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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 7

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1A GROUP of Pharisees, with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem, met him 2and noticed that some of his disciples were eating their food with defiled hands—in other words, without washing them. 3(For Pharisees and Jews in general never eat without washing their hands a 7:3 washing their hands: some witnesses add with the fist; others add frequently; or thoroughly. , in obedience to ancient tradition; 4and on coming from the market-place they never eat without first washing. And there are many other points on which they maintain traditional rules, for example in the washing of cups and jugs and copper bowls.) 5These Pharisees and scribes questioned Jesus: ‘Why do your disciples not conform to the ancient tradition, but eat their food with defiled hands?’ 6He answered, ‘How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you hypocrites in these words: “This people pays me lip-service, but their heart is far from me: 7they worship me in vain, for they teach as doctrines the commandments of men.” 8You neglect the commandment of God, in order to maintain the tradition of men.’

9He said to them, ‘How clever you are at setting aside the commandment of God in order to maintain b 7:9 maintain: some witnesses read establish. your tradition! 10Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother,” and again, “Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death.” 11But you hold that if someone says to his father or mother, “Anything I have which might have been used for your benefit is Corban,”’ (that is, set apart for God) 12‘he is no longer allowed to do anything for his father or mother. 13In this way by your tradition, handed down among you, you make God's word null and void. And you do many other things just like that.’

14On another occasion he called the people and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand this: 15nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him; no, it is the things that come out of a person that defile him c 7:15 that defile him: some witnesses here add 16If you have ears to hear, then hear. .’

17When he had left the people and gone indoors, his disciples questioned him about the parable. 18He said to them, ‘Are you as dull as the rest? Do you not see that nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him, 19because it does not go into the heart but into the stomach, and so goes out into the drain?’ By saying this he declared all foods clean. 20He went on, ‘It is what comes out of a person that defiles him. 21From inside, from the human heart, come evil thoughts, acts of fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, and malice; fraud, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly; 23all these evil things come from within, and they are what defile a person.’

24He moved on from there into the territory of Tyre. He found a house to stay in, and would have liked to remain unrecognized, but that was impossible. 25Almost at once a woman whose small daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell at his feet. 26(The woman was a Gentile, a Phoenician of Syria by nationality.) She begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her, ‘Let the children be satisfied first; it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.’ 28‘Sir,’ she replied, ‘even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps.’ 29He said to her, ‘For saying that, go, and you will find the demon has left your daughter.’ 30And when she returned home, she found the child lying in bed; the demon had left her.

31On his journey back from Tyrian territory he went by way of Sidon to the sea of Galilee, well within the territory of the Decapolis. 32They brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and begged Jesus to lay his hand on him. 33He took him aside, away from the crowd; then he put his fingers in the man's ears, and touched his tongue with spittle. 34Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ which means ‘Be opened.’ 35With that his hearing was restored, and at the same time the impediment was removed and he spoke clearly. 36Jesus forbade them to tell anyone; but the more he forbade them, the more they spread it abroad. 37Their astonishment knew no bounds: ‘All that he does, he does well,’ they said; ‘he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

Notes:

a 7:3 washing their hands: some witnesses add with the fist; others add frequently; or thoroughly.

b 7:9 maintain: some witnesses read establish.

c 7:15 that defile him: some witnesses here add 16If you have ears to hear, then hear.

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