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Bible Concordance
Uncleanness (56 Occurrences)

Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

John 18:28 So they took Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not go into the Praetorium, so that they might not become unclean, but might take the Passover. (See NIV)

Romans 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT)

Romans 6:19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)

Ephesians 4:19 who having become callous gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)

Ephesians 5:3 But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be mentioned among you, as becomes saints; (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)

Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)

1 Thessalonians 2:3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deception. (WEB KJV ASV DBY YLT RSV)

1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)

2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (KJV DBY WBS YLT)

Leviticus 5:3 "'Or if he touches the uncleanness of man, whatever his uncleanness is with which he is unclean, and it is hidden from him; when he knows of it, then he shall be guilty. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Leviticus 7:20 but the soul who eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that belongs to Yahweh, having his uncleanness on him, that soul shall be cut off from his people. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Leviticus 7:21 When anyone touches any unclean thing, the uncleanness of man, or an unclean animal, or any unclean abomination, and eats some of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which belong to Yahweh, that soul shall be cut off from his people.'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Leviticus 14:19 "The priest shall offer the sin offering, and make atonement for him who is to be cleansed because of his uncleanness: and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Leviticus 14:57 to teach when there is uncleanness, and when it is purified: this is the law of leprosy. (DBY)

Leviticus 15:3 This shall be his uncleanness in his discharge: whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body has stopped from his discharge, it is his uncleanness. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Leviticus 15:24 And if a man lie with her at all, and the uncleanness of her separation come upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean. (DBY)

Leviticus 15:25 "'If a woman has a discharge of her blood many days not in the time of her period, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her period; all the days of the discharge of her uncleanness shall be as in the days of her period: she is unclean. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)

Leviticus 15:26 Every bed whereon she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her period: and everything whereon she sits shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her period. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Leviticus 15:30 The priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her before Yahweh for the uncleanness of her discharge. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NIV)

Leviticus 15:31 "'Thus you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, so they will not die in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is in their midst.'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Leviticus 15:32 This 'is' the law of him who hath an issue, and of him whose seed of copulation goeth out from him, for uncleanness thereby, (YLT)

Leviticus 16:16 and he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, even all their sins; and so he shall do for the Tent of Meeting, that dwells with them in the midst of their uncleanness. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)

Leviticus 16:19 He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and make it holy from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)

Leviticus 18:19 "'You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is impure by her uncleanness. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)

Leviticus 18:20 And unto the wife of thy fellow thou dost not give thy seed of copulation, for uncleanness with her. (YLT)

Leviticus 18:23 And with any beast thou dost not give thy copulation, for uncleanness with it; and a woman doth not stand before a beast to lie down with it; confusion it 'is'. (YLT)

Leviticus 19:31 Ye do not turn unto those having familiar spirits; and unto wizards ye do not seek, for uncleanness by them; I 'am' Jehovah your God. (YLT)

Leviticus 22:3 "Tell them,'If anyone of all your seed throughout your generations approaches the holy things, which the children of Israel make holy to Yahweh, having his uncleanness on him, that soul shall be cut off from before me. I am Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Leviticus 22:5 or whoever touches any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatever uncleanness he has; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Leviticus 22:8 a carcase or torn thing he doth not eat, for uncleanness thereby; I 'am' Jehovah. (YLT)

Numbers 5:19 The priest shall cause her to swear, and shall tell the woman, "If no man has lain with you, and if you haven't gone aside to uncleanness, being under your husband, be free from this water of bitterness that brings a curse. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Numbers 19:12 the same shall purify himself with water on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he doesn't purify himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. (See NAS)

Numbers 19:13 Whoever touches a dead person, the body of a man who has died, and doesn't purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Yahweh; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet on him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Numbers 19:19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify him; and he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. (See NAS)

Numbers 19:20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD; the water of sprinkling hath not been dashed against him: he is unclean. (See NAS)

Deuteronomy 23:10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: (KJV WBS)

Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. (KJV WBS)

