the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
1. The Terms Used and Their Meaning
The American Standard Revised Version has "basin," the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "bason," the preferred spelling of the English revisers. In the Appendix to the Revised Old Testament the American Revisers (section viii) say, "The modern spelling is preferred for the following words"; then follow among others "basin" for "bason"; but no similar statement appears in the Appendix to the Revised New Testament. The Hebrew word so rendered in English Versions of the Bible is chiefly used for the large bowl of bronze (the King James Version "brass") employed by the priests to receive the blood of the sacrificial victims (Exodus 27:3; compare Exodus 29:16; 1 Kings 7:45 , etc.). It is found only once in secular use (Amos 6:6 , "drink wine in bowls"), if the text there is correct; the Septuagint has it otherwise. See BOWL . The "basins" of Exodus 12:22; 2 Samuel 17:28 were probably of earthenware.
2. Of Various Materials and Forms
While the priests' bowls were of bronze, similar bowls or basins of silver were presented by the princes of the congregation, according to Numbers 7:13; and those spoken of in 1 Kings 7:50 as destined for Solomon's temple were of gold (compare 1 Chronicles 28:17 ).
3. The Typical Ewer of the East
(1) The well-known eastern mode of washing the hands was and is by pouring water on the hands, not by dipping them in water, an act, of course, calling for the aid of an attendant. Elisha "poured water on the hands of Elijah" (2 Kings 3:11; see Kitto's note in Pictorial Bible 2, II, 330). A disciple came to be known as "one who poured water on the hands of another." Such was beyond question the prevailing custom among the ancient Hebrews, as it was, and is, among eastern peoples in general. They incline to look with disgust, if not with horror, upon our western practice of washing face and hands in water retained in a basin.
(2) The typical vessel of the East used in such ablutions has a long spout, not unlike our large coffee-pot (see Kitto, Pict. Biblical , II, 331, note). While the English Versions of the Bible unfortunately often suggests nothing like such pouring , the Hebrew expresses it, e.g. in 1 Samuel 25:41 , where we have the Qal of
A B asin of a Unique Sort
(1) A wash-basin of a special sort was used by Jesus for washing the disciples' feet (see John 13:5 ). The Greek is
(2) So it is likely that the
(3) Our conclusion, we may say with George Farmer in DCG , article "Bason," is that
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Basin; Bason'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​isb/​b/basin-bason.html. 1915.