Matthew 26:12
For in that she has poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
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(12) She did it for my burial.—The words must have fallen with a strange sadness upon the ears of the disciples and the other guests. They were expecting that “the kingdom of God should immediately appear” (Luke 19:11), and were looking forward to the dawn of the next day as the hour of its victory and triumph. The enthusiasm of the moment made them deaf to the real import of what they heard, and their Master, alone of all that company, knew that the fragrance of that perfume would not have died away when His body should be laid in the sepulchre.

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.She did it for my burial - It is not to be supposed that Mary understood clearly that he was then about to die - for the apostles, it seems, did not fully comprehend it, or that she intended it for his burial; but she had done it as an act of kindness and love, to show her regard for her Lord.

He said that it was a proper preparation for his burial. In ancient times, bodies were anointed and embalmed for the purpose of the sepulchre. Jesus said that this was "really" a preparation for that burial; a fitting him in a proper manner for the tomb.


Mt 26:1-16. Christ's Final Announcement of his Death, as Now within Two Days, and the Simultaneous Conspiracy of the Jewish Authorities to Compass It—The Anointing at Bethany—Judas Agrees with the Chief Priests to Betray His Lord. ( = Mr 14:1-11; Lu 22:1-6; Joh 12:1-11).

For the exposition, see on [1361]Mr 14:1-11.

See Poole on "Matthew 26:13". 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.

For {f} in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

(f) In that she poured this ointment upon my body, she did it to bury me.

Matthew 26:12. πρὸς τὸ ἐνταφ., to prepare for burial by embalming; so near is my death, though ye thought not of it: effect of the woman’s act, not her conscious purpose. The Syriac version introduces a quasi. She meant nothing but to show her love, quickened possibly by instinctive foreboding of ill. But an act done in that spirit was the best embalming of Christ’s body, or rather of His act in dying, for the two acts were kindred. Hence naturally the solemn declaration following, an essential part of the story, of indubitable authenticity.12. for my burial] For this use of perfumes cp. 2 Chronicles 16:14, “They laid him (Asa) in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art.”Matthew 26:12. Βαλοῦσα, in that she hath poured) The word implies profusion.—πρὸς τὸ ἐνταφιάσαι Με, for My burial) These words intimate that His death was certain and near at hand. The verb ἐνταφιάζειν does not mean “to place in the sepulchre,” but “to prepare for the sepulchre.” The ἐνταφιασμὸς of Jacob (Genesis 50:2, S. V.) took place in Egypt, his sepulture afterwards [in Canaan].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.
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