King James Bible

King James Version (KJV)

King James Bible KJV

Ablution


"Or washing, was practised, (1.) When a person was initiated into" "a higher state: e.g., when Aaron and his sons were set apart to" "the priest's office, they were washed with water previous to" their investiture with the priestly robes (Lev. 8:6). "(2.) Before the priests approached the altar of God, they were "required, on pain of death, to wash their hands and their feet" to cleanse them from the soil of common life (Ex. 30:17-21). To "this practice the Psalmist alludes, Ps. 26:6." "(3.) There were washings prescribed for the purpose of cleansing from positive defilement contracted by particular acts. Of such washings eleven different species are prescribed in the Levitical law (Lev. 12-15). "(4.) A fourth class of ablutions is mentioned, by which a person purified or absolved himself from the guilt of some particular "act. For example, the elders of the nearest village where some" "murder was committed were required, when the murderer was" "unknown, to wash their hands over the expiatory heifer which was" "beheaded, and in doing so to say, "Our hands have not shed this" "blood, neither have our eyes seen it" (Deut. 21:1-9). So also" Pilate declared himself innocent of the blood of Jesus by "washing his hands (Matt. 27:24). This act of Pilate may not," "however, have been borrowed from the custom of the Jews. The" same practice was common among the Greeks and Romans. "The Pharisees carried the practice of ablution to great excess, thereby claiming extraordinary purity (Matt. 23:25). Mark (7:1-5) refers to the ceremonial ablutions. The Pharisees washed "their hands "oft," more correctly, "with the fist" (R.V.," "diligently), or as an old father, Theophylact, explains it," up to the elbow. (Compare also Mark 7:4; Lev. 6:28; 11: 32-36; 15:22) (See [4]WASHING.)


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