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ca. 4-7 century B.C.E.
Slender alabaster container used to hold expensive perfume in ancient times.
Perfume was very costly in ancient times. Often it had to be carried great distances from its source to wealthy buyers. The cost reflected taxes on trade goods as they passed from one location to another. When they reached their destination the cost had risen a great deal.
On one occasion while Jesus was at - ''Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman with an alabaster case of costly perfumed oil approached him, and she began pouring it upon his head as he was reclining at the table. On seeing this the disciples became indignant and said, 'Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a great deal and been given to poor people.' Aware of this Jesus said to them, 'Why do you try to make trouble for this woman? For she did a fine deed toward me. For you will always have the poor with you, you will not always have me. For this woman put this perfumed oil upon my body she did it for the preparation of me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this good news is preached in all the world, what this woman did shall also be told as a remembrance of he.'' Matt. 26:6-13

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