The Unnamed Woman With the Alabaster Jar
As far as our perceptions of Bible women go, how did we go from sinner to whore? This harsh phrase is used solely to draw attention to the false dichotomy that has been given to Bible women, and it is not intended to imply that any woman should be subjected to this name.) Luke 7:36-39 describes a lady who approaches a house where Jesus is eating with her damaged and crying body. Using her hair to wipe the oil and tears off his feet, she anoints them with a kiss. The males in attendance are talking about her as if she isn’t even present.
With reference to the mystery woman’s character in our contemporary environment, it is simple to interpret her as “promiscuous.” Christians have historically had a proclivity to read Bible women’s non-specific sin as sexual immorality, and female promiscuity is frequently inferred from the text without any support from the text itself.
Sometimes Bible professors go beyond suggestion and assert categorically that the anonymous lady was unquestionably a prostitute—again, despite the absence of any specific scriptural proof to support their claim.
A footnote in the NASB refers to her as “immoral,” and there is a great deal of discussion about her character.
- Mary, whose brother Lazarus was ill, anointed the Lord with ointment and washed His feet with her hair, was the Mary who did all of this” (John 11:2).
- Because Luke’s Gospel does not include a chronological account of Jesus’ life and career, it is plausible to assume that event occurred later in Jesus’ mission than previously believed.
- According to some academics, the unidentified lady’s position as a sexually disgraced woman, a prostitute, is so unquestionable that the unnamed woman in Luke 7 must be a distinct woman from the Mary who appears in John’s comparable account.
- On two different occasions, Jesus was invited to a Pharisee’s home for supper by his host.
- On both instances, Jesus was invited by a Pharisee who went by the name of Simon.
- It’s not unreasonable to speculate that two women anointed Jesus with oil at some point during his life.
In Luke’s tale, the nameless lady is thought to be a prostitute, however in John’s version, she is identified as Mary.
Examine Mary in further detail.
She then went back to her place of grieving.
Then he requested that he be transported to Lazarus, who he then revived from the grave.
But then she witnessed the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection, something she will never forget.
She performed a great act of faith by breaking a pricey container of perfume and anointing Jesus with it.
She washed his feet with her own hair, which was a wonderful act of remorse on her part.
When Jesus allowed such a “sinful lady” to come close to him, Simon, the Pharisee, became embarrassingly ashamed.
Jesus, on the other hand, challenged Simon about his preconceived notions about Mary.
During the time when Jesus was carried off the crucifixion and put in a tomb, “Mary Magdalene and another Mary, who was sitting across the grave, were present” (Matthew 27:61).
She was poised and ready to anoint her savior once more.
Not only was the believer who anointed Jesus before his execution a nameless woman with no prior criminal record, but she also had a history of sexual transgression.
It is not honest to cast another woman in that part since we are having difficulty reconciling two different versions of the same woman.
No, she had a specific objective in mind: to anoint her savior.
In the same way as Mary did, women can gain knowledge at the foot of the Messiah.
And when we fall short and miss the actual nature of Jesus, we may come to him without feeling guilty.
This is the third installment of a series of articles examining what Christians have been taught about women in the Bible.
Read part 1 of Rahab’s story. Deborah the Judge and Jael the Just are featured in Part 2 of The Righteousand. Read Female and Male in Four Anointing Stories for additional information on this subject.
Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50; John 12:1–8
As far as our perceptions of Bible women go, how can we get from sinner to whore? This harsh name is used solely to draw attention to the false dichotomy that has been given to Bible women, and it is not intended to indicate that any woman should be subjected to this designation.) Luke 7:36-39 describes a lady who approaches a house where Jesus is eating with her damaged, crying body. Using her hair to wipe the oil and tears from his feet, she anoints them with a gentle touch. It’s as if she isn’t even there, because the males in the room are talking about her.
With reference to the mystery woman’s character in our present environment, it is simple to interpret her as “promiscuous.” Historically, Christians have had a tendency to read non-specific sin in the Bible as sexual immorality, and female promiscuity is frequently inferred from the text despite the fact that the language does not support this inference.
- It is possible that some Bible professors would go further than innuendo and assert categorically that the anonymous lady was unquestionably a prostitute, despite the fact that there is no specific scripture supporting such an assertion.
- There is a lot of conjecture about her character, which is supported by a footnote in the NASB.
- Mary, whose brother Lazarus was ill, anointed the Lord with ointment and washed His feet with her hair, was the Mary who did all of these things.
- According to the commonly accepted chronology of Jesus’ career, the anointing of the apostles took place sometime after Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead but before the execution of Christ.
- The identical event is told in John’s Gospel, and the unidentified lady is identified as Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who is also mentioned in the other gospels.
- Due to the conflicting gospel stories, the following would be the result.
- On two different occasions, Jesus was invited to a Pharisee’s home for dinner.
