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.
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.
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).
Matthew 26:7 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
There came to him a woman - This woman was Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, John 12:3.
Having an alabaster box - The "alabaster" is a species of marble, distinguished for being light, and of a beautiful white color, almost transparent.
It was much used by the ancients for the purpose of preserving various kinds of ointment in.
Of very precious ointment - That is, of ointment of "great value;" that was rare and difficult to be obtained. Mark Mar 14:3 and John Joh 12:3 say that it was ointment of spikenard. In the original it is "nard." It was procured from an herb growing in the Indies, chiefly obtained from the root, though sometimes also from the bark. It was liquid, so as easily to flow when the box or vial was open, and was distinguished particularly for an agreeable smell. See Sol 1:12. The ancients were much in the habit of "anointing or perfuming" their bodies, and the nard was esteemed one of the most precious perfumes. John says there was a "pound" of this, John 12:3. The "pound" in use among the Jews was the Roman, of twelve ounces, answering to our troy weight. That there was a large quantity is further evident from the fact that Judas says it might have been sold for 300 pence (about 9 British pounds), and that the "house" was filled with the odor of the ointment (John).
And poured it on his head - They were accustomed chiefly to anoint the head or hair. John says John 12:3 that she poured it on the "feet" of Jesus, and wiped them with her hair. There is, however, no contradiction. She probably poured it "both" on his head and his feet. Matthew and Mark having recorded the former, John, who wrote his gospel in part to record events omitted by them, completes the account by saying that the ointment was also poured on the feet of the Saviour. To pour ointment on the "head" was common. To pour it on the "feet" was an act of distinguished "humility" and of attachment to the Saviour, and therefore deserved to be particularly recorded.
As he sat at meat - That is, at supper. In the original, as he "reclined" at supper. The ancients did not sit at their meals, but "reclined" at length on couches. See the notes at Matthew 23:6. She came up, therefore, "behind him" as he lay reclined at the table, and, bending down over the couch, poured the ointment on his head and his feet, and, probably kneeling at his feet, wiped them with her hair.
LibraryJanuary 3. "Watch and Pray" (Matt. xxvi. 41).
"Watch and pray" (Matt. xxvi. 41). We need to watch for prayers as well as for the answers to our prayers. It needs as much wisdom to pray rightly as it does faith to receive the answers to our prayers. We met a friend the other day, who had been in years of darkness because God had failed to answer certain prayers, and the result had been a state bordering on infidelity. A very few moments were sufficient to convince this friend that these prayers had been entirely unauthorized, and that God had …
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2 Kings 9:1
Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, "Gird up your loins, and take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth-gilead.
But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, "Why this waste?
While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.
And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,
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