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Jesus’ Anointing

Now while Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,[a] a woman came to him with an alabaster jar[b] of expensive perfumed oil,[c] and she poured it on his head as he was at the table.[d] When[e] the disciples saw this, they became indignant and said, “Why this waste? It[f] could have been sold at a high price and the money[g] given to the poor!” 10 When[h] Jesus learned of this, he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She[i] has done a good service for me.

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  1. Matthew 26:6 sn See the note on leper in Matt 8:2.
  2. Matthew 26:7 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.
  3. Matthew 26:7 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 Mark specifies that the perfumed oil was Nard or spikenard, which is a fragrant oil from the root and spike of the nard plant of northern India (Mark 14:3). 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.
  4. Matthew 26:7 tn Grk “as he was reclining.”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.
  5. Matthew 26:8 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  6. Matthew 26:9 tn Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.
  7. Matthew 26:9 tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied (as the proceeds from the sale of the perfumed oil).
  8. Matthew 26:10 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  9. Matthew 26:10 tn Grk “For she.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.