John 12:5

5 "Why wasn't this fragrant oil sold for 300 denarii[a] and given to the poor?"

John 12:5 Meaning and Commentary

John 12:5

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence
Meaning Roman pence, one of which is, of the value of our money, seven pence halfpenny; so that three hundred pence amount to nine pounds seven shillings and six pence:

and given to the poor?
this was his pretence, and with which he covered himself; his uneasiness was, because it was not sold, and the money put into his hands, as appears by what follows.

John 12:5 In-Context

3 Then Mary took a pound of fragrant oil-pure and expensive nard-anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped His feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray Him), said,
5 "Why wasn't this fragrant oil sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?"
6 He didn't say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.
7 Jesus answered, "Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of My burial.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. This amount was about a year's wages for a common worker.
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