Matthew, Mark, and Luke each record from their unique perspective about the woman and the issue of bleeding. Each one adds details to the event creating a more detailed picture of the woman’s experience with Yeshua.
“A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years approached him from behind and touched the tzitzit on his robe. For she said to herself, “If I can only touch his robe, I will be healed.” Yeshua turned, saw her and said, “Courage, daughter! Your trust has healed you.” And she was instantly healed” (Matthew 9:20-22, Complete Jewish Bible).
“As he went, with the crowds on every side virtually choking him, a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind him and touched the tzitzit on his robe; instantly her hemorrhaging stopped. Yeshua asked, “Who touched me?” When they all denied doing it, Kefa said, “Rabbi! The crowds are hemming you in and jostling you!” But Yeshua said, “Someone did touch me, because I felt power go out of me.” Seeing she could not escape notice, the woman, quaking with fear, threw herself down before him and confessed in front of everyone why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. He said to her, “My daughter, your trust has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 8:43-48).
“Among them was a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years and had suffered a great deal under many physicians. She had spent her life savings; yet instead of improving, she had grown worse. She had heard about Yeshua, so she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his robe; for she said, “If I touch even his clothes, I will be healed.” Instantly the hemorrhaging stopped, and she felt in her body that she had been healed from the disease. At the same time, Yeshua, aware that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His talmidim responded, “You see the people pressing in on you; and still you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept looking around to see who had done it. The woman, frightened and trembling, because she knew what had happened to her, came and fell down in front of him and told him the whole truth. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your trust has healed you. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:25-34).
None of the accounts describe the cultural details of the woman –– her name, her age, her marital status, or whether she had children –– because those details were unimportant to her encounter with Yeshua. Matthew records that the woman had a hemorrhage for 12 years and touched Yeshua’s tzizit in order to be healed. Mark adds to the account that she had seen many physicians and spent all of her money, but never got any better. Luke, a doctor by profession, affirms that she could not be healed by anyone.
Her only hope was touching the Messiah’s tzizit, the tassles hanging from the corner of his garment. According to Luke’s account, the woman felt her body healed the moment she touched Yeshua. Yeshua called her out from among the crowd because he felt power leave him. In front of everyone, he called her a “courageous daughter” and revealed it was her faith that healed her.
Touching the Unclean
According to Leviticus 15:19-25, every woman is ‘unclean’ during her time of niddah (menstruating) or other flow of blood. ‘Unclean’ means ‘ritually impure.’ The normal course of niddah lasts seven days. Whoever, especially a man, touches the woman would be considered ‘ritually impure’ until evening or, in Adonai’s reckoning, the beginning of the next day. Everything the woman touched or sat on also became ‘ritually impure.’ Any man touching these things would be considered ‘ritually impure’ until evening after ‘he’ washed his clothes and bathed in water. If a man had sexual relations with a woman during her time of niddah, he would become ‘ritually impure’ for seven days. If a woman had a discharge of blood for many days, weeks or years, the discharge was not considered her monthly niddah. She would be considered ‘ritually impure’ throughout the entire time of the blood flow.
It is not clear from Scripture whether this woman had female friends who touched her, but according to Leviticus, no man could touch her. For her to push herself into a crowd of men (and women) to touch Yeshua would have been contrary to the command in Levitical law, Torah, and the consequences could be severe.
When Yeshua called to the woman from out of the crowd, she had already been healed, but she still trembled with fear. She had no idea if there would be consequences to her action even though she knew she was healed immediately. She fell down at Yeshua’s feet and told him the truth of what had happened.
Mark records that Yeshua called her “Daughter,” and that she should go in shalom and be healed of her disease. This suggests there was more to her illness than just a hemorrhage. From living a life of isolation for 12 years and ostracized by the community, she also needed emotional and perhaps even psychological healing. By bringing the woman into public view, he could make her healing complete within the community of Israel. No one would doubt her healing and she could re-enter society as a healthy restored woman.
Talit and Tzizit
“Adonai said to Moshe,“Speak to the people of Isra’el, instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread. It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at and thereby remember all of Adonai’s mitzvot and obey them, so that you won’t go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves;but it will help you remember and obey all my mitzvot and be holy for your God” (Numbers 15:37-41, Deuteronomy 22:12).
The tzitzit, commanded by Adonai were meant to remind Israel to faithfully follow Him by obeying His commandments. In the tzizit, there was to be a blue or techelet thread. The blue thread was made from the secretion of a small snail that has either become extinct or is unknown today. Because of this, having a blue thread is considered by some Orthodox Jews as wrong while others say that Adonai commanded a blue thread and therefore must include a blue thread.
In Ashkenazi (Russian/Ukranian Jewish) tzizit custom, there are four sections of winding the threads with knots which comes to a total of 39. This number relates to the numerical equivalent of the words: “Adonai is One (Echad)” which comes from the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4. In the Sephardic custom (Jews from the the Iberian Peninsula which includes Spain and Portugal and those who eventually settled in South America), a combination of 26 windings and knots is used to spell the numerical value of the Tetragrammaton yod-hey-vav-hey or the “I Am that I Am,” Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.
