In Luke 8:43-44 we read

43 ¶ And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

Is there any indication as to what "issue of blood" she had?

  • 2
    It may be the kind described at Leviticus 15:25.
    – 4castle
    Mar 3, 2018 at 18:24
  • She most likely had something like Obstetric fistula, a terrible condition.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 4, 2018 at 5:41
  • www.womeninthescriptures.com/2012/04/woman-with-issue-of-blood.html
    – Perry Webb
    Mar 4, 2018 at 13:34
  • Cf. Lk 8:44 : "and immediately the issuing of blood was regulated/made to stand [aright]." This might indicate menstrual blood, since, to me at least, it indicates that it was not taken away in the normal sense of infirmities, but made to 'stand aright.' As in return to the normal menstrual cycle. Mar 4, 2018 at 13:59
  • Just in case there’s any confusion for OP, the word “issue” is used here in the sense of “discharge”, not in the sense of “problem”. | @SolaGratia, I believe ιστημι here means “desist from movement” rather than having to do with being “aright”— see BDAG B1.
    – Susan
    Mar 6, 2018 at 22:27

2 Answers 2



Luke 8:43-44 (NIV)

"And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[a] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped."

Luke 8:43 (NRSV)

43" Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians,[a] no one could cure her."

Luke 8:43 New Life Version (NLV)

A woman had been sick for twelve years with a flow of blood. (*She had spent all the money she had on doctors.) But she could not be healed by anyone. "

From the renderings above of the verse it appears that the woman perhaps suffered irregular menstruation or menstruation longer that usual. Under the Law she would be considered unclean during the period of her discharge. Leviticus 15:25 reads;

Leviticus 15:25 (NIV)

“‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period."


As pointed out by other answers this would be a discharge of blood from an irregular menstrual cycle (Leviticus 15:25) which can have several physical causes:


Some interesting aspects of this story are:

  • the Gadaran/Gerasene (the town is uncertain among scholars) woman was probably a gentile since the Gerasenes apparently were keeping pigs (Mark 5:1ff) and if she were among Jews she would be forbidden to enter the crowd in her unclean state

  • she touched the fringe of Jesus' garment. It is unlikely that she would have known the connection with Malachi 4:2 but "wings" and "fringes" seem to be etymologically related. Perhaps Luke sees a connection?

  • by touching Jesus' garment she would render him unclean but that does not seem to have occurred.

  • for many years the woman had been the victim of for-profit health care

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