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Wordplays Concerning Messiah's Anointing

A while back I was doing some investigation concerning the anointing of Yeshuwa, as He is the "Anointed One," and the only place where He is literally anointed in Scripture is recorded in the following four accounts:

Matthew 26:6-7
Mark 14:3
Luke 7:37-38
John 12:3

These are all parallel accounts of when He was anointed with nard in the house of Shemuwn the potter while reclining. This seems to be a very literal fulfillment of a passage from Shir HaShirim (The Song of Songs), which reads:

While the king is at his table, my nard gives its fragrance.

the events are exactly parallel, and interestingly, the Peshitta AN"K translation of the above verse contains six words, and the accounts in the previous four passages use 3 of those exact same terms the Peshitta AN"K uses. This should alert the reader that something is going on here.

at any rate, i want to focus on one of the above NT passages, as it seems to contain some further interesting material:

Mark 14:3
And when He was in Beyth-Anya, in the house of Shemuwn the potter, while he reclined, a woman came, concerning which there was a tapered container of perfume of choice nard, of a great price, and she opened it and poured it upon the head of Yeshuwa.

the Peshitta preserves some interesting aspects worth mentioning:

1). This specific passage doesn't mention it, but we know that He was in the house of a Preeysha (Pharisee = "Separated One/Distinct One") So this is the house where Yeshuwa would be "separated/distinct" from everyone else -- His anointing.

2). The Pharisee's name is SHEMUWN (Simon = Hear), which is interesting, because a word for "oil" in Hebrew/Aramaic is SHEMEN. The reader is being called to "hear" what the text is telling us about His "oil" of anointing.

3). Shemuwn the man is called in the Peshitta GRABA, a "potter." This seems to be a sonic allusion to the oil / pot-container aspect. Furthermore, this particular reading reconciles a legal difficulty that is present in the Greek text, since the Greek texts call Shemuwn a "leper," and according to B'midbar (Numbers) 5:2-3, a leper is not allowed to live inside the camp. Legally, he must relocate outside the city walls. Therefore, Shemuwn, according to the Greek text, is a Pharisee in blatant violation of the Law, and Yeshuwa not only has no issue with this, but also doesn't ever offer to heal what's going on in the Greek? The Aramaic reconciles the problem in the Greek if we read the term as GRABA = "potter" instead of GARBA = "leper." The same letters exist, just the pronunciation is different, and it becomes apparent very quickly that a misunderstanding took place during translation into Greek for the "potter" to become the "leper." This understanding also makes sense that Maryam has a pottery vessel of perfume in the house of a potter.

3). The Peshitta preserves a very clever wordplay by the author, as well. Maryam uses only the "choice" nard, which is, in Aramaic, REESHAYA, and proceeds to anoint His "head," being REESHEH. So the effect is such that Maryam takes "nard of the head" and anoints His "head." OR, one could go the other route, and say that Maryam takes "the best nard" and anoints the "Best" one there! In contrast, the Greek terms are polytelous = choice, and kephales = head. there is no wordplay occurring the Greek, but the Peshitta preserves a succinct reading that is loaded with further depth of meaning.

It is interesting that a passage concerning the anointing of the Messiah would yield these gems of value!

I hope this is valuable to someone!

Chayim b'Moshiach,

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