New International Version
(The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders.
King James Bible
For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
Darby Bible Translation
(for the Pharisees and all the Jews, unless they wash their hands diligently, do not eat, holding what has been delivered by the ancients;
World English Bible
(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, don't eat unless they wash their hands and forearms, holding to the tradition of the elders.
Young's Literal Translation
for the Pharisees, and all the Jews, if they do not wash the hands to the wrist, do not eat, holding the tradition of the elders,
Mark 7:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Except they wash their hands - πυγμῃ, the hand to the wrist - Unless they wash the hand up to the wrist, eat not. Several translations are given of this word; that above is from Dr. Lightfoot, who quotes a tradition from the rabbins, stating that the hands were to be thus washed. This sort of washing was, and still continues to be, an act of religion in the eastern countries. It is particularly commanded in the Koran, Surat v. ver. 7, "O believers, when ye wish to pray, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows - and your feet up to the ankles." Which custom it is likely Mohammed borrowed from the Jews. The Jewish doctrine is this: "If a man neglect the washing, he shall be eradicated from this world." But instead of πυγμῃ, the fist or hand, the Codex Bezae has πυκνῃ, frequently: and several of the Itala have words of the same signification. Bathing is an indispensable prerequisite to the first meal of the day among the Hindoos; and washing the hands and the feet is equally so before the evening meal. Ward's Customs.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
oft. or, diligently. Gr. With the fist. Up to the elbow. Theophylact. [Pugme,] the fist; which Dr. Lightfoot illustrates by a tradition from the Talmudical tracts, that when they washed their hands, they washed the fist up to the joint of the arm, [ad perek.] The Jews laid great stress on these washings, or baptisms, [baptismos,] considering eating with unwashen hands no ordinary crime, and feigning that an evil spirit, called Shibta, has a right to sit on the food of him who thus eats, and render it hurtful.
LibraryThe Pattern of Service
'He touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, He sighed, and saith Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.'--Mark vii 33, 34. For what reason was there this unwonted slowness in Christ's healing works? For what reason was there this unusual emotion ere He spoke the word which cleansed? As to the former question, a partial answer may perhaps be that our Lord is here on half-heathen ground, where aids to faith were much needed, and His power had to be veiled that it might be beheld. Hence the miracle is …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Second Sermon for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity
Things which Defile
The Children and the Dogs
So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?"
You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions."
And he continued, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."
But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
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