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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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John 12:3

A pound (litran).
Latin libra, late Koine (Polybius, Plutarch) word with weight of 12 ounces, in N.T. only here and 19:39. Mark (Mark 14:3) and Matthew (Matthew 26:7) have alabaster cruse.

Of ointment of spikenard (murou nardou pistikhv).
"Of oil of nard." See already 11:2 for murou (also Matthew 26:7). Nard is the head or spike of an East Indian plant, very fragrant. Occurs also in Mark 14:3. Pistikhv here and in Mark 14:3 probably means genuine (pistikov, from pistov, reliable). Only two instances in the N.T.

Very precious (polutimou).
Old compound adjective (poluv, much, timh), in N.T. only here, Matthew 13:46; 1 Peter 1:7. Mark has polutelouv (very costly). Matthew (Matthew 26:7) has here barutimou of weighty value (only N.T. instance).

Anointed (hleipsen).
First aorist active indicative of aleipw, old word (Mark 16:1).

The feet (touv podav).
Mark (Mark 14:3) and Matthew (Matthew 26:7) have "his head." Why not both, though neither Gospel mentions both? The Latin MS. fuldensis and the Syriac Sinatic do give both head and feet here.

Wiped (exemaxen).
First aorist active indicative of ekmassw, old verb to wipe off already in 11:2; Luke 7:38,44.

With her hair (taiv trixin authv).
Instrumental plural. It is this item that is relied on largely by those who identify Mary of Bethany with the sinful woman in Luke 7 and with Mary Magdalene. It is no doubt true that it was usually considered immodest for a woman to wear her hair loose. But it is not impossible that Mary of Bethany in her carefully planned love-offering for Jesus on this occasion was only glad to throw such a punctilio to the winds. Such an act on this occasion does not brand her a woman of loose character.

Was filled with the odour of the ointment (eplhrwth ek thv osmhv tou murou).
Effective first aorist passive of plhrow and a natural result.

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 12:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=joh&chapter=012&verse=003>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

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