From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [1]

In the general sense of this word we readily understand that by doing any act contrary to God's holy law, such as breaking the Sabbath, touching holy things with polluted or defiled hands, and the like, we profane them. But while these things are plain enough, and cannot well be mistaken, there are some other cases where the word to profane is used in Scripture, that may not be so generally apprehended.

In the law of Moses we find this precept,  Deuteronomy 20:6 "And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it." In the margin of the Bible the word is rendered, instead, of eaten, hath not made it common, that is, profaned it. And agreeably to this we find the general precept concerning the fruit of the vineyard,  Leviticus 19:23-25 "And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of. But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord withal. And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof; I am the Lord your God." It should seem very evidently by these Scriptures, that things were considered uncircumcised and unclean in the first product of them; but after the time limited they were no longer unclean, but were now brought into common use, and were profane; that is, were to be considered fit for common use. So that the word profane means common. Hence the prophet Jeremiah was, commissioned to tell the people, that when the Lord returned again the captivity of his people, "they should yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria, and that the planters should plant and eat them as common things." In the margin of the Bible it is, shall profane them. ( Jeremiah 31:4-5) The sense is, that they should enjoy them in common as privileged things.

Let us add one Scripture more in proof. Our blessed Lord, in the days of his flesh, walking through the cornfields, and his disciples eating of the ears of corn on the Sabbath-day, were reproved by the pharisees for it. The Lord made this answer: "Have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?" ( Matthew 12:5) Now it doth not appear from what we meet with in the law, that the priests did any thing particularly on the Sabbath-day of defilement; therefore the profaning Christ speaks of cannot mean what, in the common acceptation of the word, we should call profaneness. But if we interpret this expression of our Lord concerning profaning the temple by the analogy of Scripture, and not our ordinary sense of the word, it would follow that the priests were considered blameless in the temple in using the Lord's blessings, of what kind soever they were, to the Lord's glory, when the three years of their uncircumcised state had passed as appointed by the Lord. Then those things were, as the prophet Jeremiah had observed, to be eaten as common or profane things.

If these observations serve to throw a light on the Scriptural word profane, they also serve to give a clear apprehension of our Lord's meaning concerning the profaneness of the priests in the temple, and remaining blameless. In this sense the whole is clear; but without it there is a great difficulty in accepting the word profane in the ordinary way of somewhat that is defiled, and the priests defiling the temple, and yet being free from blame.

The sense of the name given to Esau is upon this ground plain and intelligible. He is called a profane person, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. ( Hebrews 12:16) The expression of profane person doth not simply mean a defiled person, for in this sense all the Jacobs of God are unclean and defiled as well as the Esaus; but the profaneness means, the low esteem which Esau had to the birthright of the promise in Christ, which he despised, and to shew his contempt of it sold it for a morsel of present food. He regarded not Christ.

Will the reader indulge me with humbly offering one thought more on this subject? We find by the law that the fruits of the trees in Canaan were prohibited for three years, and the reason given was, that they were uncircumcised; but that then in the fourth year, after a circumcision had taken place, all the fruit was declared holy unto the Lord; and the fifth year the fruits were deemed profane for use. I do not presume to speak decidedly upon the subject—I rather write humbly to enquire than to decide; but I would venture to ask, whether these things were not typical of the Lord Jesus Christ and his salvation? When, by the three years of Christ's ministry and death, redemption-work was completed, and believers by the circumcision of the Spirit are brought into a state of regeneration and justification before God, all the fruits of the Spirit are like the plants upon Samaria; they shall then profane them as common things; they shall do as the priests did, and be blameless; they shall enter into the full enjoyment of them as common things. "To the pure all things are pure." What God hath cleansed we are commanded not to call common or unclean. ( Titus 1:15;  Acts 10:15)

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

(βέβηλος, ‘trodden under foot’; profanus, ‘outside the shrine’)

