Mark 7:15
There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
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7:14-23 Our wicked thoughts and affections, words and actions, defile us, and these only. As a corrupt fountain sends forth corrupt streams, so does a corrupt heart send forth corrupt reasonings, corrupt appetites and passions, and all the wicked words and actions that come from them. A spiritual understanding of the law of God, and a sense of the evil of sin, will cause a man to seek for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to keep down the evil thoughts and affections that work within.Full well - These words are capable of different interpretations. Some read them as a question: "Do ye do well in rejecting?" etc. Others suppose they mean "skillfully, cunningly." "You show great cunning or art, in laying aside God's commands and substituting in their place those of men." Others suppose them to be ironical. "How nobly you act! From conscientious attachment to your traditions you have made void the law of God;" meaning to intimate by it that they had acted wickedly and basely.CHAPTER 7

Mr 7:1-23. Discourse on Ceremonial Pollution. ( = Mt 15:1-20).

See on [1450]Mt 15:1-20.

Ver. 15,16. The addition of these words, If any man have ears to hear, let him hear, confirm what I observed before, that our Saviour looked upon what he said as a truth of very great moment, and withal as such a notion which carnal hearts and superstitious persons had no ears to hear. This great truth was, That a man in the sight of God (for of such defilement he alone speaketh), could be defiled by nothing but what came from within him. How easily would a popish doctor have answered this: Doth not disobedience to the church’s commands come from within us? Our Saviour therefore must be understood of such things as come from within in disobedience to the commands of God; such are those which he mentions, Mark 7:21,22; for all things that come from within do not defile the man. And it is true, that a disobedience to the commands of any power, whether civil or ecclesiastical, is a thing which cometh from within and defileth a soul, if it be a disobedience in such things which God hath given them a power to command, but if not the case is otherwise.

There is nothing from without a man,.... As any sort of food and drink, whether it be received, with, or without washing of the hands:

that entering into him can defile him; in a moral sense, or render him loathsome and unacceptable in the sight of God:

but the things which come out of him; the Arabic: version reads, "out of the mouth of man", as in Matthew 15:11, for the things are, all sinful words which proceed from the imaginations and lusts of the heart; as all idle, unchaste, blasphemous, and wrathful words and expressions: and may include evil thoughts, words, and actions; which actions first in thought, take their rise from the corrupt heart of man; and in word, come out of the mouth; and in action, are performed by some one or other of the members of the body: these are

they that defile the man: his mind and conscience, the faculties of his soul, and the members of his body; and render him abominable in the sight of God, and expose him to his wrath and displeasure; See Gill on Matthew 15:11. The sense of the whole is, that not what a man eats and drinks, and in whatsoever way he does either, though he may eat and drink with unwashen hands, or out of cups, pots, and platters, not properly washed, according to the traditions of the elders, renders him a polluted sinful man, in the sight of God; or such as one, whose company and conversation are to be, avoided by good men; but that it is sin in the heart, and what proceeds from it; as all evil thoughts, wicked words, and impure actions; which denominate a man filthy and unclean, and expose him to the abhorrence of God, and of his people: the words may be rendered, "there is nothing from without a man, can make him common"; that is, as a plebeian, a vulgar common man, a sinful wicked man, as the common people were, or at least were so esteemed by the Pharisees; nothing that he took into his body, by eating or drinking, could put him into the class of such persons: "but the things which come out of him"; out of his heart, by his lips: "those are they that make a man common"; or a vulgar wicked man. The Ethiopic version renders it, "it is not what enters from without into the mouth of man, which can defile him; but only what goes out of the heart man, this defiles the man": the Persic version adds, "and is the sin of death"; or sin unto death, a deadly, mortal sin.

There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
Mark 7:15. This saying is called a parable in Mark 7:17, and Weiss contends that it must be taken strictly as such, i.e., as meaning that it is not foods going into the body through the mouth that defile ceremonially, but corrupt matters issuing from the body (as in leprosy). Holtzmann, H. C., concurs. Schanz dissents on the ground that on this view the connection with unclean hands is done away with, and a quite foreign thought introduced. Mt., it is clear, has not so understood the saying; (Mark 15:11), and while he also calls it a parable (Mark 7:15) he evidently means thereby an obscure, enigmatical saying, needing explanation. Why assume that Mk. means anything more? True, he makes Jesus say, not that which cometh out of the mouth, but the things which come out of the man. But if He had meant the impure matters issuing from the body, would He not have said ἐκ τοῦ σώματος, so as to make His meaning unmistakable? On the whole, the most probable view is that even in Mark 7:15 the thought of Jesus moves in the moral sphere, and that the meaning is: the only defilement worth serious consideration is that caused by the evil which comes out of the heart (Mark 7:21).

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