(2) THE HEALING OF GENTILES OUTSIDE OF THE BELIEVING COMMUNITY1 Healing is a promise made to all who believe, if not on earth, then in the age to come. This idea is expressed in both the Old and New Testaments beginning in Exodus 15:26 where Yahweh declares himself as the healer of the Hebrews and ending in Revelation 22:3 where God removes the curse of sin, the ultimate source of infirmity, so that his servants may worship him forever. While the promise of healing for believers is surely a hope and a comfort to the Christian community, what about those who are outside of the believing community? Does the Bible provide any expectation for the healing of unbelievers? To answer these questions, I will investigate the biblical theology of the healing of unbelievers, specifically focusing on Gentiles outside of the believing community.2 After defining the scope of my research, including providing a definition for healing, I will then analyze the thirteen narratives containing the healing of Gentiles outside of the believing community in the Bible. Specifically, I will document any discernable patterns based off of the following categories of examination: the individuals who are healed, their social statuses, their nationalities, their infirmities and the causes of the infirmities, the individuals involved in the healing, their positions or social statuses, the methods of healing, and the effects of the healing on the believing or unbelieving Gentile communities. That final category is important because it will deal with God¶s purposes and how they relate to the healings. Finally, I will conclude with a 1. Unless otherwise stated, all translations are the author¶s. The Hebrew text is taken from the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, American Bible Society, 5th ed. Greek text is taken from Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland, 27th ed. Full citation information is available in the bibliography. 2. For an explanation on why I chose to focus on the Gentiles exclusively, please see the section entitled, ³Limit of Research and Definition of Healing.´.
(3) discussion of how the American church should deal with unbelievers in need of healing in light of this investigation.. m cc c
(7) c As stated in the introduction, the limit of the research of the biblical theology of the healing of unbelievers is restricted to Gentiles outside of the believing community. The reason why only Gentiles were selected was because of the complexities involved in who constitutes the believing community in the Bible. In the Old Testament, the believing community is generally the Israelites, or specifically those who follow Yahweh exclusively and his commandments. In the New Testament, outside of the Gospels, the believing community is those who follow Jesus and his teachings. In the Gospels, however, defining the believing community is far more difficult. When does the Christian believing community begin? Does it, for example, begin at the incarnation, during Jesus¶ three-year ministry, or post-resurrection? Conversely, when does the Jewish believing community cease to become God¶s chosen belief community? Focusing exclusively on the Gentiles helps narrow the research so that it does not get as tangled in an important, but peripheral question, namely what constitutes the believing community in the Gospels. In the Old Testament and the Gospels, Gentiles are nearly always presented as being outside of the believing community, regardless if God¶s chosen community is Jewish or Christian at that time.3 In the other books of the New Testament, a distinction is usually made between believing and unbelieving Gentiles, when it is important to the thrust of a passage.4 In. 3. For example, Naaman, Commander of the army of Syria, in 2 Kings 5, is not only is depicted as being unfamiliar with Jewish practices (vv. 3-5), but also confesses to being forced to worship Rimmon with the King of Syria (v. 18). In Matthew 15:26 (cf. Mark 7:27), Jesus replies to the Canaanite woman that it is not right to throw the children¶s bread to the dogs (i.e. for the blessings of the Jewish believing community to be shared with unbelieving Gentiles, who are sometimes referred to as dogs such as in b. Hagigah 13a; Exod. Rab. IX.2). 4. For example, the Gentiles in Lystra conclude that Paul and Barnabas must be gods (Acts 14:11-13). In Acts 10, Cornelius, already a god-fearer (v. 22), becomes a believer together with his household (Acts 11:13)..
(8) total, there are thirteen narratives that, with reasonable certainty, contain healings of Gentiles outside of the believing community.5 The passages that are listed in the table below are those that meet these criteria. The individuals healed are in parentheses. c
(9) c. c
(10) cc. c
(11) c c. Genesis 20:1-18 (Abimelech, his wife and female slaves) 1 Samuel 4:1-11; 5:1-7:4 (Philistines) 1 Kings 17:8-24 (The Zarephath widow¶s son) 2 Kings 5:1-27 (Naaman). Matthew 8:5-13/Luke 7:2-10 (Centurion¶s servant) Matthew 15:21-28/Mark 7:24-30 (Canaanite woman¶s daughter) Matthew 15:29-31 (Gentiles near sea of Galilee) Mark 7:31-37 (Deaf man in region of Decapolis) Mark 5:1-20/Matthew 8:28-34/Luke 8:26-39 (Garasene demoniac). Acts 14:6-20 (Lame man in Lystra). Daniel 4:1-27 (Nebuchadnezzar II). Acts 16:16-24 (Philippian slave girl) Acts 28:1, 7-10 (Publius¶ father and others on the island of Malta) c c. Two possible passages (John 4:46-54 and Acts 9:32-25) were excluded on exegetical grounds.6 Before considering these passages, a brief comment must be made on the subject of healing. Healing in the Bible extends beyond physical infirmities. Healing can extend to mental health, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4, and spiritual oppression (namely, demon possession), as in the case of the Philippian slave girl in Acts 16. There is also a soteriological. 5. Reasonable certainly includes passages in which those being healed are explicitly identified as Gentiles and passages where the individuals being healed are likely Gentiles based on the location of the healing, the context of the passage, and other exegetical considerations. 6. While there are similarities between John 4:46-54 and Matthew 8:5-13/Luke 7:2-10, the differences are significant. The Johannine story does not involve a racial issue like the Matthew/Luke account, the account involves a son (ȣ Ȣ) rather than a servant (ʌĮ Ȣ ± Matthew/ įȠ ȜȠȢ ± Luke), and most importantly, the royal official was more likely a Herodian Jewish official than a Gentile Roman soldier. R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary (TNTC 1; Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985), 309, n. 28. Craig Keener allows for the possibility of a Gentile, but says that the author of John could be using a Jew ³to stand ambiguously for Hellenism.´ Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary I (Peabody, MA.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003), 631. This uncertainty combined with the fact that the miracle takes place in Capernaum through Jesus in Cana (Jewish country) casts enough doubt on this narrative for it to be included. Acts 9:32-35 seems, at first glance, to be a potential candidate. Aeneas, the man healed, has a Greek name. Josep RiusCamps and Jenny Read-Heimerdinger, The Message of Acts in Codex Bezae: A Comparison with the Alexandrian Tradition, vol. II (New York, NY: T&T Clark, 2006), 209. Lydda was a cosmopolitan city with a Jewish minority. Richard Bauckham, The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995), 393, n. 7. The response of ³all the residents´ (ʌ ȞĲİȢ Ƞ țĮĲȠȚțȠ ȞĲİȢ) in v. 35 is belief. The problem is, Aeneas could also be a name given to a Jew on account of a Jew with the same name in Josephus, A.J. 16.293. In addition, Peter clearly goes to the believing community in Lydda according to Acts 9:32. Finally, it is unlikely that Peter would have gone into Aeneas¶ house (Acts 9:33) if he were a Gentile since this is prior to the experience with Cornelius in Acts 10-11. It was a commonly held belief that Gentile dwellings were unclean. See John 18:28; Acts 10:28; m. Ohol. 18.7..
(12) and eschatological dimension, but this goes beyond the scope of paper which focuses on literal healings. 7 The definition of healing used in this research, then, is the removal of a physical, mental and/or spiritual infirmity and the restoration of the affected area(s) to their proper healthy function.. c c
(15) c cccc
(17) c cc The Gentiles who are healed and their infirmities are as diverse as the narratives that recount their healings. What is clear is that God seems to be no respecter of persons when it comes to healing Gentiles. The list of the healed includes representatives from a variety of social and economic strata, and from many nationalities including previous, current and future enemies of the believing community. Regarding the types of infirmities inflicting the Gentiles and their causes, while the primary infirmity healed is physical in nature, God also heals mental infirmities and spiritual oppression, namely demon possession. The majority of the causes of illnesses are unknown, but the next highest category includes supernatural affliction by either Yahweh himself, because of some offense against his people, or by demons.. Identification, Nationalities and Social Statuses Who are these Gentiles that are healed? In the thirteen narratives there are twelve individuals8 and four groups comprised of mostly Gentiles9 that are healed. Among those. 7. For example, Isaiah 53:5 says that by his (the Suffering Servant¶s) stripes we are healed ( ˣʺʕʸʡʗ ʧʏ ʡʔ ˒ ˒ʰʙʕʬʚʠʕ˝ʸʍ ʰʑ). Through the Servant¶s sacrifice, the believing community is reconciled to God. 8. They are: Abimelech and his wife (Genesis 20), the Zarephath widow¶s son (1 Kings 17), Naaman (2 Kings 5), Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4), the Centurion¶s servant (Matthew 8/Luke 7), the Canaanite woman¶s daughter (Matthew 15/Mark 7), the deaf-mute (Mark 7), the Gadarene demoniac (Mark 5/Matthew 8/Luke 8), the lame man (Acts 14), the Philippian slave girl (Acts 16), and the father of Publius (Acts 28). Interestingly, Matthew 8:28 identifies two demon-possessed men in the country of the Gadarenes instead of one in Mark 5:2 and Luke 8:27..
