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Mark 7:3

    Mark 7:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands diligently, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Now the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not take food without washing their hands with care, keeping the old rule which has been handed down to them:

    Webster's Revision

    (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands diligently, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders;

    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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands diligently, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders:

    Definitions for Mark 7:3

    Oft - Often; frequently.

    Clarke's Commentary on Mark 7:3

    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.

    Barnes' Notes on Mark 7:3

    Except they wash their hands oft - Our word "oft" means frequently, often. The Greek wore translated oft has been rendered various ways. Some have said that it means "up to the wrist" - unless they wash their hands up to the wrist. Others have said up to the elbow." There is evidence that the Pharisees had some such foolish rule as this about washing, and it is likely that they practiced it faithfully. But the Greek Word πυγμή pugmē - means properly the "fist," and the meaning here is, "Unless they wash their hands (rubbing them) with the fist" - that is, not merely dipping the finger or hands in water as a sign of ablution, but rubbing the hands together as a ball or fist, in the usual Oriental manner when water is poured over them. Hence, the phrase comes to mean "diligently, carefully, sedulously." - Robinson, Lexicon. The idea is, unless they pay the utmost attention to it, and do it carefully and according to rule.

    The tradition - What had been handed down; not what was delivered "by writing" in the law of Moses, but what had been communicated from father to son as being proper and binding.

    The elders - The ancients; not the old men "then living," but those who had lived formerly.
    Book: Mark