And behold a woman which was diseased.
&c.] This affair happened in the streets of Capernaum, as Christ was going from the house of Matthew the publican, to the house of Jairus the ruler of the synagogue, which were both in this city. This poor woman's case was a very distressed one; she had been attended
with an issue of blood twelve years;
it was an uncommon flux of a long standing, was inveterate, and become incurable; though she had not been negligent of herself, but had made use of means, applied herself to regular physicians, had took many a disagreeable medicine, and had spent all her substance in this way; but instead of being better, was worse, and was now given up by them, as past all cure. This woman might be truly called (hlwdg hbz) , F24 "the greater profluvious woman", in the language of the doctors; for if one that had a flux but three days was called so, much more one that had had it twelve years. She having heard of Jesus, and his miraculous cures, had faith given her to believe, that she also should receive one from him; wherefore she
came behind him,
through modesty, being ashamed to come before him, and tell him her case, especially before so many people; and fearing lest if her case was known, she should be thrust away, if not by Christ, yet by the company; she being according to the law an unclean person, and unfit for society:
and touched the hem of his garment;
which was the (tuyu) , or "fringes", the Jews were obliged to wear upon the borders of their garments, and on it a ribband of blue; see ( Numbers 15:38 ) ( Deuteronomy 22:12 ) in both which places Onkelos uses the word (Nydpowrk) , the same with (kraspedon) , used here, and in ( Mark 6:56 ) and rendered "hem". The Jews placed much sanctity in the wear and use of these fringes; and the Pharisees, who pretended to more holiness than others, enlarged them beyond their common size; but it was not on account of any peculiar holiness in this part of Christ's garment, that induced this poor woman to touch it; but this being behind him, and more easy to be come at, she therefore laid hold on it; for it was his garment, any part of it she concluded, if she could but touch, she should have a cure. However, we learn from hence, that Christ complied with the rites of the ceremonial law in apparel, as well as in other things.
F24 Ib. Issure Bia, c. 6. sect. 7, 8. & in Misn. Nidda, c. 4. sect. 7.