A Canaanite woman
From that same region
She started shouting.
‘Have mercy on me!
Son of David!
By a demon.’”
καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ Χαναναία ἀπὸ τῶν ὁρίων ἐκείνων ἐξελθοῦσα ἔκραζεν λέγουσα Ἐλέησόν με, Κύριε υἱὸς Δαυείδ· ἡ θυγάτηρ μου κακῶς δαιμονίζεται.
Mark, chapter 7:24-26, has something similar but there were more details there, as she entered a house. A gentile Canaanite woman (καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ Χαναναία), from that same coastal region (ἀπὸ τῶν ὁρίων ἐκείνων) appeared on the scene. The Canaanites, who worshiped Baal, were still the enemies of the Jewish people. This Canaanite woman came out shouting (ἐξελθοῦσα ἔκραζεν λέγουσα). She asked Jesus to have mercy on her (Ἐλέησόν με,). She called Jesus, the Lord (Κύριε), and the Son of David (υἱὸς Δαυείδ), clear Jewish messianic terms. She said that her daughter was possessed by a demon (ἡ θυγάτηρ μου κακῶς δαιμονίζεται). She was not asking for a cure for herself, but for her daughter.
“You have heard
That it was said.
‘You shall not
But I say to you
Who looks at a woman
Has already committed adultery
In his heart.’”
Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη Οὐ μοιχεύσεις.
γὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.
Once again, Matthew alone mentions one of the 10 Commandments from Exodus, chapter 20:14. This was something all the Jewish people knew, since they had heard it said often (Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη). Everyone knew that they should not commit adultery (Οὐ μοιχεύσεις), having sex with a married woman who was not your wife. However, Matthew has this solemn statement of Jesus (γὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν) that he was demanding more. Everyone who looked at a woman lustfully (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν), has already committed adultery with her in his heart (ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ). This was a much higher standard, not merely the act of adultery, but the planning to do so was wrong. This was adultery of the heart.
“This is a copy of the letter that Jonathan wrote to the Spartans.
‘The high priest Jonathan,
The senate of the nation,
And the rest of the Jewish people,
To their brothers, the Spartans,
Already in time past
A letter was sent
To the high priest Onias from Arius,
He was king among you,
Stating that you are our brothers,
As the appended copy shows.
Onias welcomed the envoy with honor.
He received the letter
That contained a clear declaration of alliance and friendship.’”
This letter came from Jonathan, the Jewish senate of what later was known as the Sanhedrin, the priests, and all the Jewish people. He was sending it to his brothers in Sparta, which was a Greek city state. This is strange since he was so opposed to any Hellenism coming into Jewish society. Here he calls them brothers. The high priest Onias was high priest from 320-290 BCE, over 100 years before the writing to this letter. Arius was king of Sparta from 309-265 BCE. Onias accepted the Spartan envoy with honor and a clear declaration of alliance and friendship.