She was more concerned than you (Lk 7:44-7:44)

“Then turning toward

The woman,

Jesus said to Simon.

‘Do you see

This woman?

I entered your house.

You gave me

No water

For my feet.

But she has bathed

My feet

With her tears.

She has dried them

With her hair.’”

 

καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα τῷ Σίμωνι ἔφη Βλέπεις ταύτην τὴν γυναῖκα; εἰσῆλθόν σου εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, ὕδωρ μοι ἐπὶ πόδας οὐκ ἔδωκας· αὕτη δὲ τοῖς δάκρυσιν ἔβρεξέν μου τοὺς πόδας καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν αὐτῆς ἐξέμαξεν.

 

Luke said that Jesus turned toward the woman (καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα), but he spoke to Simon (τῷ Σίμωνι ἔφη) in the second person singular.  Did he see this woman (Βλέπεις ταύτην τὴν γυναῖκα)?  Jesus had entered his house (εἰσῆλθόν σου εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν), but he had not given him any water for his feet (ὕδωρ μοι ἐπὶ πόδας οὐκ ἔδωκας).  However, she bathed and wiped his feet with her tears (αὕτη δὲ τοῖς δάκρυσιν ἔβρεξέν μου τοὺς πόδας).  She then dried his feet with her hair (καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν αὐτῆς ἐξέμαξεν).  Jesus compared what she had done to him and what Simon, the Pharisee, the host of this dinner party, had failed to do.  In both Mark, chapter 14:6, and Matthew, chapter 26:10, Jesus said that the women had done a good thing, but without any reprimand of the host, Simon the leper, like here.  Have you ever complained to the host or hostess at a dinner party?

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This woman anoints the feet of Jesus (Lk 7:38-7:38)

“This woman

Stood behind him

At his feet,

Weeping.

She began

To bathe

His feet

With her tears.

Then she wiped them dry

With her hair.

She continued

Kissing his feet.

She anointed them

With the ointment.”

 

καὶ στᾶσα ὀπίσω παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ κλαίουσα, τοῖς δάκρυσιν ἤρξατο βρέχειν τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς ἐξέμασσεν, καὶ κατεφίλει τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἤλειφεν τῷ μύρῳ.

 

Luke said that this sinful woman stood behind Jesus (καὶ στᾶσα ὀπίσω), at his feet (παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ), weeping (κλαίουσα).  She began to bathe or wash his feet with her tears (τοῖς δάκρυσιν ἤρξατο βρέχειν τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ).  Then she wiped his feet dry with the hair from her head (καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς ἐξέμασσεν).  She continued kissing his feet (αὶ κατεφίλει τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ).  Then she anointed them with the Myron ointment (καὶ ἤλειφεν τῷ μύρῳ).  Mark, chapter 14:3, and Matthew, chapter 26:6-7, said that this unnamed sinning woman approached Jesus with an alabaster jar full of very expensive imported Indian nard ointment.  This was an anointing oil or as later Christians would call it holy oil, “Myron (μύρου).”  She broke the alabaster jar of ointment.  Then she then poured it on his head.  However, here the emphasis was on the feet of Jesus.  This woman washed his feet with her tears, dried them with her loosened hair, and then anointed his feet with the oil or Myron.  This was a highly unusual gesture.  Have you ever had your feet anointed with oil?

The woman poured oil on Jesus (Mt 26:7-26:7)

“A woman

Came to Jesus

With an alabaster jar

Of very expensive ointment.

She poured it

On his head,

As he was reclining

At the table.”

 

προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ γυνὴ ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου βαρυτίμου καὶ κατέχεεν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου.

 

This is very similar to Mark, chapter 14:3, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:3, where the woman was identified as Mary, the sister of Lazarus.  She poured the nard oil on his feet and wiped it with her hair, not on his head as here and in Mark.  In Luke, chapter 7:38, while Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee, this woman also brought an alabaster jar to anoint the feet of Jesus.  Matthew said that an unnamed woman came or approached Jesus (προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ γυνὴ) with an alabaster jar full of very expensive ointment (ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου βαρυτίμου).  This was anointing oil or as later Christians would call it holy oil, “Myron (μύρου).”  She then poured it on his head (καὶ κατέχεεν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς), as he was reclining at the table (αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου).  This may appear a little unusual, but this oil might be a foretaste of the prophetic, royal, or priestly anointing of Jesus as prophet, king, and priest.  In the Old Testament stories, kings were anointed on the head.

A description of the beautiful lady (Song 4:1-4:5)

Male lover

“How beautiful you are!

My love!

How very beautiful!

Your eyes are doves

Behind your veil.

Your hair is

Like a flock of goats,

Moving down the slopes of Gilead.

Your teeth are

Like a flock of shorn ewes,

That was come up from the washing.

They all bear twins.

Not one among them is bereaved.

Your lips are

Like a crimson thread.

Your mouth is lovely.

Your cheeks are                               

Like halves of a pomegranate,

Behind your veil.

Your neck is

Like the tower of David,

Built in courses.

On it hang a thousand bucklers.

All of them are shields of warriors.

Your two breasts are

Like two fawns.

There are twins of a gazelle,

That feed among the lilies.”

This male lover, either a shepherd or a king, describes his female lover by starting out saying how beautiful she is. Then he goes into a vivid description of her starting with her eyes that are hidden behind the veil that was common for unmarried women. They were like doves. Her hair was like a flock of goats coming down the mountain of Gilead. I am not sure how this was a complement. These goats were happy unblemished twins, while Gilead was east of the Jordan River. Her teeth were like a flock of young sheep that had just been washed. Her cheeks, although covered with the veil, were like half pomegranates, a fruit tree that was planted for domestic usage in Babylon. Her neck was like the tower of David since it had over 1,000 little shields on it. It is hard to image that many little trinkets around her neck. Her breasts were like twin young gazelles. I am not sure how he was able to make that comparison.

Judith dresses up to go to General Holofernes (Jdt 10:1-10:5)

“When Judith had stopped crying out to the God of Israel, as she had ended all these words, she rose from where she lay prostrate. She called her maid. She went down into the house where she lived on the Sabbath and on her festal days. She removed the sackcloth that she had been wearing. She took off her widow’s garments. She bathed her body with water. She anointed herself with precious ointment. She combed her hair and put on a tiara. She dressed herself in the festive attire that she used to wear while her husband Manasseh was living. She put sandals on her feet. She put on her anklets, bracelets, rings, earrings and all her other jewelry. Thus she made herself very beautiful, to entice the eyes of all the men who might see her. She gave her maid a skin of wine and a flask of oil. She filled a bag with roasted grain, dried fruit cakes, and fine bread. Then she wrapped up all her dishes. She then gave them to her maid to carry.”

This is a glimpse into what a beautiful woman of the 3rd to 1st century BCE did to look beautiful as the details are very specific. Judith got up from her prayer tent and went into her house. She took off her sackcloth and widow garments. It is interesting to note that there was special clothing just for widows, thus the custom of women in mourning wearing black. In Genesis, chapter 38, there is the story of Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar who took off her widow garments and enticed her father-in-law as a prostitute to have sex with her that produced the lineage for Judah through the twin boys of Perez and Zerah. Judith bathed and anointed her body. It is interesting to note that despite the shortage of water, she was able to take a water bath. She combed her hair and put on a tiara, as if a princess or queen. She put on festive attire, with anklets, bracelets, rings, earrings, and other fine jewelry. She wanted to look enticing. Then she had her maid servant carry her food and dishes.