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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Wash; Washing

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wosh , wosh´ing : The two usual Hebrew words for "wash" are רחץ , rāḥac , and כּבס , kābhaṣ , the former being normally used of persons or of sacrificial animals ( Genesis 18:4 , etc., often translated "bathe"; Leviticus 15:5 , etc.), and the latter of things (Genesis 49:11 , etc.), the exceptions to this distinction being few (for rāḥac , 1 Kings 22:38 margin; for kābhaṣ , Psalm 51:2 , Psalm 51:7 ; Jeremiah 2:22 ; Jeremiah 4:14 ). Much less common are דּוּח , dūaḥ (2 Chronicles 4:6 ; Isaiah 4:4 ; Ezekiel 40:38 ) and שׁטף , shātaph (1 Kings 22:38 ; Job 14:19 ; Ezekiel 16:9 ), translated "rinse" in Leviticus 6:28 ; Leviticus 15:11 , Leviticus 15:12 . In Nehemiah 4:23 the King James Version has "washing" and the Revised Version (British and American) "water" for mayim , but the text is hopelessly obscure (compare the Revised Version margin). In the Apocrypha and New Testament the range of terms is wider. Most common is νίπτω , nı́ptō (Matthew 6:17 , etc.), with aponı́ptō in Matthew 27:24 . Of the other terms, λούω , loúō (Susanna verses 15, 17; John 13:10 , etc.), with apoloúō (Acts 22:16 ; 1 Corinthians 6:11 ) and the noun loutrón (Sirach 34:25b; Ephesians 5:26 ; Titus 3:5 ), usually has a sacral significance. On βαπτίζω , baptı́́zō (Sirach 34:25a; Mark 7:4 ; Luke 11:38 ), with the noun baptismós (Mark 7:4 (text?); Hebrews 9:10 ), see BAPTISM . In Luke 5:2 ; Revelation 7:14 ; Revelation 22:14 the Revised Version (British and American) occurs πλύνω , plúnō , while Judith 10:3 has περικλύζω , periklúzō . Virtually, as far as meaning is concerned, all these words are interchangeable. Of the figurative uses of washing, the most common and obvious is that of cleansing from sin ( Psalm 51:2 ; Isaiah 1:16 , etc.), but, with an entirely different figure, "to wash in" may signify "to enjoy in plenty" (Genesis 49:11 ; Job 29:6 ; the meaning in Song of Solomon 5:12 is uncertain). Washing of the hands, in token of innocence, is found in Deuteronomy 21:6 ; Matthew 27:24 .

The "washing balls" of Susanna verse 17 ( σμῆγμα , smḗgma , a very rare word) were of soap. See SOAP .


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Wash; Washing'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/isb/w/wash-washing.html. 1915.

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