Mark 7:6
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
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(6) Well hath Esaias prophesied.—Strictly, well did Esaias prophesy.

7:1-13 One great design of Christ's coming was, to set aside the ceremonial law; and to make way for this, he rejects the ceremonies men added to the law of God's making. Those clean hands and that pure heart which Christ bestows on his disciples, and requires of them, are very different from the outward and superstitious forms of Pharisees of every age. Jesus reproves them for rejecting the commandment of God. It is clear that it is the duty of children, if their parents are poor, to relieve them as far as they are able; and if children deserve to die that curse their parents, much more those that starve them. But if a man conformed to the traditions of the Pharisees, they found a device to free him from the claim of this duty.Market - This word means either the place where provisions were sold, or the place where men were convened for any purpose. Here it probably means the former.

Except they wash - In the original, "Except they baptize." In this place it does not mean to immerse the whole body, but only the hands. There is no evidence that the Jews washed their "whole bodies" every time they came from market. It is probable that they often washed with the use of a very small quantity of water.

The washing of cups - In the Greek, "the baptism of cups."

Cups - drinking vessels. Those used at their meals.

Pots - Measures of "liquids." Vessels made of wood, used to hold wine, vinegar, etc.

brazen vessels - Vessels made of brass, used in cooking or otherwise. These, if much polluted, were commonly passed through the fire: if slightly polluted they were washed. Earthen vessels, if defiled, were usually broken.

Tables - This word means, in the original, "beds or couches." It refers not to the "tables" on which they ate, but to the "couches" on which they reclined at their meals. See the notes at Matthew 23:6. These were supposed to be defiled when any unclean or polluted person had reclined on them, and they deemed it necessary to purify them with water. The word "baptism" is here used - in the original, "the baptism of tables;" but, since it cannot be supposed that "couches" were entirely "immersed" in water, the word "baptism" here must denote some other application of water, by sprinkling or otherwise, and shows that the term is used in the sense of washing in any way. If the word is used here, as is clear it is, to denote anything except entire immersion, it may be elsewhere, and baptism is lawfully performed, therefore, without immersing the whole body in water.


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

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

See Poole on "Mark 7:6"

He answered and said unto them,.... Matthew postpones the following citation and application of the prophecy of Isaiah, to the account of the command of God being broken by the tradition of Corban; which Mark makes the answer of Christ to begin with:

well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites; which in Matthew is read, "ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you", Matthew 15:7; to the same sense as here: for the prophecy of Isaiah not only described the hypocrites of his time, but had respect chiefly to the Jews in succeeding ages, in the times of Christ, and both before and after; when they would, as they did, greatly degenerate, and lost the power and spirituality of religion, and had only the form of it; left the word of God for the traditions of men, and were given up to great stupidity, and to judicial blindness: hence the Apostle Paul refers to a passage in the same chapter, Isaiah 29:10, and applies it to the Jews in his time, Romans 11:8; See Gill on Matthew 15:7, saying,

as it is written in Isaiah 29:13,

this people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. In the Prophet Isaiah more is said than is here cited; and so in Matthew more is produced, and the whole is there expressed thus: "this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me", Matthew 15:8, they presented their bodies before the Lord in the synagogues, or in the temple, and prayed to him with an air of devotion and fervency, and offered up their praises to him, for their external privileges and blessings; but, alas! this was all lip labour; there was no lifting up their hearts, with their hands, unto God; these were not united to fear his name, but were distracted in his worship, and carried away from him to other objects; See Gill on Matthew 15:8.

{2} He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

(2) Hypocrisy is always joined with superstition.

Mark 7:6-13. The reply of Jesus. It consists of a prophetic citation and a countercharge, given by Mt. in an inverted order. Commentators, according to their bias, differ as to which of the two versions is secondary.

6. Well hath Esaias] Rather, Well, or full well did Esaias prophesy of you.Well” is said in irony. This expression recurs in Mark 7:9, “full well ye reject” = “finely do ye set at naught and obliterate.”

This people honoureth me] The words are found in Isaiah 29:13.

Mark 7:6. Ὑποκριτῶν, hypocrites) Indeed, we may derive from this passage a definition of hypocrisy. These Pharisees were a sample of hypocrites in general.

Verses 6, 7. - Our Lord quotes against them a prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 29:13), This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men. The prophet here gives the cause of the blindness of the Jews, because they honored God with their lips, while their heart was far from him; and their worship of him (for that is the meaning of "their fear") was the commandment of men, which they had been taught; that is, they worshipped God, not according to that spiritual worship which he had commanded, but after the traditions of men and of their own scribes, partly futile, partly perverse, and contrary to God's Law. So he says, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you. The word is καλῶς, "excellently - beautifully - did he prophesy concerning you (τῶν ὑποκριτῶν), the hypocrites." Not that the prophet had the hypocrites of our Saviour's time in his mind when he uttered these words, but that the Spirit of God which was within him enabled him to describe accurately the character of those who seven centuries afterwards would be doing the same things as their forefathers. And observe how they were punished. For as they gave a lip-service only to God, praising him with their mouth indeed, but giving their heart to vanity and the world; so God on his part would give them the words only - the shell, so to speak, the letter which killeth; but take away from them the kernel the spirit and the life, so that they might not lay hold of it nor taste it. Mark 7:6Well (καλῶς)

Finely, beautifully. Ironical.

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