329. Washing Hands

2 Kings 3:11  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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As no knives or forks are used in the East, it is absolutely necessary to have a plentiful supply of water for the hands at the close of every meal.
For this a pitcher and basin are provided. The hands are held over the basin while a servant pours water from the pitcher. The basin has a double bottom, the upper part of which is full of holes, through which the water as soon as used passes out of sight into the lower part. From the center of the bottom there rises a small projection which is used as a receptacle for the soap. The expression in the text, “poured water on the hands,” is intended to show that Ensile performed the work of a servant for Elijah. He was Elijah’s assistant as well as his disciple.