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And having seen some of His disciples, that they are eating their bread with defiled[a] hands, that is, unwashed[b] for the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands with a fist[c], holding-on-to the tradition of the elders. And they do not eat [when they return][d] from the marketplace unless they cleanse[e] [themselves]. And there are many other traditions which they received to hold-on-to— the cleansing of cups and pitchers and copper-pots and couches[f].

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  1. Mark 7:2 Or, unclean; that is, not ritually purified from contact with unclean things or people, according to their traditions.
  2. Mark 7:2 Mark breaks off his sentence here and explains this to his readers, then begins again in v 5.
  3. Mark 7:3 There are different opinions about the exact procedure in view here. In any case it is a ceremonial washing for which the water is seen in Jn 2:6. Some manuscripts have a different word meaning ‘often’ or ‘thoroughly’.
  4. Mark 7:4 [when they return]...cleanse [themselves]. Or, [food]...cleanse [it].
  5. Mark 7:4 This refers to a ritual cleansing, as does the related word in the next verse.
  6. Mark 7:4 That is, the dining couches on which people of that day reclined to eat.