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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Defile, Defilement

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A — 1: κοινόω
(Strong's #2840 — Verb — koinoo — koy-no'-o )

denotes (a) "to make common;" hence, in a ceremonial sense, "to render unholy, unclean, to defile," Matthew 15:11,18,20 ; Mark 7:15,18,20,23 ; Acts 21:28 (RV, "defiled;" AV, "polluted"); Hebrews 9:13 (RV, "them that have been defiled," AV, "the unclean"); (b) "to count unclean," Acts 10:15 ; 11:9 . In Revelation 21:27 , some mss. have this verb, "defileth;" the most authentic have the adjective, koinos, "unclean." See CALL , COMMON.

A — 2: μιαίνω
(Strong's #3392 — Verb — miano — me-ah'ee-no )

primarily, "to stain, to tinge or dye with another color," as in the staining of a glass, hence, "to pollute, contaminate, soil, defile," is used (a) of "ceremonial defilement," John 18:28 ; so in the Sept., in Leviticus 22:5,8 ; Numbers 19:13,20 etc.; (b) of "moral defilement," Titus 1:15 (twice); Hebrews 12:15 , "of moral and physical defilement," Jude 1:8 . See B, Nos. 1 and 2.

A — 3: μολύνω
(Strong's #3435 — Verb — moluno — mol-oo'-no )

properly denotes "to besmear," as with mud or filth, "to befoul." It is used in the figurative sense, of a conscience "defiled" by sin, 1 Corinthians 8:7 ; of believers who have kept themselves (their "garments") from "defilement," Revelation 3:4 , and those who have not "soiled" themselves by adultery or fornication, Revelation 14:4 .

Note: The difference between miaino and moluno is that the latter is not used in a ritual or ceremonial sense, as miaino is (Trench, Syn. xxxi).

A — 4: σπιλόω
(Strong's #4695 — Verb — spiloo — spee-lo'-o )

"to make a stain or spot," and so "to defile," is used in James 3:6 of the "defiling" effects of an evil use of the tongue; in Jude 1:23 , "spotted," with reference to moral "defilement." See SPOT.

Note: (1) Cp. spilos, "a spot, a moral blemish," Ephesians 5:27 ; 2 Peter 2:13 ; aspilos, "without spot, spotless," 1 Timothy 6:14 ; James 1:27 ; 1 Peter 1:19 ; 2 Peter 3:14 ; spilas, Jude 1:12 , "hidden rocks," RV (AV "spots," a late meaning, equivalent to spilos).

A — 5: φθείρω
(Strong's #5351 — Verb — phtheiro — fthi'-ro )

see CORRUPT , A, No. 2.

B — 1: μίασμα
(Strong's #3393 — Noun Neuter — miasma — mee'-as-mah )

whence the Eng. word, denotes "defilement" (akin to A, No. 2), and is found in 2 Peter 2:20 , AV, "pollutions," RV, "defilements," the vices of the ungodly which contaminate a person in his intercourse with the world.

B — 2: μιασμός
(Strong's #3394 — Noun Masculine — miasmos — mee-as-mos' )

also akin to A, No. 2, primarily denotes "the act of defiling," the process, in contrast to the "defiling" thing (No. 1). It is found in 2 Peter 2:10 (AV, "uncleanness," RV, "defilement.")

B — 3: μολυσμός
(Strong's #3436 — Noun Masculine — molusmos — mol-oos-mos' )

akin to A, No. 3, denotes "defilement," in the sense of an action by which anything is "defiled," 2 Corinthians 7:1 . Cp. the synonymous word spilos, A, No. 4, Note.

C — 1: κοινός
(Strong's #2839 — Adjective — koinos — koy-nos' )

akin to A, No. 1, common, and, from the idea of coming into contact with everything, "defiled," is used in the ceremonial sense in Mark 7:2 ; in ver. 5, RV, "defiled," for AV, "unwashen" (the verb is used in Mark 7:15 ). See COMMON , UNCLEAN.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Defile, Defilement'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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