The Pharisee who invited Jesus on both occasions went by the name of Simon.
The lady who anointed Jesus with oil in Luke’s narrative is a sexually disgraced prostitute, whereas the woman who anointed Jesus with oil in John’s account is a valued disciple of Jesus who appears in an entirely other story.
To make such an assumption, however, would be erroneous.
We must reconsider our preconceptions about the lady who anointed Jesus with oil if these two verses are referring to the same person, Mary.
The story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection includes a confrontation between Mary and Jesus, who was angry that he had not been present to save her brother from death.
His heart was broken because she didn’t grasp the whole scope of Jesus’ identity, and he grieved as a result of it.
Even Mary, who had sat at the feet of the Master and had been applauded for choosing the better thing, was disappointed.
She anointed Jesus with expensive perfume after breaking the container in a wonderful show of trust.
With her own hair, she dried his feet in a lovely display of contrition.
Simon, a Pharisee, was shocked that Jesus would allow such a “sinful lady” to get close enough to him to be touched by her.
Simon, on the other hand, was addressed by Jesus regarding his preconceived notions of Mary.
It was “Mary Magdalene who was present, as well as the other Mary who was seated opposite the grave” when Jesus was lifted off his cross and put in a tomb (Matthew 27:61).
This time, she was prepared to sanctify her savior once more.
Not only was the believer who anointed Jesus before his death a nameless woman with no prior criminal record, but she also had no prior criminal record for sexual misconduct.
It is not honest to cast another woman in that part just because we are having difficulty reconciling two different narratives of the same woman.
Rather, she arrived with a specific goal in mind: to anoint her savior.
In the same way as Mary did, women may learn at the foot of Jesus.
We may come to Jesus without feeling guilty or ashamed when we fall short of his actual character.
A series of articles examining what Christians have been taught about women in the Bible continues with this article.
See Rahab’s first chapter for more information. Deborah the Judge and Jael the Just are featured in The Righteousand, Part 2: The Righteous and the Just. Read Female and Male in Four Anointing Stories for additional information on this topic.
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Leprosy was a name used to describe a variety of skin ailments; see Leviticus 13 for further information. 3b Andwhilehewasatc BethanyinthehouseofSimontheleper, “A href=” f1-“>Anchor text: 1ashewasrecliningattable,awomancamewithanalabasterflaskofointmentofpurenard,verycostly,andshebroketheflaskandpoureditoverhishead. Four people expressed their outrage by asking themselves, “Why was the ointment used in that manner? 5 Thisointmentcouldhavebeenavailableforsaleformorethanthreehundreddollars. arii It was equivalent to a day’s salary for a laborer ” href=” f2-“> “>2 and d were given to the less fortunate.” And they reprimanded her for it.
However, you will not always have me.
9 And really, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the entire globe, what she has done will be remembered.”
A Sinful Woman Forgiven
36u One of the Pharisees approached him and invited him to join him for dinner; he agreed and went to the Pharisee’s house to accept the invitation. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,38 and standing behind himathisfeet with tears in her eyes began to wet thisfeet with her tears and wipe them with the hair of her head, kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.
- One owed five hundred and fifty denarii, while the other owed fifty.
- Nowwhichofthemwilllovehimmore?” 43 Simon responded, “I’m assuming it was for this person that he forgave the greater debt.” Andhesaidtohim,“Youhavejudgedrightly.” 44 ThenturningtowardthewomanhesaidtoSimon,“Doyouseethiswoman?
- .45f You offered me a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet from the moment I arrived.
- 47 As a result, I tell you that her crimes, which are numerous, are forgiven—because she was greatly loved.
49 Then those who were seated at the meal with him started to ask among” href=” f1-“>1themselves, “Who is he, who even forgives sins?” 50 “Your faith has rescued you,” Jesus told the woman, “and now depart in peace.”
Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany
12 Because it was six days before Passover,j Jesus traveled to Bethany,k where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had resurrected from the grave. 2 As a result, they prepared a meal for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who sat at the table with him. Therefore, 3m Marytookapound Greeklitera; an alitra (or Roman pound) was about 11 1/2 ounces or 327 grams. A href=” f1-“>1ofexpensiveointmentmadefrompurenard was applied to the feet of Jesus, and she cleaned the soles of his feet with her hair.
4 Nevertheless, Judas Iscariot, one of his followers (and the man who was about to betrayhim), asked,5 “Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii?” “Adenarius was the equivalent of a day’s salary for a laborer.” Is 2andn given to the poor?
6 He stated this not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and because he was in charge of the moneybag, he used it to help himself to whatever was placed in it.
How Many Times Was Jesus Anointed?
