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Matius 8:5-17

Healing the Centurion’s Servant

8:5 When he entered Capernaum, 1  a centurion 2  came to him asking for help: 3  8:6 “Lord, 4  my servant 5  is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible anguish.” 8:7 Jesus 6  said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8:8 But the centurion replied, 7  “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Instead, just say the word and my servant will be healed. 8:9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. 8  I say to this one, ‘Go’ and he goes, 9  and to another ‘Come’ and he comes, and to my slave 10  ‘Do this’ and he does it.” 11  8:10 When 12  Jesus heard this he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “I tell you the truth, 13  I have not found such faith in anyone in Israel! 8:11 I tell you, many will come from the east and west to share the banquet 14  with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob 15  in the kingdom of heaven, 8:12 but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 16  8:13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; just as you believed, it will be done for you.” And the servant 17  was healed at that hour.

Healings at Peter’s House

8:14 Now 18  when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying down, 19  sick with a fever. 8:15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then 20  she got up and began to serve them. 8:16 When it was evening, many demon-possessed people were brought to him. He drove out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. 21  8:17 In this way what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet was fulfilled: 22 

He took our weaknesses and carried our diseases. 23 

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[8:5]  1 sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region.

[8:5]  map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 C3; Map3 B2.

[8:5]  2 sn A centurion was a noncommissioned officer in the Roman army or one of the auxiliary territorial armies, commanding a centuria of (nominally) 100 men. The responsibilities of centurions were broadly similar to modern junior officers, but there was a wide gap in social status between them and officers, and relatively few were promoted beyond the rank of senior centurion. The Roman troops stationed in Judea were auxiliaries, who would normally be rewarded with Roman citizenship after 25 years of service. Some of the centurions may have served originally in the Roman legions (regular army) and thus gained their citizenship at enlistment. Others may have inherited it, like the apostle Paul did.

[8:5]  3 sn While in Matthew’s account the centurion came to him asking for help, Luke’s account (7:1-10) mentions that the centurion sent some Jewish elders as emissaries on his behalf.

[8:6]  4 tn Grk “and saying, ‘Lord.’” The participle λέγων (legwn) at the beginning of v. 6 is redundant in English and has not been translated.

[8:6]  5 tn The Greek term here is παῖς (pais), often used of a slave who was regarded with some degree of affection, possibly a personal servant (Luke 7:7 uses the more common term δοῦλος, doulos). See L&N 87.77.

[8:7]  6 tn Grk “And he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[8:8]  7 tn Grk “But answering, the centurion replied.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqeis) is redundant and has not been translated.

[8:9]  8 tn Grk “having soldiers under me.”

[8:9]  9 sn I say to this one ‘Go’ and he goes. The illustrations highlight the view of authority the soldier sees in the word of one who has authority. Since the centurion was a commander of a hundred soldiers, he understood what it was both to command others and to be obeyed.

[8:9]  10 tn Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times… in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v. 1). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος) in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

[8:9]  11 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

[8:10]  12 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

[8:10]  13 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

[8:11]  14 tn Grk “and recline at table,” as 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away. The word “banquet” has been supplied to clarify for the modern reader the festive nature of the imagery. The banquet imagery is a way to describe the fellowship and celebration of being among the people of God at the end.

[8:11]  sn 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.

[8:11]  15 tn Grk “and Isaac and Jacob,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

[8:12]  16 sn Weeping and gnashing of teeth is a figure for remorse and trauma, which occurs here because of exclusion from God’s promise.

[8:13]  17 tc ‡ Most mss read αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) after “servant.” It is unlikely that the pronoun was accidentally overlooked by such diverse witnesses as א B 0250 0281 Ë1 33 latt. More likely is the probability that Western, Byzantine, and some other scribes added the word for clarification (so C L W Θ 0233 Ë13 Ï sy sa). NA27 has the pronoun in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

[8:14]  18 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

[8:14]  19 tn Grk “having been thrown down.” The verb βεβλημένην (beblhmenhn) is a perfect passive participle of the verb βάλλω (ballw, “to throw”). This indicates the severity of her sickness.

[8:15]  20 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then.”

[8:16]  21 sn Note how the author distinguishes healing from exorcism here, implying that the two are not identical.

[8:17]  22 tn Grk “was fulfilled, saying.” The participle λέγοντος (legontos) is redundant and has not been translated.

[8:17]  23 sn A quotation from Isa 53:4.

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