Matthew 26:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

New Living Translation
While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.

English Standard Version
a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.

New American Standard Bible
a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.

King James Bible
There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
a woman approached Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive fragrant oil. She poured it on His head as He was reclining at the table.

International Standard Version
a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume and poured it on his head while he sat at the table.

NET Bible
a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of expensive perfumed oil, and she poured it on his head as he was at the table.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
A woman came near to him who had with her of vase of oil of sweet spices, very expensive, and she poured it on Yeshua's head as he reclined.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
While Jesus was sitting there, a woman went to him with a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it on his head.

Jubilee Bible 2000
a woman came unto him having an alabaster box of very precious ointment and poured it on his head as he sat at the table.

King James 2000 Bible
There came unto him a woman having an alabaster flask of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat to eat.

American King James Version
There came to him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

American Standard Version
there came unto him a woman having an alabaster cruse of exceeding precious ointment, and she poured it upon his head, as he sat at meat.

Douay-Rheims Bible
There came to him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table.

Darby Bible Translation
a woman, having an alabaster flask of very precious ointment, came to him and poured it out upon his head as he lay at table.

English Revised Version
there came unto him a woman having an alabaster cruse of exceeding precious ointment, and she poured it upon his head, as he sat at meat.

Webster's Bible Translation
There came to him a woman having an alabaster-box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he sat at table.

Weymouth New Testament
a woman came to Him with a jar of very costly, sweet-scented ointment, which she poured over His head as He reclined at table.

World English Bible
a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.

Young's Literal Translation
there came to him a woman having an alabaster box of ointment, very precious, and she poured on his head as he is reclining (at meat).
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 7. - A woman. St. John identifies her as Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Why the synoptists omit her name is not known; it is equally uncertain why St. John makes no mention of Simon. None of the synoptists notice Lazarus, though St. Luke names Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38, 39). It may have been at the time a matter of prudence or delicacy not to draw attention to them by name. But there is no discrepancy. One narrative supplements the other, and it is best to be thankful for what we have, and not to be over curious concerning points not explained. An alabaster box (ἀλάβαστρον). A cruse or flask made of alabaster, which is a white calcareous spar resembling marble, but setter and more easily worked. These cruses were generally round shaped, with a long narrow neck, the orifice of which was sealed. It may be the breaking of this seal to which St. Mark refers in his account (Mark 14:3), when he says that "she brake the box." Very precious ointment (μύρου). St. Mark calls it "pistic nard," rendered in our version "spikenard." The word in our text seems to be used for any salve or ointment which contained myrrh as one of its ingredients. Nard is found in Syria, the Himalayas, and other parts of India. From its root a strong scented unguent was made, which, being imported from a long distance, was very costly. Poured it on his head. It is to be noted that in the original there is no "it" after "poured;" so there is nothing to imply that the whole was poured upon his head. This helps to reconcile this account with that of the fourth evangelist (Morison). St. John tells that she anointed his feet, which was unusual; she first anointed his head, and then his feet, wiping the latter with her long flowing hair. Anointing the head was not an uncommon way of honouring distinguished guests; but Mary had another thought in her mind which the Lord discerned (ver. 12). As he sat at meat; as he reclined at table. The Jews had adopted the Roman mode of eating (comp. Matthew 22:10, where the word rendered "guests" is "the recumbent"). St. Matthew does not mention that a special supper was arranged for him (John 12:1), as if to do him honour.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

There came unto him a woman,.... By some thought to be the same that is spoken of in Luke 7:37, and by most, to be Mary, the sister of Lazarus, John 12:3, which may be true; for it is possible that one and the same woman, might perform a like action at different times; for to neither of the above, at the same time, will the following agree: not to the former, for though that was done in the house of one Simon, yet not Simon the leper, but Simon the Pharisee; who though he had a particular respect for Christ, which few of that sect had, yet appeared to be then of a Pharisaical spirit; that was done in Galilee, this near Jerusalem in Bethany; the woman there anointed the feet of Christ, but this woman poured the ointment on his head; nor did any such conversation as here follow upon it, between Christ and his disciples; but what discourse was had on that occasion, was between Simon and Christ. Not to the latter, for that does not appear to be done in Simon's house, but rather in the house of Lazarus; no mention is made of the alabaster box, nor was the ointment poured on his head, but on his feet; besides, that was done six days before the passover, whereas this was but two; moreover, Judas only objected to that, but the disciples in general had indignation at this; and though the objections to it, and Christ's defence of it, are much in the same language, in one place as in the other, yet it was no unusual thing with Christ, to make use of the same words on a like incident, or when the same objections were made. The fact here recorded, is the same as in Mark 14:3, where it stands in the same order as here, and seems to have been done at the supper, of which mention is made, John 13:2, when Satan entered into Judas, and put it into his heart to betray his master, the account of which follows this here:

