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*Animals that were blind were unfit for sacrifices (Lev. 22: 22), and blind persons were much hated by David (2 Sam. 5: 8), and priests who were blind were disqualified from sacrificing (Lev. 21: 16–24), though the community was instructed to care for the blind (Lev. 19: 14). Blindness also becomes a symbolical term—the eyes of the blind opened by God is a vivid expression for the recognition of the signs of the age (Isa. 29: 18). In the NT, where the healing of blind persons is one of the indications of the coming of the Kingdom, the gradual healing of the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8: 22–6) is significant; it is what is happening to the disciples, and at Caesarea Philippi a partial insight is reached by Peter (Mark 8: 29). Similarly Bartimaeus' healing (Mark 10: 46–52) is a vivid illustration of the new insights of all disciples who follow Jesus on the way (10: 52), that is, of disciples who follow him on the Christian way (Acts 9: 2). A man blind from birth whose sight was restored by Jesus (John 9: 6–7) became a believer (9: 38); he is converted, which implies rejection of Judaism and expulsion from the synagogue (9: 22).

Subjects: Biblical Studies — Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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