This strong and expressive word occurs only once in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. The weeping prophet uses it as he looks upon his erstwhile fair and holy city, despoiled, defiled, derided by the profane, the enemies of God and of His people (Lamentations 3:45, cechi). The favored people, whose city lies in heaps and is patrolled by the heathen, are hailed and held up as the scrapings, the offscouring, the offal of the earth. They are humbled to earth, crushed into the dust, carried away to be the slaves of licentious idolaters. The haughty, cruel, cutting boastfulness of the victors covered Israel with contumely.
In 1 Corinthians 4:13 the greatest of the apostles reminds the prosperous and self-satisfied Corinthinns that they, the apostles, were "made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things." In such contempt were they held by the unbelieving world and by false apostles. The strange, strong word (peripsema) should remind us what it cost in former times to be a true servant of Christ.