Evil comes from the human heart (Mk 7:21-7:23)

“It is from within,

From the human heart,

That evil intentions come.

Fornication,

Theft,

Murder,

Adultery,

Avarice,

Wickedness,

Deceit,

Licentiousness,

Envy,

Slander,

Pride,

And folly,

All these evil things

Come from within.

They defile a person.”

 

ἔσωθεν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς καρδίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων οἱ διαλογισμοὶ οἱ κακοὶ ἐκπορεύονται, πορνεῖαι, κλοπαί, φόνοι,

μοιχεῖαι, πλεονεξίαι, πονηρίαι, δόλος, ἀσέλγεια, ὀφθαλμὸς πονηρός, βλασφημία, ὑπερηφανία, ἀφροσύνη·

πάντα ταῦτα τὰ πονηρὰ ἔσωθεν ἐκπορεύεται καὶ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:19-20.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that it is from within the heart of a person (ἔσωθεν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς καρδίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων) that evil or wicked thoughts come forth spreading out (οἱ διαλογισμοὶ οἱ κακοὶ ἐκπορεύονται).  This included such evil things as fornication or pornography (πορνεῖαι), theft (κλοπαί), murders or killings (φόνοι), adulteries (μοιχεῖαι), avarice (πλεονεξίαι), wickedness (πονηρίαι), deceit (δόλος), licentiousness or wanton sensuality (ἀσέλγεια,), envy or the evil eye (ὀφθαλμὸς πονηρός), slander, abusive language, or blasphemy (βλασφημία), pride (ὑπερηφανία), and folly or foolishness (ἀφροσύνη).  This list in Mark was longer and different than the list in Matthew.  All these evil things came from within (πάντα ταῦτα τὰ πονηρὰ ἔσωθεν).  They come forth from the person (ἐκπορεύεται).  They are the things that defile a person (καὶ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον).  You can clearly see what Jesus, his disciples, and the early Christian community considered as sins or defilements that made a person unclean or defiled.

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The curse on Jerusalem (Zeph 3:1-3:2)

“Woe to the soiled city!

Woe to the defiled city!

Woe to the rebellious city!

Woe to the oppressing city!

She has listened to no voice.

She has accepted no correction.

She has not trusted

In Yahweh.

She has not drawn near

To her God.”

Jerusalem, the city itself, was to be cursed because it was a soiled, defiled, rebellious, and oppressing city.  Jerusalem would not listen to any voice or accept any correction.  She had not trusted in Yahweh, nor drawn near to her God.  Jerusalem was in bad shape.

The prostitute spirit In Ephraim (Hos 5:3-5:4)

“I know Ephraim!

Israel is not hidden

From me.

For now,

O Ephraim!

You have played

The prostitute.

Israel is defiled.

Their deeds

Do not permit them

To return

To their God.

The spirit of prostitution

Is within them.

They do not know

Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, is particularly hard on the tribe of Ephraim, which was just north of Benjamin, with the capital of the northern Israelite kingdom there. Israel could not hide from Yahweh. Ephraim had played the prostitute role. Thus, Israel had defiled itself. By their deeds, they could not return to God. The spirit of prostitution had overtaken them. They no longer knew Yahweh. They had abandoned him.

The holy angels speak (Dan 8:13-8:14)

“Then I heard

A holy one speaking.

Another holy one

Said to the one

That spoke.

‘For how long

Is this vision

Concerning

The regular burnt offering

Continue?

This transgression

Makes desolate

The sanctuary.

How long will

The sanctuary

With the host

Be trampled?’

He answered.

‘For two thousand three hundred

Evenings and mornings.

Then the sanctuary

Shall be restored

To its rightful state.’”

Here Daniel has a conversation between 2 holy ones, probably a reference to angels. One holy one or angel wanted to know how long the lack of the regular burnt offerings at the sanctuary would continue. The transgression of the sanctuary meant that the it and the people who worked there, the hosts, the priests, were trampled under. The response of the other angel was an exact time, 2,300 evenings and mornings, that turns out to be 1,150 days or about 3 ½ years. It was about 3 years that the sanctuary was defiled until 164 BCE.

 

Against the palace next to the Temple (Ezek 43:8-43:9)

“They placed

Their threshold

By my threshold.

They placed

Their doorposts

Beside my doorposts.

There was only a wall

Between me and them.

They were defiling

My holy name

By their abominations

That they committed.

Therefore,

I have consumed them

In my anger.

Now let them put away

Their idolatry

Let them put

The corpses

Of their kings

Far from me.

Then,

I will reside

Among them

Forever.”

Yahweh seemed to be against the old idea that the palace of King David was close to the Temple. Instead, he seemed to imply that there should be a separation for this new, yet unbuilt, Second Temple. Yahweh seemed upset that the old thresholds and doorposts of the Temple were right beside the royal palace. There was only a wall that separated them from his holy Temple. Thus, they defiled his holy name with all their abominations so close to his Temple, one of the main reasons for the destruction of Jerusalem. He wanted the Israelite kings to put away their idolatrous ways. Their dead bodies were to be far away from the new Temple. If they did this, Yahweh would live among them forever.

The reasons for the scattered Israelites (Ezek 36:16-36:19)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

When the house

Of Israel

Lived

On their own soil,

They defiled it

With their ways,

With their doings.

Their conduct was,

In my sight,

Like the uncleanness

Of a woman

In her menstrual period.

Thus,

I poured out my wrath

Upon them

For the blood

That they had shed

Upon the land.

I poured out my wrath

Upon them

For the idols

With which

They had defiled it.

I scattered them

Among the nations.

They were dispersed

Through the countries.

I judged them

In accordance

With their conduct.

I judged them

In accordance

With their deeds.’”

Once again, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man, but without a specific date. Yahweh said that when the house of Israel lived on their own soil, they defiled it with how they acted. They were unclean, like the uncleanness of the menstrual female, who was considered to be unclean at the time of her period. They had shed blood throughout the land. They had worshipped idols, thus defiling the land. Yahweh then poured out his wrath and scattered them among the various nations. Thus, they were dispersed throughout the different countries. Yahweh judged them according to their conduct and their deeds.

The response of Yahweh (Ezek 33:25-33:26)

“Therefore,

Say to them!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You eat flesh

With the blood!

You lift up

Your eyes

To your idols!

You shed blood!

Shall you then

Possess the land?

You depend

On your swords.

You commit

Abominations.

Each of you

Defiles

His neighbor’s wife.

Shall you then

Possess the land?’”

Yahweh, their God, as usual, did not take kindly to anyone questioning him. He told Ezekiel to tell the Israelites that they had not behaved well. They had been eating flesh or meat with the blood still in it. They had lifted up their eyes to their own idols. They had shed blood by killing others. How would they then deserve to possess the promised land of Abraham? They had depended on their swords and committed many abominations. Many of them had defiled their neighbor’s wife. How then could they expect to possess the land of Abraham?