From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Sight —Christ rejoiced in His power of restoring sight to the physically blind (see below), and points to it as a most fitting exercise for One sent of God ( Matthew 11:5,  Luke 7:21-22; see also art. Sign). When He speaks of Himself as Deliverer, in terms borrowed from the prophets (combining  Isaiah 61:1;  Isaiah 42:6-7), one of the chief features of the commission He announces is the recovering of sight to the blind ( Luke 4:18-19). At that rapt moment of high spiritual experience it is certain that, while bodily sight may be referred to, the emphasis lies on the higher vision He had come to impart. The need of man for true inward sight, for the knowledge of God and of self, was ever central to Jesus. That men should see Him and thus see the Father was the one burning passion of His life ( John 14:9, cf.  John 16:12-13;  John 16:16;  John 17:3;  John 17:6;  John 17:25-26). That men should have the capacity of vision and yet be blind to the true significance of Himself and His work, was a sincere embarrassment to Him ( Mark 8:18).

In  Matthew 6:22 and  Luke 11:34-36 He employs bodily sight with its commanding relation to the whole of human activities as an image of inward vision. The eye was the means of guidance and surety and power to the whole body—the lamp (λύχνος) of the body. If the eye be unperverted (‘single,’ or, literally, ‘simple,’ ἁπλοῦς), the whole body is lighted for all the work it has to do. If ‘evil’ (πονηρός), the whole body is darkened, and every part of the complex activity is rendered inefficient if not impossible. So of the inward, mental and spiritual eye. The power of vision is central. If that capacity to see things as they are be unimpaired, the man can be and do that for which God created him. But the man who has lost his power of inward sight is enveloped in the deepest and most hopeless gloom. If the light in a man be darkness, how great is that darkness! On  Matthew 13:13 ff. see Parable, p. 315 f.; and on  John 19:30 ff. see Seeing.

In our Lord’s healing of the multitude which the Gospels on several occasions record, cases of blindness were found, loss of sight being then as now common in Syria. The common cause of loss of sight was and is ophthalmia, which varied in severity from a minor form causing redness of the lids and loss of the eyelashes, to an extreme form affecting the whole eyeball, lachrymal ducts, the glands, eyelids and lashes, and resulting in the total destruction of sight and the eyeball. The disease is still prevalent in the East, and especially in Syria, being traceable to the intensity of light and heat, and to the strong winds bearing sand and other injurious matter. The matter secreted from the inflamed glands is also transferred to other persons, making the disease highly contagious. Ophthalmia might also give rise to blindness from birth, by causing permanent opacity of the cornea.

Other affections of the parts connected with the organ of vision might produce blindness, e.g. , affection of the nerves.  Matthew 12:22 was a case of this kind, being probably also complicated with nervous disorder. The blindness, deafness, and dumbness point to some serious defect or disease in the nervous tissue which controls the organs of vision, hearing, and speech; and the mental disorder is organically connected with the cerebral disorganization.

As a rule, the cases of loss of sight are not sufficiently described to enable us to know what particular cause produces the blindness.  Matthew 9:27-31 is a case in point, the interest of the narrative being the quick faith of the blind and the sympathetic response of Jesus. The case of the man blind from his birth may have been due to any of the causes above mentioned, or to cataract (John 9). The feature of our Lord’s cure of the blind is narrated in the above instances—His touching of the eyes. The blind man of Bethsaida ( Mark 8:22-26) was treated similarly. Twice Jesus laid His hands upon the blind eyes. Also He spit upon his eyes—having previously gently led him by the hand out of the village. He spoke to him also of the healing which they both desired, and called forth the energy of the man in response to His own power: ‘Seest thou aught?’ In this instance a process was observable in the recovery, or possibly there is indicated the difficulty in one who had never seen of being able to interpret to himself new sensations. In John 9 we note that Jesus speaks concerning the cure to be wrought. His words in  John 9:3-5 would be spoken in the hearing of the one to be healed, and would have a salutary effect in restoring hopefulness to one who might not unnaturally have given up all hope of restoration. The eyes are anointed with clay and saliva, and the man sent in the obedience of a strong faith to a distant pool.