It is not uncommon for us to hear about allegedBiblecontradictions and then carefully investigate the sections in issue to discover that they are not, in fact, contradictions at all. One such alleged inconsistency is that the Gospel narratives appear to show that Jesus was anointed both before and after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. While this would be problematic if the Gospels were simply recounting one particular incident in history, that does not appear to be the case in this case. Throughout this essay, we’ll look at the four gospel stories from Matthew to John to argue that Jesus was not anointed for burial on a single occasion, but rather on two or possibly three consecutive times by a woman, with the first one not being done as a commemoration for Jesus’ burial.
The First Anointing
The first anointing of Jesus takes place in Luke 7:36–50, according to the chronology. The first anointing of Jesus takes place in Luke 7:36–50, according to the chronology. 1 This story differs from the portions in Matthew, Mark, and John that are fairly similar in content. Let’s take a look at the facts as they are reported in this passage:
- This incident took place in the home of Simon the Pharisee, who resided somewhere in Galilee, most likely in Capernaum, Nain, or Cana, at the time. It indicates that Jesus had just returned from Nain, where he had cured a widow’s son (Luke 7:11–16), and that he was now in Capernaum. Then, probably immediately after that, John the Baptist’s disciples came to him (Luke 7:19–23
- See also Matthew 11:1–6), and following that, Jesus gave a brief talk regarding John the Baptist (Luke 7:24–35
- See also Matthew 11:7–19
- See also Matthew 11:1–6). Moreover, according to the Gospel of Matthew, he specifically chastised Capernaum last (Matthew 11:23–30), and it appears that at this time Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus and his disciples to come for dinner
- Because John the Baptist was still alive at the time, this event appears to have occurred at least two years before the Crucifixion. John’s death is recounted in Matthew 14:10, Mark 6:27, and Luke 9:9, all of which occur somewhere within the first year of Jesus’ estimated three-year mission. According to the Bible, the Lord’s earthly ministry did not endure for a specific amount of time. It is commonly believed that Jesus’ ministry lasted three years because of the number of Passovers described in John’s Gospel
- However, his ministry could have been shorter or longer than three years
- The woman is referred to as a sinner, which could be a euphemism for a prostitute, and she is also unnamed
- She appears to have approached Jesus from behind, knelt down, broke open the flask, and began to weep
- Afterward, she cleaned Christ’s feet with her hair, crying as she did so, and then anointed Christ’s feet with fragrant oil (there is no mention of anointing Christ’s head)
- At this anointing, none of the disciples expressed concern about the expense of the ointment, but Simon the Pharisee expressed displeasure that Jesus would allow a renowned sinner to get close to him. During his discourse with this woman, Jesus acknowledged and pardoned her faults
The Second Anointing—Just Before the Triumphal Entry
The story in John 12:1–8 is the next one in the sequence of events. It differs significantly from Luke’s narrative, and while it is extremely close to Matthew’s and Mark’s accounts in many ways, it differs in a few important ways. Let’s go over the specifics of what was said in this passage:
- In Bethany, this event is believed to have taken place in the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha
- It took place six days before Passover (and a few days before the Triumphal Entry), and it corresponds to the timeline of the Matthew and Mark accounts, which are believed to have taken place four days later in the same city. The woman who anointed Jesus’ feet was Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha
- Mary anointed and then wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair, but there is no mention of her crying, either before or during the time she is anointing Jesus’ feet with the spikenard oil
- And Mary anointed and then wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair
- It appears that Judas was the only one who was furious with Mary for what he saw to be a waste of money, and that was only because he was a thief in disguise. The other disciples, apparently out of respect for Mary (and Martha and Lazarus, whom they all knew), did not dare to speak out and admonish Mary, but they did so four days later to an unknown lady, according to the Bible. For example, it is possible that Judas moaned about this “extravagance” for days and “poisoned” the disciples’ views, such that four days after the anointing, they began to argue that it was a waste of time and expressed their displeasure publicly.
The Third Anointing—After the Triumphal Entry and Just Before the Crucifixion
In Bethany, this event is believed to have taken place in the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha; it took place six days before Passover (and a few days before the Triumphal Entry), and it corresponds to the timeline of the Matthew and Mark accounts, which are believed to have taken place four days later in the same city; ‘The woman who anointed Jesus’ feet was Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha; Mary anointed and then wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair, but there is no mention of her crying, either before or during the time she is anointing Jesus’ feet with the spikenard oil; Mary anointed and then wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair; Mary appeared to be the only one who was concerned about the perceived waste of money, and that was only because Judas was a thief in disguise.
However, four days later, apparently out of respect for Mary (as well as Martha and Lazarus, whom they all knew), the other disciples dared to stand up and admonish Mary, which they did to an unknown lady.
