What Does Defiled Mean In The Bible

The Bible is arguably the most important book in the world, and it speaks about a variety of topics and teachings. One of the most common terms used in the Bible is ‘defiled’. It is easy to understand the meaning of this term, but it is just as easy to miss its original meaning and context. This article will dive into the Biblical definition of defiled and how this term has been used throughout history.

The Bible and Defilement

The term ‘defiled’ is used almost 800 times in the Bible, and its usage goes back to the Old Testament. The most common definition of the term is to make something unclean or impure. In the Bible, certain things and people can be regarded as defiled. For example, a woman can be defiled by contact with a corpse, sexual activity with someone outside of marriage, or contact with a soul corpse. Men can be defiled through contact with a corpse, idolatry, or sexual immorality.
The Bible also speaks of defiled places. For instance, a town or city can be defiled if it practices idolatry or witchcraft. Additionally, any physical places associated with such activities can be considered defiled. For example, a temple or a hilltop dedicated to idols or the worship of false gods can be defiled. Even a sacred object can be defiled if it has been made for a false god or for idolatrous purposes.

Reasons for Defilement

The Bible states that there are several reasons why certain objects and places can be considered defiled. Primarily, it is because these things can potentially be connected to sin, idolatry, or immorality. All of these things are forbidden practices in the Bible, and by becoming defiled, they are made impure and unusable in the eyes of God.
In addition, defilement in the Bible is often used as a form of punishment. For example, a person who is believed to have committed a great sin can be declared ‘defiled’ and excluded from the public sphere. This can lead to social, economic, and even physical estrangement, as we see with the Bible’s prohibition of persons with leprosy from entering populated areas.

Practices of Defilement

Defilement practices have been used throughout history in order to enforce social laws. In many societies, defilement was used to punish people who were thought to have committed serious transgressions. Objects or places were also made defiled in order to prevent people from using them for improper purposes.
The Bible itself contains many examples of practices involving defilement. These practices can range from ceremonies that ceremonially purify something, to physical punishments for transgressions. For example, according to the Law of Moses, any man who refuses to consummate his marriage with his wife must be publicly humiliated and ostracized from society. Additionally, any man who sleeps with a defiled woman must be stoned to death. This shows the strictness with which the Bible viewed defilement.

Purifying Defiled Things

The Bible also speaks about ways to purify things and people that have been defiled. Generally, this involves a ritual purification process and in some cases, a physical punishment. However, there are also spiritual purifications that a person can do in order to be freed from their defiled state.
One way to purify an object or person that is defiled is through sacrifices. The Bible states that sacrifices were meant to be made in order to atone for sins and to purify a person or an object. Specifically, the Levitical law describes a system where certain animals can be used as sacrifices to atone for sins. In this way, defiled objects and people can be purified and made clean again in the eyes of God.


The term ‘defiled’ has a long history in the Bible, and its usage has remained consistent throughout the centuries. This term can be used to refer to people, objects, and places that have been labeled impure or sinful. In the Bible, these things are declared unclean and require purification in order for them to be restored in the eyes of God. Additionally, the Bible also assigns certain punishments for people who are considered to have been defiled. Overall, the term is an important one in the Bible, and its meaning and usage have been maintained throughout history.

Spiritual Defilement

The term ‘defiled’ is often used in the Bible to refer to spiritual defilement. Spiritual defilement can refer to a variety of things, such as idolatry, witchcraft, and dishonesty. For example, if a person commits idolatry, they are considered to be spiritually defiled and are no longer considered to be clean in the eyes of God. Similarly, if a person lies or cheats, then they too can be considered spiritually defiled. This can lead to serious consequences, including being exiled from a community or being punished by God.
In the Bible, the examples of spiritual defilement are numerous, and the consequences for it are clear. For instance, the Bible states that anyone who commits idolatry will be abandoned by God and suffer punishment. This is one of the reasons why the Bible stresses the importance of remaining faithful to God and avoiding any kind of spiritual defilement.

Cultural Defilement

The term ‘defiled’ is also used to refer to cultural defilement in the Bible. Cultures often have certain body and soul practices that are considered to be socially offensive and sinful. This can lead to individuals being excluded from the public and social life, or even physical punishments being imposed.
In the Bible, cultural defilement is often linked to sexual transgressions. For instance, a man who sleeps with a woman who is pledged to another man is considered to be defiled. Similarly, when a man commits a homosexual act, he will be considered to be defiled and will be subject to punishment by God. Through such examples, the Bible teaches us that certain sexual practices should not be engaged in order to remain clean in the eyes of God.

Interpretation of Defilement

The term ‘defiled’ has had a wide variety of interpretations throughout history. In some contexts, it has been seen as a way to maintain social order and punish those who have committed transgressions. In other contexts, however, it has been used to oppress and limit certain people and practices.
Today, the interpretation of the term ‘defiled’ is largely dependent on one’s interpretation of the Bible. There are those who interpret the term to mean anything that goes against God’s law, while others interpret it more liberally. Ultimately, however, it is up to the individual to decide how they interpret the term ‘defiled’ in the Bible.

Evolution of Defilement

In recent years, the term ‘defiled’ has gone through a significant evolution. In the modern era, the term is often used to refer to a person or an object that has been damaged, corrupted, or contaminated in some way. It is also used to refer to people or places that have been treated with suspicion or mistrust.
However, in the Bible, defilement is primarily used to refer to spiritual impurity or sinful actions. As such, its usage and interpretation have evolved over time in order to fit with the changing times. While the term still carries important moral implications, it has taken on a more general meaning that can be used to refer to a variety of things.

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.

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