Anoint [E]

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 ).

Louis Goldberg

See also Jesus Christ, Name and Titles of; Messiah

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.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell
Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of
Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan USA.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

For usage information, please read the Baker Book House Copyright Statement.

[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Elwell, Walter A. "Entry for 'Anoint'". "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology". . 1997.

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". .

  • Anoint

    To rub in; rub on.

    Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and ANOINT thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. ( Revelation 3:17-18 )

    Source: A King James Dictionary. (Used with permission. Copyright © Philip P. Kapusta)

    Bibliography Information

    "Entry for 'Anoint'". A King James Dictionary.