Mark 7:3
Parallel Verses
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
Commentary
Clarke'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.

the tradition.

Mark 7:7-10,13 However, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men...

Matthew 15:2-6 Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread...

Galatians 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers...

Colossians 2:8,21-23 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world...

1 Peter 1:18 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold...

Library
The 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
(From the Gospel for the day) This sermon tells us how a man who truly loves God, whose ears have been opened to receive the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, is neither lifted up in joy nor cast down in sorrow. Mark vii. 37.--"He hath done all things well: He maketh both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak." WE read in the Gospel for this day, that as our blessed Lord was going from one place to another, they brought unto Him a man who was born deaf and dumb; as must needs be; for he who is
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

Things which Defile
"And He called to Him the multitude again, and said unto them, Hear Me all of you, and understand: there is nothing from without the man, that going into him can defile him: but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man. And when He was entered into the house from the multitude, His disciples asked of Him the parable. And He saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Perceive ye not, that whatsoever from without goeth into the man, it cannot defile him; because
G. A. Chadwick—The Gospel of St. Mark

The Children and the Dogs
"And from thence He arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered into a house, and would have no man know it; and He could not be hid. But straightway a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of Him, came and fell down at His feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. And she besought Him that He would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. And He said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the
G. A. Chadwick—The Gospel of St. Mark

Cross References
Mark 7:5
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?"

Mark 7:8
You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions."

Mark 7:9
And he continued, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

Mark 7:13
Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."

Luke 11:38
But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.

John 2:6
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Galatians 1:14
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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