(18) individuals, nine are men and three are women. The groups are presumably mixed gender with the exception of Abimelech¶s female-slaves who were healed in Genesis 20:17. The Gentiles healed in the Bible belong to at least six different nationalities.10 Abimelech and the people healed in 1 Samuel 5-7 are Philistines,11 Naaman is Syrian, Nebuchadnezzar is Babylonian, the Zarephath widow¶s son and the Canaanite woman¶s daughter are both Phoenician,12 the deaf-mute and the crowds in Decapolis were likely Hellenists,13 while. France notes Matthew¶s tendency to double as in 9:27-31 and 20:30-34 where one blind man in the other Gospels has become four! France, 339. Three possible explanations have been offered. First, Matthew doubles the amount healed to enlarge the scale of Jesus¶ healings. Second, Matthew doubles the amount in order to consolidate stories. This is the position of Donald Hagner who says, for instance, Matthew may identify the healing of two demonpossessed men because he omits Mark 1:23-28. Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13 (WBC 33a; Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1993), 225. The final possibility is that Matthew is cognizant of the Old Testament principle that there needs to be two to three witnesses for testimony (see Numbers 35:50; Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). This is France¶s preferred possibility, though he says none are convincing. France, 339. 9. The groups are: Abimelech¶s female slaves (Genesis 20), the Philistines (1 Samuel 5-7), infirmed in the region of the Decapolis (Matthew 15), and the Maltese inhabitants (Acts 28). Among all these accounts, the healings that take place in the region of Decapolis (Matthew 15:29-31; Mark 7:31-37) are the most debated in terms of whether those healed were Gentiles. The Decapolis was a confederation of at least ten Gentile cities with predominantly Gentile populations. Carl G. Rasmussen, Zondervan Atlas of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 210, 280-281; France, 598. Pliny the Elder lists more than ten cities. Pliny the Elder, Natural History 5.16. Nevertheless, there was a Jewish presence in each city. William L. Lane, The Gospel According to Mark: The English Text with Introduction, Exposition and Notes (NICNT; Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1974), 265. Considering, however, the coupling of these particular accounts with the healing of the Canaanite woman¶s daughter, it is more likely that the deaf-mute in Mark 7 was a Gentile and that the crowds in Matthew 15 were at least mixed with Gentiles. 10. This is true only from a macro perspective. The individuals would more likely have identified themselves with their town or region of residence (example, Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 21:11; Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:11) rather than as part of a larger grouping like Phoenician or Roman. 11. Although, the name Abimelech is Semitic, the people from Gerar (Genesis 20:1) are identified as Philistines. Anson F. Rainey and R. Steven Notley, Carta¶s Atlas of the Biblical World (Jerusalem: Carta, 2006), 114. The nationality of Abimelech¶s wife and his female-slaves (ʤʕʮˌ) is never given. Depending on the political and social circumstances, it is possible that both could be a separate nationality altogether, though living under Philistine rule. Carol L. Meyers, Toni Craven and Ross Shepard Kraemer, Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmand Publishing Co., 2001), 301. 12. The Canaanite woman likely has some Hellensitic influences since she is identified as a ³Greek´ ǼȜȜȘȞ Ȣ in Mark 7:26. Pseudo-Clementines refers to her as ³Syro-Phoenician, by race a Canaanite.´ Ps.-Clem, Hom. 2.19.1 (ANF VIII, 232). 13. See also, note 9. Although the Decapolis was under general Roman jurisdiction, the Decapolis was granted ³pseudo-autonomy´ based on the fact that some of the coins in these cities do not bear the name or image of the Emperor. Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East, 31 B.C. ± A.D. 337 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,.
(19) the Centurion¶s servant, the lame man at Lystra, the Philippian slave girl and the Maltese healed were all, to some degree, Roman.14 There is significance to the nationalities represented in the healings. Reflecting Israel¶s tenuous relationship, first, and later the early church¶s tenuous relationship with the nations and cultures around it, the majority of Gentile healings affect those who belong to communities that were either in direct conflict with the believing communities or whose political and social relationships were strained.15 Just as the nationalities of the Gentiles healed are varied, the social statuses are also diverse. Among those of societal prominence, there are two kings (Abimelech and Nebuchadnezzar), one queen (Abimelech¶s wife), one military commander (Naaman), and one island chief (Publius¶ father), are healed. The Canaanite woman whose daughter was delivered from demon possession was likely upper class because of her knowledge of Greek.16 This is. 1993), 410. Warwick Ball contends although some Hellenistic culture remained, the Decapolis became more Roman over time. Warwick Ball, Rome in the East: Transformation of an Empire (London: Routledge, 2000), 181. 14. The Roman nationalities are the hardest to identify. First, while most Centurions were Roman citizens, Herod Antipas only had a small auxiliary unit in Palestine. France states that these auxiliaries were probably drawn from the Phoenician and Syrian populations. France, 311. Joel Green and Ben Witherington, however, disagree and state that at least the leader must be a Roman citizen and his personal aide (the infirmed servant) would likely be one as well. Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (NICNT; Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 285; Ben Witherington, Matthew (SH; Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Pub., 2006), 181. Second, Lystra was a Roman colony beginning in 6 BC, but the fact that the people cried out in their native Lycaonian in Acts 14:11 indicates that they probably held to their previous cultural identity, even though they were Roman. There were also populations of Greeks and even Jews (Timothy¶s mother was a Jew from Lystra according to Acts 16:1) residing there. J. Bradley Chance, Acts (SH; Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Pub., 2007), 236. Third, though a Philippian slave was likely under Roman jurisdiction, the fact that she was a slave means she could have been imported from elsewhere. Edmund Henry Oliver, Roman Economic Conditions to the Close of the Republic (Toronto: University of Toronto Library, 1907), 74. Finally, F.F. Bruce says that though the Maltese were largely Phoenician, they were under Roman rule. F. F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts (NICNT; Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988), 497. In Acts 28:2, Luke uses the word ³barbarians´ (ȕ ȡȕĮȡȠȚ) to describe the Maltese, a common view of the Greeks and Romans. Ibid. Roman rule is emphasized by the leader of the place bearing the Roman name Publius. Chance, 515. cc 15. Documenting the histories of the relationships between the believing community and the nationalities represented would take the investigation too far afield. When applicable, political and social relationships between the believing and unbelieving communities will be brought out during discussions of individual passages. It is sufficient to say that, at one time or another, the believing community was in conflict with the Philistines, Phoenicians, Syrians, Babylonians, Hellenists and Romans..
(20) contrasted against the other mother of a child who was healed, the Zarephath widow, who belonged to one of lowest classes in the ancient world.17 Others healed from the lower social strata include slaves18 and a servant19 (Abimelech¶s female slaves, the Philippian slave girl, and the Centurion¶s servant), as well as those unable to contribute to society (the Gadarene demoniac, the deaf-mute in the region of Decapolis, and the lame man at Lystra). Presumably those of varied social statuses were healed in the group healings (Philistines, crowds in the region of Decapolis, and the Maltese inhabitants). Types of Infirmities and their Causes As it pertains to the types of infirmities that afflict the Gentiles who are later healed, the Bible is usually forthcoming, though some details may be lacking. Among the sixteen Gentile individuals and groups that are healed in the Bible, only two individuals and one group are described as infirmed without any specificity concerning from what they are suffering. First,. 16. Gerd Theissen, Gospels in Context (London: T & T Clark International, 2004), 70; Lane, 260. Theissen speculates that she was probably a free citizen with education. Theissen, 72. 17. Simon J. Devries, 1 Kings (WBC 12; Waco, TX: Word Books, 1985), 218. Widows were at risk to abuse since they had no family to retaliate. Walter Brueggemann, 1 & 2 Kings: A Commentary (SH; Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Pub., 2000), 210. 18. Joseph Hellerman says that slaves were not on the lowest social status rung, day laborers occupied that position. Joseph H. Hellerman, Reconstructing Honor in Roman Philippi: Carmen Christi as Cursus Pudorum (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 138. Gaius discusses the poor treatment of day laborers in his work on the Roman law. Gaius. Inst. 9.12. Household slaves, like the Philippi slave girl, were probably treated better since she brought great profit (Acts 16:16). Hellerman, 138. Pliny the Younger talks about setting free his household slaves for good service. Pliny the Younger. Ep. 8.16.1. Nevertheless, being free-born, even as a day laborer, was better than being a slave. Hellerman, 139. 19. There is a debate regarding whether the infirmed individual in this story was the Centurion¶s servant or child/son. Matthew uses the word ʌĮ Ȣ in 8:6, 8, a word that in the New Testament eight times means child, twelve times means servant and once (John 4:51) means son. Luke, however, uses įȠ ȜȠȢ in 7:2, 3, 8, and ʌĮ Ȣ in 7:7. Based on Luke¶s usage, France and Witherington are convinced that this is a servant of the Centurion and possibly a fellow-soldier. France, 312; Witherington, 182. Conversely, Leon Morris thinks that while the authors are referring to a servant, that servant is a young boy. Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew (PNTC; Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1992), 192. Theodore of Mopsuestia in the early church agrees. Theodore of Mopsuestia, Fragment 41a (ACCS NT Ia, 161). Hagner feels that given the close relationship (See Luke 7:2), that the sick individual must be his son, though if it is his servant, the two are very close. Hagner, 204..