Deuteronomy 26:14 I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I brought away thereof in uncleanness, nor given thereof for a dead person; I have hearkened to the voice of Jehovah my God; I have done according to all that thou hast commanded me. (DBY YLT)

2 Samuel 11:4 David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned to her house. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Chronicles 29:5 And said to them, Give ear to me, O Levites: now make yourselves holy, and make holy the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and take away everything unclean from the holy place. (See NAS)

2 Chronicles 29:16 The priests went in to the inner part of the house of Yahweh, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Yahweh into the court of the house of Yahweh. The Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)

Ezra 6:21 And the sons of Israel, those returning from the captivity, and every one who is separated from the uncleanness of the nations of the land unto them, to seek to Jehovah, God of Israel, do eat, (YLT)

Ezra 9:11 which you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, The land, to which you go to possess it, is an unclean land through the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, through their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their filthiness: (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Lamentations 1:9 Her uncleanness 'is' in her skirts, She hath not remembered her latter end, And she cometh down wonderfully, There is no comforter for her. See, O Jehovah, mine affliction, For exerted himself hath an enemy. (YLT NAS RSV)

Ezekiel 22:15 And I have scattered thee among nations, And have spread thee out among lands, And consumed thy uncleanness out of thee. (YLT NAS NIV)

Ezekiel 24:11 And cause it to stand on its coals empty, So that its brass is hot and burning, Melted hath been in its midst its uncleanness, Consumed is its scum. (YLT)

Ezekiel 24:13 In thine uncleanness 'is' wickedness, Because I have cleansed thee, And thou hast not been cleansed, From thine uncleanness thou art not cleansed again, Till I have caused My fury to rest on thee. (YLT)

Ezekiel 36:17 Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their way and by their doings: their way before me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ezekiel 36:29 I will save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ezekiel 39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I to them; and I hid my face from them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ezekiel 44:25 And unto any dead man they come not for uncleanness, but for father, and for mother, and for son, and for daughter, for brother, for sister who hath not been to a man, they defile themselves. (YLT)

Micah 2:10 Arise, and depart! For this is not your resting place, because of uncleanness that destroys, even with a grievous destruction. (WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV)

Zechariah 13:1 "In that day there will be a spring opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS RSV)

Zechariah 13:2 And it hath come to pass, in that day, An affirmation of Jehovah of Hosts, I cut off the names of the idols from the land, And they are not remembered any more, And also the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness I cause to pass away from the land. (YLT)

Uncleanness (56 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia UNCLEANNESS. ... POSSIBLE RELATION OF ISRAEL'S LAWS
/u/uncleanness.htm - 38k

Filthiness (16 Occurrences)
... "Filthiness" is the translation of tum'ah, "uncleanness" (ritual, Leviticus 5:3;
Leviticus 7:20, etc.), used figuratively of moral impurity, translated ...
/f/filthiness.htm - 16k

Filth (21 Occurrences)
... "Filthiness" is the translation of tum'ah, "uncleanness" (ritual, Leviticus 5:3;
Leviticus 7:20, etc.), used figuratively of moral impurity, translated ...
/f/filth.htm - 17k

Filthy (22 Occurrences)
... "Filthiness" is the translation of tum'ah, "uncleanness" (ritual, Leviticus 5:3;
Leviticus 7:20, etc.), used figuratively of moral impurity, translated ...
/f/filthy.htm - 16k

Whoredom (58 Occurrences)
... my God may humble me in regard to you, and I may bewail many of those having sinned
before, and not having reformed concerning the uncleanness, and whoredom ...
/w/whoredom.htm - 24k

Impure (28 Occurrences)
... God. (See NAS RSV NIV). 1 Thessalonians 2:3 For our exhortation is not
of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deception. (See NIV). ...
/i/impure.htm - 14k

Impurity (42 Occurrences)
... IMPURITY. im-pu'-ri-ti. See UNCLEANNESS. Multi-Version Concordance ... 1 Thessalonians
4:7 For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification. (See NAS). ...
/i/impurity.htm - 21k

