"Healing in his wings" is described in Malachi 4:2. In Mark’s Gospel, the woman with a "discharge of blood for twenty years" stated her belief that if she touched Jesus’ garment she would be made well.

Mark 5:27-28

She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” (ESV)

Malachi 4:2

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. (ESV)

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (KJV)

Are these verses related and can they be cross referenced? Was the woman’s belief described in Mark’s gospel derived from the passage in Malachi?

  • Hello, I expanded this a bit and added the text. The question sort of depends on the KJV for Malachi, and it may reflect an interpretation shared by first century Jews, so I included it despite being a bit skeptical about “his wings”. (The referent appears to be “righteousness”.) Please correct this if I wasn’t conveying your intended question, and also feel free to change translations as you see fit.
    – Susan
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 3:25
  • There is a semi-related question about Malachi 4:2 - What was Malachi's meaning in “The sun of righteousness” vs the sun gods of his day?
    – Susan
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 3:34
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    This question is too opinion based. I personally can't see any relation between the verses.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 8:33
  • The question deals with speculative realm, as even though it's possible that Gospels could've used or alluded to such references from scriptures, we have no way to know as these are subjective midrashic or exposition matters, not objective.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 11:09

4 Answers 4


In the Strongs concordance, the word for wings in Malachi 4:2 is kanaph, and while it is often translated as wings on birds or cherubim, it is also used literally in a reference to a skirt (KJV) or a border of a garment in the following verses: Num 15:38, Deu 22:12, Deu 22:30, Deu 27:20, Ruth 3:9, 1 Samuel 15:27, 1 Sam 24:4-5,11; Jer 2:34; Eze 5:3; Eze 16:8, Hag 2:12, and Zech 8:23.

So I would say from its use in these Scriptures that it is not such a stretch for a woman to interpret kanaph for the border of a garment and to reach for that "wing" of the one she believes is Messiah and can heal her.

  • I'm not sure what your conclusion is. Are you saying, "yes it is an allusion" or simply "it's not impossible?"
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 3:36
  • Yes, I believe it is an allusion. The woman was acting upon an interpretation that the hem of Jesus' clothing would bring healing based on the Malachi 4:2 passage.
    – Christy V.
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 3:41
  • @ThaddeusB I think (and ChristV please correct me if I'm wrong) she's expressing some doubt because ultimately it is unknowable. However, it is plausible but I think it more likely that it was Mark who framed the story with that allusion or perhaps it was by divine design that the intertextuality occurs.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 23:59
  • Please cite a lexicon and at least one of the actual verses.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 0:33

As in Psalm 133, the anointing of oil upon the head of the Priest flows down to the skirts of the garments. Just as Hermon's dew (Psalm 134) flows down to the foothills of the mount. So the power in Christ flows down from God above, upon his head, even to the skirts of the garments - to the very extremities of his Person and of his Influence.

Here, also, is the matter of clothing. His garment was absent in his suffering. It appears again in the tomb, but with a counterpart for the body. And fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints. I believe the woman would have appreciated all this, though in the heat of the moment, in the bustle of the crowd, she no doubt acted instinctively, out of sheer need and long affliction.

Kanaph, yes, is beams or wings, and has more than one allusion, spiritually. All the above allusions are of Headship and Priesthood; all result in restoration, apokattalasso, and full redemption, apolutrosis. Nigel.


Mark seems to be most directly alluding to his "tzitziyot", which all Jewish men were to wear:


[Num 15:38 HNV] Speak to the children of Yisra'el, and bid those who they make them tzitziyot in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put on the tzitzit of each border a cord of blue: [Num 15:39 HNV] and it shall be to you for a tzitzit, that you may look on it, and remember all the mitzvot of the LORD, and do them; and that you not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you use to play the prostitute;

The fact that Jews of the second temple period associated the clothing of the messiah with physical healing suggests to me that they did in fact associate his "fringes" with healing, per Malachi 4:2.

[Mar 6:56 HNV] Wherever he entered, into villages, or into cities, or into the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch just the tzitzit of his garment; and as many as touched him were made well.

Actually, it should read “as many as touched IT were made well”! This in turn seems to ultimately be an allusion to this:

[Eze 44:19 KJV] And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments.

We know that Paul's clothing communicated healing as well:

[Act 19:11 ASV] And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: [Act 19:12 ASV] insomuch that unto the sick were carried away from his body handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out.


I believe if the woman actually new the scripture referred to in Malachi that it is plausible that she was in fact reaching for the wing of his garment. Symbols are used many times in scripture and this seems to me to be a likely occurrence. My pastor used this very topic in his message this morning and I was intrigued enough to do a google search on the subject…thus this article.

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