(סַיר רִחִוֹ), a basin or ewer for washing the hands and feet; put figuratively for the meanest vessel (Ps 60:10). Respecting the ancient Egyptians, Wilkinson (Anc. Egypt. 1:77 sq.) remarks as follows: "To those who arrived from a journey, or who desired it, water was brought for their feet previous to entering the festive chamber. Joseph ordered his servants to fetch water for his brethren that they might wash their feet before they ate (Ge 43:24; comp. also 18:4; 24:32; 1Sa 25:44). It was always a custom of the East, as with the Greeks and Romans (comp. Lu 7:44,46). The Egyptians also washed their hands before dinner, the water being brought in the same manner as at the present day; and ewers, not unlike those used by the modern Egyptians, are represented, with the basins belonging to them, in the paintings of a Theban tomb. In the houses of the rich they were of gold or other costly materials. Herodotus mentions the golden foot-pan in which Amasis and his guests used to wash their feet. The Greeks had the same custom of bringing water to the guests, numerous instances of which we find in Homer as when Tclemachus and the: son of Nestor were received at the house of Meilelaus, and when Asphalion poured it upon the hands of his master and the same guests on another occasion. Virgil also describes the servants bringing water for this purpose when AEneas was entertained by Dido. Nor was the ceremony thought superfluous, or declined, even though they had previously bathed and been anointed with oil."

Definition of wash

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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