(21) Abimelech in Genesis 20:3 is addressed by God simply as a ³dead man´ (ʺʒʮ) because he had taken Sarah as a slave-wife and not returned her (v. 7).20 Second, 1 Kings 17:17 says that the son of the Zarephath widow became ill and that the illness was ³so strong´ (ʣʖʠʍʮ ʷ ʕʦʧʕ ) ³that no breath remained in him´ (ʤʙʕʮˇʍ ʕ ʰ ˣˎʚʤʕʸʺʍ ˣʙʰʚʠʖʬ), or more simply, he died.21 Third, Acts 28:9 talks about the Maltese islanders who came to Paul with their incapacities ( ıșİȞİ ĮȢ).22 In one instance, the effect of an illness is described without identification of the illness. In Matthew 8:6 (cf. Luke 7:2), the Centurion¶s servant is said to be ³lying in his house as a paralytic being tormented terribly´ (ȕ ȕȜȘĲĮȚ. ȞĲ Ƞ ț. ʌĮȡĮȜȣĲȚț Ȣ, įİȚȞ Ȣ ȕĮıĮȞȚȗ ȝİȞȠȢ).23. The rest of the illnesses are described with varying degrees of specificity. Genesis 20:18 says that ³Yahweh closed all of the wombs´ (ʭʓʧ ʸʓ ʚʬ˗ʕ ʣ ʲʔ ˎʍ ʤ ʕʥʤʍʩ ʸʔʶʲʕ ) of the house of Abimelech, including Abimelech¶s wife and slave-wives, although it is uncertain whether they were restricted from conceiving or bearing children already in the womb.24 In 1 Samuel 5:6, 9,. 20. The reasons why Abimelech is called a dead man by God are not entirely clearly. Gordon Wenham says that it is possible that Abimelech became ill like Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:1). Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 16-50 (WBC 2; Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1994), 70. It is also possible that God knows that eventually Abimelech will commit adultery with Sarah, so the illness is to prevent him from sinning. The penalty of adultery, at least in times of the Israelites, was death (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22). Ibid. Genesis Rabbah, however, indicates that ignorance of adultery is not a sufficient defense. Gen. Rab. LII.5. 21. In the Bible, loss of ʤʕʮˇʍ ʕ ʰ equates to loss of life. Devries, 220. See Job 34:14-15 and Daniel 10:7 for example. Josephus, however, does not believe he is dead, only appearing that way. Josephus, A.J. 8.13.3. 22. Although ıș ȞİȚĮ can mean ³weakness´ (1 Corinthians 15:43; Hebrews 11:34; 2 Corinthians 11:30), more often it refers to ³sickness´ or ³disease.´ See Acts 5:15; Matthew 8:17; Luke 5:15; Galatians 4:13; 2 Maccabees 9:21. Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Christian Literature 3d ed. (ed. Frederick Danker; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 142.c 23. 24. France suggests that polio or a stroke may be the cause. France, 312.. In Genesis 16:2, the same verb, ʸʔʶʲ, is used to explain Sarah¶s inability to conceive. Yet, in Isaiah 66:9, ʸʔʶʲ is used in the context of being pregnant, but not able to give birth. Rabbi Eliazar in the Babylonian Talmud and the Targum Neofiti both side with the infertility explanation. b. B. Qam. 92a; Tg. Neof. Gen. 20:18. Conversely, another Rabbi in the Babylonian Talmud and the Targums Onkelos and Pseudo-Jonathan hold to the explanation that they were pregnant but unable to give birth. b. Ta¶an. 8a; Tg. Onq. Gen 20:18; Tg. Ps-J. Gen. 20:18. Another Rabbi in the Talmud compares the closing of the womb to God¶s prevention of rain in Deuteronomy 11:17. b. Ta¶an 8a. Considering Sarah is healed of her infertility in the beginning of the next chapter (Genesis 21:1), the infertility explanation is probably more likely. The fact that Abimelech is healed alongside of his wife and slavewives (Genesis 20:17) could also show that he is infertile..
(22) 12, it says that those who did not die from a ³deadly panic´ (ʺʓʥʮʕ ʚʺʔʮ˒ʤʍʮ) inflicted by Yahweh, were ³struck with tumors´ (ʭʩʑʬʴʕ ʲʐ ˎʕ ˒˗ʗʤ).25 The actual infirmity referred to here has prompted much scholarly speculation, particularly considering the LXX¶s textual addition of mice in v. 6.26 Next, Naaman is said to be a leper in 2 Kings 5:1.27 Other physical infirmities include those lame or crippled (Matthew 15:30; Acts 14:8), deaf and/or mute (Matthew 15:30; Mark 7:3228), blind (Matthew 15:30), and suffering from fever and dysentery (Acts 28:829). In addition to physical infirmities there is one case of mental infirmity and three cases of spiritual oppression, namely demon possession, which usually contains both physical and mental 25. The word translated ³tumor´ (ʬʓʴʖʲ) also means ³hill´ or ³mound.´ See 2 Kings 5:24; 2 Chronicles 27:3; 33:14; Nehemiah 3:26, 27. Outside of this pericope, the word only means tumors in Deuteronomy 28:27. The Qere reads ³tumors,´ but David Tsumura believes that the Jews were trying to avoid explicit depictions. BHS, 451; David T. Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICNT; Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007), 208; The LXX specifies the buttocks as the site of the lumps, a point agreed upon by Gregory the Great in the early church and scholar Francesca Murphy. Gregory the Great. Six Books on 1 Kings 3.78 (ACCS OT IV, 216); Francesca Murphy, 1 Samuel (BTC; Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2010), 44. Ralph Klein suggests that the tumors could be the swelling of the lymph nodes, especially in the groin or armpit. Ralph W. Klein, 1 Samuel (WBC 10; Waco, TX: Word Books, 1983), 50. A modern translation of Targum Jonathan for ʬʓʴʖʲ in 1 Samuel 5:6 is ³hemorrhoids.´ Tg.-J. 1 Samuel 5:6 (Harrington). Josephus believes the illness cause is dysentery. Josephus, A.J. 6.1.1. 26. The LXX of 1 Samuel 5:6 reads: țĮ ȕĮȡ ȞșȘ Ȥİ ȡ țȣȡ Ƞȣ ʌ ȗȦĲȠȞ țĮ ʌ ȖĮȖİȞ Į ĲȠ Ȣ țĮ ȟ ȗİıİȞ Į ĲȠ Ȣ İ Ȣ Ĳ Ȣ ȞĮ Ȣ țĮ ȝ ıȠȞ Ĳ Ȣ Ȥ ȡĮȢ Į Ĳ Ȣ Ȟİĳ ȘıĮȞ ȝ İȢ țĮ Ȗ ȞİĲȠ ı ȖȤȣıȚȢ șĮȞ ĲȠȣ ȝİȖ ȜȘ Ȟ Ĳ ʌ ȜİȚ (³And the hand of the Lord was heavy upon Ashdod, and He brought evil upon them; and it burst out upon them into the ships, and mice sprang up in the midst of their country, and there was a great confusion of death in the city´ [Asser]). Kyle McCarter Jr. considers this witness to be reliable, especially considering that Josephus repeats it. Kyle McCarter, 1 Samuel: A New Translation with Introduction, Notes and Commentary (AB 8; New York, NY: Doubleday, 1980), 119. See Josephus, A.J. 6.1.1. The LXX has led many interpreters, including Martin Luther, to think that the author is referring to the Bubonic plague, specifically that the mice would be the hosts of the disease. McCarter, 123. Gregory the Great agrees and states that the Philistines were bitten on the buttocks by the mice. Gregory the Great. Six Books on 1 Kings 3.78 (ACCS OT IV, 216). Conversely, David Tsumura believes that 4QSama leaving out the plague of the mice is substantial evidence for the MT. Tsumura, 206. c 27. Mordechai Cogan distinguishes modern-day leprosy, called Hansen¶s disease, which results in the distortion of the face and limbs and does not appear in the Bible, from leprosy in the Bible with its ³distinctive signs including scales and blotches,´ based on Leviticus 13. Mordechai Cogan and Hayim Tadmor, II Kings: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 11; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007), 63. He suggests Naaman may be suffering from psoriasis or vitiligo. Ibid. 28. Lane says that the deaf-mute man suffers ³from a spasmodic condition which can extend to the facial muscles as well.´ Lane, 266. 29. Chance observes that Publius¶ father could be suffering from Malta fever, an illness that derives from microbes in goat milk. Chance, 516..
