kor'-ban (qorban; doron; translated "a gift," "a sacrificial offering," literally, "that which is brought near," namely, to the altar):
An expression frequently used in the original text of the Old Testament; in the English Bible it occurs in Mark 7:11; compare also Matthew 15:5. It is the most general term for a sacrifice of any kind. In the course of time it became associated with an objectionable practice. Anything dedicated to the temple by pronouncing the votive word "Corban" forthwith belonged to the temple, but only ideally; actually it might remain in the possession of him who made the vow. So a son might be justified in not supporting his old parents simply because he designated his property or a part of it as a gift to the temple, that is, as "Corban" There was no necessity of fulfilling his vow, yet he was actually prohibited from ever using his property for the support of his parents. This shows clearly why Christ singled out this queer regulation in order to demonstrate the sophistry of tradition and to bring out the fact of its possible and actual hostility to the Scripture and its spirit.
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