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Mark 14:3 - 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.
The Bible mentions an alabaster flask or box or more accurately "an alabastron", a small container which was filled with costly spikenard (perfumed oil). Mary came to the house of Simon the leper to anoint Jesus by breaking the jar and pouring the spikenard on his head in Mark 14. In the ancient world one of the purposes for anointing the head was to show respect and honor to the person receiving it. This is still seen in many parts of the oriental world today. Alabaster was a soft stone resembling marble, and many of these jars came from Egypt. Alabaster jars contained many interesting colors, some were translucent with veins of yellow, brown, and red. The alabaster jar usually contained olive oil, or a costly ointment or perfume. It had a long neck designed to restrict the flow and prevent waste. Mary broke the top in order to pour out the spikenard.
The above painting is a 3rd century wall painting in the synagogue at Dura Europas in Syria, it shows young David being anointed as the future king of Israel by the prophet Samuel with oil. The word "Messiah" comes from the Hebrew word "Meshiach" which means "the anointed one" or to "smear the anointing oil." Ancient Hebrew kings were consecrated to God with the anointing oil.
FLASK (Heb. pak, (2 Ki 9:1,3); Gk. alabastron, <Mark 14:3>). A container usually narrowed toward the outlet and used for holding liquids such as oil, ointment, or perfume. . The KJV uses "box of oil" or "box of ointment," whereas the NASB rendering is "flask of oil" or "vial of . . . ointment," and the NIV, "alabaster jar." ALABASTER (Gk. alabastron, (Mark 14:3); Heb. shesh, (1 Chr. 29:2); translated "marble" in the KJV and NIV). Identified with the substance now called oriental (or Egyptian) alabaster, also "onyx marble." The most common form of alabaster is a fine textured variety of massive gypsum (sulfate of lime). It is very soft and therefore excellent for carving. The color is usually white; but it may be gray, yellow, or red. Large quantities of gypsum were quarried in the Jordan Valley in the days before the Hebrew people occupied this territory. Many articles were fashioned from this stone, including vases, jars, saucers, bowls, lamps, and statues. Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus with costly oil from a flask made of alabaster (Mark 14:3). The ancient variety of alabaster is known as "oriental alabaster" (carbonate of lime), a form of marble. It is much harder than the gypsum variety but is used for the same purpose. Ancient alabaster was found only in Egypt. Today the name alabaster is applied to a still softer stone, the compact variety of gypsum, or sulphate of lime, used for small statuettes, paper weights, and little ornaments of no great value. The alabastrites of Theophrastus, Pliny, and the ancients generally was largely quarried and worked at Alabastron, a well-known locality near Thebes, and was the favorite material for the little flasks and vases for ointment and perfumery that are so abundant in Egyptian tombs and almost all ancient collections.
Mark 14:3 -
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.
Luke 7:37 - And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that [Jesus] sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
Matthew 26:7 - There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat [at meat].
The Life of Jesus
certificate of divorce
chief tax collector
Coin of the Pontif
Coin of Tiberius
Coins of Silver
Crown of Thorns
days of her purification
Dead Sea Scrolls
friends of the bridegroom
Jesus Washing Feet
put her away
redemption of the first-born
ruler of the synagogue
sackcloth and ashes
shake off the dust
Sign of Rome
Veil of the temple
"I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant - Jesus should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations." - Napoleon I Bonaparte (1809)
The Birth of John the Baptist
The History of the Birth of Jesus
NazarethGabriel Announces to Mary (Lk 1:26-38).
BethlehemThe Decree of Augustus Caesar and the Birth of Christ (Lk 2:1-7). The Second Visitors - Magi (Mat 2:1-12).
JerusalemJesus is Circumcised and Presented in the Temple (Lk 2:21-38).
EgyptOut of Egypt (Mat 2:13-23).
Jesus' Early YearsJerusalem
The JordanJesus is Baptized in the Jordan (Mat 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-23).
The WildernessThe Temptation in the Wilderness (Mat 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13). The Testimony of John (Jn 1:19-34).
The First PassoverJerusalem A House of Merchandise (Jn 2:13-25). Jesus Baptizes (Jn 3:22, with 4:2).
GalileeHe Departed Again to Galilee (Mat 4:12; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:14; Jn 4:1-3).
SamariaThe Woman at the Well (Jn 4:4-42). Physician, Heal Yourself! (Mat 4:13-16; Lk 4:16-31).
Sea of GalileePeter, Andrew, James, and John (Mat 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11).