These two instances in which our Lord uses saliva recall the familiar folk-lore of curing sore eyes. The use of saliva, especially of fasting saliva, for bleared eyes, still persists. The Talmud ascribes special efficacy to the saliva of an eldest son. Royal saliva was greatly in request for healing purposes, and an instance is recorded of Vespasian using his saliva with excellent effect, after having first inquired of the physician if the malady were curable (Tacitus, Hist. iv. 2; Suetonius, Vespasian , 7). Our Lord’s use of saliva, or of saliva and clay, had no connexion with these as physical remedies, but may have been designed to encourage the mind of the patients, who were familiar with the remedy. And it is significant that all the action of Jesus was upon the psychical side. The means taken were exactly adapted to call out the response of the patient, and to evoke a real co-operation between Healer and healed. Cf. the means used in  Mark 8:22-26, and for the deaf mute in  Mark 7:31-35, the signs employed being evidently meant for the one to be restored.

We may note (1) that both Jn. and Mk. in the last two cases, give substantially the same account of the methods employed by Jesus. Considering the wide difference in the standpoint of the two writers, this is most significant, and indicates clearly that both descriptions are drawn from life, and that the actual method of Jesus was remembered and so far understood as to be regarded as memorable. (2) The suggestive likeness between the action of Jesus and modern therapeutic methods. Not that these deeds of Jesus are explained by the latter, but that the Divine life manifested in Him did not work on totally different lines, although His method completely over-passed and overwhelmed them in essential power. See also Blindness, and Seeing.

Literature.—Martineau, End. after the Christian Life , p. 463; Phillips Brooks, Candle of the Lord , p. 74; N. Smyth, Reality of Faith (1888), 1; B. Wilberforce, Speaking Good of His Name (1904), 137; Macmillan, Ministry of Nature , ch. xii.; Hastings DB [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] , art. ‘Medicine’; Comm . on passages referred to; Trench and W. M. Taylor on Miracles .

T. H. Wright.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

A — 1: Εἶδος (Strong'S #1491 — Noun Neuter — eidos — i'-dos )

is translated. "sight" in  2—Corinthians 5:7; see Appearance , No. 1.

A — 2: Θεωρία (Strong'S #2335 — Noun Feminine — theoria — theh-o-ree'-ah )

denotes "a spectacle, a sight" (akin to theoreo, "to gaze, behold;" see BEHOLD), in  Luke 23:48 .

A — 3: Ὅραμα (Strong'S #3705 — Noun Neuter — horama — hor'-am-ah )

"that which is seen" (akin to horao, "to see"), besides its meaning, "a vision, appearance," denotes "a sight," in  Acts 7:31 . See Vision.

A — 4: Ὀφθαλμός (Strong'S #3788 — Noun Masculine — ophthalmos — of-thal-mos' )

"an eye" (Eng. "ophthalmic," etc.) in  Acts 1:9 is translated "sight" (plur. lit., "eyes"). See Eye.

A — 5: Ἀνάβλεψις (Strong'S #309 — Noun Feminine — anablepsis — an-ab'-lep-sis )

denotes "recovering of sight" (ana, "again," blepo, "to see"),  Luke 4:18 . In the Sept.,  Isaiah 61:1 .

 Revelation 4:3Look Luke 7:21 Acts 9:9  Hebrews 12:21  Luke 21:11

B — 1: Ἀναβλέπω (Strong'S #308 — Verb — anablepo — an-ab-lep'-o )

"to look up," also denotes "to receive or recover sight" (akin to A, No. 5), e.g.,  Matthew 11:5;  20:34;  Mark 10:51,52;  Luke 18:41-43;  John 9:11,15,18 (twice);   Acts 9:12,17,18;  22:13 .

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [3]

The recovery of sight to the blind was predicted to be among the events which should mark the person and acts of the Messiah. (See  Isaiah 61:1, etc. compared with  Luke 4:16-21) But the greatness of the miracle hath not perhaps been considered but by few, equal to its importance, both in its relation to bodily and spiritual blindness. I am free to confess that I did not discover the whole loveliness of it until reading somewhat of the manners and customs among eastern nations.

