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Holman Bible Dictionary

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A cleaner made by mixing olive oil and alkali from burning certain salt-producing plants. It was used of washing the body (Jeremiah 2:22 ) and of washing clothes (Malachi 3:2 ). Perhaps the scant references to soap is due to the fact that people in the Near East use oil for cleansing the body and pound clothes on rocks while wet to cleanse them. See Fuller .

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Soap'. Holman Bible Dictionary.​dictionaries/​eng/​hbd/​s/soap.html. 1991.