John 12:1-11

John 12:1-11
Monday of Holy Week ABC
Monday of Holy Week – A Women’s Lectionary


SixI daysII before the PassoverIII

Notes on verse 1a

I “six” = hex. 13x in NT. This is six. It is part of where “hexagon” comes from.
II “days” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
III “Passover” = Pascha. From Aramaic corresponding to Hebrew pesach (Passover or the offering for Passover); from pasach (to stop, pass over, skit over, to spare). This is Passover – used for the feast, the lamb of sacrifice, the day, and the festival itself. This is where the term “paschal” comes from as in the “paschal lamb.”

JesusIV cameV to Bethany,VI

Notes on verse 1b

IV “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
V “came” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
VI “Bethany” = Bethania. 12x in NT. From Aramaic beth anya (house of affliction, misery, wretchedness). This is Bethany.

the home of Lazarus,VII whom he had raisedVIII from the dead.IX 

Notes on verse 1c

VII “Lazarus” = Lazaros. 15x in NT. From Hebrew Elazar (God has helped or God is helper); {from el (God, a god) + azar (to help, protect, support, ally; properly, to surround so as to provide aid)}. This is Lazarus or Eliezer, meaning “God has helped” or “God is helper.”
VIII “raised” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
IX “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead or lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.

There they gaveX a dinnerXI for him. MarthaXII

Notes on verse 2a

X “gave” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
XI “dinner” = deipnon. 16x in NT. From the same as dapane (cost or expense); from dapto (to devour). This is a dinner or a feast – a meal in the afternoon or, more commonly, the evening.
XII “Martha” = Martha. 13x in NT. From Aramaic marta (mistress, lady); from mar (master). This is Martha. See also (

served,XIII and Lazarus was oneXIV of those recliningXV with him. 

Notes on verse 2b

XIII “served” = diakoneo. From diakonos (servant, minister, waiter, or attendant; a person who performs a service, including religious service); {perhaps from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + konis (dust) OR from dioko (to chase after, put to flight; by implication, to persecute or to purse like a hunter after its prey; this can be earnestly pursue or zealously persecute); {related to dio (put to flight)}}. This is to wait at table, to serve generally, to minister or administer, to be in the office of deacon. To wait on someone as a slave, friend, or host.
XIV “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.
XV “reclining” = anakeimai. 14x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, between, anew) + keimai (to lie, recline, be set, appointed, destined; to lie down literally or figuratively). This is to recline, particularly as one does for dinner. It can also be reclining as a corpse.

MaryXVI tookXVII a poundXVIII

Notes on verse 3a

XVI “Mary” = Maria. From Hebrew Miryam (Aaron and Moses’s sister); from marah (to be contentious, rebellious, bitter, provoking, disobedient; to be or make bitter or unpleasant; figuratively, to rebel or resist; causatively to provoke). This is Miriam or Mary.
XVII “took” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
XVIII “pound” = litra. 2x in NT. From Latin libra (a Roman weight – twelve ounces; also a level or set of scales); from Proto-Italic lithra (pound). This is a pound, which is about 327.5 grams. See

of costlyXIX perfumeXX made of pureXXI nard,XXII

Notes on verse 3b

XIX “costly” = polutimos. 3x in NT– including the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:46. From polus (much, many, abundant) + time (worth or something’s perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something else; also esteem or dignity; also precious or valuables); {From tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)}. This is very precious, valuable, or costly.
XX “perfume” = muron. 14x in NT. This is ointment, perfume, or anointing oil. Probably olive oil mixed with spices and scents such as myrrh.
XXI “pure” = pistikos. 2x in NT– both in the anointing of Jesus. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is trustworthy – as in, it can be trusted to be genuine or unadulterated.
XXII “nard” = nardos. 2x in NT– both in the anointing of Jesus. From Akkadian ardu; from Arabic rand; perhaps from Sanskrit nalada (all referring to nard). This is a fragrant Indian plant that was used to make perfume. See

anointedXXIII Jesus’s feet,XXIV and wipedXXV them with her hair.XXVI

Notes on verse 3c

XXIII “anointed” = aleipho. 9x in NT. From a (with) + liparos (oil, fatty; something luxurious); {from lipos (fat, grease)}. This is to anoint whether for medical reasons, as part of hospitality, for a dead body, for a celebration or festival, or to show respect.
XXIV “feet” = pous. This is foot in a literal or figurative sense.
XXV “wiped” = ekmasso. 5x in NT– 4x related to Jesus being anointed by the woman & 1x of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. From ek (from, from out of) + massaomai (to chew, gnaw); {from masso (to knead, squeeze)}. This is to knead something out, which figuratively indicates wiping something off or wiping it dry.
XXVI “hair” = thrix. 15x in NT. This is hair, whether human or animal.

The houseXXVII was filledXXVIII with the fragranceXXIX of the perfume. 

Notes on verse 3d

XXVII “house” = oikia. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). This is a house, household, goods, property, family, or means.
XXVIII “filled” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
XXIX “fragrance” = osme. 6x in NT. From ozo (to stink, to emit a scent – generally an unpleasant one). This is an aroma or fragrance. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense.

But JudasXXX Iscariot,XXXI one of his disciplesXXXII

Notes on verse 4a

XXX “Judas” = Ioudas. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah or Judas, meaning praised.
XXXI “Iscariot” = Iskariotes. 11x in NT. From Hebrew probably ish (man, husband); {perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be frail, feeble)} + qirya (city); {Aramaic corresponding to qiryah (city, building); from qarah (to happen, meet, bring about)}. Iscariot means person from Kerioth.
XXXII “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.

