Mark Chapter 7

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

What defiles a man
  1. And having come from Jerusalem, the Pharisees and some of the scribes assemble themselves to Him,
  2. and having seen that some of His disciples are eating bread with unclean hands (that is, unwashed;
  3. for holding fast to the tradition of the elders, the Pharisees and all the Jews don’t eat unless they wash their hands ceremonially with the fist.1“with the fist” is one word in Greek, with that exact literal meaning.  However, there is some debate as to what that means.  Some contend that it means vigorously, diligently, or ‘with strength’ as implied by the fist.  Some contend that it means from the elbow down to the fist, and there are other interpretations.  Regardless, most scholars agree that this goes beyond just washing the hands for cleanliness before you eat and ventures into ceremonial tradition that had to be done a specific way to count.
  4. And after returning from the market, they don’t eat unless they wash.  And there are many other traditions that they received to hold fast to; washings of cups, and pitchers, and utensils, and couches for eating.)
  5. And the Pharisees and the scribes interrogate Him: “Why don’t your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat the bread with unwashed hands?”
  6. But He told them: “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is *written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, yet their heart keeps far away from Me.
  7. ” ‘Yet they worship Me vainly, teaching the precepts of men as doctrines’.2quotation/allusion to Isaiah 29:13
  8. “Having disregarded the command of God, you are holding to the tradition of men [washings of pitchers and cups, and you do many other similar such things].”
  9. And He was telling them: “You ‘nobly’3“nobly” this word is used here in the sense of “bitter irony” (Thayers), or sarcasm. do away with the commandment of God so you might keep your tradition.
  10. “For Moses said: ‘honor your father and your mother‘,4quotation/allusion to Exodus 20:12, and Deuteronomy 5:16 and ‘The man cursing father or mother must end in death‘.5quotation/allusion to Leviticus 20:9 and Exodus 21:17
  11. “But you say that if a man says to his father or his mother: ‘If you might be helped by something from me, it’s Corban6“Corban” is specifically a gift consecrated/devoted to God.   The Pharisees believed that it was wrong to use something which was devoted/consecrated to God for “normal” use.  Therefore, the Pharisees said if a man devoted (gave) everything he owned to God, he couldn’t use it for another purpose (such as helping family).  However, there was no time requirement to deliver his goods, so he could keep them indefinitely while avoiding his obligations.  This loophole was apparently invented by the Pharisees to allow men to shirk the Biblical and moral obligation of taking care of their own parents. (that is, a gift to God).
  12. “You no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother,
  13. annulling the word of God through your tradition which you handed down.  And you do many similar such things.”
  14. And having summoned the crowd again, He was telling them: “All of you listen to Me and understand.
  15. “There’s nothing from the outside of a man which is able to defile him after entering into him.  But the things coming out of the man are the things defiling the man.
  16. “[If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.]”
  17. And when He went away from the crowd into the house, His disciples were asking Him about the parable.
  18. And He says to them: “So, are you also undiscerning?  Don’t you comprehend that nothing entering into a man from the outside is able to defile him?
  19. That’s because it doesn’t enter into his heart, but into the stomach and goes out into the sewage pit.” 7“sewage pit” the Greek word here literally means “a place of sitting apart”, referring to a drain or latrine for human waste.  (Thus cleansing all foods.)8“cleansing all foods” There are two basic interpretations of this phrase.  (1) Says the body cleanses the food by extracting the good and expelling the bad.  (2) Says that this is Jesus abolishing the distinction between clean and unclean foods that was laid down in the Mosaic Law.
  20. And He was saying: “What’s coming out of a man; that defiles the man.
  21. “For from within the heart of men come out evil deliberations, fornications, thefts, murders, men having sex with other men’s wives,9“men having sex with other men’s wives” is one word in Greek, usually translated “adultery” in this verse.  However, the Greek (and Hebrew) words specifically mean a man (married or unmarried) having sex with another man’s wife.  The Hebrews divided sexual sins into two classes based on the marital status of the woman.  A man having sex with another man’s wife (or betrothed) was adultery.  A man having sex with an unmarried woman was fornication.  Both are serious sins, but they are differentiated by the Greek and Hebrew words.
  22. “covetousness, wickedness, deceit, wanton debauchery, an evil eye of envy,10“of envy” This was added to indicate the “evil eye” had an idiomatic meaning of being envious or even greedy. blasphemy, arrogant pride, and foolishness.
  23. “All these evils come out from within, and they defile a man.”
The Syrophoenician Woman
  1. And having risen, He departed from there into the region of Tyre [and Sidon].  And having entered into a house, He wasn’t wanting anyone to know, and He wasn’t able to escape notice.
  2. But having heard about Him, a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet.
  3. Now the woman was a gentile, Syrophoenician by ethnicity, and she was asking Him so He might cast the demon out of her young daughter.
  4. And He was telling her: “First allow the children to be satisfied, for it’s not good to take the children’s bread and to throw it to the pet dogs.11“pet dogs”  The Greek word here literally means a “little dog”, which has a diminutive connotation, and thus an affectionate sense.  It could also mean a literal “little dog”, which could indicate a puppy. Translating it “pet puppies” is possible.  Regardless there is an affectionate sense here and Jesus didn’t use this in a derogatory way.
  5. But she answered and says to Him: “Yes Lord, and the pet dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”
  6. And He told her: “Because of this statement, go; the demon has come out of your daughter.”
  7. And having departed to her house, she found the child *lying on the bed and the demon *departed.
Jesus heals a deaf man
  1. And having gone out of the region of Tyre again, He came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee in the midst of the region of the Decapolis.
  2. And they bring a man to Him who is deaf and has a speech impediment, and they implore Him so He might put a hand on him.
  3. And having taken him aside from the crowd on his own, He put His fingers into his ears; and having spit He touched his tongue.
  4. And having looked up to heaven, He sighed12“sighed” could also be translated “groaned” and tells him: “Ephphatha!”  (That is, “Be opened!”)
  5. And immediately his ears were opened and the impediment of his tongue was undone, and he was speaking correctly.
  6. And He instructed them that they tell no one.  But the more He was instructing them, the more abundantly they were proclaiming it.
  7. And they were stunned beyond measure, saying: “He has done all things nobly; He even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”


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