Anointed my body for burial (Mk 14:8-14:8)

“She has done

What she could.

She has anointed

My body

Beforehand,

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.

The woman in the house of Simon (Mk 14:3-14:3)

“Jesus was

At Bethany,

In the house of Simon,

The leper.

As he sat

At the table,

A woman came

With an alabaster jar

Of very costly

Ointment

Of nard.

She broke open

The jar.

She poured

The ointment

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.

Anointing for burial (Mt 26:11-26:12)

“You will always

Have the poor

With you.

But you will not always

Have me.

By pouring this ointment

On my body

She has prepared me

For burial.”

 

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.

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.

The crowds were amazed (Mt 12:23-12:23)

“All the crowds

Were amazed.

They said.

‘Can this be

The Son of David?’”

 

καὶ ἐξίσταντο πάντες οἱ ὄχλοι καὶ ἔλεγον Μήτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς Δαυείδ;

 

There is something similar to this earlier in Matthew, chapter 9:8, 9:27, and 9:32.  All these crowds of people were amazed or astonished about what they saw (καὶ ἐξίσταντο πάντες οἱ ὄχλοι).  They wondered whether Jesus was the Son of David (καὶ ἔλεγον Μήτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς Δαυείδ).  The historical son of David was Solomon who also had healing powers.  “Son of David (υἱὸς Δαυείδ)” was also a royal or messianic name.  Once again, the crowds or the “οἱ ὄχλοι” play a major role with Matthew.

The two blind men (Mt 9:27-9:27)

“As Jesus went on

From there,

Two blind men

Followed him.

They cried loudly.

‘Have mercy on us!

Son of David!’”

 

Καὶ παράγοντι ἐκεῖθεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ ἠκολούθησαν δύο τυφλοὶ κράζοντες καὶ λέγοντες Ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς, υἱὸς Δαυείδ.

 

Not only are there similar stories about blind men found in Mark, chapter 10:46-48, and Luke, chapter 18:35-38, but also in Matthew, chapter 20:29-30, but the other Matthew story took place in Jericho, and not as here in Galilee, near Capernaum.  Jesus was going on his way (Καὶ παράγοντι ἐκεῖθεν), as two blind men were following him (τῷ Ἰησοῦ ἠκολούθησαν δύο τυφλοὶ).  They cried out loudly to Jesus to have mercy on them (κράζοντες καὶ λέγοντες Ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς).  They called Jesus the Son of David (υἱὸς Δαυείδ).  The historical son of David was Solomon who also had healing powers.  “Son of David (υἱὸς Δαυείδ)” was also a royal or messianic name.  Blind people (τυφλοὶ) were considered punished for lacking some spiritual uprightness, since there was a connection between spiritual and physical sickness.

Yahweh gives strength of David (Ps 18:1-18:3)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David, the servant of Yahweh, who addressed the words of this song to Yahweh on the day when Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.

He said.

‘I love you!

Yahweh!

My strength!

Yahweh is my rock.

Yahweh is my fortress.

Yahweh is my deliverer.

My God!

My rock!

I take refuge in God.

Yahweh is my shield.

Yahweh is the horn of my salvation.

Yahweh is my stronghold.

I call upon Yahweh.

He is worthy to be praised.

I shall be saved from my enemies.’”

Psalm 18 is a very long psalm with a long introduction. It portrays the final victory of David against all his enemies, especially Saul. This is almost identical to the canticle or song of David in 2 Samuel, chapter 22. Thus it is a royal psalm of thanksgiving. These first few phrases, including the introduction, are almost word for word from 2 Samuel. What a beautiful introduction. He loved Yahweh. Yahweh, his God, was his strength, his rock, and his fortress in whom he took refuge. God was his shield, his horn, his stronghold, and his savior. David was saved from his enemies. Surely Yahweh was worthy to be praised.