Touches (55 Occurrences)
... Leviticus 5:3 "'Or if he touches the uncleanness of man, whatever his uncleanness
is with which he is unclean, and it is hidden from him; when he knows of it ...
/t/touches.htm - 22k

Lasciviousness (9 Occurrences)
... Paul (2 Corinthians 12:21) classes it with uncleanness and fornication as sins to
be repented of; also (Galatians 5:19; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 14:26 ...
/l/lasciviousness.htm - 11k

Whereby (46 Occurrences)
... Leviticus 5:3 Or when he cometh against uncleanness of man, even any of his uncleanness
whereby he is unclean, and it hath been hidden from him, and he hath ...
/w/whereby.htm - 20k

167. akatharsia -- uncleanness
... uncleanness. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: akatharsia Phonetic
Spelling: (ak-ath-ar-see'-ah) Short Definition: uncleanness, impurity Definition ...
/greek/167.htm - 7k

3394. miasmos -- the act of defiling
... uncleanness, contamination. From miaino; (morally) contamination (properly, the
act) -- uncleanness. see GREEK miaino. (miasmou) -- 1 Occurrence. << 3393, 3394. ...
/greek/3394.htm - 6k

168. akathartes -- filthiness.
... Cognate: 168 -- properly, uncleanness due to being unpurged (unpurified); . See
169 (). Word Origin variant reading for akathartos, qv. filthiness. ...
/greek/168.htm - 6k

4509. rhupos -- filth
... 4509 (a masculine noun) -- properly, "grease-filth," soiling all it touches;
(figuratively) uncleanness that results from doing what is morally unfit, ie what ...
/greek/4509.htm - 6k

Smith's Bible Dictionary

The distinctive idea attached to ceremonial uncleanness among the Hebrews was that it cut a person off for the time from social privileges, and left his citizenship among God's people for the while in abeyance. There is an intense reality in the fact of the divine law taking hold of a man by the ordinary infirmities of flesh, and setting its stamp, as it were, in the lowest clay of which he is moulded. The sacredness attached to the human body is parallel to that which invested the ark of the covenant itself. It is as though Jehovah thereby would teach men that the "very hairs of their head were all numbered" before him and that "in his book were all their members written." Thus was inculcated so to speak a bodily holiness. Nor were the Israelites to be only "separated from other people," but they were to be "holy to God," (Leviticus 20:24,26) "a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." The importance to physical well-being of the injunctions which required frequent ablution, under whatever special pretexts, can be but feebly appreciated in our cooler and damper climate. Uncleanness, as referred to men, may be arranged in three degrees:

  1. That which defiled merely "until even." and was removed by bathing and washing the clothes at the end of it; such were all contacts with dead animals.
  2. That graver sort which defiled for seven days, and was removed by the use of the "water of separation;" such were all defilements connected with the human corpse.
  3. Uncleanness from the morbid perpetual or menstrual state, lasting as long as that morbid state lasted; and in the case of leprosy lasting often for life. As the human person was itself the seat of a covenant token, so male and female had each their ceremonial obligations in proportion to their sexual differences. There is an emphatic reminder of human weakness in the fact of birth and death-man's passage alike into and out of his mortal state-- being marked with a stated pollution. The corpse bequeathed a defilement of seven days to all who handled it, to the "tent" or chamber of death, and to sundry things within it. Nay, contact with one slain in the field of battle or with even a human bone or grave, was no less effectual to pollute than that with a corpse dead by the course of nature. (Numbers 19:11-18) This shows that the source of pollution lay in the mere fact of death. The duration of defilement caused by the birth of a female infant being double that due to a male, extending respectively to eighty and forty days in All, (Leviticus 12:2-5) may perhaps represent the woman's heavier share in the first sin and first curse. (Genesis 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:14) Among causes of defilement should be noticed the fact that the ashes of the red heifer burnt whole which were mixed with water and became the standing resource for purifying uncleanness in the second degree, themselves became a source of defilement to all who were clean, even as of purification to the unclean, and so the water. Somewhat similarly the scapegoat, who bore away the sins of the people, defiled him who led him into the wilderness, and the bringing forth aid burning the sacrifice on the Great Day of Atonement had a similar power. This lightest form of uncleanness was expiated by bathing the body and washing the clothes. Besides the water of purification made as afore said, men and women, in their "issues," were, after seven days, reckoned from the cessation of the disorder, to bring two turtle-doves or young pigeons to be killed by the priests. All these kinds of uncleanness disqualified for holy functions: as the layman so affected might not approach the congregation and the sanctuary, so any priest who incurred defilement must abstain from holy things. (Leviticus 22:2-8) [LEPER, LEPROSY] The religion of the persians shows a singularly close correspondence with the Levitical code.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia



