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Chapter 7

1The Pharisees gathered about him with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem. 2They had noticed that some of his disciples ate their food without first giving their hands a ceremonial washing to purify them. 3For the Pharisees and all the Jews observe the rules handed down from their ancestors, and will not eat until they have washed their hands in a particular way, 4and they will not eat anything from the market without first purifying it by sprinkling it, and they have a number of other observances which have come down to them, in the way of washing cups, pitchers, and basins. 5And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him,

“Why do your disciples not observe the rules handed down by our ancestors, but eat food without purifying their hands?”

6But he said to them,

“It was about you hypocrites that Isaiah prophesied so finely, in the words,

“ ‘This people honor me with their lips,

Yet their hearts are far away from me.

7But their worship of me is all in vain,

For the lessons they teach are but human precepts.’

8“You give up what God has commanded and hold fast to what men have handed down.

9“How skilful you are,” he said to them, “in nullifying what God has commanded in order to observe what has been handed down to you. 10For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and again, ‘Whoever abuses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 11But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Anything of mine that might have been of use to you is Korban,*#“) that is, consecrated to God, 12you let him off from doing anything more for his father or mother, 13and so you nullify what God has said by what you have handed down. You have many such practices.”

14He called the people to him again and said to them,

“Listen to me, all of you, and understand this. 15Nothing that goes into a man from outside can pollute him. It is what comes out of a man that pollutes him.”

17When he had left the crowd and gone home, his disciples asked him what he meant by this figure. 18And he said to them,

“Have not even you any understanding then? Do you not see that nothing that goes into a man from outside can pollute him, 19since it does not go into his heart but into his stomach and then is disposed of?” So he declared all food clean. 20He went on to say,

“It is what comes out of a man that pollutes him. 21For it is from inside, from men’s hearts, that designs of evil come; immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, abusiveness, arrogance, folly— 23all these evils come from inside, and they pollute a man.”

24He left that place and went to the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. And he went into a certain house, and wanted no one to know of it. And he could not keep it secret, 25but a woman whose little daughter was possessed by a foul spirit immediately heard about him and came and threw herself at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Greek, of Syrophoenician birth. And she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her,

“Let the children first eat all they want, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

28But she answered,

“True, sir! and still the dogs under the table eat what the children leave!” 29He said to her,

“If you can say that, go home; the demon has left your daughter.”

30And she went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

31He left the neighborhood of Tyre again and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, crossing the district of the Ten Towns. 32And they brought to him a man who was deaf and hardly able to speak, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33He took him off by himself away from the crowd, and put his fingers in the man’s ears, and touched his tongue with saliva. 34And he looked up to heaven and sighed, and said to him,

“Ephphatha!”—which means “Open.”

35And his ears were opened and his tongue was released and he talked plainly. 36And Jesus forbade them to tell anyone about it, but the more he forbade them the more they spread the news far and wide. 37And people were utterly amazed, and said,

“How well he has done everything! He even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak!”

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