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Matthew 8:5-6

Context
Healing the Centurion’s Servant

8:5 When he entered Capernaum, 1  a centurion 2  came to him asking for help: 3  8:6 “Lord, 4  my servant 5  is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible anguish.”

1 sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region.

map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 C3; Map3 B2.

2 sn A centurion was a noncommissioned officer in the Roman army or one of the auxiliary territorial armies, commanding a centuria of (nominally) 100 men. The responsibilities of centurions were broadly similar to modern junior officers, but there was a wide gap in social status between them and officers, and relatively few were promoted beyond the rank of senior centurion. The Roman troops stationed in Judea were auxiliaries, who would normally be rewarded with Roman citizenship after 25 years of service. Some of the centurions may have served originally in the Roman legions (regular army) and thus gained their citizenship at enlistment. Others may have inherited it, like the apostle Paul did.

3 sn While in Matthew’s account the centurion came to him asking for help, Luke’s account (7:1-10) mentions that the centurion sent some Jewish elders as emissaries on his behalf.

4 tn Grk “and saying, ‘Lord.’” The participle λέγων (legwn) at the beginning of v. 6 is redundant in English and has not been translated.

5 tn The Greek term here is παῖς (pais), often used of a slave who was regarded with some degree of affection, possibly a personal servant (Luke 7:7 uses the more common term δοῦλος, doulos). See L&N 87.77.



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