|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:6-13 The pouring ointment upon the head of Christ was a token of the highest respect. Where there is true love in the heart to Jesus Christ, nothing will be thought too good to bestow upon him. The more Christ's servants and their services are cavilled at, the more he manifests his acceptance. This act of faith and love was so remarkable, that it would be reported, as a memorial of Mary's faith and love, to all future ages, and in all places where the gospel should be preached. This prophecy is fulfilled.
Verse 12. - On my body, she did it for my burial (πρὸς τὸ ἐνταφιάσαι με, to prepare me for burial). This doubtless was in some sort her intention (see on ver 10). She desired to offer what she could (Mark 14:8) of the offices and attentions due to the corpse of a beloved and revered Friend. Christ interpreted her act, and gave it a solemn significance. By this effusion of the precious unguent site anticipated the embalming of the Lord's body; she showed her reverence for that body which was to be given for the life of the world not many days hence. The full meaning of the mystery of which she was the instrument Mary did not comprehend, but what she had consciously done received a wonderful commendation from the Lord, which has no parallel in the Gospel history.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For in that she hath poured this ointment,.... Which was so very precious, and cost so much,
upon my body: for being poured on his head, it ran down all over his body.
She did it for my burial; not for the interment of his body, but for the embalming of it, previous to it: the Jews used to embalm their dead, to show their constant respect to the deceased, and their belief of the resurrection; at least not only used to wash them, but anoint them with oil; for so runs one of their canons (i):
"they do all things necessary to the dead, (i.e. on the sabbath day,) "they anoint him": that is, as Bartenora adds, "with oil"; and they wash him;''
but the body of Christ, when dead, was not to be so used: the women intended it, and prepared materials for it, but the sabbath coming on, they rested according to the commandment; though, according to this canon, they might have anointed him, but they waited till the sabbath was over; and early on the first day, in the morning, they came to the sepulchre, in order to do it, but it was too late, Christ was risen; see Luke 23:56. Now either this woman had some revelation made to her, that the death of Christ was near at hand, and she feared, or knew, she should not be able to anoint him when dead; and therefore, as Mark has it, "she hath done what she could; she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying", Mark 14:8, or if she had no knowledge of all this, nor any such intention, yet the Holy Ghost directed her to this action, with this view, as it were, for the performing of these funeral rites before he was dead; and so the Syriac version renders it, "she hath done it, , as it were, to bury me".
(i) Misn. Sabbat, c. 23. sect. 5.
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