The word denotes not simply what is common (see, Clean), but a temper which despises sacred things ( 1 Timothy 1:9); cf. ‘profane language.’ Esau was ‘profane’ ( Hebrews 12:16) because he despised his spiritual birthright. St. Paul is accused of ‘profaning’ the Temple ( Acts 24:6) by bringing Gentiles into it. It is the temper of those who know the good and yet despise it. In the early days of Christianity we do not find this sin remarked on, because Christianity was then novel and unrecognized, and hostility to it was passionate rather than profane. But later, as in 1 and 2 Tim., when it became a tried institution with recognized doctrine ( 1 Timothy 4:6), and had a clientele amongst men, then there was room for this sin. The term ‘profane’ is applied especially to those who under cover of Christianity foist their own errors and deceits upon the Church. Judaism from behind and Gnosticism coming on in frond are the worst offenders. They simulated Christianity and brought their mischief into its very centre. Thus ‘profane fables’ ( 1 Timothy 4:7) recalls the foolish stories of Rabbinical preaching ( Titus 1:10;  Titus 1:14). ‘Profane babblings and oppositions of knowledge falsely so-called’ ( 1 Timothy 6:20,  2 Timothy 2:16), if they are not Gnostic, are leading to Gnosticism, its hair-splittings, cloud of words, pride of knowledge, unnatural asceticism, and moral looseness. Gnosticism, with all that led up to it, was peculiarly profane, because it brought into the meekness of Christianity the dialectical pride of the West and the ‘caste’ feeling of the East; it pretended to have special knowledge; it made purity into a formal distinction between matter and spirit (see Clean); it indulged in capricious philosophical views of Christian truth, and became a masquerade of sacred things.

Literature.-A. Edersheim, LT_4, 1887, i. 448; F. J. A. Hort, Judaistic Christianity, 1894, p. 138; W. Mceller, History of the Christian Church, Eng. tr._, i. [1892] 129-153; J. B. Lightfoot, Colossians and Philemon, new ed., 1879, pp. 73-113; for analysis of present-day Gnosticism, P. T. Forsyth, Positive Preaching and Modern Mind, 1907, pp. 118-123.

Sherwin Smith.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

A — 1: Βέβηλος (Strong'S #952 — Adjective — bebelos — beb'-ay-los )

primarily, "permitted to be trodden, accessible" (from baino, "to go," whence belos, "a threshold"), hence, "unhallowed, profane" (opposite to hieros, "sacred"), is used of (a) persons,  1—Timothy 1:9;  Hebrews 12:16; (b) things,  1—Timothy 4:7;  6:20;  2—Timothy 2:16 . "The natural antagonism between the profane and the holy or divine grew into a moral antagonism. ... Accordingly bebelos is that which lacks all relationship or affinity to God" (Cremer, who compares koinos, "common," in the sense of ritual uncleanness).

B — 1: Βεβηλόω (Strong'S #953 — Verb — bebeloo — beb-ay-lo'-o )

primarily, "to cross the threshold" (akin to A, which see), hence, "to profane, pollute," occurs in  Matthew 12:5;  Acts 24:6 (the latter as in   Acts 21:28,29 : cp. Defile, A No. 1, Partition

King James Dictionary [4]

PROFA'NE, a. L. profanus pro and fanum, a temple.

1. Irreverent to any thing sacred applied to persons. A man is profane when he takes the name of God in vain, or treats sacred things with abuse and irreverence. 2. Irreverent proceeding from a contempt of sacred things, or implying it as profane words or language profane swearing. 3. Not sacred secular relating to secular things as profane history. 4. Polluted not pure.

Nothing is profane that serveth to holy things.

5. Not purified or holy allowed for common use as a profane place.  Ezekiel 42,48 . 6. Obscene heathenish tending to bring reproach on religion as profane fables.  1 Timothy 4

Profane is used chiefly in Scripture in opposition to holy, or qualified ceremonially for sacred services.

PROFA'NE, To violate any thing sacred, or treat it with abuse,irreverence, obloquy or contempt as, to profane the name of God to profane the sabbath to profane the Scriptures or the ordinances of God.

1. To pollute to defile to apply to temporal uses to use as base or common.  Ezekiel 24 2. To violate.  Malachi 2 3. To pollute to debase. Leviticus 21 4. To put to a wrong use.

Webster's Dictionary [5]

(1): ( a.) To violate, as anything sacred; to treat with abuse, irreverence, obloquy, or contempt; to desecrate; to pollute; as, to profane the name of God; to profane the Scriptures, or the ordinance of God.

(2): ( a.) Not sacred or holy; not possessing peculiar sanctity; unconsecrated; hence, relating to matters other than sacred; secular; - opposed to sacred, religious, or inspired; as, a profane place.

(3): ( a.) Unclean; impure; polluted; unholy.

