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Luke 7:36-45

Context
Jesus’ Anointing

7:36 Now one of the Pharisees 1  asked Jesus 2  to have dinner with him, so 3  he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. 4  7:37 Then 5  when a woman of that town, who was a sinner, learned that Jesus 6  was dining 7  at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar 8  of perfumed oil. 9  7:38 As 10  she stood 11  behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She 12  wiped them with her hair, 13  kissed 14  them, 15  and anointed 16  them with the perfumed oil. 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, 17  he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, 18  he would know who and what kind of woman 19  this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” 7:40 So 20  Jesus answered him, 21  “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He replied, 22  “Say it, Teacher.” 7:41 “A certain creditor 23  had two debtors; one owed him 24  five hundred silver coins, 25  and the other fifty. 7:42 When they could not pay, he canceled 26  the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 7:43 Simon answered, 27  “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” 28  Jesus 29  said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 7:44 Then, 30  turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house. You gave me no water for my feet, 31  but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 7:45 You gave me no kiss of greeting, 32  but from the time I entered she has not stopped kissing my feet.

1 sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17.

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

3 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate that Jesus’ action was the result of the Pharisee’s invitation.

4 tn Grk “and reclined at table,” as 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.

5 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).

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

7 tn Grk “was reclining at table.”

8 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.

9 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.

10 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.

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

12 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.

13 tn Grk “with the hair of her head.”

14 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.

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

16 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.

17 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.

18 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)…”

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

20 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the connection with the preceding statement recording the Pharisee’s thoughts.

21 tn Grk “answering, said to him.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “answered him.”

sn Jesus answered him. Note that as the Pharisee is denying to himself that Jesus is a prophet, Jesus is reading his thoughts.

22 tn Grk “he said.”

23 sn A creditor was a moneylender, whose business was to lend money to others at a fixed rate of interest.

24 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

25 tn Grk “five hundred denarii.”

sn The silver coins were denarii. The denarius was worth about a day’s wage for a laborer; this would be an amount worth not quite two years’ pay. The debts were significant: They represented two months’ pay and one and three quarter years’ pay (20 months) based on a six day work week.

26 tn The verb ἐχαρίσατο (ecarisato) could be translated as “forgave.” Of course this pictures the forgiveness of God’s grace, which is not earned but bestowed with faith (see v. 49).

27 tn Grk “answering, said.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “answered.”

28 tn Grk “the one to whom he forgave more” (see v. 42).

29 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

30 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

31 sn It is discussed whether these acts in vv. 44-46 were required by the host. Most think they were not, but this makes the woman’s acts of respect all the more amazing.

32 tn Grk “no kiss.” This refers to a formalized kiss of greeting, standard in that culture. To convey this to the modern reader, the words “of greeting” have been supplied to qualify what kind of kiss is meant.



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