1 tn Or “lap dogs, house dogs,” as opposed to dogs on the street. The diminutive form originally referred to puppies or little dogs, then to house pets. In some Hellenistic uses κυνάριον (kunarion) simply means “dog.”
sn The term dogs does not refer to wild dogs (scavenging animals roaming around the countryside) in this context, but to small dogs taken in as house pets. It is thus not a derogatory term per se, but is instead intended by Jesus to indicate the privileged position of the Jews (especially his disciples) as the initial recipients of Jesus’ ministry. The woman’s response of faith and her willingness to accept whatever Jesus would offer pleased him to such an extent that he granted her request. This is the only miracle mentioned in Mark that Jesus performed at a distance without ever having seen the afflicted person, or issuing some sort of audible command.