(the one who was about toXXXIII betrayXXXIV him), said,XXXV 

Notes on verse 4b

XXXIII “was about to” = mello. Perhaps from melo (something that one is worried or concerned about, something one pays attention to or thinks about). Properly, this is ready, about to happen, to intend, delay, or linger. This is just on the point of acting.
XXXIV “betray” = paradidomi. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
XXXV “said” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.

“Why was this perfume not soldXXXVI for three hundredXXXVII denariiXXXVIII and the money givenXXXIX to the poor?”XL 

Notes on verse 5

XXXVI “sold” = piprasko. 9x in NT. From pernemi (to sell by export). This is to sell with travel involved. It can also mean to sell into slavery or to be devoted to.
XXXVII “three hundred” = triakosioi. 2x in NT. From treis (three) + hekaton (a hundred, a hundred times). This is three hundred.
XXXVIII “denarii” = denarion. 16x in NT. From Latin deni (ten each) + arius (belonging to). This is a silver Roman coin.
XXXIX “given” = didomi. Related to “betray” in v4. See note XXXIV above.
XL “poor” = ptochos. From ptosso (to crouch or cower as a beggar does). This is poor or destitute – someone who is extremely poor and bowed down because of a long struggle under poverty. Properly, it means bent over so figuratively it is someone who is deeply destitute and lacking tangible resources. This is a beggar – as extremely opposite a wealthy person as possible.

(He said this not because he caredXLI about the poor but because he was a thief;XLII he keptXLIII the common purseXLIV and used to stealXLV what was put intoXLVI it.) 

Notes on verse 6

XLI “cared” = melo. Related to “was about to” in v4. 10x in NT. See note XXXIII above.
XLII “thief” = kleptes. 16x in NT. From klepto (to steal secretively). This is a thief that steals using stealth rather than violence. It is a thief in a literal or figurative sense.
XLIII “kept” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
XLIV “common purse” = glossokomon. 2x in NT. From glossa (tongue, language – a nation identified by the language they share; speaking) + the same as komizo (to carry, convey, recover); {from komeo (to take care of)}. This is bag, purse, chest. It could refer to a case for mouthpieces, a casket, or a money bag.
XLV “steal” = bastazo. Perhaps from the base of basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is to lift in a literal of figurative sense. It can also mean take up, carry, bear, or remove. Figuratively, it can mean declare, endure, or sustain.
XLVI “put into” = ballo. This is to throw, cast, rush, place, or drop. It is throwing, but it could be with more or less velocity and with more or less force/violence.

Jesus said, “Leave her alone.XLVII She bought it so that she might keepXLVIII it for the day of my burial.XLIX You alwaysL haveLI the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

Notes on verses 7-8

XLVII “leave…alone” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
XLVIII “keep” = tereo. From teros (a guard or a watch that guards keep); perhaps related to theoreo (gazing, beholding, experiencing, discerning; looking at something to analyze it and concentrate on what it means; the root of the word “theatre” in that people concentrate on the action of the play to understand its meaning); from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance); from theoros (a spectator or envoy). This is to guard, observe, keep, maintain, or preserve. It can also be used f iguratively for spiritual watchfulness. It is guarding something from being lost or harmed – keeping an eye on it. Contrast the Greek phulasso, which is to guard something so that it doesn’t escape. Also contrast koustodia, which generally denotes a fortress or military presence. This word can mean fulfilling commands, keeping in custody, or maintaining. It can also figuratively mean to remain unmarried.
XLIX “burial” = entaphiasmos. 2x in NT. From entaphiazo (to prepare a body to be buried, to embalm); {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + taphos (a burial place such as a grave, sepulcher, or tomb); {from thapto (to bury, hold a funeral)}}. This is embalming or burial.
L “always” = pantote. From pas (all, every, each) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.
LI “have” = echo. Same as “kept” in v6. See note XLIII above.

When the greatLII crowdLIII of the JewsLIV learnedLV that he was there, they came not onlyLVI because of Jesus but also to seeLVII Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 

Notes on verse 9

LII “great” = polus. Related to “costly” in v3. See note XIX above.
LIII “crowd” = ochlos. Related to “kept” in v6. Perhaps from echo (see note XLIII above). This is a crowd, the common people, a rabble. Figuratively, it can refer to a riot.
LIV “Jews” = Ioudaios. Related to “Judas” in v4. From Ioudas (see note XXX above). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.
LV “learned” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.
LVI “only” = monon. From monos (alone, single, remaining, mere, desolate); from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is merely, only, simply, sole. It can also imply alone.
LVII “see” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.

10 So the chief priestsLVIII plannedLIX to put Lazarus to deathLX as well, 

Notes on verse 10

LVIII “chief priests” = archiereus. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power) + hiereus (a priest literal or figurative – of any faith); {from hieros (sacred, something sacred, temple, holy, set apart; something consecrated to God or a god)} This is a high or chief priest.
LIX “planned” = bouleuo. 6x in NT. From boule (counsel, plan, purpose, decision; wisdom that comes from deliberation); from boulomai (to wish, desire, intend; to plan with great determination). This is to deliberate, consider, plan together, advise, or resolve to do something.
LX “put…to death” = apokteino. From apo (from, away from) + kteino (to kill). To put to death, kill, slay. Figuratively, this word can mean abolish, destroy, or extinguish.

11 since it was on account of him that manyLXI of the Jews were desertingLXII and were believingLXIII in Jesus.

Notes on verse 11

LXI “many” = polus. Same as “great” in v9. See note LII above.
LXII “deserting” = hupago. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.
LXIII “believing” = pisteuo. Related to “pure” in v3. From pistis (see note XXI above). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.

Image credit: “Mary Magdalene Washing the Feet of Jesus” by Frank Wesley.

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