Matthew 15

15 Then from Jerusalem came scribes and Pharisees and said,

2 Why do Your disciples transgress and violate the rules handed down by the elders of the past? For they do not practice [ceremonially] washing their hands before they eat.

3 He replied to them, And why also do you transgress and violate the commandment of God for the sake of the rules handed down to you by your forefathers (the elders)?

4 For God commanded, Honor your father and your mother, and, He who curses or reviles or speaks evil of or abuses or treats improperly his father or mother, let him surely come to his end by death.(A)

5 But you say, If anyone tells his father or mother, What you would have gained from me [that is, the money and whatever I have that might be used for helping you] is already dedicated as a gift to God, then he is exempt and no longer under obligation to honor and help his father or his mother.

6 So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect].

7 You pretenders (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said:

8 These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me.

9 Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men.(B)

10 And Jesus called the people to Him and said to them, Listen and grasp and comprehend this:

11 It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that makes him unclean and defiled, but what comes out of the mouth; this makes a man unclean and defiles [him].

12 Then the disciples came and said to Him, Do You know that the Pharisees were displeased and offended and indignant when they heard this saying?

13 He answered, Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be torn up by the roots.(C)

14 Let them alone and disregard them; they are blind guides and teachers. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a ditch.

15 But Peter said to Him, Explain this [a]proverb (this [b]maxim) to us.

16 And He said, Are you also even yet dull and ignorant [without understanding and [c]unable to put things together]?

17 Do you not see and understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the [d]abdomen and so passes on into the place where discharges are deposited?

18 But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him].

19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech.

20 These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him].

21 And going away from there, Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.

22 And behold, a woman who was a Canaanite from that district came out and, with a [loud, troublesomely urgent] cry, begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is miserably and distressingly and cruelly possessed by a demon!

23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us.

24 He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

25 But she came and, kneeling, worshiped Him and kept praying, Lord, help me!

26 And He answered, It is not right (proper, becoming, or fair) to take the children’s bread and throw it to the [e]little dogs.

27 She said, Yes, Lord, yet even the little pups ([f]little whelps) eat the crumbs that fall from their [young] masters’ table.

28 Then Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish. And her daughter was cured from that [g]moment.

29 And Jesus went on from there and passed along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Then He went up into the hills and kept sitting there.

30 And a great multitude came to Him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the dumb, and many others, and they put them down at His feet; and He cured them,

31 So that the crowd was amazed when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they [h]recognized and praised and thanked and glorified the God of Israel.

32 Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, I have pity and sympathy and am deeply moved for the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days and they have nothing [at all left] to eat; and I am not willing to send them away hungry, lest they faint or become exhausted on the way.

33 And the disciples said to Him, Where are we to get bread sufficient to feed so great a crowd in this isolated and desert place?

34 And Jesus asked them, How many loaves of bread do you have? They replied, Seven, and a few small fish.

35 And ordering the crowd to recline on the ground,

36 He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.

37 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they gathered up seven [[i]large provision] baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over.

38 Those who ate were 4,000 men, not including the women and the children.

39 Then He dismissed the crowds, got into the boat, and went to the district of Magadan.


  1. Matthew 15:15 G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon.
  2. Matthew 15:15 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  3. Matthew 15:16 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.
  4. Matthew 15:17 James Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary.
  5. Matthew 15:26 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  6. Matthew 15:27 John Wycliffe, The Wycliffe Bible.
  7. Matthew 15:28 James Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary.
  8. Matthew 15:31 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.
  9. Matthew 15:37 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies. See also footnote on Matt. 14:20.

Cross references

  1. Matthew 15:4 : Exod. 20:12; 21:17; Lev. 20:9; Deut. 5:16.
  2. Matthew 15:9 : Isa. 29:13.
  3. Matthew 15:13 : Isa. 60:21.

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