having an alabaster box of very precious ointment; Mark calls it, "ointment of spikenard", Mark 14:3, which was very odorous, and of a very fragrant smell; see Sol 1:12. Some there render it, "pure nard"; unadulterated, unmixed, sincere and genuine; others, "liquid nard", which was drinkable, and easy to be poured out; and some "Pistic" nard, so called, either from "Pista", the name of a place in India, from whence it was brought, as some think; or as Dr. Lightfoot, from "Pistaca", which is the maste of a tree (c), and of which, among other things, Pliny says (d), the ointment of nard was made. The Persic version in both places read it, "ointment of Gallia"; and the just now mentioned writer (e), speaks of "nardum Gallicum", "Gallic nard", which is what may be meant by that interpreter; but be it what ointment it will; it was ointment, very precious: very costly, and of a very great price; for the disciples observe, it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence: and for the better preserving of such ointments incorrupt, they used to be put into vessels made of "alabaster" (f); though some think not the matter, but the form of these vessels is referred to; and observe, that vessels of gold, silver, and glass, for this use, being made in the form of "alabasters", were called by that name; and that this might be made of the latter, since Mark says, that she brake the box; not into pieces, for then she could not be said to pour it out; but either the top, or side of it: though some critics observe, that the word signifies no more, than that she shook it, that the thicker parts of the ointment might liquify, and be the more easily poured out. The Arabic version has omitted that clause, and the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic, read it, "she opened it"; that is, as the Persic adds, "the top of the vessel": she took off the covering of the box, or took out the stopple,

and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat: which was usually done at festivals, or at any considerable entertainments, as at weddings, &c.

"Says Rab, they "pour ointment on the heads of the doctors"; (the gloss is, the women put ointment on the heads of the scholars;) says R. Papa to Abai, does the doctor speak of the ointment of the bridechamber? He replies, thou orphan, did not thy mother cause for thee, that "they poured out ointment on the heads of the doctors", at thy wedding? for lo! one of the Rabbins got a wife for his son, in the house of R. Bar Ula; and they say, that R. Bar Ula got a wife for his son in the house of one of the Rabbins, , "and poured ointment on the head of the doctors" (g):''

to this custom are the allusions in Psalm 23:5. The pouring of this ointment on the head of Christ was emblematical of his being anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows; of his having the holy Spirit, and his gifts and graces without measure; which, like the ointment poured on Aaron's head, that ran down to his beard, and the skirts of his garments, descends to all the members of his mystical body: and was a symbol of the Gospel, which is like ointment poured forth; and of the sweet savour of the knowledge of Christ, which was to be diffused, throughout all the world, by the preaching of it; and was done by this woman in the faith of him, as the true Messiah, the Lord's anointed, as the prophet, priest, and king of his church.

(c) T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 69. 1. Gloss. in ib. (d) Hist. Nat. l. 13. c. 1.((e) Ib. c. 2. & l. 12. c. 12. (f) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 13. 2. & 36. 8. (g) T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 17. 2.



Matthew 26:7 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, 7a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. 8But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, "Why this waste?…
Cross References
2 Kings 9:1
The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, "Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead.

Matthew 26:8
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked.

Mark 14:3
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

Luke 7:37
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.
Treasury of Scripture

There came to him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

came.

John 12:2,3 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was …

very.

Exodus 30:23-33 Take you also to you principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred …

Psalm 133:2 It is like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down on the …

Ecclesiastes 9:8 Let your garments be always white; and let your head lack no ointment.

Ecclesiastes 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking …

Songs 1:3 Because of the smell of your good ointments your name is as ointment …

Isaiah 57:9 And you went to the king with ointment, and did increase your perfumes, …

Luke 7:37,38,46 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew …

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