(23) effects.30 In Daniel 4:33, it says that King Nebuchadnezzar began an animal-like existence, including eating grass, wearing no clothes, and letting his hair and nails grow unkempt.31 One scholar says that this mental illness is similar to lycanthropy, a condition where a person has the delusion of being a wolf.32 Both the Canaanite woman¶s daughter and the Gadarene man are said to have an ³unclean spirit´ ( ț șĮȡĲȠȞ ʌȞİ ȝĮ) or are said ³to be demon-possessed´ (įĮȚȝȠȞ ȗȠȝĮ), terms that are used interchangeably in the New Testament.33 The Philippian woman is said to have a ³spirit of divination´ (ʌȞİ ȝĮ ʌ șȦȞĮ). The word ʌ șȦȞ was originally translated ³the Python´ for the region where the city of Delphi and its oracle, said to be guarded by a python, was located.34 It later became synonymous with divination and. 30. The Gadarene demoniac is a good case study. Mark 5:9 says that the man is afflicted by multiple demons, corporately named Legion (although the exact meaning of the name is debated ± see Lane, 184 for perspectives). Physically, the man gained a super-human strength and he could not be bound by shackles or chains (5:3, 4). Mentally, however, the man was not sound, as he cried out and cut himself on stones (5:5 ± cutting oneself in cultic worship is found in 1 Kings 18:28). According to the Babylonian Talmud, this man met the four characteristics of madness: walking around at night, sleeping on a grave, tearing one¶s clothes and destroying the body. Hendrik Van der Loos, The Miracles of Jesus (trans. T. S. Preston; Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 1965), 386f. 31. Scholars point to the similarities between this account and both the Prayer of Nabonidus (4Q241) and the Babylonian Text, The Nabonidus Chronicle. The Prayer of Nabonidus ³speaks of the disease, exile, prayers and recovery of the Babylonian King Nabonidus who is healed by God after consulting with an anonymous Jewish seer.´ Sharon Pace, Daniel (SH; Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Pub., 2008), 119. The biggest issue, however, between the Daniel account and the Nabonidus tradition is that the illness infliction took place in Teima versus Babylonia (Nebuchadnezzar) and that Nabonidus is afflicted with leprosy, not insanity. Ibid. 32. Paul M. Lederach, Daniel (BCBC; Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1994), 100.. 33. Matthew 15:22 says the girl was ³badly possessed by a demon´ (țĮț Ȣ įĮȚȝȠȞ ȗİĲĮȚ), while Mark 7:25 says the girl had an ³unclean spirit´ (ʌȞİ ȝĮ ț șĮȡĲȠȞ). Mark 5:2 says the Gadarene man had an unclean spirit, Matthew 8:28 identifies the man as being possessed by a demon, while Luke 8:27 says simply the man ³had demons´ ( ȤȦȞ įĮȚȝ ȞȚĮ). The phrase ³unclean spirit´ ( ț șĮȡĲȠȞ ʌȞİ ȝĮ) appears 13 times in the New Testament all referring to demon-possession (Matthew 12:43; Mark 1:23; 26; 3:30; 5:2, 8; 7:25; 9:25; Luke 4:33; 8:29; 9:42; 11:24; Revelation 18:2). Unclean spirits are noted by non-Jews like Sophocles. Sophocles, Ajax 244. Porphyry, quoted by Eusebius suspects an individual inflicted by demons. Eusebius, Prep. Evang. IV.XXIII.4 (NFPF II-01, 201). Hilary of Potiers puts forth the idea that all Gentiles have unclean spirits. Hilary of Potiers, On Matthew 15.3 (ACCS NT Ib, 28). For more, see Lane, 260. The verb įĮȚȝȠȞ ȗȠȝĮ also appears 13 times in Matthew 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; Luke 8:36; John 10:21. 34. Bauer, 896. Chance, 285. For identification of the Python region, see Strabo, Geography 9.3.12..
(24) ventriloquism.35 It is unclear if having a ³spirit of python´ is a direct parallel as having an unclean spirit.36 Regarding the causes of the infirmities among the Gentiles outside the believing community, the majority are unknown.37 Four individuals were infirmed by events or forces outside of their control. The lame man at Lystra is said to have been lame from birth (Acts 14:8). The causes of the three who were spiritually oppressed were demonic forces. Finally, three accounts, all in the Old Testament, contain afflictions caused by Yahweh himself because of various affronts against him and his people. First, In Genesis 20:3, Yahweh tells Abimelech in a dream that he is about to die because he took Sarah as a slave-wife and threatens the destruction of him and his household in v. 7 if he does not set her free.38 Verse 18 also states that Yahweh himself had closed the wombs of Abimelech¶s wife and slave-wives. Second, 1 Samuel identifies Yahweh as the source of the tumors and panic among the Philistines because of their capture of the ark of God. In each verse of 1 Samuel 5:6, 9, 11-12 the hand of Yahweh (ʤʕʥʤʍʩʚʣʔʩ) is said to be heavy (ʣʒʡ˗ʕ ) against the Philistines with the result of either tumors alone (v. 6) or tumors and a great panic (vv. 9, 11-12).39 Lastly, in spite of multiple warnings,. 35. Divination is presented as a negative throughout the Bible (see, as examples, Genesis 44:5, 15; Numbers 22:7; Joshua 13:22; 1 Samuel 15:23; Micah 3:11) and is specifically prohibited in Deuteronomy 18:10. The LXX identifies the witch of Endor as a ventriloquist ( ȖȖĮıĲȡ ȝȣșȠȢ) in 1 Samuel 28:7. Plutarch says that ventriloquists in his day were called Pythons. Plutarch, De Defect. 9. The Pseudo-Clementines says, ³For pythons prophesy, yet they are cast out by us as demons, and put to flight.´ Ps.-Clem, Hom. 9.16 (ANF VIII, 278). 36. John Weaver, Plots of Epiphany: Prison-Escape in Acts of the Apostles (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004), 258. 37. This includes the accounts of the Zarephath widow¶s son (although the widow blames it on Elijah bringing the widow¶s sin to remembrance (ʩʑʰˣʏʲʚʺʓʠ ʸʩʑ˗ʍʦʤʔ ʬʍ ), a term also found in Ezekiel 21:28; 29:16), Naaman, the Centurion¶s Servant, the deaf-mute and the crowd in the Decapolis region, and the people of Malta, including Publius¶ father. 38. The situation between Abimelech and Abraham is likely in the consciousness of another king name Abimelech who encountered a similar situation with Isaac in Genesis 26..
(25) Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:30 declares his mighty power and the honor of his own majesty (ʩʑʸʣʍ ʤʔ ʸʕʷʩʑʬʍʥ). For this prideful remark, a voice from heaven (ʠʕ˕ʮʔ ˇʚʯʑ ʍ ʮ ʬʕʷ) pronounces judgment on the king in vv. 31-32, specifically his removal from power and punishment via mental insanity.40.
