To smear or rub with oil or perfume for either private or religious purposes. The Hebrew term for "anoint, " masah [j;v'm ], has secular connotations, such as rubbing a shield with oil ( Isa 21:5 ), smearing paint on a house ( Jer 22:14 ), or anointing the body with oil ( Am 6:6 ). The theological meaning of masah [j;v'm ] is fourfold. First, an individual or object set apart for divine use is said to be "anointed." Solomon was anointed ruler over Israel ( 1 Ch 29:22 ); this anointing made him both responsible for and accountable to the people. Anointed kings sometimes failed in their tasks, and were reminded of their accountability ( 1 Sam 15:17 ; 2 Sam 12:7 ). Second, when people were anointed, God empowered them to accomplish his tasks ( 1 Sam 10:6 ; 16:13 ). Third, no one was allowed to harm God's anointed ( 1 Sam 24:10 ; 26:9 ). Finally, the term mashiyach [jyiv'm ] derived from masah [j;v'm ], refers to Israel's Messiah who was to come from the house of David ( Psalm 84:9 ; Psalms 89:38 Psalms 89:51 ). In the New Testament, Christ is portrayed as the Messiah. Jesus is the promised deliverer ( John 1:41 ; 4:25 ), anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power ( Ac 10:38 ).
Bibliography. H. L. Ellison, The Centrality of the Messianic Idea for the Old Testament; V. P. Hamilton, TWOT, 1:1255-56; J. B. Payne, Theology of the Older Testament.
Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of
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Bibliography InformationElwell, Walter A. "Entry for 'Anoint'". "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology".