John 12:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages."

New Living Translation
"That perfume was worth a year's wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor."

English Standard Version
“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”

New American Standard Bible
"Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?"

King James Bible
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Why wasn't this fragrant oil sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?"

International Standard Version
"Why wasn't this perfume sold for 300 denarii and the money given to the destitute?"

NET Bible
"Why wasn't this oil sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Why was not this oil sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Why wasn't this perfume sold for a high price and the money given to the poor?"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarius and given to the poor?

King James 2000 Bible
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

American King James Version
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

American Standard Version
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

Darby Bible Translation
Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?

English Revised Version
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

Webster's Bible Translation
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

Weymouth New Testament
"Why was not that perfume sold for 300 shillings and the money given to the poor?"

World English Bible
"Why wasn't this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?"

Young's Literal Translation
'Wherefore was not this ointment sold for three hundred denaries, and given to the poor?'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:1-11 Christ had formerly blamed Martha for being troubled with much serving. But she did not leave off serving, as some, who when found fault with for going too far in one way, peevishly run too far another way; she still served, but within hearing of Christ's gracious words. Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God's Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections. In Judas a foul sin is gilded over with a plausible pretence. We must not think that those do no acceptable service, who do it not in our way. The reigning love of money is heart-theft. The grace of Christ puts kind comments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what is amiss, and the most of what is good. Opportunities are to be improved; and those first and most vigorously, which are likely to be the shortest. To consult to hinder the further effect of the miracle, by putting Lazarus to death, is such wickedness, malice, and folly, as cannot be explained, except by the desperate enmity of the human heart against God. They resolved that the man should die whom the Lord had raised to life. The success of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that they speak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over the Almighty himself.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 5, 6. - Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Sinful motive often hides itself under the mask of reverence for another virtue. In Mark's Gospel the same price was put upon the pound of pure nard as that which is mentioned here - about of our money. Christ had given emphatic advice about generosity to the poor, and even during this very week (John 13:29) it is clear that his words were not forgotten, and in his great discourse, probably also delivered during this same week, he identified himself with the poor (Matthew 25:35, etc.), and called for unreserved consideration of them; so that this language was not unnatural. The value of this ointment is another minute indication that there is no connection between the Lazarus of John and the Lazarus of the parable. But John adds that the utter lack of perception on Judas's part of Mary's self-devotion was prompted by the most unworthy motive. The suggestion of Judas is put down by the evangelist to the sheerest covetousness. During the interval that elapsed, Judas had revealed his character, and John did not hesitate to refer the suggestion to the traitor. Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor. He really cared nothing for the poor. He was ambitious, eager for the display of the Master's power, anxious for the rewards which might follow the Master's assumption of supreme authority, turning to his own account all that might happen. But because he was a thief, and having possession of the common purse (the word γλωσσόκομος, which occurs in the sense of a chest (2 Chronicles 24:8), has a curious etymology, which had passed out of recognition; from γλώσσα and κομέω comes γλωσσοκομεῖον, that in which month-pieces of flutes might be kept in safety, and subsequently a chest or box for the safe guardianship of other valuables), he was the bearer - perhaps, bore array (see John 20:15, and Josephus, ' Ant.,' 7:15. 3, for this use of βαστάζω), at all events had at his disposal - of the things which were cast, in generous profusion, into it. Thoma makes the astounding suggestion that "John" here covertly refers to Simon Magus of Acts 8:18, etc. The question is often asked - Why was Judas entrusted with the common purse? Was it not likely to aggravate a disposition to which he was prone? Did not Jesus know what was in man? and had he not discerned the propensity of Judas (see John 6:71)? In reply:

(1) The appointment may have been made by the apostles themselves.

(2) Our Lord may not have interfered with it, deeming confidence more likely to help him than distrust.

(3) It may also show how, if men will yield themselves to sin, God will not and does not promise them immunity from temptation, but sometimes even brings them into it.

(4) The purse might have been a preservative against the vile temptation to sell his Master, and a test and motive for self-con-quest.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence,.... Meaning Roman pence, one of which is, of the value of our money, seven pence halfpenny; so that three hundred pence amount to nine pounds seven shillings and six pence:

and given to the poor? this was his pretence, and with which he covered himself; his uneasiness was, because it was not sold, and the money put into his hands, as appears by what follows.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. three hundred pence—between nine and ten pounds sterling.

John 12:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus Anointed by Mary
4But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5"Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?" 6Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.…
Cross References
Matthew 18:28
"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

John 12:4
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,

John 12:6
He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

John 13:29
Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor.
Treasury of Scripture

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

was.

Exodus 5:8,17 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, you shall …

Amos 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and …

Malachi 1:10-13 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nothing? …

Matthew 26:8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what …

Mark 14:4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, …

Luke 6:41 And why behold you the mote that is in your brother's eye, but perceive …

three hundred.

John 6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient …

Matthew 20:2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent …

Mark 14:5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and …

and given.

Matthew 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

Luke 12:33 Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which …

Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said to him, Yet lack you one …

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