GalileeAnd Jesus Went About All Galilee . . Teaching (Mat 4:23-25; Mk 1:35-39, Lk 4:42-44). Then a Leper Came to Him (Mat 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-45; Lk 5:12- 16).
JerusalemHealing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-47). And in His Name Gentiles Will Trust (Mat 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12) The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7; Lk 6:20-49). My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light (Mat 11:20-30).
CapernaumThe Woman With the Alabaster Flask (Lk 7:36-50). The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:22-37; Mk 3: 19-30; Lk 11:14-20). Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites (Lk 11:37-54). Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk 13:6-9). Many Such Parables (Mat 13:24-53; Mk 4:26-34).
Sea of GalileeJesus Rebukes the Storm (Mat 8:18-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25). The Herd of Many Swine (Mat 8:28-33; Mk 5:1-21; Lk 8:26-40).
NazarethHe Came Again to His Own City (Mat 9:1; Mk 5:21 Lk 8:40). Jairus' Daughter and the Woman With the Flow of Blood (Mat 9:18-26; Mk 5:22-43; Lk 8:41-56). A Prophet is Not Without Honor Except in His Own Country (Mat 13:53-58; Mk 6:1-6). Sent His Disciples Out With Power and Authority (Mat 10; Mk 6:6-13, Lk 9:1-6).
MachaerusJohn the Baptist is Beheaded (Mat 14:1, 2, 6-12, Mk 6:14-16, 21-29; Lk 9:7-9).
Near BethsaidaThe Disciples Return, Feeding Five Thousand (Mat 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-17, Jn 6:1-14).
Sea of GalileeThey Saw Him Walking on the Sea (Mat 14:22-36; Mk 6:45-56; Jn 6:15-21).
Do you also want to go away? (Jn 6:66-71). A Woman of Canaan (Mat 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30). Feeding Four Thousand (Mat 15:32-39; Mk 8:1-9). And He Was Transfigured (Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36). Speaks Again of His Death (Mat 17:22, 23; Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45).
CapernaumMiracle of the Coin in the Fish's Mouth (Mat 17:24-27). He Who is Not Against Us is On Our Side (Mk 9:38, 39; Lk 9:49, 50).
The Feast of TabernaclesJerusalem The Lord Appointed Seventy Others (Lk 10:1-16). Teaches in the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:14-53; 8:1-59). The Report of the Seventy (Lk 10:17-24).
BethanyThe House of Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42).
JerusalemI Was Blind, Now I See (Jn 9:1-41). They Picked Up Stones To Stone Him (Jn 10:22-39).
BethabaraBeyond the Jordan (Jn 10:40-42; 11:3-16).
BethanyJesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (Jn 11:1-46).
EphraimThe Declaration of Caiaphas (Jn 11:47-54).
JudeaThe Woman Who Was Bent Over (Mat 19:1, 2; Mk 10:1; Lk 13:10-35). Count the Cost (Lk 14:25-35). Exposes the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Lk 16:14-18). Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:1-10). Marriage and Divorce (Mat 19:3-12; Mk 10:2-12). Rich Young Ruler (Mat 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-22; Lk 18:18-24). Again Foretelling His Death (Mat 20:17-19; Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). Zacchaeus who was a Chief Tax Collector (Lk 19:1-10). Jesus Enters the Temple (Mat 21:12, Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45). The Blind and Lame Came to Him (Mat 21:14). The Withered Fig Tree (Mat 21:17-22; Mk 11:12-14, 20-22). The Parable of the Vinedressers (Mat 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19); The Parable of the Great Supper (Mat 22:1-14; Lk 14:16-24). Tested By the Sadducees (Mat 22:23-33; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40); Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees (Mat 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47). The Prophecy of Isaiah About their Blindness (Jn 12:37-50). He Saw the City and Wept Over It (Mat 23:37; Lk 19:41-44). The Sheep and the Goats (Mat 25:31-46).
JerusalemThe Last Passover (Mat 26:17-30; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20). The Hand of My Betrayer is With Me (Mat 26:23; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21; Jn 13:18). What You Do . . Do Quickly (Mat 26:21-25; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21-23; Jn 13:21-30). Jesus' Intercession (Jn 17). Betrayed and Taken (Mat 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-54, 66-72; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:2-12). He Sent Him to Herod (Lk 23:6-12).
CrucifixionJoseph of Arimathea (Mat 27:57-66; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:31-42).
The ResurrectionHas Appeared to Simon (Lk 24:34; 1Cor 15:5).
Road to EmmausAppears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12, 13: Lk 24:13-35).
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