New American Standard Bible
"Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."
King James Bible
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Darby Bible Translation
Why do thy disciples transgress what has been delivered by the ancients? for they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.
World English Bible
"Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat bread."
Young's Literal Translation
'Wherefore do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they do not wash their hands when they may eat bread.'
Matthew 15:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Transgress the tradition of the elders - The world "elders" literally means "old men." Here it means the "ancients," or their "ancestors." The "tradition of the elders" meant something handed down from one to another by memory; some precept or custom not commanded in the written law, but which scribes and Pharisees held themselves bound to observe.
They supposed that when Moses was on Mount Sinai two sets of laws were delivered to him: one, they said, was recorded, and is that contained in the Old Testament; the other was handed down from father to son, and kept uncorrupted to their day. They believed that Moses, before he died, delivered this law to Joshua; he to the Judges; they to the prophets; so that it was kept pure until it was recorded in the Talmuds. In these books these pretended laws are now contained. They are exceedingly numerous and very trifling. They are, however, regarded by the Jews as more important than either Moses or the prophets.
One point in which the Pharisees differed from the Sadducees was in holding to these traditions. It seems, however, that in the particular traditions mentioned here, all the Jews were united; for Mark adds Mark 7:3 that "the Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders." Mark has also added that this custom of washing extended not merely to their hands before eating, but in coming from the market; and also to cups, and pots, and brass vessels, and tables, Mark 7:3-4. They did this professedly for the sake of cleanliness. So far it was well. But they also made it a matter of superstition. They regarded external purity as of much more importance than the purity of the heart. They had many foolish rules about it respecting the quantity of water that was to be used, the way in which it should be applied, the number of times it should be changed, the number of those that might wash at a time, etc. Our Saviour did not think it proper to regard these rules, and this was the reason why they "found fault" with him.
LibraryOn the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xv. 21,"Jesus Went Out Thence, and Withdrew into the Parts of Tyre and Sidon. And Behold, a Canaanitish Woman,"
1. This woman of Canaan, who has just now been brought before us in the lesson of the Gospel, shows us an example of humility, and the way of godliness; shows us how to rise from humility unto exaltation. Now she was, as it appears, not of the people of Israel, of whom came the Patriarchs, and Prophets, and the parents of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh; of whom the Virgin Mary herself was, who was the Mother of Christ. This woman then was not of this people; but of the Gentiles. For, …
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And He answered and said to them, "Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed.
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?"
When the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal.
and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
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