(4): ( a.) Treating sacred things with contempt, disrespect, irreverence, or undue familiarity; irreverent; impious.

(5): ( a.) Irreverent in language; taking the name of God in vain; given to swearing; blasphemous; as, a profane person, word, oath, or tongue.

(6): ( a.) To put to a wrong or unworthy use; to make a base employment of; to debase; to abuse; to defile.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

an epithet applied to those who abuse and contemn holy things. The Scripture calls Esau profane, because he sold his birthright, which was considered a holy thing, not only because the priesthood was annexed to it, but also because it was a privilege relating to Christ, and a type of the title of believers to the heavenly inheritance,  Hebrews 12:16 . The priests of the race of Aaron were enjoined to distinguish between sacred and profane, between pure and polluted,  Leviticus 10:10;  Leviticus 19:7-8 . Hence they were prohibited the use of wine during their attendance on the temple service, that their spirits might not be discomposed by excitement. To profane the temple, to profane the Sabbath, to profane the altar, are common expressions to denote the violation of the rest of the Sabbath, the entering of foreigners into the temple, or the want of reverence in those that entered it, and the impious sacrifices that were offered on the altar of the Lord.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

PROFANE . ‘To profane’ is ‘to make ceremonially unclean,’ ‘to make unholy.’ And so a ‘profane person’ (  Hebrews 12:16 ) is an ‘ungodly person,’ a person of common, coarse life, not merely of speech.

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [8]

A term used in opposition to holy; and in general is applied to all persons who have not the sacred character, and to things which do not belong to the service of religion.

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

Cleanness CleanHoly

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

prṓ - fān ´ (verb חלל , ḥālal , adjective חלל , ḥālāl , חל , ḥōl  ; βεβηλόω , bebēlóō , βέβηλος , bébēlos ): From profanus, "before (i.e. outside) the temple," therefore unholy, polluted, secular, is of frequent occurrence (verb and adjective) in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It occurs as the translation of ḥōl in the King James Version only in Ezek (22:26, the Revised Version (British and American) "common"; 42:20; 44:23; 48:15, the Revised Version (British and American) "for common use"); as the translation of ḥālāl in   Leviticus 21:7 ,  Leviticus 21:14 , the Revised Version margin "polluted"; and  Ezekiel 21:25 , where, for the King James Version "thou profane wicked prince of Israel," the Revised Version (British and American) has "thou, O deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel." "To profane" ( ḥālal ) is seen in  Leviticus 18:21;  Leviticus 19:8;  Nehemiah 13:17 ,  Nehemiah 13:18;  Psalm 89:39;  Isaiah 43:28;  Ezekiel 22:8 ,  Ezekiel 22:26 , etc. "Profaneness" in  Jeremiah 23:15 ( ḥănuppāh ) is in the American Standard Revised Version "ungodliness." In the New Testament "profane" occurs in the sense of unholy, godless, regardless of God and divine things ( 1 Timothy 1:9;  1 Timothy 4:7;  1 Timothy 6:20;  2 Timothy 2:16;  Hebrews 12:16 ), and "to profane," or violate, in  Matthew 12:5;  Acts 24:6 . The verb is frequent in Apocrypha in 1 Macc (1:43, 45, 63; 2:34, etc.; also in 2 Macc 8:2; 10:5; compare 2 Esdras 15:8; Judith 4:3, 12; 1 Macc 1:48; 2 Macc 4:13). In numerous cases the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "profane" for other words and phrases in the King James Version, as for "to prostitute" ( Leviticus 19:29 ), "an hypocrite" ( Isaiah 9:17 ), "pollute" ( Numbers 18:32;  Ezekiel 7:21 ), etc.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

( חָנִ , Chandph,  Jeremiah 23:11; Βέβηλος ,  Hebrews 12:16). To profane is to put holy things to vile or common uses; as the money- changers did the Temple, by converting a part of it into a place of business ( Matthew 21:12), and as those do who allow secular occupations to engross any part of the Sabbath under the old, or of the Lord's day under the new dispensation ( Exodus 20:8-10). Esau, for despising his birthright and its privileges, is styled by the apostle "a profane person" ( Hebrews 12:16). The term is also used in opposition to holy. Thus the general history of ancient nations is styled profane, as distinguished from that contained in the Bible; profane writings are such as have been composed by heathens, in contradistinction from the sacred books of Scripture, and the writings of Christian authors on sacred subjects.