|Noah Webster's Dictionary|
1. (n.) The protection of the interior walls of a fortification from an enfilading fire, as by covering them, or by a high parapet on the exposed side.
2. (n.) The act of defiling, or state of being defiled, whether physically or morally; pollution; foulness; dirtiness; uncleanness.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
de-fil', de-fil'-ment (Anglo-Saxon, afylau, etc.; Middle English, defoulen, "make foul," "pollute," render (the King James Version) 9 Hebrew roots (the Revised Version (British and American) six): ga`al, "defile"; chalal, "defile" (from "untie, loosen, open," i.e. "make common," hence, "profane"); chaneph, "incline away" (from right or religion), hence, "profane," "defile" (Jeremiah 3:9, the American Standard Revised Version "pollute"); Tame', the principal root, over 250 times translated "defile" 74 times "to become, or render, unclean"; Tanaph, "to soil" (Songs 5:3); `alal, "deal severely, or decidedly, with," "roll" (Job 16:15, the King James Version, the American Revised Version, margin); `anah, "humble" (Genesis 34:2 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "humble"); qadhash, "separate," "sanctify," "devote to religious use," hence, "forfeit" (Deuteronomy 22:9 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "forfeit," margin "consecrated"). They also render 6 (the King James Version) Greek roots (American Revised Version, 4): koinos, etc., "common" or "unclean," because appertaining to the outside world and not to the people of God, opposite of katharos, "clean," used 13 times; miaino, miasma, miasmos, "stain," "tinge," "dye": "In their dreamings defile the flesh," Jude 1:8; moluno, "stain," "contaminate": "not defile their garments" (Revelation 3:4); spiloo, "spot," "stain": "defile the whole body" (James 3:6); phtheiro, "corrupt," "destroy": the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:17 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "destroyeth"); arsenokoites: "defile themselves with men" (1 Timothy 1:10 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "abusers of")):
1. Defilement in the Old Testament:
Defilement in the Old Testament was physical, sexual, ethical, ceremonial, religious, the last four, especially, overlapping.
(1) Physical: "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" (Songs 5:3).
(2) Sexual: which might be ceremonial or moral; of individuals by illicit intercourse (Leviticus 18:20), or by intercourse at forbidden times (Leviticus 15:24 1 Samuel 21:5); of the land by adultery: "Shall not that land be greatly defiled?" (Jeremiah 3:1 the American Standard Revised Version "polluted," usually substituted where the moral or religious predominates over the ceremonial).
(3) Ethical: "Your hands are defiled with blood" (Isaiah 59:3); "Neither shall they defile themselves any more with. any of their transgressions" (Ezekiel 37:23).
(4) Ceremonial: to render ceremonially unclean, i.e. disqualified for religious service or worship, and capable of communicating the disqualification.
(a) Persons were defiled by contact with carcasses of unclean animals (Leviticus 11:24); or with any carcass (Leviticus 17:15); by eating a carcass (Leviticus 22:8); by contact with issues from the body, one's own or another's, e.g. abnormal issues from the genitals, male or female (Leviticus 15:2, 25); menstruation (Leviticus 15:19); by contact with anyone thus unclean (Leviticus 15:24); copulation (Leviticus 15:16-18); uncleanness after childbirth (Leviticus 12:2-5); by contact with unclean persons (Leviticus 5:3), or unclean things (Leviticus 22:6), or with leprosy (especially defiling; Leviticus 13:14), or with the dead (Numbers 6:12), or with one unclean by such contact (Numbers 19:22), or by funeral rites (Leviticus 21:1); by contact with creeping things (Leviticus 22:5), or with unclean animals (Leviticus 11:26).
(b) Holy objects were ceremonially defiled by the contact, entrance or approach of the defiled (Leviticus 15:31 Numbers 19:13); by the presence of dead bodies, or any remains of the dead (Ezekiel 9:7 2 Kings 23:16: Josiah's defilement of heathen altars by the ashes of the priests); by the entrance of foreigners (Psalm 79:1; see Acts 21:28); by forbidden treatment, as the altar by being tooled (Exodus 20:25); objects in general by contact with the unclean. Ceremonial defilement, strictly considered, implied, not sin, but ritual unfitness.