For example, it is possible that Judas moaned about this “extravagance” for days and “poisoned” the disciples’ views, such that four days after the anointing, they began to argue that it was a waste of time and expressed their displeasure publicly;
- This occurred in the house of Simon the Leper in Bethany, where the incident took place. Some have attempted to reconcile the Matthew and Mark narratives with the Luke account on the basis of the host’s name being Simon, but this has proven unsuccessful. This is certainly not the same Simon who appears in Luke’s story because a leper, even one who had been cleansed of his sins, would have been refused membership as a Pharisee. In addition, as previously stated, the dates and locations are different. As far as we know, this is the only story in which Jesus’ head (rather than his feet) was anointed. According to some versions, an anonymous woman broke an alabaster box containing fragrant oil (in other versions, it is referred to as “ointment”) and poured it on Jesus’ head. The woman appears to have approached Jesus from the front before she broke the box open
- Jesus mentions her, but does not appear to address her directly
- The box is identified as spikenard by Mark. She will be remembered as a result of her actions, according to him, everywhere the gospel is proclaimed. For those who have attempted to reconcile this account with the one recorded in John, it is highly unlikely that Jesus would not mention her name or speak directly to her if this was Mary, the sister of Lazarus, as some have claimed. But the circumstances are different this time, as previously stated
- The woman here anointed Jesus’ head rather than his feet, and she did not do so with her hair
- And some of the disciples are upset about the expense of this, with more than one objecting out loud. This anointing took place after the Triumphal Entry and two days before the Passover, just before Christ was crucified
- It took place after the Triumphal Entry and two days before the Passover
- It took place just before Christ was crucified
Another Possible Solution
Because of the many parallels between the stories of Matthew, Mark, and John, many experts believe that a different explanation than that provided above is preferable. 2 They think that the events described in these three Gospels occurred at the same time. Take a look at the following similarities:
- The ointment was evidently worth the same amount (300 denarii) according to the narratives, and several persons in the room objected to the deed
- Matthew and Mark describe the disciples as being outraged, while John states that Judas raised his voice in opposition to the conduct. When the Lord speaks to the disciples and Judas, His response is virtually same in all accounts, albeit His response in John is slightly shorter. In response, he informs them that they will always have the poor with them and that they should leave her alone because her actions are connected to his burial.
According to this probable harmonization, John is accurate in stating that this occurrence occurred in Bethany six days before the Passover celebration. When the incident took place, Matthew and Mark don’t say when it did so explicitly. In these two Gospels, it comes after a discussion of the Jewish authorities’ conspiring to capture and execute Jesus, a debate that was believed to have taken place two days before the Passover holiday. As a result of this proposed solution, Matthew and Mark in Matthew 26:14 and Mark 14:10 make a passing reference to the tale of Christ’s anointing that took place four days earlier before returning to the narrative of Christ’s betrayal by Judas.
This, however, poses a number of additional issues.
Although it is unlikely, it is plausible that Simon the Leper invited Jesus and his followers over for a supper, and that Martha aided with the food preparation at his home.
Different Circumstances, Different Dates, and Different Accounts
In most cases, the anointing recounted in Luke is not the same as the anointing or anointings reported in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John. It has been demonstrated above that there are at least two feasible solutions to the purported conflict. Although I believe the first alternative makes more logic, any option demonstrates that the texts do not contradict one another. The specifics of all three versions varied greatly, and this is not due to any inconsistencies, but rather to the likelihood that Jesus was anointed with various oils at different times.
There were three anointings that took place in three distinct residences in two different cities, with the first event taking place around two years before the second and third occurrences, respectively (which were four days apart).
His feet were anointed three times, and during the final anointing, the pungent oil of spikenard was sprayed all over his head.
Instead, it appears that the lady performed the anointing as a love and thankfulness gift, and that Jesus accepted her offering and forgiven her sins.
In this instance, the “contradiction” comes as a result of the anointing sections being muddled or coerced into a single story when they are not intended to be combined.
What is the significance of Jesus being anointed by a woman with expensive perfume?
QuestionAnswer All four gospels have a description of Jesus being anointed by a woman with an expensive jar of perfume (Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50; John 12:1–8), which is consistent with the tradition. While Matthew and Mark both recount the same story, they do not identify the lady; Luke recounts a different woman, who is likewise unnamed, on a separate occasion; and John, in yet another instance, identifies the woman as Mary of Bethany (John 11:2), the sister of Martha and Lazarus.
- “Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at the table,” Matthew 26:6–7 (ESV).
- As a teaching lesson for the disciples, Matthew emphasizes the anointing of Jesus, which causes them to get enraged as a result of the woman’s extravagant wastefulness.
- During the anointing, Christ reveals that it is to prepare His corpse for burial and that the woman’s gesture of love would be remembered eternally everywhere the good news is broadcast across the world.
- As they have done in the past, the woman’s detractors accuse her of giving an exorbitant present, claiming that it could have been sold for more than a year’s pay (Mark 14:5).
- Jesus informs them that He will not be among them for a lengthy period of time, an allusion to His coming death and interment.
- There may also be an inference of Jesus’ monarchy, because the anointing of the head was frequently related with the consecration of kings in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 9:15–10:1; 16:12–13; 1 Kings 1:38–40; 1 Kings 1:38–40).
