And behold there was a woman
In the synagogue, who, as infirm as she is hereafter described, got out to the place of worship; and which may be a rebuke to such, who, upon every trifling indisposition, keep at home, and excuse themselves from an attendance in the house of God:
which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years;
or a weakness that was brought upon her by an evil spirit, by Satan; as appears from ( Luke 13:16 ) who, by divine permission, had a power of inflicting diseases on mankind, as is evident from the case of Job; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "whom a demon had made infirm": and this disorder had been of a long standing; she had laboured under it for the space of eighteen years, so that it was a known case, and had been given up as incurable, which made the following miracle the more illustrious and remarkable.
And was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up
or lift up her head, look up, or stand upright; it was a thing utterly impossible, which she could by no means do; her body was convulsed, and every part so contracted, that, as the Persic version renders it, "she could not stretch out a hand or foot".