1. In the Old Testament (Hebrew)

2. In the New Testament

3. In the Septuagint



1. In the Old Testament

2. In the Apocrypha

3. In the New Testament


I. Terms.

1. In the Old Testament (Hebrew):

Tum'ah, "uncleanness," "defilement," occurs 26 times (Leviticus 7:20, 21; Leviticus 14:19; Leviticus 15:3, 15, 26, 30, 31, etc.). niddah, "separation," "impurity," occurs in Leviticus 20:21 Ezra 9:11 Zechariah 13:1. 'erwah, occurs in Deuteronomy 23:14. 'erwath dabhar, "unclean thing" (Deuteronomy 24:1) is translated "uncleanness" in the King James Version. The adjective Tame', "defiled," "unclean," occurs 72 times (over half in Leviticus), but is never translated "uncleanness," but always "unclean." The verb Tame', "to make" or "declare unclean," occurs often. Other Hebrew verbs "to defile" are ga'al, chalal, chaneph, Tanaph, `alal, `anah.

2. In the New Testament:

The Greek word for "uncleanness" is akatharsia, which occurs 10 times (Matthew 23:27 Romans 1:24; Romans 6:19 2 Corinthians 12:21, etc.). miasmos, "pollution," occurs only in 2 Peter 2:10. The adjective akathartos, "unclean," occurs 31 times, 23 times in reference to unclean spirits (Luke once using the expression "unclean demon," 4:33), 4 times to ceremonial uncleanness (thee by Peter and one by John the revelator), and 4 times to moral uncleanness (three by Paul and one by John the revelator). Koinos, "common," "unclean," occurs 8 times in the sense of "unclean" (Mark 7:2, 5 Acts 10:14, 28; Acts 11:8 Romans 14:14 Revelation 21:27). The verb koinoo, "to defile," occurs 11 times (Matthew 15:11, 18, 20 Mark 7:15, etc.). miaino, "to defile," occurs 5 times (John 18:28 Titus 1:15 Hebrews 12:15 Jude 1:8). moluno, "to make filthy," occurs 3 times (1 Corinthians 8:7 Revelation 3:4; Revelation 14:4). spiloo, occurs twice (James 3:6 Jude 1:23) and phtheiro, "to corrupt," occurs 7 times in Greek, once in English Versions of the Bible (1 Corinthians 3:17).

3. In the Septuagint:

Akatharsia, "uncleanness," occurs 59 times in Septuagint (including many instances in apocryphal books) (1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, 1 and 2 Maccabees, etc.). Akathartos, "unclean," occurs 134 times in the Septuagint (including one example in 1 Maccabees). Koinos, "unclean," and koinoo, "to make unclean," occur in Esther, Proverbs, Wisdom, 1, 2, 3 and 4 Maccabees). Miaino, "to defile," occurs over 100 times. Moluno, "to make filthy," occurs 18 times (both in the Old Testament and in the Apocrypha).