- Anoint Jesus’ feet with a sinful woman’s love and gratitude while she dines in the home of Simon the Pharisee, who had arrogantly omitted to give the traditional respect and hospitality to his visitor.
The tale is identical to those told in the other gospels, with the exception that this anointing takes place six days before Passover and that Judas is identified as the disciple who complains to the “wasted” oil.
When Judas criticizes Mary, Jesus responds by emphasizing the unique chance that Mary had: “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me” (Matthew 25:34-35).
It is Mary’s anointing that once again draws attention to Christ’s identification as Messiah-King, but it also draws attention to His lowly position as Servant-King.
In each of the accounts, a woman performs an elaborate act of devotion by pouring forth a rare and expensive perfume.
Two anointings of Jesus take place during the week of Passover, both of which are connected to His impending death and burial on the cross.
In each instance, the woman’s behaviors communicate more than she is aware of.
Jesus Christ has been anointed as God’s Messiah.
As a result, Christ is the Greek counterpart of the termMessiah.
Acts 10:38; Luke 4:18).
Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) In what way does Jesus being anointed by a lady with costly perfume signify anything?
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John 12:3 Then Mary took about a pint of expensive perfume, made of pure nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
(3)After that, Mary obtained a pound of spikenard ointment. – Here, too, St. John is the only one who names the figure whom St. Matthew and St. Mark refer to as “a lady,” and she is true to the previous character as shown in St. Luke’s account (Luke 10:40;Luke 10:42). We can also see from this paragraph that she packed a “pound” of ointment with her on her journey. According to the other tales, it was a “alabaster box” in shape. Originally, this pound was the Greek litra, which became the Latin “libra,” which meant “pound of twelve ounces.” See Mark 14:3 for further information on the “ointment of spikenard.” It is possible that it refers to “Nard Pistik,” or Pistik ointment, because the term Pistik is a local name.
- And she anointed Jesus’ feet with oil, wiping his feet with her hair while she did so.
- Matthew and St.
- According to tradition (see, for example, Luke 7:46 and Psalm 23:5), but St.
- Verse three: As a result, Mary obtained a pound (the synoptists Matthew and Mark refer to it as “an alabaster,” i.e., a flask made of the expensive spar, which was specially suitable to the storage of liquid perfume, and which was hermetically sealed before being split for immediate use).
- Mark makes use of this unique term, which comes from the later Greek period.
- It is also translated as “spikenard” in Mark 14:3 by the Authorized Version, just as it is here (see alsoSong of Solomon 1:12 and Song 4:13, 14, where Hebrew correlates with the letter o).
- It is probable that the term had a specific geographical meaning in the area and belonged to a particular proper name, and that it is thus untranslatable.
- Mark (Mark 14:3) and Matthew (Matthew 26:7) both use the term in their respective passages.
- Each of the synoptists mentions a fact that John does not mention – that Mary broke the alabaster box and poured the costly unguent on his head in great abundance, as if hers had been the royal or high-priestly anointing (cf.
- She anointed Jesus’ feet with oil and cleaned his feet with her hair, and the entire house was filled with the scent of the ointment once she finished.
his innermost essence shines with dazzling light;” and adding that, just as the feet of the high priest were washed with water from recent defilement of the world’s dust, so An analogy of such profundity appears to us to be at odds with the simplicity of the tale, which appears to be entirely natural in its structure.
- The crucial deed is further told as Mary wiped away the excess perfume from his feet with the strands of her unbound hair, a gesture that is still remembered today.
- Many erroneous assumptions have been taken from this, many of which are completely unneeded.
- Commentaries that run in parallel.
- tookλαβοῦσα(labousa) Strong’s 2983: Verb – Aorist Participle Active – Nominative Feminine Singular Verb – Aorist Participle Active – Nominative Feminine Singular (a) I get, obtain, (b) I take, seize, and so on.
- The weight of a pound is of Latin origin.
- From the standpoint of polus and time, this is incredibly beneficial.
- constructed entirely of pure (pistiks) materials Strong’s 4101:Genuine, pure (as in ointment), and dependable.
She was anointed with oil of alien origin (‘nard’).
feet πόδας(podas) In the Strong’s 4228, the foot is used as an accusative masculine plural noun.
andκαὶ(kai) ConjunctionStrong’s 2532 includes the words and, more more importantly, specifically.
Massaomai is made by kneading the ek and the base of the massaomai, which means to wipe dry.
‘Foot’ is a fundamental term.
This includes all of the inflections of the feminine he as well as the neuter to; the definite article; and the.
The reflexive pronoun self, which is used in the third person as well as the other persons, is derived from the particle au.
θριξὶν(thrixin) Plural of a noun in the Dative Feminine Form Strong’s 2359:Hair is a kind of hair (of the head or of animals).
