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Matthew 26:6-13

Context
Jesus’ Anointing

26:6 Now while Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, 26:7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar 1  of expensive perfumed oil, 2  and she poured it on his head as he was at the table. 3  26:8 When 4  the disciples saw this, they became indignant and said, “Why this waste? 26:9 It 5  could have been sold at a high price and the money 6  given to the poor!” 26:10 When 7  Jesus learned of this, he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She 8  has done a good service for me. 26:11 For you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me! 9  26:12 When 10  she poured this oil on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 26:13 I tell you the truth, 11  wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

1 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.

2 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).

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.

3 tn Grk “as he was reclining at table.”

sn 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.

4 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

5 tn Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.

6 tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied (as the proceeds from the sale of the perfumed oil).

7 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

8 tn Grk “For she.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.

9 tn In the Greek text of this clause, “me” is in emphatic position (the first word in the clause). To convey some impression of the emphasis, an exclamation point is used in the translation.

10 tn Grk “For when.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.

11 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”



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