Orthodox and some Conservative Jews wear a talit katan or a type of under garment with the tzizit hanging from the four corners in order to fulfill the command. Most other Jews use a talit or prayer shawl with the tzizit on the four corners when they pray privately or in public.
The Greek word for ‘hem’ is kraspedon meaning ‘a tassel of twisted wool.’ In Numbers 15:38, the word translated ‘border’ or ‘corner’ is the Hebrew word kanaph. This word means ‘wings’ and is used 76 times in the Biblical text. Kanaph is used by the prophet Malachi to describe the ‘sun of righteousness’ that rises with ‘healing in its wings.’ For this reason, the corners of the garment with the tzizit are often called ‘wings’ (Malachi 3:20, 4:2).
The verse in Malachi was traditionally understood as representing the Messiah who would “come with healing in his wings.” When raising his arms with the tzizit on the four corners of his garment, it would appear as if Yeshua had ‘wings.’ The woman with the hemorrhage, as a Jewish woman, would have known about this verse from Malachi. Through faith and one who “feared the name of Adonai” and believed Yeshua was the promised Messiah, she reached out to touch his tzizit.
Daughter of Tziyon
Yeshua called the woman “Daughter,” however, this woman was his ‘sister’ as she was Jewish. Calling her “Daughter” refers to “Daughter of Tziyon” which is an endearing term used for Israel and Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah says that the “daughter of Tziyon is beautiful and delicate” (Jeremiah 6:2). Yeshua perhaps uses this term to allude to the the physical nature of this woman: beautiful and delicate. Yeshua also speaks a prophetic word over this woman as Mount Tziyon is where the faithful ‘daughters’ will gather when Yeshua rules as King in Jerusalem over all the earth. Publicly, he not only declares this woman healed and acceptable to the community, but he commends her as one of the faithful chosen who will have a place in his coming Kingdom.
Though this woman waited 12 years to be healed from her issue of blood, she like all Jews, had waited millennia to see and ‘touch’ the One who would bring the restoration of Israel and the liberation of Jerusalem. Through this woman’s healing, Yeshua proclaimed to the crowd that healing was also coming to Jerusalem, Israel, and the nations.
“Rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Tziyon! Shout out loud, daughter of Yerushalayim! Look! Your king is coming to you. He is righteous, and he is victorious. Yet he is humble — he’s riding on a donkey, yes, on a lowly donkey’s colt” (Zechariah 9:9).
“Adonai has proclaimed to the end of the earth, “Say to the daughter of Tziyon, ‘Here, your Salvation [Yeshua] is coming! Here, his reward is with him, and his recompense is before him‘” (Isaiah 62:11).
“Sing, daughter of Tziyon! Shout, Isra’el! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Yerushalayim!” (Zephaniah 3:14)
Zechariah prophesies that in the last days many from the nations will come to Jerusalem to ask the favor of Adonai. Ten men speaking the languages of the nations will grab hold of the tzizit of one Jew because they will suddenly understand that Adonai is with His chosen people. It will be an awakening to the reality that “salvation comes from the Jews” and those of the nations, gentiles, who wish to know that ‘salvation’ will to cling to the Jewish people.
“Yes, many peoples and powerful nations will come to consult Adonai-Tzva’ot in Yerushalayim and to ask Adonai’s favor.’ Adonai-Tzva’ot says, ‘When that time comes, ten men will take hold — speaking all the languages of the nations — will grab hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, “We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:22-23).
After the Woman, A Little Girl
Jairus was a leader in the synagogue. His daughter was 12 years old and dying. He comes to Yeshua and asks that he ‘lay hands on her.’ This word in Hebrew is shmikah and references a sacrifice in the Temple. When an animal was brought as an offering, the person laid hands on the animal in order to transfer the sins from the person to the animal. It would seem that Jairus had an understanding that by laying hands on his daughter the ‘Giver of Life’ could impart the ‘breath of life’ through shmikah. He had great faith.
“When Yeshua arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute-players, and the crowd in an uproar, he said, “Everybody out! The girl isn’t dead, she’s only sleeping!” And they jeered at him. But after the people had been put outside, he entered and took hold of the girl’s hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region” (Matthew 9:23-26).
Matthew’s account has Yeshua demanding everyone leave the home. Once they are outside, he goes into the girl and takes her hand. In that moment, she gets up. News of this event spread through all that region.
“While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house came, saying, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the rabbi any longer?” Ignoring what they had said, Yeshua told the synagogue official, “Don’t be afraid, just keep trusting.” He let no one follow him except Kefa, Ya‘akov and Yochanan, Ya‘akov’s brother. When they came to the synagogue official’s house, he found a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. On entering, he said to them, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead, she’s just asleep!” And they jeered at him. But he put them all outside, took the child’s father and mother and those with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand, he said to her, “Talita, kumi!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). At once the girl got up and began walking around; she was twelve years old. Everybody was utterly amazed. He gave them strict orders to say nothing about this to anyone, and told them to give her something to eat” (Mark 5:35-43).