II. Possible Relation of Israel's Laws on Uncleanness with the Laws of Taboo among the Nations:

W. R. Smith (Lectures on the Religion of the Semites, 152-55) thinks there is a kinship between Israel's laws of uncleanness and the heathen taboo. Frazer, in The Golden Bough, shows numerous examples of the taboo among various tribes and nations which present striking similarity to some of Israel's laws on uncleanness. But does this diminish our respect for the Old Testament laws on uncleanness? Might not Yahweh use this natural religious perception of men as to an intrinsic distinction between clean and unclean in training Israel to a realization of a higher conception-the real difference between sin and holiness, i.e. between moral defilement and moral purification? The hand of Yahweh is visible even in the development of Israel's rudimentary laws on ceremonial uncleanness. They are not explicable on purely naturalistic grounds, but Yahweh is training a people to be holy, and so He starts on the lower plane of ceremonial uncleanness and cleanness (see Leviticus 11:44 as to the purpose of Yahweh in establishing these laws respecting clean and unclean animals).

III. Teaching as to Uncleanness.

1. In the Old Testament:

Each term above for uncleanness is used in two senses:

(a) to signify ceremonial uncleanness, which is the most usual significance of the term in the Old Testament;

(b) but, in the Prophets, to emphasize moral, rather than ceremonial, uncleanness. There are four principal spheres of uncleanness in the Old Testament:

(1) Uncleanness in the Matter of Food.

The law as to clean and unclean beasts is laid down in Leviticus 11:1-23. Notice that the law does not extend to vegetable foods, as does a similar law in the Egyptian religion. Four kinds of beasts are named as fit for food:

(a) among quadrupeds, those that both chew the cud and part the hoof;

(b) among fishes, only those having both fins and scales;

(c) most birds or fowls, except, in the main, birds of prey and those noted for uncleanness of habits, are permitted;

(d) of insects those that have legs above the feet to leap withal (e.g. the cricket, the grasshopper, etc.), but those that go on all four, or have many feet, or go upon the belly (e.g. worms, snakes, lizards, etc.), are forbidden.

See , further, FOOD.

(2) Uncleanness Connected with the Functions of Reproduction (Leviticus 12 and 15).

In Leviticus 15:2-18, we find the laws applied to issues of men; in 15:19;, to the issues of women. Not only is the man or woman unclean because of the issue, whether normal or abnormal, but the bed on which they lie, or whatever or whoever is touched by them while they are in this state, is unclean. The uncleanness lasts seven days from the cessation of the issue. To become clean men must wash their clothes and batheir bodies (though this requirement is not made of women), and both men and women must offer through the priest a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons (Leviticus 15). According to Leviticus 13, the woman who conceives and bears a child is unclean. This uncleanness lasts seven days if the child born is a male, but 14 days if the child is a female. However, there is a partial uncleanness of the mother that continues 40 days from the birth of a male, 80 days from the birth of a female, at the end of which period she is purified by offering a lamb and a young pigeon (or turtle-dove), or if too poor to offer a lamb she may substitute one of the birds for the lamb.

(3) Uncleanness Connected with Leprosy.

According to Leviticus 14 and 15, the leper was regarded as under the stroke of God, and so was deemed unclean. The leper (so adjudged by the priest) must separate himself from others, with torn clothes, disheveled hair, and crying with covered lips, "Unclean! Unclean!" That is, he was regarded as a dead man, and therefore unclean and so must live secluded from others.

See , further, LEPER, LEPROSY.

(4) Uncleanness Associated with Death.

According to Leviticus 15:24-40, anyone who touched a dead beast, whether unclean or clean, was rendered unclean. According to Numbers 19:11-22, anyone touching the corpse of a human being is unclean. Likewise, everyone in the tent, or who enters the tent, where lies a dead man, is unclean seven days. Even the open vessels in the tent with a dead person are unclean seven days. Whoever, furthermore, touched a dead man's bone or grave was unclean seven days. Purification, in all these cases of uncleanness as related to death, was secured by sprinkling the ashes of a red heifer with living water upon the unclean person, or object, on the 3rd and 7th days.


