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They saw that some of his disciples were eating their food with unclean (that is, unwashed) hands.

(The Pharisees, you see – and indeed all the Jews – don’t eat unless they first carefully wash their hands. This is to maintain the tradition of the elders. When they come in from the market, they never eat without washing. There are many other traditions which they keep: washings of cups, pots and bronze dishes.)

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