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Ablution

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915) ab-lu’-shun: The rite of ablution for religious purification seems to have been practiced in some form in all lands and at all times. The priests of Egypt punctiliously practiced it (Herodotus ii.37). The Greeks were warned "never with unwashed hands to pour out the black wine at morn to Zeus" (Hesiod, Opera et Dies v.722; compare Homer, Iliad vi.266; Od. iv.759). The Romans also observed it (Virgil, Aeneid ii.217); as did and do Orientals in general (compare Koran, Sura 5:8, etc.). Ablutions for actual or ritual purification form quite a feature of the Jewish life and ceremonial. No one was allowed to enter a holy place or to approach God by prayer or sacrifice without having first performed the rite of ablution, or "sanctification," as it was sometimes called (Ex 19:10; 1Sa 16:5; 2Ch 29:5; compare Josephus, Ant, XIV, xi, 5). Three kinds of washing are recognized in Biblical and rabbinical law: (1) washing of the hands, (2) washin