2. In the Apocrypha:

In Tobit 3:7-9; 6:13, 14; 7:11; 8:1-3; 1 Maccabees 1:41-53, and in other books, we find the same laws on uncleanness recognized by the descendants of Abraham. It was regarded as abominable to sacrifice other animals (swine for instance) than those prescribed by Yahweh. There is a growing sense in Israel during this period, that all customs and all conduct of the heathen are unclean. Witness the resistance of the loyal Jews to the demands of Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 1; 2; 6; 7). The sense of ceremonial uncleanness was still a conspicuous element in the religious consciousness of the Jews in the inter-Biblical period. But the training of God in ceremonial purification and in the moral and spiritual teachings of the prophets had prepared the way for an advance in moral cleanness (both in thought and in practice).

3. In the New Testament:

By the days of Jesus the scribes and rabbis had wrought out a most cumbrous system of ceremonial uncleanness and purification. Nor did they claim that all their teachings on this subject were found in the Old Testament. See TRADITION. This is fitly illustrated in the New Testament in the washing of hands. See UNWASHEN. When the Mishna (the collection of rabbinic teachings) was produced, the largest book was devoted to the laws of purification, 30 chapters being used to describe the purification of vessels alone.

See John 2:1-11, and note how the Jews had six stone waterpots for purification at the wedding in Cana. See John 3:25 as to the controversy on purification between John's disciples and the Jews. This question of cleanness and uncleanness was a tremendous issue with every Jew. He must keep himself ceremonially clean if he would be righteous and win the approval of God.

Jesus utterly disregarded for Himself these laws of purification, though He orders the cleansed leper to return to the priest and secure his certificate of cleansing. He did not wash His hands before eating, and His disciples followed His example. Therefore, the Pharisees challenged Him to give an account of His course and that of His disciples (Matthew 15:3-20 = Mark 7:6-23). Jesus then enunciated the great principle that there is no ceremonial, but only moral and spiritual, uncleanness. Not what goes into a man from hands that touch unclean things defiles the man, but the things that come out of his heart, evil thoughts, hatred, adultery, murder, etc., these defile the man.

Paul likewise regarded nothing as unclean of itself (Romans 14:14, 20 Titus 1:15), yet no man should violate the scruples of his own conscience or that of his brother (and thus put a stumblingblock in his way). Love, not ceremonialism is the supreme law of the Christian. Paul, in submitting to the vow of purification in Jerusalem, set an example of this principle (Acts 21:26).



W. R. Smith, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (especially pp. 152-55, on taboo, and pp. 455, 456, on the uncleanness of sexual intercourse); Frazer, The Golden Bough (examples of taboo and similar laws and customs among various nations); Frazer, article "Taboo" in Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition; Benzinger, Hebrew Archaeology; Nowack, Hebrew Archaeology; Kellogg, commentary on "Leviticus" (Expositor's Bible); Kalisch, Leviticus; Dillmann-Ryssel, Leviticus; Schultz, Dillmann, Smend, Marti, Davidson, in their Old Testament Theologies, give useful hints on this subject; article "Casuistry" (Hebrew) in ERE, III, is valuable.

Charles B. Williams



Strong's Hebrew
2932b. tomah -- uncleanness
... tomah. 2933 >>. uncleanness. Transliteration: tomah Short Definition: uncleanness.
Word Origin from tame Definition uncleanness NASB Word Usage uncleanness (1). ...
/hebrew/2932b.htm - 5k

2932a. tumah -- uncleanness
... << 2932, 2932a. tumah. 2932b >>. uncleanness. Transliteration: tumah Short
Definition: uncleanness. Word Origin from tame Definition ...
/hebrew/2932a.htm - 5k

2932. tum'ah -- uncleanness
tum'ah. << 2931, 2932. tum'ah. 2932a >>. uncleanness. Transliteration: tum'ah Phonetic
Spelling: (toom-aw') Short Definition: filthiness. filthiness, uncleanness ...
/hebrew/2932.htm - 5k