In many cases of the blind there is not only a loss of vision but a loss of the eyeballs. And in eastern countries, where for capital punishment the eyes are literally scooped from their sockets, it is not simply a restoration to give sight to such miserable eyeless creatures, but it is a new creation. We meet with numberless instances, in the Old Testament Scripture, where such cruel punishments were inflicted. The case of Samson,  Judges 16:21; the case of Zedekiah,  Jeremiah 52:11. In the margin of the Bible in the former instance it is, the Philistines bored out his eyes. Now in all such cases there is not only the loss of sight, but the loss of eyes. I beg the reader to connect this idea all along with what is said concerning this feature of character in the Lord Jesus Christ giving sight to the blind, for, it is literally giving eyes also, and consequently a new creation.

Now look at the prediction in this point of view concerning Christ, and it must instantly strike the mind with the fullest conviction that such acts to the bodies of men demonstrated his GODHEAD; for he not only gave vision, but he created eyes. And in respect to the souls of his people, which those miracles to the bodies were intended to set forth, surely here was exhibited the new creation in the most striking manner. Unawakened sinners are represented as "dead in trespasses and sins;"Jesus came to give them life. Jesus came to bind up the broken in heart; and a broken heart is a dead heart. Jesus came to give sight to the blind whose eye-sockets had no eyes, being put out for the capital punishment of high treason, even sin against God. And hence the charter of grace runs in those soul-reviving words: "A new heart will I give you, and a right spirit will I put within you; ye shall be my people, and I will be your God." ( Ezekiel 36:26, etc.)

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): ( v. t.) The act of seeing; perception of objects by the eye; view; as, to gain sight of land.

(2): ( v. t.) A small aperture through which objects are to be seen, and by which their direction is settled or ascertained; as, the sight of a quadrant.

(3): ( v. t.) The power of seeing; the faculty of vision, or of perceiving objects by the instrumentality of the eyes.

(4): ( v. t.) The state of admitting unobstructed vision; visibility; open view; region which the eye at one time surveys; space through which the power of vision extends; as, an object within sight.

(5): ( v. t.) A spectacle; a view; a show; something worth seeing.

(6): ( v. t.) The instrument of seeing; the eye.

(7): ( v. t.) Inspection; examination; as, a letter intended for the sight of only one person.

(8): ( v. t.) Mental view; opinion; judgment; as, in their sight it was harmless.

(9): ( v. i.) To take aim by a sight.

(10): ( v. t.) A small piece of metal, fixed or movable, on the breech, muzzle, center, or trunnion of a gun, or on the breech and the muzzle of a rifle, pistol, etc., by means of which the eye is guided in aiming.

(11): ( v. t.) In a drawing, picture, etc., that part of the surface, as of paper or canvas, which is within the frame or the border or margin. In a frame or the like, the open space, the opening.

(12): ( v. t.) A great number, quantity, or sum; as, a sight of money.

(13): ( v. t.) To apply sights to; to adjust the sights of; also, to give the proper elevation and direction to by means of a sight; as, to sight a rifle or a cannon.

(14): ( v. t.) To get sight of; to see; as, to sight land; to sight a wreck.

(15): ( v. t.) To look at through a sight; to see accurately; as, to sight an object, as a star.

King James Dictionary [5]


1. The act of seeing perception of objects by the eye view as, to gain sight of land to have a sight of a landscape to lose sight of a ship at sea. A cloud received him out of their sight.  Acts 1 . 2. The faculty of vision, or of perceiving objects by the instrumentality of the eyes. It has been doubted whether moles have sight. Milton lost his sight. The sight usually fails at of before fifty years of age. O loss of sight, of thee I most complain. 3. Open view the state of admitting unobstructed vision a being within the limits of vision. The harbor is in sight of the town. The shore of Long Island is in sight of New Haven. The White mountain is in plain sight at Portland, in Maine a mountain is or is not within sight an engagement at sea is within sight of land. 4. Notice from seeing knowledge as a letter intended for the sight of one person only. 5. Eye the instrument of seeing. From the depth of hell they lift their sight. 6. An aperture through which objects are to be seen or something to direct the vision as the sight of a quadrant the sight of a fowling piece or a rifle. 7. That which is beheld a spectacle a show particularly, something wonderful. They never saw a sight so fair. Moses said, I will now turn aside and see the great sight, why the bush is not burned. Ex.  3. Fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. To take sight, to take aim to look for purpose of directing a piece of artillery, &c.