The Traditions of the Elders

The(A) Pharisees(B) and some of the scribes(C) who had come from Jerusalem(D) gathered around Him. They observed that some of His disciples were eating their bread with unclean(E)—that is, unwashed—hands. (For the Pharisees, in fact all the Jews, will not eat unless they wash their hands ritually, keeping the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace,(F) they do not eat unless they have washed.(G) And there are many other customs they have received and keep, like the washing of cups, jugs, copper utensils, and dining couches.[a](H)) Then the Pharisees(I) and the scribes(J) asked Him, “Why don’t Your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders,(K) instead of eating bread with ritually unclean[b] hands?”

He answered them, “Isaiah(L) prophesied(M) correctly about you hypocrites,(N) as it is written:(O)

These people honor(P) Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me.
They worship Me in vain,
teaching(Q) as doctrines(R) the commands(S) of men.(T)[c]

Disregarding the command of God, you keep the tradition of men.”[d] He also said to them, “You completely invalidate God’s command in order to maintain[e] your tradition! 10 For Moses(U) said:

Honor your father and your mother;(V)[f] and
Whoever speaks evil of father or mother
must be put to death.(W)[g]

11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or mother: Whatever benefit(X) you might have received from me is Corban’” (that is, a gift(Y) committed to the temple), 12 “you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 You revoke God’s word(Z) by your tradition that you have handed(AA) down. And you do many other similar things.” 14 Summoning(AB) the crowd again, He told them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:(AC) 15 Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him. [16 If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!]”[h]

17 When He went into the house away from the crowd, the disciples asked Him about the parable. 18 And He said to them, “Are you also as lacking in understanding? Don’t you realize that nothing going into a man from the outside can defile him? 19 For it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach(AD) and is eliminated.”[i] (As a result, He made all foods clean.[j](AE)) 20 Then He said, “What comes out of a person—that defiles him. 21 For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities,(AF) thefts, murders,(AG) 22 adulteries,(AH) greed,(AI) evil actions, deceit,(AJ) promiscuity,(AK) stinginess,[k] blasphemy,(AL) pride,(AM) and foolishness.(AN) 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”

A Gentile Mother’s Faith

24 He got up and departed from(AO) there to the region of Tyre(AP) and Sidon.[l](AQ) He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it, but He could not escape notice. 25 Instead, immediately after hearing about Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit(AR) came and fell at His feet.(AS) 26 Now the woman was Greek,(AT) a Syrophoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to drive the demon(AU) out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, “Allow the children to be satisfied first, because it isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”(AV)

28 But she replied to Him, “Lord,(AW) even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then He told her, “Because of this reply, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” 30 When she went back to her home, she found her child lying on the bed, and the demon was gone.

Jesus Does Everything Well

31 Again, leaving the region of Tyre,(AX) He went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,(AY) through[m] the region of the Decapolis.(AZ) 32 They brought to Him a deaf(BA) man who also had a speech difficulty,(BB) and begged Jesus to lay His hand on(BC) him. 33 So He took him away from the crowd privately. After putting His fingers in the man’s ears and spitting,(BD) He touched his tongue. 34 Then, looking up to heaven,(BE) He sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!”[n] (that is, “Be opened!”). 35 Immediately his ears were opened,(BF) his speech difficulty was removed,[o] and he began to speak clearly.(BG) 36 Then He ordered them to tell no one,(BH) but the more He would order them, the more they would proclaim(BI) it.

37 They were extremely astonished and said, “He has done everything well!(BJ) He even makes deaf(BK) people hear, and people unable to speak,(BL) talk!”


  1. Mark 7:4 Other mss omit and dining couches
  2. Mark 7:5 Other mss read with unwashed
  3. Mark 7:7 Is 29:13
  4. Mark 7:8 Other mss add The washing of jugs, and cups, and many other similar things you practice.
  5. Mark 7:9 Other mss read to establish
  6. Mark 7:10 Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16
  7. Mark 7:10 Ex 21:17; Lv 20:9
  8. Mark 7:16 Other mss omit bracketed text
  9. Mark 7:19 Lit goes out into the toilet
  10. Mark 7:19 Other mss read is eliminated, making all foods clean.”
  11. Mark 7:22 Lit evil eye
  12. Mark 7:24 Other mss omit and Sidon
  13. Mark 7:31 Or into
  14. Mark 7:34 An Aram expression
  15. Mark 7:35 Lit opened, the bond of his tongue was untied

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