Mark 14:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume?

King James Bible
And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

Darby Bible Translation
And there were some indignant in themselves, and saying, Why has this waste been made of the ointment?

World English Bible
But there were some who were indignant among themselves, saying, "Why has this ointment been wasted?

Young's Literal Translation
and there were certain much displeased within themselves, and saying, 'For what hath this waste of the ointment been made?

Mark 14:4 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

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.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

there.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor...

Matthew 26:8,9 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste...

John 12:4,5 Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him...

Why.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-8 When you vow a vow to God, defer not to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools: pay that which you have vowed...

Malachi 1:12,13 But you have profaned it, in that you say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible...

Library
July 28 Evening
Let your requests be made known unto God.--PHIL. 4:6. Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.--There was given to me a thorn in the flesh. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

'Is it I?'
'Is it I?'--Mark xiv. 19 The scene shows that Judas had not as yet drawn any suspicion on himself. Here the Apostles seem to be higher than their ordinary stature; for they do not take to questioning one another, or even to protest, 'No!' but to questioning Christ. I. The solemn prophecy. It seems strange at first sight that our Lord should have introduced such thoughts then, disturbing the sweet repose of that hallowed hour. But the terrible fact of the betrayal was naturally suggested by the emblems
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Questions About the Lord's Supper
THE paper which begins at this page requires a few words of prefatory explanation. It consists of fifty-one questions about the Lord's Supper, with special reference to points which are the subject of much dispute and controversy in the present day. It supplies fifty-one answers to these questions, chiefly drawn from the New Testament, and the Articles, Communion Service, and Catechism of the Church of England. It contains, in addition, some valuable extracts from the writings of standard English
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

That He who is About to Communicate with Christ Ought to Prepare Himself with Great Diligence
The Voice of the Beloved I am the Lover of purity, and Giver of sanctity. I seek a pure heart, and there is the place of My rest. Prepare for Me the larger upper room furnished, and I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.(1) If thou wilt that I come unto thee and abide with thee, purge out the old leaven,(2) and cleanse the habitation of thy heart. Shut out the whole world, and all the throng of sins; sit as a sparrow alone upon the house-top,(3) and think upon thy transgressions
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Cross References
Matthew 20:24
When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.

Mark 14:3
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

Mark 14:5
It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly.

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