The syrophoenician woman was a dog by force of circumstance, not by nature or by character

The Faith of the Canaanite Woman

(Mark 7:24-30)

21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

The woman was a pagan who was living outside the blessings of the Mosaic covenant. She was shut out from the blessings of a covenant relationship with God. She was reduced to scavenging for a few scraps or crumbs to satisfy her spiritual hunger just like the dogs in the parable. This is a likeness to the way of life of a dog. It was forced on her by circumstances and not a natural trait of her being.

Jesus was not impugning her moral character or making her out to be something less than human or a lower form of humanity. The Koran actually does this in reference to the Jews calling them pigs and apes. They are still called this all over the islamic world.

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5 Responses to The syrophoenician woman was a dog by force of circumstance, not by nature or by character

  1. Rubart Subinsar says:

    You Islamophobe you, woof woof.
    Dog is used as a term of reproach and self-humiliation in such expressions as: “What is thy servant, which is but a dog” (II Kings viii. 13); or “Am I a dog’s head?” (II Sam. iii. 8); or “After whom dost thou pursue, after a dead dog?” (I Sam. xxiv. 15); the shamelessness of the dog in regard to sexual life gave rise to the name (“dog”) for the class of priests in the service of Astarte who practised sodomy (kedeshim) called also by the Greeks κυναίδοι (Deut. xxiii. 17-18) and Rev. xxii. 15.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ironically Jesus reuses the parable used by a Syrophoenician woman to cryptically hint that the Christians (sons) shall be cast to the Hell.
    Lk 16
    21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the Angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

  3. θ says:

    Jesus forbids Christians from racially mocking a Gentile “Raca”, let alone dogs.
    Raca comes from the Aramaic term reqa. It was a derogatory slur, meaning “empty-headed”, or “rag head”, insinuating a person’s stupidity or inferiority.
    Mt 5:22
    But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Tanach has a different set of law – less strict precisely – toward the Gentiles. For instance, a Jewish Prophet Elisha permits Naaman of Syria to physically have a gesture of bowing in the house of Rimmon while his heart worships Jehovah. The reason is simple: Naaman was a Gentile. The law applied upon Israelites does not include the righteous and saved Gentiles, of whom Naaman was clearly one. It is noteworthy that Naaman brings up this worship topic to Elisha, showing he really wants to know whether God considers it sinful or not for the Gentiles like him.

  5. θ says:

    My point is, prohibition of using a racial slur on the people – as well as religion – shows clearly there’s a limit of speech as set by Jesus.

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