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Anoint

Anoint [B]

The practice of anointing with perfumed oil was common among the Hebrews.

  • The act of anointing was significant of consecration to a holy or sacred use; hence the anointing of the high priest ( Exodus 29:29 ; Leviticus 4:3 ) and of the sacred vessels ( Exodus 30:26 ). The high priest and the king are thus called "the anointed" ( Leviticus 4:3 Leviticus 4:5 Leviticus 4:16 ; 6:20 ; Psalms 132:10 ). Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him ( 1 Samuel 16:13 ; 2 Sam 2:4 , etc.). Prophets were also anointed ( 1 Kings 19:16 ; 1 Chronicles 16:22 ; Psalms 105:15 ). The expression, "anoint the shield" ( Isaiah 21:5 ), refers to the custom of rubbing oil on the leather of the shield so as to make it supple and fit for use in war.

  • Anointing was also an act of hospitality ( Luke 7:38 Luke 7:46 ). It was the custom of the Jews in like manner to anoint themselves with oil, as a means of refreshing or invigorating their bodies ( Deuteronomy 28:40 ; Ruth 3:3 ; 2 Sam 14:2 ; Psalms 104:15 , etc.). This custom is continued among the Arabians to the present day.

  • Oil was used also for medicinal purposes. It was applied to the sick, and also to wounds ( Psalms 109:18 ; Isaiah 1:6 ; Mark 6:13 ; James 5:14 ).

  • The bodies of the dead were sometimes anointed ( Mark 14:8 ; Luke 23:56 ).

  • The promised Deliverer is twice called the "Anointed" or Messiah ( Psalms 2:2 ; Daniel 9:25 Daniel 9:26 ), because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost ( Isaiah 61:1 ), figuratively styled the "oil of gladness" ( Psalms 45:7 ; Hebrews 1:9 ). Jesus of Nazareth is this anointed One ( John 1:41 ; Acts 9:22 ; Acts 17:2 Acts 17:3 ; Acts 18:5 Acts 18:28 ), the Messiah of the Old Testament.

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [B] indicates this entry was also found in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Anoint". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .