 11:27; Mt 7:6; Php 3:2; Re 22:15) However, in both Mark’s account (7:
the maimed being made sound: These words are omitted in a few manuscripts, but the majority of early manuscripts and many later manuscripts include them.
feel pity: Or “feel compassion.”
large baskets: Or “provision baskets.” The Greek word sphy·risʹ used here seems to denote a type of basket that is larger than the ones used on an earlier occasion when Jesus fed about 5,000. (See study note on Mt 14:20.) The same Greek word is used for the “basket” in which Paul was lowered to the ground through an opening in the wall of Damascus.
as well as women and young children: Only Matthew mentions the women and the young children when reporting this miracle. It is possible that the total number of those miraculously fed was over 12,000.
Magadan: While no place called Magadan is known today in the region around the Sea of Galilee, some scholars believe that Magadan is the same locality as Magdala, which is considered to be Khirbet Majdal (Migdal), about 6 km (3.5 mi) NNW of Tiberias. In the parallel account (Mr 8:10), the area is called Dalmanutha.
In the Bible, a number of different words are used to describe various types of baskets. For example, the Greek word identifying the 12 vessels used to gather leftovers after Jesus miraculously fed about 5,000 men indicates that they may have been relatively small wicker handbaskets. However, a different Greek word is used to describe the seven baskets that contained the leftovers after Jesus fed about 4,000 men. (Mr 8:
After feeding 4,000 men, as well as women and children, Jesus and the disciples cross by boat to the region of Magadan on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. In Mark’s parallel account, the area is called Dalmanutha.