Mark 7:2 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
2. Unwashen hands This was not the matter of cleanliness, but of superstitious purity. The Jews of Palestine at the present day wash, indeed, after the meal, because they have handled meat with their fingers, but they wash not, either for cleanliness or superstition, before the meal. According to the Eastern custom, they sometimes think it polite, as Dr. Thomson remarks, to present to the mouth of their guests a piece of food in fingers too dirty to be agreeable to a European taste.
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Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Daniel D. Whedon (1808-1885) was a prominent university professor, theologian, and author. He served as Professor of Ancient Languages at Wesleyan University in Connecticut; as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Michigan; and as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review from 1856 to1884. He authored numerous books including Commentary on the New Testament (New York: Carlton & Porter, 1860); Commentary on the Old Testament (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1873); What is Arminianism? (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1879); and Essays, Reviews, and Discourses (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1887).