Andδὲ(de) ConjunctionStrong’s 1161 is as follows: A primary particle; nonetheless, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and Strong’s 3588:the, the definite article in nominative feminine singular.
houseοἰκία(oikia) Noun – Nominative Feminine SingularStrong’s 3614: Noun – Nominative Feminine Singular From the Greek word oikos, which means “home,” however it is most commonly used to refer to a place of living.
Origin, from, and forth are all denoted by the basic preposition theτῆς(tēs) definite articleStrong’s 3588:the, the definite article in the genitive feminine singular including the feminine he and the neuter to in all of their inflections; the definite article; the.fragrance(osms); and the definite article Strong’s 3744: A scent, odor, or flavor.
This includes all of the inflections of the feminine he as well as the neuter to; the definite article; and the word “perfume” (myrou) Noun – Genitive Neuter SingularStrong’s 3464: noun – genitive neuter singular Anointing oil, anointing ointment ‘Myrrh,’ which is a fragrant oil, is most likely of foreign origin.
Revelations 12:3 (Catholic Bible) Gospels of the New Testament: Mary, as a result, took a pound of ointment, according to John 12:3. (Jhn Jo Jn)
Was it Martha’s sister Mary or Mary Magdalene who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair?
It takes a little of detective effort to piece together the facts about the numerous Marys referenced in the gospel accounts. The scenario you cite is particularly perplexing since there are four separate narratives with differing specifics in each of the four gospels, making it difficult to follow the narrative. A lady who is not identified is mentioned in both Mark and Matthew as anointing Jesus’ head with either nard or ointment. An anonymous woman “who was a sinner,” according to Luke, washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, anointed them with ointment, and dried them with her hair before he was crucified.
Only in the gospel of John is the woman referred to as “Mary of Bethany.” Having said that, none of the narratives indicate that Mary Magdalene was involved in any way.
Perhaps it was Mary, Martha’s sister, or perhaps it was another lady whose identity will remain a mystery to us for the rest of our lives.
Which Woman Anointed Our Lord Jesus Christ With Oil? – Interesting Facts – Resources
|PLACE OF EVENT||House of Simon the Pharisee, GALILEE||Bethany, most likely at Lazarus’ homeJUDEA||Bethany, house of Simon the LeperJUDEA|
|NAME OF WOMAN||“a woman in the city who was a sinner” (verse 37)||Mary, the sister of Lazarus (John12:1-3)||“a woman” (Matthew26:7,Mark14:3)|
|DAY OF EVENT||1 st yearof our Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry because inLuke8:1- ” SOON AFTERWARDShe went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him” (NRSV) AND at that time our Lord had not yet chosen the 72 apostles as inLuke10.||Six days before the Passover; Saturday prior our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection from the dead (John12:1)||Wednesday; two days (from Tuesday evening till sunset on Wednesday) prior to the Passover and our Lord’s crucifixion(CompareMatthew26:1-2;Mark14:1-2)|
|DETAILS OF ANOINTING||a)stood at His feet behind Him weepingb) washed His feet with her tearsc) wiped them with the hair of her headd) kissed His feete) anointed them with the fragrant oil (verse 38)||a) took a pound of very costly oil of spikenardb)anointed the feet of Jesusc) wiped His feet with her hair (verse 3)||a) came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oilb)she poured it on His head as He sat at the table(Matthew26:7;Mark14:3)|
|PERSON WHO CRITICIZED AND THEIR CRITICISM||Simon the Pharisee: “This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner” (verse 39).||Judas Iscariot: “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (verse 5)||Disciples (inMatthew); “some” (inMark): “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.’ And they criticized her sharply” (Mark14:4-5; cf.Matthew26:8-9).|
|RESULT OF ANOINTING||“Your sins are forgiven.Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (verses 48-50)||“she has kept this for the day of My burial” (verse 7)Note: put on His feet||“She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Mark14:8-9; cf.Matthew26:12-13)Note: put on His head|
Mary Magdalene Washes Jesus’ Feet with Her Tears, Wipes Them with Her Hair, and Anoints Them with Perfume
There was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that he was sitting at meat in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster cruse of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, wipe them with the hair of her head, kiss his feet, and anoint them with the ointment.” ASV translation of Luke 7:37-38 An illustration of the Virgin Mary drying Jesus’ feet with the hair on her head after she had bathed them with tears and before she anointed them with oil.
Simon, a Pharisee by the name of Jesus, is seated next to him.
Palm trees and a few buildings may be seen through an open window in the backdrop.
Mary of Magdala was anointed by Simon and Mary of Magdala was anointed by the Magdalene who was a penitent and washed with water, perfume and oil.
