The Hemorrhaging Woman and Jairus’ Daughter as Representatives of Israel. An Attempt at the Symbolic Reading of Mark 5:21-43

Adam Kubiś

Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II , Polska


The scope of the present study is the symbolic analysis of the two interwoven Markan narratives about the healing of the woman with the flow of blood (5:25-34) and the raising of Jairus’ daughter (5:21-24.35-43). The principal thesis of this work consists in interpreting both women as symbols of Israel. The study begins with the presentation of the methodological premises of symbolic analysis. The main methodological premise of this work is the conviction that the literary sense of this pericope is in fact imbued with symbolism. Then there is a presentation of three criteria which help in detecting symbols in the biblical text: textual probability, conventions probability and contextual probability. Subsequently, in order to lend credence to the principal thesis of the article, seventeen literary elements found in Mark 5:21-43 are discussed; each of them meets the first two criteria and lends itself to symbolic interpretation of the two women as representations of Israel. The cumulative weight of these seventeen elements creates a rather strong cumulative argument in favor of the main thesis. Finally, the conformity between the symbolic interpretation of these women and both the immediate and global contexts of this pericope is discussed. The presence of this conformity meets the third criterion of contextual probability. The article thus offers a convincing case for the symbolic interpretation of the hemorrhaging woman and Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5:21-43 as representations of Israel.

Słowa kluczowe:

Mark 5:21-43, symbol, symbolic exegesis, symbolism of the number twelve, Israel, Jairus, the hemorrhaging woman

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Kubiś, A. (2020). The Hemorrhaging Woman and Jairus’ Daughter as Representatives of Israel. An Attempt at the Symbolic Reading of Mark 5:21-43. The Biblical Annals, 10(3), 355–387.

Adam Kubiś
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II


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