What Does Defile Mean In The Bible

Definition of Biblically Defiling Something

The definition of defiling something in the Bible can have a range of connotations depending on context and interpretation. Generally speaking, defiling is considered an action that dishonors, corrupts, or desecrates something that is considered holy or sacred. The definition has roots in ancient religions, with various sources indicating that the taboos around defiling something were established long before the development of the Bible.

Old Testament Examples of Defiling Anything

The Bible makes numerous references to the idea of defiling something or someone. In the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Leviticus, there are numerous examples of how God commanded to keep something sacred, even going as far as to suggest a punishment for those that defile it. For example, in Leviticus 20:2, God commands for anyone that defiles “any of their descendants through prostitution” to be “cut off from their people”. This verse, and many like it, are meant as lessons on respecting the sacred things in life.

New Testament Examples of Defiling Anything

The New Testament also contains a variety of verses that aim to warn readers against defiling something. In the book of Mark, Jesus himself admonishes the disciples for their carelessness in handling the vessels of the temple. The passage, Mark 7:15, reads “…’then you take away the key to knowledge. You yourselves do not enter in, and you hinder those who are entering in.’” Jesus was essentially warning the disciples against defiling the sacred vessels by way of their negligence.

Impact of Defiling Something in the Bible

In the Bible, those that are guilty of defiling something are punished often with the pain of exile, the severance of ties to their own people, or direct action by God. To the ancients, defiling something was an unthinkable act of corruption, and thus was met with severe consequences. These consequences are a warning to readers of the Bible to treat the things that are deemed holy and sacred to God with respect and reverence.

The Significance of Defiling Something in the Bible

The act of defiling something holds a deep meaning in the Bible, and is intended to be a lesson to all its readers. Specifically, defiling is meant to remind readers about the importance of respecting what is sacred and continuing to value those things that reach past worldly desires. The punishment for defiling something is thus a reminder of how the sacred things in life should not be taken for granted.

Implications of Defiling Something in the Bible

From a modern-day perspective, the implications of defiling something as defined in the Bible are particularly relevant to the way we as a society view and treat sacred places, things, and relationships. To ask ourselves if our behavior is serving to honor or defile the sanctity of a relationship, place, or thing is an important practice. As the Bible serves to remind its readers, respecting that which is holy and divine is of utmost importance.


Defiling something is a concept recognized throughout history and explored in the Bible as a lesson meant to be taken seriously. From the Old Testament to the New, the punishments meted out to those who defile something is meant to be an example to readers of the Bible to show proper respect for the things that are holy and sacred. As our society continues to face the challenge of honoring the things that reach past worldly wants and desires, the implications of defiling something as defined in the Bible remain relevant.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

Leave a Comment