The Meaning of Matthew 15:27 Explained

Matthew 15:27

KJV: And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

YLT: And she said, 'Yes, sir, for even the little dogs do eat of the crumbs that are falling from their lords' table;'

Darby: But she said, Yea, Lord; for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from the table of their masters.

ASV: But she said, Yea, Lord: for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters table.

KJV Reverse Interlinear

And  she said,  Truth,  Lord:  yet  the dogs  eat  of  the crumbs  which  fall  from  their  masters'  table. 

What does Matthew 15:27 Mean?

Verse Meaning

In her reply the woman said, "for even," not "but even" (Gr. kai gar). This is an important distinction because she did not challenge what Jesus had said. She acknowledged the truthfulness of what He said and then appealed to Him on the basis of its implications. Her words reveal great faith and spiritual wisdom. She did not ask for help because her case made her an exception or because she believed she had a right to Jesus" help. She did not argue about God"s justice in seeking the Jews first. She simply threw herself on Jesus" mercy without pleading any merit.
". . . she is confident that even if she is not entitled to sit down as a guest at the Messiah"s table, Gentile "dog" that she Isaiah , yet at least she may be allowed to receive a crumb of the uncovenanted mercies of God." [1]
She used the diminutive form of "dogs" (Gr. kynaria) probably because small house dogs are even more dependent than large street dogs. She also used the diminutive form of "crumbs" (Gr. psichion) that expressed her unworthiness to receive a large blessing.
"The metaphor which Christ had used as a reason for rejecting her petition she turns into a reason for granting it." [2]
She bowed to God"s will regarding Jewish priority, but she also believed that God would extend His grace to believing Gentiles (cf. Romans 9-11).

Context Summary

Matthew 15:21-28 - The Reward Of An Outsider's Faith
A crumb from the table of our Lord can make the heart satisfied and glad. But the suppliant must take the right place and give Him His right place. This poor Gentile mother had no claim on Jesus as the son of David-He was therefore silent. It was impossible for her to come in by the door of the covenant, but His silence led her to knock at another door, and taught her to cry, Lord, help me.
There was yet another lesson for her to learn and the Lord knew that she was capable of learning it. She must realize that for the time His ministry was confined to the Chosen People, so that the Gentile claim could be recognized only incidentally. But when she was willing to take the low place under the table and ask for the children's crumbs, He put the key of His unsearchable riches into her hand, saying, "Woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt." Those who yield to God most absolutely are able to decree things! See Job 22:28; John 15:7. [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 15

1  Jesus reproves the Scribes and Pharisees
7  for transgressing God's commandments through their own traditions;
10  teaches how that which goes into the mouth does not defile a man
21  He heals the daughter of the woman of Canaan,
29  and other great multitudes;
32  and with seven loaves and a few small fish feeds four thousand men

Greek Commentary for Matthew 15:27

Even the dogs [και τα κυναρια]
She took no offence at the implication of being a Gentile dog. The rather she with quick wit took Christ‘s very word for little dogs (κυναρια — kunaria) and deftly turned it to her own advantage, for the little dogs eat of the crumbs (πσιχιων — psichiōn little morsels, diminutive again) that fall from the table of their masters (κυριων — kuriōn), the children. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 15:27

Matthew 15:26 Dogs [κυναρίοις]
Diminutive: little dogs. In Matthew 15:27, Wyc. renders the little whelps, and Tynd., in both verses, whelPsalms The picture is of a family meal, with the pet house-dogs running round the table. [source]
Galatians 2:15 Sinners of the Gentiles [ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁμαρτωλοί]
Lit. sinners taken from the Gentiles, or sprung from. Sinners, in the conventional Jewish sense; born heathen, and as such sinners; not implying that Jews are not sinners. The Jew regarded the Gentile as impure, and styled him a dog (Matthew 15:27). See Romans 2:12; 1 Corinthians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 9:21; Ephesians 2:12; Luke 18:32; Luke 24:7. Possibly Paul here cites the very words by which Peter sought to justify his separation from the Gentile Christians, and takes up these words in order to draw from them an opposite conclusion. This is quite according to Paul's habit. [source]
Hebrews 9:2 A tabernacle the first [σκηνη η πρωτη]
See Hebrews 8:2 for σκηνη — skēnē Large tents usually had two divisions (the outer and the inner or the first and the second). Note πρωτη — prōtē for the first of two as with the first covenant (Hebrews 8:7, Hebrews 8:13; Hebrews 9:1). The large outer tent was entered first and was called αγια — Hagia (Holy), the first division of the tabernacle. The two divisions are here termed two tabernacles. Was prepared First aorist passive of κατασκευαζω — kataskeuazō See Hebrews 3:3. For the furniture see Exod 25; 26. Three items are named here: the candlestick (η λυχνια — hē luchnia late word for λυχνιον — luchnion) or lampstand, necessary since there were no windows (Exodus 25:31-39); the table (η τραπεζα — hē trapeza old word, Matthew 15:27) for the bread (Exodus 25:23-30; Leviticus 24:6 of pure gold); the shewbread (η προτεσις των αρτων — hē prothesis tōn artōn) as in Exodus 25:30; Exodus 40:23; Leviticus 24:5-9. Probably a hendiadys for the table with the loaves of God‘s Presence. [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 15:27 mean?

- And she said Yes Lord even however the dogs eat of the crumbs - falling from the table of the masters of them
δὲ εἶπεν Ναί κύριε καὶ γὰρ τὰ κυνάρια ἐσθίει ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τῶν κυρίων αὐτῶν

Parse: Article, Nominative Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
εἶπεν  she  said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
Ναί  Yes 
Parse: Particle
Root: ναί  
Sense: yea, verily, truly, assuredly, even so.
κύριε  Lord 
Parse: Noun, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
καὶ  even 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: καί  
Sense: and, also, even, indeed, but.
γὰρ  however 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: γάρ  
Sense: for.
κυνάρια  dogs 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: κυνάριον  
Sense: a little dog.
ἐσθίει  eat 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐσθίω 
Sense: to eat.
ψιχίων  crumbs 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: ψιχίον 
Sense: a little morsel, a crumb.
τῶν  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Plural
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
πιπτόντων  falling 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: πίπτω 
Sense: to descend from a higher place to a lower.
τραπέζης  table 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: τράπεζα  
Sense: a table.
τῶν  of  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Plural
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
κυρίων  masters 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
αὐτῶν  of  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.