(27) cc c cc
(28) c cc
(29) c With the infirmed Gentiles outside of the believing community having been analyzed, the figures involved in the healings, their positions and their methods must now be considered. Although the method of the healings of Gentiles differs widely across the Bible, the usage of prophets and/or other specially commissioned figures by God in the healings is consistent in twelve of the thirteen narratives. In the Old Testament, Abimelech and his household, the Zarephath widow¶s son and Naaman are all healed through the actions or instructions of prophets (Abraham, Elijah and Elisha).41 Also, though God alone is the healer of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:34-36), his sickness is foretold by Daniel, the prophet.42 In the New Testament, healings of Gentiles are either performed by the Messiah (Jesus) or the apostle Paul.43 The Centurion¶s servant, Canaanite woman¶s daughter, the Gadarene demon-possessed man, and the deaf-mute and masses in the region of Decapolis are all healed by 39. The hand of Yahweh is often used in reference to judgment of a people or an individual. See Exodus 9:3; Deuteronomy 2:15; Judges 2:15; Ruth 1:13; 1 Samuel 7:13; 12:15; Job 12:9; Isaiah 19:16; 25:10. Sometimes it is used in a positive reference, in terms of deliverance, mighty acts, or special anointing, such as in Joshua 4:24; 2 Kings 3:15; Isaiah 41:17; 59:1; 66:14; Ezekiel 1:3; 3:22; 37:1; 40:1. 40 The Tosefta states that pride is the ultimate cause of Nebuchadnezzar¶s downfall. t. Sotah 3:19. Jerome in the early church agrees. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel 4.28-29 (ACCS OT XIII, 197). 41. Abraham is identified as a prophet (ʠʩʑʡʰʕ) in Genesis 20:7, the first occurrence of the word in the Bible. Elijah is identified as a prophet in verses such as 1 Kings 18:22, 36; 2 Chronicles 21:12; Malachi 4:5; Mark 6:5, while Elisha is recognized in 1 Kings 19:16; 2 Kings 3:11; 5:8; 6:12; 9:1; Luke 4:27. 42. Daniel is referred to as a prophet in Matthew 24:15 and frequently receives visions and interpretations to dreams. See, for example, Daniel 2:19; 5:12; 7:1; 8:1, 15; 9:2, 22; 10:1. 43. Jesus is called Christ (ȋȡȚıĲ Ȣ) or the Messiah (Ȃİıı Į) in places such as Matthew 1:1, 16; 16:16, 20; 22:42; 23:10; 24:5 26:64; Mark 8:29; 9:41; 14:62; Luke 2:11; 4:41; 9:20; 23:2; 24:26, 46; John 1:41; 4:29; 7:27, 41; 10:25; 11:27; 20:31. Paul is identified as an apostle ( ʌ ıĲȠȜȠȢ) in Romans 1:1; 11:13; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 9:1, 2; 15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 12:12; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:1, 11; Titus 1:1. Other apostles in scripture are identified as Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) and Peter 1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1. c.
(30) the actions of Jesus. (Interestingly, in two of the three accounts of Gentiles being delivered from demons, the demons themselves acknowledge Jesus¶ divinity, though not necessarily him as Messiah).44 Paul, the apostle, is the one responsible for healing the lame man at Lystra, the Philippian slave girl and the Maltese islanders, including Publius¶ father. The only narrative that deviates from the pattern of God using specially commissioned figures from the believing community to heal the infirmities of the Gentiles is 1 Samuel 5-7. Specifically, the Philistines turn to their own priests and practitioners of divination (ʭʩʑʮʱʍ ʖ˟ʔʬʍʥ ʭʩʑʰʤʏ ʖ˗ʔʬ) in 1 Samuel 6:2. Diviners, in particular, were common among the Gentiles in the Old Testament and were responsible for discerning messages from the gods.45 What is striking in this passage is that despite not being part of the believing community and despite the diviners lack confidence in the success of returning the ark with a guilt offering (1 Samuel 6:5), they are able to perceive the right way to go about relieving their infirmities. They are able to perceive that their capture of the ark of God is an affront to Yahweh himself and, therefore, they need to render penance for their wrongdoing. The remaining narratives contain an assortment of different healing methods. These include six instances of the spoken word (accompanied three times by faith), four instances of. 44. In the story of the Gadarene demoniac, the demons named Legion declare Jesus the ³son of the most high God´ (ȣ ĲȠ șİȠ ĲȠ ȥ ıĲȠȣ) in Luke 8:28 and Mark 5:7, or just ³son of God´ in Matthew 8:29. According to Lane, the designation ³most high God´ is not Messianic, but divine. Lane, 183. This is a common expression used by non-Israelites referring to the God of Israel. See Genesis 14:18; Numbers 24:16; Isaiah 14:14; Daniel 3:26; 4:2; 1 Esdras 2:3. This expression, șİȠ ĲȠ ȥ ıĲȠȣ, is also uttered by the Philippian slave girl in Acts 16:17. She declares Paul and his associates ³servants of the most high God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation´ (Ƞ ĲȠȚ Ƞ ȞșȡȦʌȠȚ įȠ ȜȠȚ ĲȠ șİȠ ĲȠ ȥ ıĲȠȣ İ ı Ȟ, Ƞ ĲȚȞİȢ țĮĲĮȖȖ ȜȜȠȣıȚȞ ȝ Ȟ į Ȟ ıȦĲȘȡ ĮȢ). Although this message seems accurate, Witherington states that the reason Paul silences her is that she proclaims salvation without the context of the Jewish/Christian interpretation, Witherington, 495. Another perspective comes from Ammonius in the early church who says Paul waited to cast out the demon to show that the Christian believer had greater power. Ammonius, Catena on the Acts of the Apostles 16.2 (ACCS NT V, 202). Other examples of demons identifying Christ¶s divinity are in Luke 4:33-34; 8:27-28. 45. See Joshua 13:22; 2 Kings 17:17; Isaiah 2:6; 44:25; Ezekiel 13:23; 21:26, 29; Micah 3:11. Compare also to the Philippian slave girl in the New Testament (Acts 16:16-18)..
(31) prayer, three instances of actions taken by the infirmed, and three instances of actions taken by the healer (including two instances of the laying on of hands). The crowds healed in the Decapolis region and the Maltese islanders are the only people healed whose method of healing is not specified.46 The most common method of healing Gentiles in the Bible is through the spoken word, although this method appears exclusively in the New Testament. In the account of the Gadarene demoniac, Jesus commands the unclean spirit to go out ( ȟİȜșİ) of the man (Mark 5:8; Luke 8:29).47 The fact that the demons are seemingly able to negotiate the terms of the departure should not undermine the effect of the spoken word.48 Jesus¶ permission for the demons to enter the swine may stem from the request of the demons not to be tormented before the appointed time.49 In Acts 16:18, Paul commands the spirit of divination to come out of the Philippian slave girl ³in the name of Jesus Christ´ ( Ȟ. Ȟ ȝĮĲȚ. ȘıȠ. ȋȡȚıĲȠ ).50 In the case of the deaf-. 46. Matthew 15:30 says only that the crowds brought the infirmed and that ³they placed them at [Jesus¶] feet´ ( ȡȡȚȥĮȞ Į ĲȠ Ȣ ʌĮȡ ĲȠ Ȣ ʌ įĮȢ Į ĲȠȣ). Acts 28:9 simply says that ³the rest of the people of the island who were infirmed came and were cured´ (Ƞ ȜȠȚʌȠ Ƞ ȞĲ Ȟ ı ȤȠȞĲİȢ ıșİȞİ ĮȢ ʌȡȠı ȡȤȠȞĲȠ țĮ șİȡĮʌİ ȠȞĲȠ). 47. The Matthew version of this account leaves out Jesus¶ command. Instead, in Matthew 8:31, the demons request to be cast out into the swine. Jesus succinctly replies in v. 32, ³depart´ ( ʌ ȖİĲİ). 48. First, the end result is the destruction of the new hosts, the swine. They rush down the bank and drown in the waters (Matthew 8:32; Mark 5:13; Luke 8:33). Second, particularly in Mark and Luke, narrative order does not necessarily coincide with chronological order. Green, 337. The likely chronological order of the events is that the demon bows down before Jesus and begs him not to be tormented and to be cast into the swine (Luke 8:28, 32), Jesus then asks the demons their name (v. 30), then he gives them permission to enter the swine and casts them out (vv. 32, 29). 49. Robert A. Guelich, Mark 1-8:26 (WBC 34a; Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1989), 282. See Matthew 8:29; Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28, 31. It was a commonly held view of the day that demons would be tormented. France, 341. See 1 Enoch 12-16; Jubilees 5:6-10; 10:1-13. Like in Tobit 8:3 and the Testament of Solomon 2:1, 4-7, the demons negotiate being able to stay in the area. Ephrem the Syrian remarks that the demons did not want to be sent to Gehenna before their time. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Tatian¶s Diatesseron 6.26. (ACCS NT III, 140). 50. This echoes the idea that believers, and especially the disciples and apostles, are able to heal and cast out demons in Jesus¶ name. See Matthew 7:22 (negative); Mark 16:17; Acts 3:6; 4:30..