Rev. Dr. Richard Gilmour, D.D., R.I.P. Bible History: Containing the Most Remarkable Events of the Old and New Testaments, with a Compendium of Church History (New York, NEW YORK (NY): Benziger Brothers, 1904) is a book on the history of the Bible. 156
Large GIF1024 x 650,644.2 KiBMedium GIF640 x 406,285.0 KiBSmall GIF320 x 203,77.7 KiBLarge GIF1024 x 650,644.2 KiBMedium GIF640 x 406,285.0 KiBSmall GIF320 x 203,77.7 KiB
Understanding the significance of Jesus being anointed by oil
Those of you who have been reading through the Gospels may be familiar with the accounts of Jesus being anointed with oil. Reading the narratives in the separate books may easily lead one to believe that they all refer to the same event, but deeper examination reveals that there are three different instances when this occurred that have been documented.
Interestingly, two of the situations in which Jesus is anointed with oil occur in the days leading up to His crucifixion. Are there any special reasons why he was anointed at this particular time?
The two occasions
When you look closely at the accounts of Jesus being anointed with oil before entering Jerusalem, you will see that there are two distinct occurrences mentioned. We learn about this occurrence in the book of John, which took place six days before Passover. As a result, six days before the Passover, Jesus traveled to Bethany, where Lazarus was recuperating after being resurrected from the dead by Jesus. As a result, they hosted a dinner for him there. Martha was the one who served, and Lazarus was one of the others who sat at the table with him.
- The scent flooded the room, filling it with a pleasant smell.
- His motivation for saying this was not because he cared for the impoverished, but rather because, as the criminal in control of the moneybag, he was free to take whatever was placed in it as he pleased.
- “You always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me,” says the author.
- According to Mark’s version, the anointing with oil takes place four days later, only two days before the Passover holiday is celebrated.
- It was now two days before Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was approaching quickly.
- Then, one day, when he was in Bethany, sitting at Simon the leper’s table, a lady walked in with an alabaster flask of expensive pure nard ointment, which she split and poured over his head.
- Nevertheless, Jesus instructed them to “leave her alone.” What is it about you that makes her feel uncomfortable?
- Due to the fact that you always have the poor with you, you have the opportunity to do good for them whenever you want.
- She has done everything she could; she has anointed my corpse in preparation for burial before she passed away.
So what’s happening
We can observe that the same pure nard perfume is being used in both instances (see footnote), but the application is different in each instance. Both of these rituals include rubbing oil into the soles of Jesus’ feet, and both involve pouring oil over the top of his head. It’s a subtle, but crucial, distinction. Some of those in attendance were dissatisfied with the fact that luxury perfume costing more than a year’s salary was being squandered rather than sold and distributed to the impoverished.
Following her response, Jesus instructed them to leave her alone and declared that she had performed a lovely act for him.
She did the best she could, putting perfume on Jesus’ corpse the night before his burial to prepare him for his burial.
When Jesus was rubbed on his feet or had oil poured on his head containing this pure nard, his defense was that the person doing it was preparing him for his burial, which was true in both instances.
Understanding the culture
There is something going on here that is more clear to the Hebrews than it is to the rest of the world. After walking through the dusty byways of Israel, it was considered kind to offer a guest a basin of water to wash their feet, as they would have done after arriving at your home from afar. You would add a few drops of perfume to the water to give it a lovely scent, but you would be careful not to add too much because you were told not to squander any of the perfume according to the Torah. The rabbis had determined that while you are celebrating someone coming to your house, it is OK to use perfume, but that it is not permissible to use 100% nard.
Because this was considered a waste, and if you were wasting resources, you were in violation of a commandment of the Torah, according to tradition.
He claims that they are not putting pure nard on My feet and pouring it on My head in celebration of Me, but rather that they are doing it as an expression of sadness in preparation for My burial.
The fact that this is an act of grief complies with the law, and because it is an act of grieving, As a Master of Haggadah, Jesus was described as a teacher who used parables and other stories to convey his message.
Choosing the Passover lamb
The lambs for Passover were picked six days in advance. Consequently, they were able to be brought in, frequently into the family home, and examined for a period of five days. These animals were thoroughly inspected to ensure that they were free of blemishes, particularly on their lower bodies and feet (which are often harmed or marked on the steep slopes). At this time, they would take the anointing oil and rub it into the ankles and feet, after which they would be subjected to additional inspection for a further five days.
- That was His first anointing, which took place just before His crucifixion.
- The Passover lamb was anointed on their heads for the second time, signaling that they were free of illness and blemish.
- The anointing of Jesus’ head took place two days before He was crucified, and it served as a symbol that He was healthy and free of illness or defect.
- Following His second anointing, we are told that Jesus and the twelve disciples travel to Jerusalem from Bethany the following day in order to partake in the Passover supper with the people.
This was followed by His arrest, trial, and crucifixion the next day, when Jesus died in the ninth hour, about 3 p.m., the same day that the Passover lambs were slaughtered, according to tradition.
