“She has done
What she could.
She has anointed
For its burial.”
ὃ ἔσχεν ἐποίησεν· προέλαβεν μυρίσαι τὸ σῶμά μου εἰς τὸν ἐνταφιασμόν.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:12, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7. Mark indicated that Jesus said this lady did what she could (ὃ ἔσχεν ἐποίησεν). She had come to anoint his body (προέλαβεν μυρίσαι τὸ σῶμά μου) as a preparation for his burial (εἰς τὸν ἐνταφιασμόν). Instead of a royal, prophetic, or priestly anointing, this was intended as a burial anointing according to the Jewish customs at that time.
In the house of Simon,
As he sat
At the table,
A woman came
With an alabaster jar
Of very costly
She broke open
On his head.”
Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ, κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ ἦλθεν γυνὴ ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς· συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:6-7, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:1-3, where Jesus was in Bethany, but at the house of Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, 6 days before the Passover. John identified this woman as Mary, the sister of Lazarus. Mark also said that Jesus was in Bethany (Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ), a town about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem, but in the house of Simon the leper (ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ). The identity of this Simon the leper is unknown. However, it could have been someone whom Jesus had cured from leprosy, who became his disciple. The people of Bethany may have favored Jesus because of the Lazarus event. There was also a story of a woman anointing Jesus in Luke, chapter 7:36-50, but within a different context. Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee, when this woman also brought an alabaster jar to anoint the feet of Jesus. Mark continued that Jesus was reclining at table (κατακειμένου), when an unnamed woman came or approached Jesus (ἦλθεν γυνὴ) with an alabaster jar full of very expensive imported Indian nard ointment (ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς). This was anointing oil or as later Christians would call it holy oil, “Myron (μύρου).” She broke the alabaster jar of ointment (συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον). Then she then poured it on his head (κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς). 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 ancient biblical stories, kings were anointed on the head.
“You will always
Have the poor
But you will not always
By pouring this ointment
On my body
She has prepared me
πάντοτε γὰρ τοὺς πτωχοὺς ἔχετε μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν, ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε·
βαλοῦσα γὰρ αὕτη τὸ μύρον τοῦτο ἐπὶ τοῦ σώματός μου πρὸς τὸ ἐνταφιάσαι με ἐποίησεν
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:7-8, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7-8. Jesus said that they would always have the poor with them (πάντοτε γὰρ τοὺς πτωχοὺς ἔχετε μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν). In other words, there would be no immediate solution to the difficulties of poverty that has persisted for over 2,000 years. However, they would not always have Jesus (ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε). She had anointed his body with oil (βαλοῦσα γὰρ αὕτη τὸ μύρον τοῦτο ἐπὶ τοῦ σώματός μου) as a preparation for his burial (πρὸς τὸ ἐνταφιάσαι με ἐποίησεν). Instead of a royal, prophetic, or priestly anointing, this was a burial anointing according to the Jewish customs at that time.
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.
We all stand within a cultural tradition with concepts, ideals and values of what is a meaningful life. Christianity transmits the wisdom of the past and is always conservative, but sometimes prophetic. All Christian traditions use the Bible in their worship services and as a source of wisdom and spiritual development.
“Woe to you!
You yourself have not been destroyed!
You treacherous one!
With whom no one has dealt treacherously!
When you have ceased to destroy,
You will be destroyed.
When you have stopped dealing treacherously,
You will be dealt with treacherously.”
This section seems to be a later addition of prayers led by a prophet in the various religious services. The prophetic term destroyer here refers to Babylon. Although it has not yet been destroyed, it will be. No has dealt treacherously with them, but they have dealt treacherously with others. The destroying days of Babylon are numbered. They will be dealt with treacherously.
“Not from the east or from the west,
Not from the wilderness comes lifting up.
It is God who executes judgment.
He puts down one.
He lifts up another.
In the hand of Yahweh,
There is a cup,
With foaming wine,
He will pour a draught from it.
All the wicked of the earth
Shall drain it down to the dregs.”
Judgment does not come from the east, the west, the wilderness in the south, or the mountains in the north. Only God can execute judgment. He puts one down and lifts the other up. The cup of anger was important in the prophetic tradition. The wicked would drink from the wine cup with the specially mixed foaming wine. They would drink it all down until nothing was left, their judgment.