(32) mute in the region of Decapolis, Jesus uses the word ³Ephphatha´ (ǼĳĳĮșĮ) in Mark 7:34, which, as the verse defines, means ³be opened´ (įȚĮȞȠ ȤșȘĲȚ).51 In three instances, the spoken word is used to heal after an expression of faith. First, faith is present in the accounts of the Canaanite woman¶s daughter and the Centurion¶s servant share, two passages that share close commonalities. France notes that in both passages the request for healing comes not from the patient, but from a superior, that Jesus shows initial reluctance in meeting the need, that the persistent faith of the Gentile is commended and even greater than the Jews¶, and that the healing takes by word at a distance.52 Indeed, despite the initial rebuff by Jesus that he was only sent for Israel¶s sake (Matthew 15:24, 26; Mark 7:27), the Canaanite woman persists, is commended for her great (ȝİȖ ȜȘ) faith (Matthew 15:28), and the child is delivered because of the word of Jesus (Matthew 15:28; Mark 7:29).53 Similarly, the Centurion requests that Jesus say a word to heal his servant (Matthew 8:8; Luke 7:7), then Jesus marvels ( șĮ ȝĮıİȞ) at the man¶s faith compared to that of Israel¶s (Matthew 8:10; Luke 7:9) and heals the servant with a word (Matthew 8:13).54 Second, in Acts 14:9, Paul, while preaching, notices the lame man at Lystra has the faith to be made well ( ȤİȚ ʌ ıĲȚȞ ĲȠ. ıȦș ȞĮȚ).55 As a result,. 51. Scholars are not sure if ǼĳĳĮșĮ has Hebrew or Aramaic roots. R. Alan Culpepper, Mark (SH; Macon, GA: Smyth and Helwys Pub., 2007), 245. According to James Edwards, the phrase would come from a Gentile region, but could come from Peter¶s recount of the healing. James R. Edwards, The Gospel according to Mark (PNTC; Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002), 225. 52. France, 589-590.. 53. In Mark 7:29, Jesus also tells the woman to depart ( ʌĮȖİ). This word is used several times in Mark when Jesus has performed a healing. See 2:11; 5:34; 7:29; 10:52. See also Lane, 263. 54. This is only time șĮȣȝ ȗȦ is used to describe Jesus¶ amazement instead of those around him. The possible reluctance comes from Matthew 8:7 where the statement Ȗ Ȝș Ȟ șİȡĮʌİ ıȦ Į Ĳ Ȟ could be rendered as a question. France, 313. Both Morris, 192 and Hagner, 204 say that Jesus is more likely making a statement. c 55. Luke frequently uses the verb ı ȗȦ to indicate when a person has been healed. See Luke 7:50; 8:48, 50; 17:19; 18:42. Normally this word means ³to save´ or ³to deliver,´ but the implication is, according to Chance, holistic healing of the body and soul. Chance, 237. c.
(33) Paul commands the man to stand on his feet, in v. 10, and the man springs up ( ȜȜİĲȠ) and begins walking. The second most common healing method is prayer. In Genesis 20:17, Abraham prays for Abimelech and his household. The verb for prayer used here, ʬʔʬ˝ʕ , refers to intercessory prayer as in Genesis 20:7; Numbers 21:7; Deuteronomy 9:7.56 To bring Zarephath widow¶s son back to life, Elijah twice ³cries out to the Yahweh´ (ʤʕʥʤʍʩʚʬʓʠ ʠʕʸʷʍ ʑ˕ʔʥ) in 1 Kings 17:20-21. The next verse says that ³Yahweh listened to the voice of Elijah´ (ʡˇʕ ʕ ˢʔʥ ˒ʤʕ˕ʬʑ ʠʒ ʬˣʷʍˎ ʤʕʥʤʍʩ ʲʔʮˇʑ ʍ ˕ʔʥ) and, as a result, the boy ³revived´ (ʩʑʧʓ˕ʔʥ). In the New Testament, prayer is a part of Paul¶s healing of Publius¶ father (Acts 28:8). There is also a possibility that Jesus¶ sighing in Mark 7:34 in the healing of the deaf-mute in the region of Decapolis refers to praying.57 Another method involved in the healings of Gentiles is physical touch. In addition to crying out for the Zarephath widow¶s son, Elijah ³stretches out on the child three times´ ( ʣʒʣʖʮʍʺʑ˕ʔʥ ʭʩʑʮʲʕ ˝ʍ ˇʖʬˇʕ ʣʓʬʓ˕ʤʔ ʚʬʔʲ).58 Scholars are not sure why Elijah performs this action. Devries suggests that Elijah is acting out the healing, specifically ³what a body of life is versus one that is not.´59 In the New Testament, there are two examples of the laying on of hands, a common Jewish practice of blessing and healing.60 In Acts 28:8, the verse says that the healing of Publius¶ father came as a result of the laying on of hands ( ʌȚșİ Ȣ Ĳ Ȣ Ȥİ ȡĮȢ Į Ĳ ,. ıĮĲȠ Į Ĳ Ȟ). In. 56. This is opposed to the more generic phrase used, particularly in Genesis, to ³call on the name of Yahweh´ (ʤʕʥʤʍʩ ʭˇʍ ʒ ˎ ʠʕʸʷʕ ). See examples in Genesis 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 21:33; 26:25. The Babylonian Talmud speaks about praying for unbelievers like Job prayed for his friends. b. B. Qam. 92a. 57. According to Culpepper, while sighing and groaning often appears in ancient magic, in Judaism it often led to prayer. Culpepper, 245. See, for example, Tobit 3:1; Exodus 2:24. 58. The LXX, alternatively, says ³he breathed on the boy three times´ ( Ȟİĳ ıȘıİȞ Ĳ ʌĮȚįĮȡ Ĳȡ Ȣ). Cogan says that this is a contextual attempt to translate a unique Hebrew word. Cogan, 429. In 2 Kings 4:35, Elisha seems to perform a similar action, although a different verb is used (ʸʔʤʢʍʑ˕ʔʥ). 59. 60. Devries, 222.. Lane, 266. See Genesis 27:27; Numbers 8:10; 27:18; Matthew 19:13; Mark 5:23; 6:5; 10:16; 16:18 (disputed) for examples of the request or practice of the laying on of hands..
(34) Mark 7:32, the crowds request that Jesus place his hand on the deaf-mute. After pulling the man aside privately, Jesus places his fingers in the man¶s ear and touches his tongue with spittle before looking up toward heaven and saying ³Ephphatha´ (vv. 33-34).61 The final method of healing is action taken by the infirmed, although it is only present in the Old Testament. First, the Philistines send a guilt offering of five golden tumors and five golden mice representing the number of Philistine lords (1 Samuel 6:4).62 Although the healing of the Philistines is never directly stated, it is implied by the movements of the untrained cows carrying the ark to Israelite territory (vv. 7-12).63 Second, though Naaman hopes that Elisha will call on the name of God and wave his hand (ʭˣʷʕ˙ʤʔ ʚʬʓʠ ˣʣʕʩ ʳʩʑʰʤʒ ʍʥ) over the sick area, Elisha commands him to wash in the Jordan seven times (2 Kings 5:10-11).64 Some view of ritual cleansing may be in view here.65 Despite his initial disdain, Naaman shows a level of faith by obeying Elisha. Finally, Nebuchadnezzar receives his healing by lifting up his eyes to heaven (ʠʕ˕ʮʔ ˇʑ ʍ ʬ ʩʔʰʍʩʲʔ ʸʔ˞ʓʰʣʍ ʫʔ ˒ʡʍʰ ʤʕʰʠʏ ) in Daniel 4:34, a possible indication of faith. John Goldingay suggests. 61. Culpepper suggests that touching the man may be merely a preparatory step involved in the healing and that the real action of the healing is the process of looking up toward heaven and the spoken word. He points to Mark 6:41; John 11:41 as examples. Culpepper, 245. According to Lane, spittle was viewed sometimes as curative. Lane 267. Pliny the Elder suggests using spittle as a remedy for boils and bloodshot eyes. Pliny the Elder, Natural History 28.7, 22. Suetonius writes about a man who was healed of blindness after being anointed with spittle. Suetonius, Vesp. 7. See a similar story in John 9:6-7. 62. McCarter suggests that five golden tumors may be an addition by the MT since they are excluded in LXX and 4QSama. The rationale would be that the five golden mice were fashioned objects that looked like tumors/mice. McCarter, 129. Tsumura says, alternatively, that the mice were made to look like tumors. Tsumura, 209. b. 63. The cows (ʺˣʸʕʴ) used were untrained (see also Numbers 19:2) and would not know the right way to go. The fact that the cows go straight in the direction (ʪʍ ʸʓ ːʓ ˎʔ ʺˣʸʕ˝ʤʔ ʤʕʰʸʍ ˉʑ ʔ ʩʔʥ) of Israelite country shows to the Philistines that God is in control of the events (1 Samuel 6:8-12). Since the diviners were able to discern the right method of healing, there is no reason to suggest that they were denied by Yahweh. 64. To wave one¶s hand over the sick area is a rare expression, according to Cogan. It could possibly be referring to Leviticus 13:19. Cogan, 64. 65. Hobbs notes that while in Leviticus 14:8-9 the cleansing is symbolic, here it is curative. T. R. Hobbs, 2 Kings (WBC 13; Waco, TX: Word Books, 1985), 64. He also suggests that the number seven only refers to the period of quarantine (Leviticus 13:4-5)..
