The sinning woman with oil (Lk 7:37-7:37)

“A woman,

Who was a sinner

In that town,

Learned

That Jesus

Was eating

In the Pharisee’s house.

She brought

An alabaster bottle

Of Myron ointment.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ ἥτις ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἁμαρτωλός, καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα ὅτι κατάκειται ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ Φαρισαίου, κομίσασα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου

 

Luke said that a woman who was a sinner (καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ…ἁμαρτωλός) in that town (ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει) learned or knew (καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα) that Jesus was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house (ὅτι κατάκειται ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ Φαρισαίου).  She brought an alabaster bottle of oil, ointment, or Myron (κομίσασα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου).  Her specific sin was not mentioned here, but she might have been a prostitute, since she was publically known in the town as a sinner by many of those there at this dinner party.  However, she brought an elegant alabaster bottle of oil or Myron.   There was a similar story with a sinning woman coming with a jar of oil in Matthew, chapter 26:6, Mark, chapter 14:3, and John, chapter 12:1, but within a different context, at Bethany and nearly right before the crucifixion of Jesus.  John identified this woman as Mary, the sister of Lazarus.  Some have identified this sinning woman as Mary Magdalene.  Here Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee, when this woman also brought an alabaster oil bottle.  Do you know any sinning women?

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She has done a good thing (Mt 26:10-26:10)

“But Jesus,

Aware of this,

Said to them.

‘Why do you trouble

The woman?

She has performed

A good service

For me.’”

 

γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τί κόπους παρέχετε τῇ γυναικί; ἔργον γὰρ καλὸν ἠργάσατο εἰς ἐμέ·

 

This is almost word for word to Mark, chapter 14:6, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7.  Matthew said that Jesus was aware of their grumbling (γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) why were they causing problems for this woman (Τί κόπους παρέχετε τῇ γυναικί).  She had performed a good, worthy, and honorable service or action for him (ἔργον γὰρ καλὸν ἠργάσατο εἰς ἐμέ).  Thus, Jesus defended this woman, who may have been Mary, the sister of Lazarus, for anointing his head with precious 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.