Brief synopsis of the three anointings
- Early in Jesus’ career, an unidentified lady at the home of Simon, a wealthy Pharisee, anointed His feet with oil and cleaned His feet with her hair. This happened at the beginning of Jesus’ mission. On the ninth day of Nisan, according to Luke 7:36-38, Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus’ feet with oil and wiped His feet with her hair. A woman anointed Jesus’ head at the home of Simon the Leper in Bethany two days before the Passover, on the 13th day of Nisan (Matthew 26:1-16
- Mark 14:1-11)
- Jesus rode into Jerusalem the next day, on the 10th of Nisan, the day on which the sacrificial lambs were to be chosen (Exodus 12:3), and there for all to see and judge His perfection (Jn 12:1-3)
- Jesus was
A family of fragrant amber-colored essential oils obtained from blooming plants that are difficult to identify is known asspikenard. It is also known asnard,nardin, andmuskroot. Since ancient times, the oil has been utilized as a perfume, as a medicinal, and in religious contexts throughout a vast expanse of area, extending from India to western Europe. While it is not known which plants were used in the production of historic spikenard, it has been suggested that they were Nardostachys jatamansi from Asia (the modern definition of “spikenard”), lavender from the Middle East, Alpine spikenard from Europe, and possibly lemongrass.
The spikenard is mentioned multiple times in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and it is shown as Saint Joseph in Catholic iconography, as well as in the Bible.
Mary’s Perfume Points Us Toward the Cross
And then Mary took approximately one pint of pure nard, a very expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and rubbed them with her hair. Moreover, the scent of the perfume enveloped the entire home” (John 12:3). A scene of generous hospitality and intimate fellowship has been set in the aftermath of Lazarus’ resurrection, as Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus gather in the glow of Lazarus’ resurrection (John 12:1-11). Lazarus is resting at the table with Jesus, who is speaking to him. Martha, ever the proactive servant, is putting supper on the table.
- Afterwards, Mary makes her public display of devotion to Jesus by lavishing a full pint of exquisite perfume over his feet and defying conventions of decorum by unfurling her hair to wipe them.
- They are now surrounded by the fragrance of a wonderful perfume, thanks to Lazarus.
- Mary’s unashamed, humble, extravagant gesture is a remarkable picture of true devotion.
- This is unreserved devotion of a gracious and merciful God.
Chung Kwan Park, a Korean singer, encourages worshipers to connect with Mary’s adoration in his song, “to My Precious Lord I bring my flask of fragrant oil; bending down, I kiss his feet, anointing them with the oil.” Put yourself on your knees and imagine what type of love would move you to willingly part with a year’s pay as a worthy answer to the Lord of life.
- After then, the atmosphere becomes considerably frigid.
- Isn’t it preferable to take the entire year’s salary that was used to purchase the perfume and donate it to the less fortunate?
- Judas is a thieving group treasurer who is solely concerned with his personal financial gain.
- It is impossible to overstate how stark the difference is: Mary is charitable, but Judas is avaricious.
- Mary is a selfless person, whereas Judas is self-centered.
- These two individuals work together to provide stark contrasts in the context of Jesus’ own teaching: “Wherever your wealth is, there will also be your heart” (Matt.
- As we reflect on Jesus’ condemnation of Judas, we are reminded that real discipleship means turning away from all that is selfish, self-centered, and cold-hearted.
To overcome the urge to look down our noses at acts of worship that appear to our pompous selves to be unusual, strange, or over the top in their presentation.
Nonetheless, this overlooks an important aspect of this text—and of the gospel as a whole.
It is a perfume intended for the burial of Jesus.
As if to say, “While you will rightfully be loving and helping the poor at all times, this is actually my death week,” Jesus welcomes Mary’s action as totally appropriate in the context of an expected pattern of love to the poor (v.
As the Gospel of John frequently demonstrates, Jesus was well aware that he would die.
She has spent her money on a burial ointment that is fit for a king.
She comes to terms with the unsettling reality that her Lord will perform miracles in an unfathomably countercultural, if not scandalous, manner.
While holding palm branches on Palm Sunday, we will be tempted to opt for upbeat major-key praise hymns rather than solid minor-key odes that proclaim, “Ride on, Ride on in grandeur; ride on in humble pomp to die.” Inevitably, there will be a strong temptation to rush through Palm Sunday and Easter, paying little attention to the tragedy and great injustice of Jesus’ suffering and death.
True, we are not expected to shower funeral perfume at the feet of a Savior as he journeys to the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus Christ.
However, the lavish and modest style of devotion that has been laid out before us is still powerfully influenced by the plain reality that the divine plan of redemption did not come at Easter until after Jesus’ suffering, death, and burial, but only after these events.
During this season of Lent, this is the Lord who beckons to us, “Come, follow me.” John D.
Originally published as part of CT’s 2019 Lent/Easter devotional, Journey to the Cross, which is available for digital download at the link above.