(35) that he is seeking God¶s assistance based on similar expressions in the Psalms.66. ÷
(37) c cc
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(44) c Through this point, I have attempted to trace discernable patters that might exist among the healing of Gentiles outside of the believing community. When it comes to the individuals who were healed, their nationalities, social and economic statuses, God appears to be no respecter of persons, from healing a widow¶s son to healing the adversarial king of the Babylonian empire. The varied types of illnesses that God heals indicate that no infirmity is outside of the scope of God¶s wiliness and authority to heal. While variety and lack of significant patterns is what marks the infirmed and their circumstances, there are patterns that can be discerned from the people God uses to heal and the methods of healing. Specifically, God uses specially commissioned people who have both the ear of God and the authority to exercise his power for his purposes. The majority of Gentile healings, particularly in the New Testament, are the result of one of these figures carrying out healings either through the spoken word, prayer, or physical touch, or any combination of the three. The faith of the infirmed prior to healing plays at least some role, as evidenced by the actions of some of the infirmed in the Old Testament (Naaman and Nebuchadnezzar) and the three instances in the New Testament where faith is explicitly stated (the Centurion¶s servant, the Canaanite woman¶s daughter and the lame man at Lystra). The question still remains regarding the purposes of the healings. Are they simply evidences of God¶s grace toward members of his creation who are suffering? Is there some. 66. John E. Goldingay, Daniel (WBC 30; Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1989), 90. He offers Psalms 25:15; 121:1-2; 123:1-2; 141:8 as examples. Ephrem the Syrian writes that God heals him when he shows humility. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Daniel 4.34 (ACCS OT XIII, 199). This is logical considering the reason for his infirmity was his pride according to Daniel 4:30..
(45) greater macro-level goal that hinges upon micro-level healings? Is God trying to instruct the believing or unbelieving community about something related to his character and kingdom? Any one, all or none of these could be true. Ultimately, judging intent is speculative. Nevertheless, some purposes have a stronger likelihood and biblical witness than others and will be stated. The effects on the unbelieving and believing communities say something about God¶s purposes. First, the effects of the healing of unbelieving Gentiles are far greater on the unbelieving community than the believing community. The most common result of healing is the praising of God by the individual healed or by the witnesses present. In 1 Kings 17:24, the Zarephath widow confesses that the ³word of Yahweh´ (ʤʕʥʤʍʩʚʸʔʡʣʍ ˒) is truth and that Elijah is a ³man of God´ (ʭʩʑʤʖʬʎʠ ˇʩʑʠ).67 In 2 Kings 5:15 Naaman states ³there is no God in all the earth except in Israel´ (ʬʒʠʸʕ ˈʑ ʍ ʩˎʍ ʚʭʑʠ ʩʑ˗ ʵʓʸˌʕʤʚʬʕʫˎʍ ʭʩʑʤʖʬʎʠ ʯʩʒʠ ʩʑ˗). Nebuchadnezzar ³blessed the most high´ (ʺʒʫʸʍ ˎʕ ʠʕʩ˘ʕ ʲʑ ʬʍ ˒) and praised and glorified him.68 Finally, In Matthew 15:31, the masses glorify the God of Israel after seeing many healed. The second most common effect is recognition of God being greater than other gods or authorities. 1 Samuel 5:1-7 recounts how the ark of God was brought to the There, the ark was brought into the Dagon temple at Ashdod and set next to Dagon (v. 2).69 On the first day, the Philistines discover that Dagon has fallen on its face, and on the second, discover that its head and hands have been cut off (vv. 3-4). In v. 7 the Philistines acknowledge that Yahweh¶s hand is against Dagon. Next, the story of the Zarephath widow stands in the background of the upcoming conflicts between Elijah and God and Jezebel and Baal. Although Baal is not 67. The phrase ʭʩʑʤʖʬʎʠ ˇʩʑʠ occurs six times in the Old Testament in reference to one of God¶s true prophets who bears the word of Yahweh. See 1 Samuel 2:27; 9:6; 1 Kings 13:1; 17:24; 2 Kings 1:10; 4:9. 68. 69. See note 44 on ³most high´ and its usage by the Philippian slave girl.. According to Klein, Dagon is the father of Baal, and is attested to in Ebla, Mari and Ugarit. Klein, 49. The temple referenced here was burned in 147 B.C. by the brother of Judas Maccabeus according to 1 Maccabees 10:83-84; 11:4. McCarter, 121..
(46) mentioned in the account, it is interesting that God is able to provide for food and healing for the widow whereas Baal cannot.70 Also, Naaman acknowledges the inferiority of Rimmon and even seeks to make a shrine from Israelite dirt (2 Kings 5:17-18).71 Finally, Nebuchadnezzar also acknowledges God¶s sovereignty and eternal rule over all the earth (Daniel 4:34-35). Another effect involves the appreciation of God¶s people by the unbelieving community. Although it is prior to his healing, Abimelech rectifies the wrong of taking Sarah as his wife by giving Abraham and Sarah livestock, servants, land and money (Genesis 20:14-17).72 Also, though Elisha would not accept any payment, Naaman brought with him silver, gold and clothing to compensate the prophet (2 Kings 5:5, 15-16). Similarly, the Maltese islanders ³honored [Paul and his traveling companions] greatly´ (ʌȠȜȜĮ Ȣ ĲȚȝĮ Ȣ Ĳ ȝȘıĮȞ ȝ Ȣ), by helping stock their ship for voyage (Acts 28:10).73 In a few instances, the effect on the unbelieving community was a desire for discipleship or proclamation from unbelievers. The story of the Gadarene demoniac demonstrates this point well. The healed man seeks to travel with Jesus, but Jesus does not allow him to and instead commands him to tell/preach to ( ʌ ȖȖİȚȜȠȞ/ țȘȡ ııȦȞ) others what Jesus had done for him (Mark 5:18-20; Luke 8:38-39).74 Culpepper writes that despite only being sent to the lost sheep. 70. Peter J. Leithart, 1/2 Kings (BTC; Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006), 128.. 71. According to Cogan, Rimmon is the god of storm and thunder. Cogan, 65. Naaman does ask for permission to accompany his master to the temple because of his duty. The Babylonian Talmud states that even fake worship of Rimmon is considered a private transgression. b. Sanhedrin 74b. 72. Later, Abraham and Abimelech make a covenant together establishing political relations (Genesis. 21:22ff). 73. The word ³to honor´ (ĲȚȝ Ȧ) is fairly ambiguous. Though it can mean ³to value´ or ³to revere´ (Bauer, 1004), in this case, it is probably referring to material gifts, specifically the items that they place on board the sailing vessel. Bruce, 500. Sirach 38:1 talks about ³honoring´ physicians for their work. Cicero also speaks of honoring one who practices medicine for their efforts. M. Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares 16.9.3. c 74. Telling others is one of the core functions of being a disciple. See Mark 1:14, 38, 39, 45; 3:14; 6:12; 7:36; 13:10; 14:9..
(47) of Israel, ³the Gentile mission is traced into Jesus himself.´75 Compare this to the normal method of Jesus, to keep the healing a secret, such as in Mark 7:36 where he charges the crowds near Decapolis to say nothing about the healing.76 Finally, the Canaanite woman seems to have the best understanding of discipleship being available to Gentiles according to her answer to when answers Jesus¶ rebuke by saying that even the dogs (Gentiles) can eat the crumbs from the children¶s (Jews) bread (Matthew 15:26-27; Mark 7:27-28). One of the early church writers says that what the Canaanite woman is saying is, in effect, what the Jews did not want, give to us.77 While the majority of effects on the unbelieving community are positive, there are three instances where healings have a negative effect on the unbelieving community. In each of these stories, the people are more concerned with their temporal circumstances, than the God behind the healings, suggesting that sin can cloud unbelievers from seeing even the great things of God. In the story of the Gadarene demoniac, the swine herdsmen, who lost much of their livelihood, alerted the inhabitants of the area to Jesus¶ exorcism (Mark 5:14-16; Matthew 8:33; Luke 8:3436). Instead of responding with faith and amazement, the people respond with fear and beg Jesus to leave (Mark 5:15, 17; Matthew 8:34; Luke 8:35, 37).78 In Acts 14, the residents of Lystra misinterpret the healing of the lame man. The inhabitants of Lystra concluded that Paul and Barnabas were the gods Zeus and Hermes come down in human form (Acts 14:11-12).79. 75. 76. Culpepper, 171. The more Jesus charges them the more they preach ( ț ȡȣııȠȞ) about it (Mark 7:36).. 77. Epiphanius the Latin, Interpretation of the Gospels 58 (ACCS NT Ib, 29). Hilary of Potiers in the early church states that even though Jesus came to the Israelites first, it does not preclude Gentile salvation. Hilary of Potiers, On Matthew 15.4 (ACCS NT Ib, 29). 78. In Mark, in particular, fear is linked to lack of faith. Culpepper, 169. It should also be noted that while there is fear among the crowds (5:15), the man¶s friends marvel ( șĮ ȝĮȗȠȞ) at his change (5:20). 79. Zeus and Hermes are Greek names. Since the residents spoke Lycaonian, it is likely that these are their Greek equivalents. Bruce, 274. According to Ovid, gods once came down and inhabited the area, but were ignored except by one elderly couple. P. Ovidius Naso, Metamorpheses, 8.611-724. See further commentary in Bruce, 274..
