Search the Site



Sightlessness. Blindness was one of the blemishes disqualifying descendants of Aaron from performing sacrifice to God (Lev 21:16-24). Likewise, it was forbidden to offer blind animals in sacrifice (Lev 22:22; Deut 15:21; Mal 1:8). The blind were to be protected in accord with God’s covenantal instructions: no stumbling block was to be placed in their way (Lev 19:14); and anyone who misled a blind person was cursed (Deut 21:18). Isaac (Gen 27:1), Eli (1Sam 3:2), and Ahijah (1Kgs 14:4) suffered blindness in old age. In the Bible, God has the power to make people blind (Exod 4:11; Gen 19:11; 2Kgs 6:18) as well as to restore their sight (Ps 146:8). One of the expectations of the eschatological age was the opening of the eyes of the blind by God (Isa 29:18; Isa 35:5; LXX Isa 61:1) and Isa. 42:7 says the Servant of the Lord will “open the eyes that are blind.” In the NT Jesus’s healing of blindness is one of the “deeds of the Christ” illustrating and bringing about the kingdom of God (Matt 11:2-6; Matt 15:29-31; Luke 4:16-19; Luke 7:18-23). There are several examples in which the blind have their sight restored by Jesus (Matt 9:27-31; Matt 12:22; Matt 21:10-17). The concept of blindness was particularly appropriate for metaphorical use; it often characterized spiritual “blindness” or lack of insight into the revelation of God (Isa 6:9-10; Isa 42:16-19; Isa 59:10; Matt 15:14; Acts 28:26-27; Rom 2:19; Rom 11:8-10). The healing of the man born blind in (John 9) characterizes the spiritual “blindness” of the Jews and indicates how Jesus is the “light of the world.”