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Mark 14:3

    Mark 14:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she broke the box, and poured it on his head.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And while he was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster cruse of ointment of pure nard very costly; and'she brake the cruse, and poured it over his head.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And while he was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, seated at table, there came a woman with a bottle of perfumed oil of great price; and when the bottle was broken she put the perfume on his head.

    Webster's Revision

    And while he was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster cruse of ointment of pure nard very costly; and'she brake the cruse, and poured it over his head.

    World English Bible

    While he was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard--very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And while he was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster cruse of ointment of spikenard very costly; and she brake the cruse, and poured it over his head.

    Definitions for Mark 14:3

    Meat - Food.

    Clarke's Commentary on Mark 14:3

    Alabaster box - Among critics and learned men there are various conjectures concerning the alabaster mentioned by the evangelists: some think it means a glass phial; others, that it signifies a small vessel without a handle, from α negative and λαβη, a handle; and others imagine that it merely signifies a perfume or essence bottle. There are several species of the soft calcareous stone called alabaster, which are enumerated and described in different chemical works.

    Spikenard - Or nard. An Indian plant, whose root is very small and slender. It puts forth a long and small stalk, and has several ears or spikes even with the ground, which has given it the name of spikenard: the taste is bitter, acrid, and aromatic, and the smell agreeable. Calmet.

    Very precious - Or rather, unadulterated: this I think is the proper meaning of πιστικης. Theophylact gives this interpretation of the passage: "Unadulterated hard, and prepared with fidelity." Some think that πιστικη is a contraction of the Latin spicatae, and that it signifies the spicated nard, or what we commonly call the spikenard. But Dr. Lightfoot gives a different interpretation. Πιστικη he supposes to come from the Syriac פיסתקא pistike, which signifies the acorn: he would therefore have it to signify an aromatic confection of nard, maste, or myrobalane. See his Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations; and see Scheuchzer's Physica Sacra.

    She brake the box - Rather, she broke the seal. This is the best translation I can give of the place; and I give it for these reasons:

    1. That it is not likely that a box exceedingly precious in itself should be broken to get out its contents.

    2. That the broken pieces would be very inconvenient if not injurious to the head of our Lord, and to the hands of the woman.

    3. That it would not be easy effectually to separate the oil from the broken pieces. And,

    4. That it was a custom in the eastern countries to seal the bottles with wax that held the perfumes; so that to come at their contents no more was necessary than to break the seal, which this woman appears to have done; and when the seal was thus broken, she had no more to do than to pour out the liquid ointment, which she could not have done had she broken the bottle.

    The bottles which contain the gul i attyr, or attyr of roses, which come from the east, are sealed in this manner. See a number of proofs relative to this point in Harmer's Observations, vol. iv. 469. Pouring sweet-scented oil on the head is common in Bengal. At the close of the festival of the goddess Doorga, the Hindoos worship the unmarried daughters of Brahmins: and, among other ceremonies, pour sweet-scented oil on their heads. Ward's Customs.

    Barnes' Notes on Mark 14:3

    Ointment - This word does not convey quite the proper meaning. This was a perfume. It was used only to give a pleasant odor, and was liquid.

    Of spikenard - The "nard," from which this perfume was made, is a plant of the East Indies, with a small, slender stalk, and a heavy, thick root. The best perfume is obtained from the root, though the stalk and fruit are used for that purpose.

    And she brake the box - This may mean no more than that she broke the "seal" of the box, so that it could be poured out. Boxes of perfumes are often sealed or made fast with wax, to prevent the perfume from escaping. It was not likely that she would break the box itself when it was unnecessary, and when the unguent, being liquid, would have been wasted; nor from a broken box or vial could she easily have "poured it" on his head.

    Wesley's Notes on Mark 14:3

    14:3 Mt 26:6.