Marcus: Chapter 7

[There] come from Yerushalem Separatists and some of the scholars, [who] gather [near] him, and see that some of his students are eating bread with debased, that is, unwashed, hands (for the Separatists, and all the Youdaians, if they have not washed their hands and fists, do not eat, [keeping] firmly the heritage of the elders. If they come from the public square but do not sprinkle [themselves], they do not eat. There are many other things which they have received and cling to: ablution of wine-cups, sextarius [measures], and coppers). The Separatists and the scribes inquire of him — Why do your students not walk according to the heritage of the elders, but eat bread with debased hands?

— Well did Esias prophesize about you hypocrites, he says to them. As it is written, ‘This people honors me with [their] lips, but their hearts keep far away from me. They flaunt insincere awe of me, teaching as [divine] teachings human demands.’ Rejecting the demands of God, you [cling] firmly to the heritage of humans.

He says to them — Indeed you disregard the demands of God so that you may preserve your heritage. For Moshe said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Who speaks evil of father or mother will end in death.’ But you say, ‘If a person says to father or mother, “Whatever help you would have had from me is Korban (that is, Donated [to God]),”’ then you excuse them to never do anything for father or mother, disregarding the Idea of God in [favor of] your heritage, which you promulgate. You do many things like this.

Calling the crowd together again, he says to them — Listen to me all, and [keep up] with me. There is nothing outside a person that can, going in, debase them. Rather, the things coming out are those that debase a person.

When he goes into a house away from the crowd, his students ask him [about] the analogy. He says to them — Are you thus witless also? Do you not understand that anything from outside going into a person cannot debase them, because it does not go into the heart, but into the gut, and goes out into the toilet — cleansing all food?

— What goes out of a person, he says, that is what debases the person. For out of the hearts of humans comes bad judgement, whoring, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malevolence, trickery, violence, the evil eye, blasphemy, arrogance, and thoughtlessness. All these evil things come from inside and debase a person.

Up from there he goes to the territory of Tyros. He goes into a house; he wishes no one to know, but he is unable to escape notice. Then a woman whose daughter has an unclean æther, hearing about him, comes and falls at his feet. The woman is a Hellene, from a Tyro-Phonecian family, and she asks him to dispel the influence from her daughter.

He says to her — Let [my] boys be fed first, for it is not worthy to take bread from the boys and throw it to the canines1.

She responds — Sir, the canines under the table will eat from the kids’ crumbs.

— For this [reassurance], he says to her, carry on, the influence has gone out of your daughter.

She goes away to her house, and she finds the child collapsed on the bed, the influence gone out.

He goes away again from the territory of Tyros, and he goes through Sidon to the lake of Galilaia, through the middle of the territory of the Decapolis. They bring to him [one] deaf and mute, and beg him to lay his hand on him.

He takes him away from the crowd by himself. He claps his fingers to his ears, spits, and grasps his tongue. He looks up to the sky, breathes, and and says to him — Ethpthakh! That is — Be opened!

And his hearing is opened, and the obstruction of his tongue is loosed, and he speaks correctly. He orders them not to speak, but as much as he orders them, they preach much more. They are struck beyond measure, saying — He does everything well, and he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!

  1. The Greek word used here for “dog” is “kynarion.” Phonecians called themselves “Kena’ani,” “Canaanites.”