Matthew 9:22 describes an unusual healing. A woman who hemorrhaged blood for twelve years received a miraculous healing after she touched a corner of Jesus’s garment. The part of the garment she touched is called צִיצִית (tzitzit) “tassels” or “fringes” worn by Jews on four-cornered garments (Num. 15:38:41). The Greek text says she touched κράσπεδον (kraspedon) “fringe” or “hem” and the Hebrew equivalent is כָּנָף (kanaf) which also means “corner” or “edge”.

What many people do not realize is that כְּנָפַיִם (kanafim) is also a Hebrew word for “wings”. Thus, in the Bible, the “corners of garments” have sometimes been compared with “bird’s wings”. And what is even more amazing God apparently has a garment with such “corners” or “wings”. The Psalmist writes, “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me in the (בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ) shadow of Your wings (Ps 17:8). “He will cover you with His pinions, and (וְתַחַת־כְּנָפָיו) under His wings you may seek refuge” (Ps 91:4).

This Jewish woman in Matthew’s story knew to seek shelter in the shadow of God’s wings. “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness (שֶׁמֶשׁ צְדָקָה) will rise with healing in its wings (וּמַרְפֵּא בִּכְנָפֶיהָ); and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall” (Mal 3:20/4:2). And that is why Jesus said to her that her faith made her whole. She recognized Yeshua as the Messiah and knew that as God’s anointed he had God’s “healing in his wings”, the corners of his garment.

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143 COMMENTS

  1. Rth 3:9 I believe this is another verse where in fact she covered herself in the corners (tzitzi) of Boaz garment, but in translation this point is missed. J.
  2. Her story seems different than repentance (turning to God) or does it. She saw the backside of God (God’s goodness?). Then Jesus turned and saw her and called her daughter. This does seem more like what Mal 4:6 says will happen before the day of the LORD comes. The LORD will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Does Christ see us when we turn to God? I've never thought of it this way. I was under His wings, not under law. What is the day of the LORD?
  3. Greetings and thank you for this study. I have always been confused to the spelling of sun instead of son in this scripture verse. I avoid all things pagan such as pagan sun worship. I would like t know why it is sun instead of son.
  4. This woman represented Israel 12 tribes, bleeding for so long kept her unclean as was Israel, Israel didn't have the faith of this women to be able to trust Jesus for the healing only he could provide, thanks for allowing me to explain further, Jonny P.
  5. When was the gospel of Matthew written and by whom? Is it possible that the creed of Mithrias has crept into the document ( Sun of righteousness) , were the documents also altered by the Council of Nicea Does Matthews gospel strike you as being inflammatory and anti semitic in tone? In fact inflammed people against the Jews for centuries on the basis of much of these writings. Could a fresh look without pre conceived subjective bias of them being unsullied by politics and ancient religions of the region ie Mithriasism be in order.
    • Jane, I am not an expert on Mithraism. I am pretty certain that it was a very small and insignificant cult, mostly among the military men in Roman Empire. Did it creep in? I would be doubtful of that. If you want to know my reasons why I would recommend watching this course. https://israelbiblecenter.com/courses/judaism-days-of-jesus-ii-beyond-basics/ Matthew and all other gospels are incredibly Jewish in content, style and theology. I cannot explain it here. You see, I read Matthew as an insider, and all the mean and nasty exchanges are between certain "family members", there are internal squabbles.
    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Stories of Jewish Church I: Acts 1-5 and . Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!
  6. Dear Prof. Shir, thank you for your enlighting article. I never realized such an amazing interpretation. But I have one comment to your article. I think the transliteration of the greek κράσπεδον is missing one letter in the article. Where we read (kaspedon), it should be read (kráspedon). It is nothing serious and it is not changing your interpretation at all, but I think you should correct. On the other hand, I think you are not so careful in your writing since you also misspelled sun once in your answer to Dc - Daughter Of CHRIST.
    • Thank you, Joshua. Of course, you are right. I am bad with typos :) Will fix that now. Can't see them in my own ramblings.

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    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Stories of Jewish Church I: Acts 1-5 and Biblical Hebrew I: First Steps. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!
  7. I have just studied: The Jewish Gospel of John, Lesson 1. I found it excellent! What an amazing lecture by Dr. Eli. I have two comments. First, all that he has said confirms my curiosity when I was a child studying Catholic Catechism in school. I was so entrenched into it and I often wondered: Is there something missing here? We're not getting the full story. Well, with this account of Lesson 1, so much was revealed. I am very grateful to Dr. Eli for teaching us so succinctly, everything that's missing in Catholic studies of our youth.
  8. Next comment, I feel that perhaps the reason Jesus was so ostracized by the rabbis of his day is probably because there was a power struggle of sorts amongst the men of the clergy. We see this often as well in contemporary times and throughout religious history. Each clergyman wants to believe he's the boss and he's got the ultimate truth. That's just my observation. Some are more honest and humble than others. Altogether, it's a common theme that runs through all religions, both now and in eras past.
  9. I had heard that hem also represented the genealogy/authority of the person and when David cut Saul's hem of garment, he repented because he had symbolically cut off Saul's following generations. Can you clarify whether this has any basis? Thank you.
    • Cannot verify that Deborah, sorry. There is nothing in the Bible or tradition about genealogy or authority in relation to tzitzit. The tassel itself is about God's authority, not ours. Blue is a royal color but that comes from God as well. It is about his commandments and our commitment to follow them not about our family heredity. Sorry, you may have been misinformed.
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