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Easton's Bible Dictionary
- 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 (Leviticus 8:6 ).
- 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 (Exodus 30:17-21 ). To this practice the Psalmist alludes, Psalm 26:6 .
- 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 (Leviticus 1215-15 ).
- 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" (Deuteronomy 21:1-9 ). So also Pilate declared himself innocent of the blood of Jesus by washing his hands (Matthew 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.
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.
Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Ablution'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/a/ablution.html. 1897.
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34