Hebraic Roots Commentary - Mark Chapter 7
Mar 7:1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem,
Who - Pharisees and some of the scribes, followers of Rabbinic authority and Torah, but not really following Torah, but instead believing that Rabbinic authority supercedes Torah.
What - gathered around Him, wanting to test Yeshua concerning Rabbinic law, as we shall see.
When - when they had come from Jerusalem (sent from the Sanhedrin maybe?)
Mar 7:2 and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed.
Mar 7:3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders;
Mar 7:4 and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.)
What - this is not referring to hygiene. This is referring to a ritualistic washing of hands and saying the proper prayer while doing it. Conservative “Jews” and Rabbinic Synagogues still practice this before Oneg (a communal snack and/or meal). This “ritual washing of hands” before eating and at other times is a requirement of the Rabbis, not of Torah! If you do this ritualistic washing you are observing the traditions of the elders. Yeshua always defied the traditions because Torah says not to add or subtract from Torah. (Deut. 4:2) Jesus is the living, breathing, walking Torah. Some Messianic Jewish Synagogues practice ritual hand-washing. It is tradition, not Torah! Concerning these modern times, you DO NOT want to leap out of the frying pan of "churchianity" only to end up in the fire of Rabbinic Judaism! Yeshua was bringing His children out of Rabbinic Babylon, NOT out of Torah! We must stay true to Yeshua-Yehovah, not Papal Rome, Protestant Pabulum, OR Rabbinical Authority. Contrary to what some people think, Hebraic Roots is NOT Rabbinic and it is NOT Judaism!
Mar 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?"
… ritualistically “impure hands”
What - these man-made rules have a name. They are called Takanot (pronounced: tah-ka-note) They are man-made rules that add to or take away from Torah - a DIRECT violation of Torah. Another term that you will see is Ma’a’sim, or Ma‘asim. Ma’a’sim (pronounced: ma-ah-seem) are actions (behaviors) of the Rabbis that become tradition, such as wearing extra long tzitzit, extra long prayer shawls, enlarged phylacteries (tefillin), having special seats in the Synagogue, etc … Jesus taught against all of this!
A word must be said here concerning my own tradition. The Christian Church is just as guilty as the Rabbis - if not more so! The church has it’s Takanot and Ma’asim as well. The church is in worst shape, I would argue, because they outright deny Torah and mistakenly call it “Law”. The ministers, priests, and pastors gave us Christmas, Easter, sunrise services, Sunday worship, eating unclean foods, doctrinal madness, anti-Semitism, and more! These sins must be acknowledged and we must get on our knees and ask forgiveness and sin no more! A day of reckoning is coming and the Church, like Rabbinic Judaism, is still within Babylon! Come out of her!
Mar 7:6 And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
This references Isaiah Ch. 29. The people during Isaiah's time had stopped celebrating YHVH's Feasts and had instituted their own. They were NOT FOLLOWING TORAH! These contemporaries of Jesus were also following traditions, not Torah.
Mar 7:7 'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'
Mar 7:8 "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men."
Mar 7:9 He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.
... Sound familiar? This is Jesus saying, YOU ARE TEACHING YOUR MAN-MADE PRECEPTS AS DOCTRINE, WHILE NEGLECTING TORAH, which is instruction from God, AND YOU ARE EXPERTS AT SETTING ASIDE TORAH!
Folks, do you begin to get the picture? Yeshua is ALL FOR FOLLOWING TORAH! The church has made the same mistake the Rabbis made!
Mar 7:10 "For Moses said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER'; and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH';
Mar 7:11 but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),'
Mar 7:12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother;
Mar 7:13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that."
"Corban" was a man-made practice of setting aside wealth (funds) to eventually use for the LORD. This man-made tradition had people ignoring their old parents needs because they could use the excuse that their extra money was "set aside" already and could not be used to care for their aged parents. This is in DIRECT OPPOSITION TO TORAH, especially the Big 10!
... this next section of Mark always puts everyone in a tizzy because people say it promotes the eating of unclean foods ... it does not! : )
Mar 7:14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, "Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:
Mar 7:15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.
Mar 7:16 ["If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."]
Mar 7:17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable.
Mar 7:18 And He *said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him,
Mar 7:19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.)
Mar 7:20 And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.
Mar 7:21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,
Mar 7:22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.
Mar 7:23 "All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
Who - Jesus is talking to Pharisees here, ardent practitioners of eating clean foods only as Torah instructs - just like Jesus.
Why - Yeshua has just finished blasting them for not following Torah! Jesus Himself also ate clean foods only and followed Torah perfectly! Would Jesus say it's now OK to eat unclean foods?
I argue the answer is No! Is this a translation problem here? Have words been added to corrupt the meaning? More on this later. Our New Testament has many translation problems, btw.
Why do I say this cannot be permission to eat unclean foods? Because of other passages. Look at this :
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
1Pe 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
1Pe 1:16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."
... which references, in the same way, where IT IS WRITTEN in Leviticus;
Lev 11:44 'For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth.
In fact, you should read all of Ch. 44 of Leviticus. It's the one that tells us what to eat and what not to eat! We should eat clean foods not only for health reasons, but to be "Holy", that is, "set apart"!
Please understand something here! The issue of clean/unclean foods is an issue of SANCTIFICATION, not of SALVATION. I was raised in a Pentecostal household and my mother used to say; "you must be saved, sanctified, and filled with the holy ghost!", because this is what her tradition told her. The problem with this is the order! One obtains SALVATION first, by grace, as a free gift from Yeshua (as long as you accept it). Then comes SANCTIFICATION which is the process of drawing closer to Yeshua-Yehovah through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. You are not "saved" until your body is changed, "in the twink of an eye, when the mortal puts on immortality". So, if one does not have the inclination to clean their temple (body), I would suggest they are simply at a different place on their SANCTIFICATION journey. The problem, as I see it, is that most Christians don't seem to care about sanctification!
Aside from the overwhelming evidence that Scripture never invalidates Torah (remember, at the time Mark was written believers followed Torah and the Tanahk), it appears that many people just don't want the sanctification bit. As I've heard someone say, let's let the Jews interpret all the Scripture they have written and we'll let the Gentiles interpret all the Scripture they have written! Oh wait! No Gentile has ever written Scripture! There is also a very big problem with saying Yeshua claims eating unclean foods is OK, folks!
It would mean that Jesus IS NOT THE MESSIAH!
Deu 13:1 "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, Deu 13:2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,'
Deu 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:4 "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
Also, the parenthetical entry in the translation, " (Thus He declared all foods clean.) " is a modern practice in our translations!
This fellow, Robert Roy, does an excellent job describing the proper translation.
In simple language, what Yeshua is telling the Pharisees' in this Mark 7 portion is that their Takanot is not even worthy of comment and whatever dirt was on His follower's "unclean" hands would be processed by the stomach and expunged through elimination. And beware! Because the truly unclean things issue out of the heart of man!
Folks, I'll leave you with a thought. Having talked with many "Jews", including Hassidic Jews, they all say one thing when I ask them about Yeshua. They say that Jesus cannot be the Messiah because of the way Christians teach He denies Torah! Wow! Folks, Jesus does not deny Torah!