Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hemorrhaging Woman and Jairus' Daughter: Thematic Parallels

There are a number of thematic parallels between the two episodes.[1]

Mark 9.18-26

Hemorrhaging Woman
Jairus’ Daughter
Number “12”

She has “had a hemorrhage for twelve years” (v. 25)
“…for she was twelve years old.” (v. 42)

Jesus addresses her as “daughter” (v. 34)
Jarius refers to her as, “My little daughter” (v. 23)
Wealthy background
She “had spent all that she had” (v. 25)
Daughter is lying in a separate room.  This would be a sign of wealth for the family.

Woman touches Jesus (v. 27)
Jesus takes “the child by the hand” (v. 41)

Jesus mentions woman’s faith      (v. 34)
Jesus urges, “Do not be afraid, only believe” (v. 36)
Restoration of Fertility
Potential restoration of fertility due to healing of hemorrhaging (v. 29)
Culturally marriageable age (12); raised up to potentially marry/bear children
Ritual Impurity

Menstrual impurity based on Leviticus 15.25-30
Dead body becomes a source of uncleanness (Numbers 19.11-13)

     [1]  John DelHousaye, “Jesus and Jewish Menstruation Traditions: Implications for the Liberation of Women” (Unpublished paper), 4-5.