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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Mark 7

Verse 2

Verse 2

The washing here referred to was not a measure of cleanliness, but a ceremonial rite.

Mark 7:3,Mark 7:4. The occurrence of these and similar explanations of the customs of the Jews, confirms the opinion that Mark prepared his narrative at Rome, and for the use of Roman Christians,--The washing of cups, &c.; that is, as a ceremonial rite.

Verse 5

Verse 5

Walk; that is, act,--regulate their conduct.--Tradition of the elders; rules of action handed down from ancient times, but not contained in the Word of God. This claim of the Pharisees for the authority of human traditions, seems to have been quite analogous to that of those branches of the church, in modern times, which insist upon certain principles and practices on the authority of the early church, though the Scriptures themselves do not enjoin them.

Verse 10

Verse 10

Curseth is used in opposition to honor; the meaning is, whoso dishonors them or wilfully injures them in any way.

Verse 11

Verse 11

Corban; consecrated to God; that is, a son might deprive his parents of any thing which he ought justly to render to them, by going through an empty ceremony of consecrating it to God. This was in reality nullifying one of the most sacred moral laws of Jehovah, under pretence of rendering him honor; and it was, therefore, a striking instance of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, and of their making the word of God of none effect through their tradition.

Verse 18

Verse 18

Cannot defile him; spiritually.

Verse 19

Verse 19

It entereth not into his heart; it does not reach or affect the moral feelings.

Verse 23

Verse 23

The whole passage is a very clear and striking exposure of the ignorance, or the hypocrisy, implied in ascribing spiritual importance and efficacy to external forms.

Verse 24

Verse 24

Tyre and Sidon; the region of these cities was north of Galilee, near the Mediterranean Sea. He went away from the scene of excitement which his ministry had produced in Galilee, desirous, apparently, of a season of retirement and rest.

Verse 26

Verse 26

A Greek; of Greek descent.

Verse 27

Verse 27

The Savior did not use the word dogs as an epithet to be applied to this woman, but only as a part of the metaphor, or figure, by which he illustrated his position in respect to her and her nation. He says that, as it would not be proper to give the food intended for the children of a family to the dogs, so it is doubtful whether he ought to bestow upon the Gentile nations those miraculous benefits which he was sent to communicate to God's own chosen people. This was very different from applying the term to her as an opprobrious epithet. Hence the point and beauty of her reply,--that the dogs were not to be entirely neglected, but might at least receive some small share.

Verse 31

Verse 31

Decapolis was a retired district on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. In going there, our Savior seems to have intended to avoid those regions about the lake which he had previously visited.

Mark 7:33,Mark 7:34. Commentators have been unable to assign any sufficient reason for the ceremonies which Jesus, in some cases like this, performed upon those whose diseases he cured.

Verse 35

Verse 35

The string of his tongue; the difficulty, whatever it was.

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Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Mark 7". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ain/mark-7.html. 1878.