(48) Therefore, the priest of the city decided to hold a celebration and offer a sacrifice (v. 13). Paul and Barnabas sought to correct their thinking by emphasizing their work for the living God (vv. 14-17). Robert Tannehill writes, ³There is a tendency to confuse the power that heals with the healer himself, and the healer acts immediately to set the record straight.´80 Eventually Jews from Antioch and Iconium convinced the crowds to stone Paul, a dramatic change of events (v. 19).81 Lastly, the owners of the Philippian slave girl, when they realized that the spirit that had brought them profit was gone, they arrested Paul and Silas and brought them to the local rulers (Acts 16:19-21).82 The crowds and the local magistrates themselves joined in and the affair eventually led to the imprisonment of Paul and Silas (vv. 22-24). While there are many different effects on the unbelieving community, there appears to be no major effect on the believing community. Instead, the clear and consistent purpose of God seems to be the witness of God¶s grace to the unbelieving community, particularly the Gentiles, but the believing community. In Genesis 20:17-18, Abraham prays for the healing of Abimelech¶s wife and slave-wives who, like his own wife, was barren.83 It cannot be coincidental that in the next verse, 21:1, God opens Sarah¶s womb to conceive. God is showing Abraham that, indeed, all of the nations of the earth will be blessed (12:3).84 In the story of Gadarene demoniac, the disciples are witnesses to the zealous response of the man who was healed (Mark 5:18; Luke 8:38). The contrast between the fear of the disciples in Mark 4:35-41 80. Robert C. Tannehill, The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts: A Literary Interpretation. Volume II: The Acts of the Apostles (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1990), 178. 81. Bruce suggests that the Lystrans may have been insulted by Paul and Barnabas¶ refusal to be honored.. Ibid., 279. 82. These local magistrates managed the affairs of the city for the Romans. Chance, 286. Paul and Silas are imprisoned for violating Roman laws (Acts 16:21). 83. 84. R.R. Reno, Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2010), 190.. Origen speaks of God blessing the Gentiles, as a fulfillment of his promise to Abraham, even before the age of grace. Origen, Homilies on Genesis 45.23 (ACCS OT Ib, 88)..
(49) with the faith and zeal of the demoniac is stark. Jesus is showing the disciples that there is a place for Gentile disciples in the kingdom. In addition to the Gadarene demoniac, the disciples are also witnesses to the exchange between Jesus and the Canaanite woman and the Centurion. While they ask Jesus to send her away (Matthew 15:23), he decides to engage in conversation with her. They hear Jesus commend her for her great faith and see him act on her behalf because of it. In the case of the Centurion, Jesus, makes his most important comments regarding the healing he is about to undertake. He tells his followers and the Jewish elders in Matthew 8:10-12 and Luke 7:9 that he has found no one in Israel85 with such faith and that Gentiles86 will join Jews at the banquet table,87 while those who thought they were part of the kingdom will thrown into darkness.88 The only negative effect on the believing community is the action of Gehazi, a servant of Elisha. Rather than seeing the healing as God¶s grace to the Gentiles, Gehazi sees it as an opportunity to exploit Naaman for financial gain (2 Kings 5:20, 23). In vv. 24-27, when Gehazi returns to Elisha¶s house, the prophet condemns the servant for what he has done transfers the leprosy to him and his descendants forever (ʭʕʬˣʲʍʬ ʪʕ ʲʏ ʸʍ ʔʦʡʍ ˒ ʪʕ ˎʍ ʚʷʔˎʣʍ ˢʑ ʯʕʮʲʏ ʔʰ ʺʔʲʸʔ ʶʕ ʍʥ).89. 85. There seems to be a discrepancy between Matthew 8:10 and Luke 7:9. While Matthew 8:10 reads, ³Truly I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such great faith´ ( ȝ Ȟ Ȝ ȖȦ ȝ Ȟ, ʌĮȡ Ƞ įİȞ ĲȠıĮ ĲȘȞ ʌ ıĲȚȞ Ȟ Ĳ ıȡĮ Ȝ İ ȡȠȞ), while Luke 7:9 reads ³I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith´ (Ȝ ȖȦ ȝ Ȟ, Ƞ į ȞĲ ıȡĮ Ȝ ĲȠıĮ ĲȘȞ ʌ ıĲȚȞ İ ȡȠȞ). The emphasis, however, is on the extraordinary faith of the Centurion, not necessarily on whether there are people in Israel of faith 86. The expression used in Matthew 8:11 is ³many will come from the east and the west´ (ʌȠȜȜȠ ʌ ȞĮĲȠȜ Ȟ țĮ įȣıȝ Ȟ ȟȠȣıȚȞ). This language is often of all the nations, i.e. Gentiles. Morris, 195. See Psalms 107:3; Isaiah 43:5-6; 49:12. 87. It was common thinking that only Jews would be invited to this eschatological banquet. See Isaiah 25:6 and, especially, b. Pesah 119b; Exod. Rab. 25:8 where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would play leading roles while Gentiles would be excluded. See further commentary in France, 316. 88. Jesus refers to those who would be excluded as the ³sons of the kingdom´ (ȣ Ƞ Ĳ Ȣ ȕĮıȚȜİ ĮȢ) in Matthew 8:12. According to Hagner and France, Jesus is referring to the Jews. Hagner, 206; France, 316. Augustine in the early church agrees. Augustine, Sermon 62.6 (ACCS NT Ia, 163)..
(51) c Based upon the investigation of the healing of the Gentiles outside of the believing community, how should the American church respond to infirmed unbelievers? First, the church should grasp why God the individuals he chose to heal. As documented in the previous section, God seems to be focusing more on the unbelieving community, than the believing community. It is the unbelieving community that responds by praising God, recognizing him as above all other gods, honoring God¶s people, and desiring discipleship and proclamation of what he has done. If God chooses to heal, it is likely that he sees it as a catalyst for faith in the unbelieving community. Nevertheless, God also has a clear purpose in mind for the believing community, particularly witness. It is important for the believing community to witness not only of God¶s power, but also his grace toward unbelievers. Second, the church should be motivated t action by what often takes place before the healings. Although faith does not explicitly play a role in every healing, it does play a role in at least five of the thirteen narratives. In each instance, it is faith that precedes the healing. The American church must remember that the healing of an infirmity is a temporary grace and that the gospel message is one of eternal grace. Healing is both a confirmation and foreshadowing of what the gospel message entails, that God is powerful enough to heal and that he will eventually bring his people into complete healing. Third, the American church should critically understand who can be used to heal unbelievers. That unbelieving Gentiles were always healed by specially commissioned figures (prophets, apostle, the Messiah), does not necessarily mean that healing cannot take place without those figures. In 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28 healing is one of the gifts of the Spirit given to. 89. 2 Kings 5:27 says that Gehazi became leprous like snow (ʢʓʬˉʔ ʕ ˗ ʲʕʸʖʶʮʍ ). Cogan suggests that the idea may refer to the peeling of skin like in Exodus 4:7; Numbers 12:10. Cogan, 66..
(52) the New Testament church. All Christians can pray for the sick (James 5:14-15) and God may choose to heal them. Yet the gift of healing does not seem to be completely democratized. Among those who do have the gift of healing, special attention should be given to the methods used. The spoken word, prayer, and the laying of hands seem to be the most common methods and are their practices have carried over into the New Testament church. Finally, the church should understand who God heals. As demonstrated in this investigation, God is no respecter of persons. God does not take into account social or economic status, age or gender, nationality or political relationships, or even the kind of infirmity that an unbeliever is afflicted with to determine worthiness of healing. God¶s words to the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7b (ESV) are instructive here, ³For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.´ The American church needs to be ready to embrace whomever God chooses to heal..
(54) c Does the Bible provide any expectation for the healing of unbelievers? The simple answer is yes. The evidence produced by the investigation of the healing of Gentiles outside of the believing community strongly confirms this. The fact that God heals a variety of people with many different infirmities should be a hope for unbelievers. Yet, the hope of this temporary healing should not overshadow the faith that is sometimes necessary before healing can take place. In addition, it is important to recognize that God¶s purposes usually go beyond the temporary grace to impact both the unbelieving and believing communities. In all these things, the American church has a role to play, not only in communicating God¶s power to heal, but also God¶s power to save, and acting toward both ends..
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