[quote="Michael19682, post:1, topic:270008"]
Dear Catholic Friends of CAF,
I need some insight into these verses.
21 Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon."
23 But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us."
24 He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
25 But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me."
What if any significance do you see or understand in the (missing?) question mark in verse 23.
If there is also a question mark missing in verse 24, could this imply an entirely different connotation to Jesus' statement, i.e. a rhetorical question asked? How would have inflection been captured in a passage such as this? Could there have been any?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by missing question mark. The best I can infer is that you mean verse 23 states that the disciples "asked." If that is so, then I would say it's a simple linguistic misunderstanding. This verse is essentially saying "...his disciples came and asked him TO send her away..." The confusion arises becauses the disciples frame their request as a demand, which is not uncommon. After all, how many times did our mothers chastise us for doing so? (i.e., "Mom, get me a Coke.")
Jesus' reply in verse 24, on the other hand, is not directed to the apostles but is his reply to the woman. He is essentially telling her, "No. You are not a Jew," in more poetic language. This is apparent if we continue reading:
26 He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs."
27 She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters."
28 Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour.
So we see that what Jesus was doing was testing her faith, and at the same, by means of first seeming to fulfill his apostles request to dismiss her and then counteracting his own refusals, teaching his apostles a lesson about their own incompassion, and giving an early indication that His work was not, as many of them thought, for the sole benefit of the Jews. So it seems the inflection could be interpeted as such:
Apostles (Pleading): Send her away, Lord.....
Jesus (Turns to Woman, Says Sternly): I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.
And so on.