7137. qareh -- chance, accident
... Word Origin from qarah Definition chance, accident NASB Word Usage emission
(1). uncleanness by chance, accidental disqualification. ...
/hebrew/7137.htm - 6k

2398. chata -- to miss, go wrong, sin
... offered it for sin (1), offers it for sin (1), purged (1), purified (2), purified
themselves from sin (1), purify (6), purify him from uncleanness (1), purify ...
/hebrew/2398.htm - 6k

6172. ervah -- nakedness
... nakedness, shame, uncleanness. From arah; nudity, literally (especially the pudenda)
or figuratively (disgrace, blemish) -- nakedness, shame, unclean(-ness). ...
/hebrew/6172.htm - 6k

1697. dabar -- speech, word
... promise, provision, purpose, question, rate, reason, report, request, X (as hast)
said, sake, saying, sentence, + sign, + so, some (uncleanness), somewhat to ...
/hebrew/1697.htm - 8k

5079. niddah -- impurity
... 1), menstrual impurity (7), menstrual period (1), menstruation (2), menstruation*
(1), period (1), time (1), unclean (1), unclean thing (1), uncleanness (2). ...
/hebrew/5079.htm - 6k



Uncleanness: (Ceremonially Speaking)

Related Terms

Filthiness (16 Occurrences)

Filth (21 Occurrences)

Filthy (22 Occurrences)

Whoredom (58 Occurrences)

Impure (28 Occurrences)

Impurity (42 Occurrences)

Touches (55 Occurrences)

Lasciviousness (9 Occurrences)

Whereby (46 Occurrences)

Immorality (38 Occurrences)

Sexual (59 Occurrences)

Separation (50 Occurrences)

Flux (26 Occurrences)

Continues (32 Occurrences)

Fornication (52 Occurrences)

Discharge (30 Occurrences)

Issue (59 Occurrences)

Licentiousness (10 Occurrences)

Impurities (7 Occurrences)

Teeming (18 Occurrences)

Bathing (9 Occurrences)

Lewdness (68 Occurrences)

Purification (25 Occurrences)

Toucheth (45 Occurrences)

Defilement (12 Occurrences)

Lust (42 Occurrences)

Unclean (393 Occurrences)

Cleanse (75 Occurrences)

Bath (13 Occurrences)

Defiled (119 Occurrences)

Unaware (16 Occurrences)

Unbridled (4 Occurrences)

Or (15123 Occurrences)

Obstructs (1 Occurrence)

Lustfulness (2 Occurrences)

Learns (3 Occurrences)

Runs (28 Occurrences)

Rebellion (51 Occurrences)

Depraved (12 Occurrences)

Debauchery (9 Occurrences)

Defiling (10 Occurrences)

Dwells (64 Occurrences)

Menstrual (9 Occurrences)

Pertain (9 Occurrences)

Blocked (5 Occurrences)

Copulation (11 Occurrences)

Closed (47 Occurrences)

Allows (7 Occurrences)

Abominable (52 Occurrences)

Swarming (19 Occurrences)

Withal (38 Occurrences)

Woman's (20 Occurrences)

Peace-offering (46 Occurrences)

Purified (44 Occurrences)

Covetousness (22 Occurrences)

Clean (298 Occurrences)

Transgressions (64 Occurrences)

Slept (74 Occurrences)

Peace-offerings (82 Occurrences)

Eats (57 Occurrences)

Abides (37 Occurrences)

Purify (39 Occurrences)

Touch (82 Occurrences)

Becometh (82 Occurrences)

Members (54 Occurrences)

Defile (63 Occurrences)

Peoples (305 Occurrences)

Past (200 Occurrences)

Creeping (43 Occurrences)

Belonging (90 Occurrences)

Sinful (61 Occurrences)

Stopped (134 Occurrences)

Run (147 Occurrences)

Apart (228 Occurrences)

Unwashen (3 Occurrences)

Kidron (11 Occurrences)

Sprinkling (48 Occurrences)

Wherewith (182 Occurrences)

Crimes (22 Occurrences)

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