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and they had seen that some of His disciples ate their bread with [ceremonially] impure hands, that is, unwashed [and defiled according to Jewish religious ritual]. ([a]For the Pharisees and all of the Jews do not eat unless they [b]carefully wash their hands, holding firmly to the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they [c]cleanse themselves [completely according to ritual]; and there are many other things [oral, man-made laws and traditions handed down to them] which they follow diligently, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper utensils.)

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Footnotes

  1. Mark 7:3 Mark explains Jewish customs and translates Hebrew terms for his Gentile readers.
  2. Mark 7:3 Lit with the fist. This probably refers either to the method of washing the hands or, perhaps more likely, to the volume of water used.
  3. Mark 7:4 The Greek word used is baptize, which in this context refers to an immersion ritual normally performed in a miqveh, a special bathtub large enough for the purpose and filled with water that was to be collected naturally. The miqvehs typically were built into the ground outside where they could collect rain water.
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