Mark’s account goes into greater detail. The little girl is no longer dying, she is dead. Only Kefa (Peter) and Yochanan (John) are allowed to go with Yeshua. While the crowd is in an uproar outside the house in Matthew’s account, the people are wailing and mourning loudly in Mark’s. In all three accounts, Yeshua tells everyone she is not dead, only sleeping.
He takes Kefa, Yochanan, the girl’s mother and father and goes into the room. He says, Talitha kumi. Though most Bibles translate this “little girl rise,” in the Hebrew it may have two other meanings. First, kumi in Hebrew means ‘arise.’ Talia means ‘little lamb.’ After healing the woman who is a ‘Daughter of Tziyon,’ he may be using this little girl as the ‘little lambs’ of Israel or the ‘children of Israel.’
The other meaning for Talitha kumi is ‘arise to my talit.’ Yeshua uses his talit or prayer shawl and his tzizit for a miraculous restoration to life. The use of the tzizit is found even through to Mark 6:36 when “They begged him to let them touch even the tzizit on his robe, and all who touched it were healed.”
“While Yeshua was still speaking, a man came from the synagogue president’s house. “Your daughter has died,” he said. “Don’t bother the rabbi any more.” But on hearing this, Yeshua answered him, “Don’t be afraid! Just go on trusting, and she will be made well.” When he arrived at the house, he didn’t allow anyone to go in with him except Kefa, Yochanan, Ya‘akov and the child’s father and mother All the people were wailing and mourning for her; but he said, “Don’t weep; she hasn’t died, she’s sleeping.” They jeered at him, since they knew she had died. But he took her by the hand, called out, “Little girl, get up!” and her spirit returned. She stood up at once, and he directed that something be given her to eat. Her parents were astounded, but he instructed them to tell no one what had happened” (Luke 8:49-56).
Luke is a doctor. In neither account of the woman with the issue of blood or the little girl is Dr. Luke consulted. Yeshua wants us to come to him first and foremost. Before going to every doctor and spending every cent for medical advice and treatment, it is important to go to the Healer. Many diseases have spiritual roots and can only be healed by the Healer. I believe the woman who touched Yeshua’s tzizit had deeply rooted spiritual issues greater than the issue of bleeding. She needed to be called “Daughter” for complete healing of her body and soul.
In Luke’s account, Yeshua reminds Jairus not to be afraid when he hears his daughter has died. Part of the process of healing restoration included the little girl’s father overcoming his fears. Ya’akov (James) is also present for the event along with Kefa, Yochanan, and the girl’s parents. In each account, the group of people outside the house ‘jeer’ at Yeshua. This word hitah means to scoff, sneer, and ridicule. The people at Jairus’ home were scoffing and ridiculing Yeshua. This is another reason why Yeshua told Jairus to have faith!
In Luke’s account Yeshua takes the girl’s hand and tells her to ‘get up.’ Her ‘spirit’ returned to her. This word is ruach and is the ‘spirit’ that Adonai placed in Adam at creation giving him physical life. The girl’s parents were astonished, though Jairus had asked for this very thing! They were told not to tell anyone what had happened, however, according to Matthew, word spread around the region.
The Number 12
The woman had an issue of bleeding for 12 years. The little girl raised from the dead was 12 years old. Hebrew numbers are written with Hebrew letters. The number 12 is written with a yod and a bet – יב
י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’
ב Bet – A House means ‘family’ or ‘house.’
In Hebrew word pictures the number 12 means: finished work of the house.
The number 12 symbolizes divine completeness. There are 12 Tribes of Israel, 12 stones in the High Priest’s breastplate, 12 loaves of the Bread of Presence in the Temple for the priests, and 12 spies searched out the Promised Land. Yeshua was 12 years old when he taught at the temple, he had 12 disciples, collected 12 baskets of bread and fish after feeding five thousand, and raised a little girl from the dead who was 12 years old. The New Jerusalem has 12 gates, 12 foundations, and the Tree of Life bears 12 different fruits.
The number 12 in Scripture also symbolizes Adonai’s power and authority. This power is evident in Yeshua healing the woman and raising the little girl from the dead. He publicly declared his divinity through his healing power; he is the Healer.
Consolation of Isra’el
With the events surrounding the woman with the issue of bleeding and the little girl rising to Messiah’s tzizit, the Jewish people were witnesses the beginning of the redemption of Israel. They were being shown great signs from the Messiah proving their time of cleansing blood-covered hands and evils deeds was nearing; they only had to come to Yeshua in faith (Isaiah 1:15-16, Isaiah 59:3).
The woman with the issue of bleeding was a prophetic picture of the Daughter of Tzyion; the little girl foreshadowed the Lamb who would be resurrected. The Healer of Israel and the Jewish people was present among them as the Lamb of God whose resurrection begin the restoration of the “Daughter of Tzyion.”
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