(5) Religious: not always easily distinguished or entirely distinguishable from the ceremonial, still less from the ethical, but in which the central attitude and relationship to Yahweh as covenant God and God of righteousness, was more fully in question. The land might be defiled by bloodshed (Numbers 35:33), especially of the just or innocent; by adultery (Jeremiah 3:1); by idolatry and idolatrous practices, like sacrificing children to idols, etc. (Leviticus 20:3 Psalm 106:39); the temple or altar by disrespect (Malachi 1:7, 12); by offering the unclean (Haggai 2:14); by any sort of unrighteousness (Ezekiel 36:17); by the presence of idols or idolatrous paraphernalia (Jeremiah 7:30).
2. Defilement in New Testament:
The scope of defilement in its various degrees (direct, or primary, as from the person or thing defiled; indirect, or secondary, tertiary, or even further, by contact with the defiled) had been greatly widened by rabbinism into a complex and immensely burdensome system whose shadow falls over the whole New Testament life. Specific mentions are comparatively few. Physical defilement is not mentioned. Sexual defilement appears, in a figurative sense: "These are they that were not defiled with women" (Revelation 14:4). Ceremonial defilement is found in, but not approved by, the New Testament. Examples are: by eating with unwashed, "common," not ceremonially cleansed, hands (Mark 7:2); by eating unclean, "common," food (Acts 10:14; Peter's vision); by intimate association with Gentiles, such as eating with them (not expressly forbidden in Mosaic law; Acts 11:3), or entering into their houses (John 18:28; the Pharisees refusing to enter the Pretorium); by the presence of Gentiles in the Temple (Acts 21:28).
But with Christ's decisive and revolutionary dictum (Mark 7:19): "This he said, making all meats clean," etc., and with the command in Peter's vision: "What God hath cleansed, make not thou common" (Acts 10:15), and with Paul's bold and consistent teaching: "All things indeed are clean" (Romans 14:20, etc.), the idea of ceremonial or ritual defilement, having accomplished its educative purpose, passed. Defilement in the New Testament teaching, therefore, is uniformly ethical or spiritual, the two constantly merging. The ethical is found more predominantly in: "The things which proceed out of the mouth come forth out of the heart; and they defile the man" (Matthew 15:18); "that did not defile their garments" (Revelation 3:4); "defileth the whole body" (James 3:6). The spiritual seems to predominate in: "defiled and unbelieving" (Titus 1:15); "conscience being weak is defiled" (by concession to idolatry.) (1 Corinthians 8:7); "lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled" (Hebrews 12:15). For the supposed origins of the idea and details of defilement, as from hygienic or aesthetic causes, "natural aversions," "taboo," "totemism," associations with ideas of death, or evil life, religious symbolism, etc., see POLLUTION; PURIFICATION; UNCLEANNESS. Whatever use God may have made of ideas and feelings common among many nations in some form, the Divine purpose was clearly to impress deeply and indelibly on the Israelites the ideas of holiness and sacredness in general, and of Yahweh's holiness, and their own required holiness and separateness in particular, thus preparing for the deep New Testament teachings of sin, and of spiritual consecration and sanctification.
Philip Wendell Crannell
Defilement (12 Occurrences)
John 18:28 So they brought Jesus from Caiaphas's house to the Praetorium. It was the early morning, and they would not enter the Praetorium themselves for fear of defilement, and in order that they might be able to eat the Passover. (WEY)
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (WEB WEY ASV NAS RSV)
Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have contracted defilement make them holy so as to bring about ceremonial purity, (WEY)
1 Peter 3:21 And, corresponding to that figure, the water of baptism now saves you--not the washing off of material defilement, but the craving of a good conscience after God--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (WEY)
2 Peter 2:10 but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement, and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries; (WEB ASV)
2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. (WEB ASV NAS RSV)
Leviticus 14:49 And he shall take, to purge the house from the defilement, two birds, and cedar-wood, and scarlet, and hyssop; (DBY)
Leviticus 14:52 and he shall purge the house from the defilement with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar-wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet; (DBY)
2 Chronicles 29:5 and said to them, Hear me, you Levites; now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. Esther (See NIV)
Job 31:7 if my step has turned out of the way, if my heart walked after my eyes, if any defilement has stuck to my hands, (WEB)
Ezekiel 22:3 and thou hast said: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: The city is shedding blood in its midst, For the coming in of its time, And it hath made idols on it for defilement. (YLT NAS)
Micah 2:10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not the resting-place, because of defilement that bringeth destruction, even a grievous destruction. (DBY)