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Luke 7:37-39

Context
7:37 Then 1  when a woman of that town, who was a sinner, learned that Jesus 2  was dining 3  at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar 4  of perfumed oil. 5  7:38 As 6  she stood 7  behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She 8  wiped them with her hair, 9  kissed 10  them, 11  and anointed 12  them with the perfumed oil. 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, 13  he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, 14  he would know who and what kind of woman 15  this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”

1 tn Grk “And behold.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this statement has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Grk “was reclining at table.”

4 sn A jar made of alabaster stone was normally used for very precious substances like perfumes. It normally had a long neck which was sealed and had to be broken off so the contents could be used.

5 tn Μύρον (muron) was usually made of myrrh (from which the English word is derived) but here it is used in the sense of ointment or perfumed oil (L&N 6.205). The same phrase occurs at the end of v. 38 and in v. 46.

sn Nard or spikenard is a fragrant oil from the root and spike of the nard plant of northern India. This perfumed oil, if made of something like nard, would have been extremely expensive, costing up to a year’s pay for an average laborer.

6 tn Grk “And standing.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

7 tn Grk “standing”; the participle στᾶσα (stasa) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

8 tn Grk “tears, and she.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

9 tn Grk “with the hair of her head.”

10 tn Grk “and kissed,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

11 tn Grk “kissed his feet,” but this has been replaced by the pronoun “them” in keeping with contemporary English style.

12 sn The series of verbs in this verse detail the woman’s every move, much as if the onlookers were watching her every step. That she attended the meal is not so surprising, as teachers often ate an open meal where listeners were welcome, but for her to approach Jesus was unusual and took great nerve, especially given her reputation.

13 tn The word “this” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

14 tn This is a good example of a second class (contrary to fact) Greek conditional sentence. The Pharisee said, in effect, “If this man were a prophet (but he is not)…”

15 sn The Pharisees believed in a form of separationism that would have prevented them from any kind of association with such a sinful woman.



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