Was a custom in general use among the Hebrews and other oriental nations, and its omission was one sign of mourning, Isa 61:3. They anointed the hair, head, and beard, Ps 104:15; 133:2. At their feasts and rejoicings they anointed the whole body; but sometimes only the head or feet, Ps 23:5; Mt 6:17; Joh 12:3. It was a customary mark of respect to guests, /#Lu 7.38,46. The use of oil upon the skin was thought to be conducive to health. Anointing was then used, and is still, medicinally, Mr 6:13; Jas 5:14; but the miraculous cures thus wrought by the apostles furnish no warrant for the ceremony just before death called "extreme unction." The anointing of dead bodies was also practiced, to preserve them from corruption, Mr 14:8; 16:1; Lu 23:56. They anointed kings and high priests at their inauguration, 29/7/type/haweis'>Ex 29:7,29; Le 4:3; Jg 9:8; 1Sa 9:16; 15/type/haweis'>1Ki 19:15,15, as also the sacred vessels of the tabernacle and temple, Ex 30:26. This anointing of sacred persons and objects signified their being set apart and consecrated to the service of God; and the costly and fragrant mixture appointed for this purpose was forbidden for all others, Ex 30:23-33; Eze 23:41.
The custom of anointing with oil or perfume was also common among the Greeks and Romans; especially the anointing of guests at feasts and other entertainments.
There are several Hebrew words thus translated, but some of them occur but once, as
5. suk, 'to anoint the body after washing,' like ?????? in the N.T., is commonly used for the practice among the orientals of anointing the body, or its parts, for comfort, appearance, friendliness, healing, or burial. For the ordinary toilet cf. Ru 3:3; 2Sa 12:20; 2Ch 28:15; Mt 6:17. To neglect this was a sign of mourning 2Sa 14:2; Da 10:3. As an act of courtesy cf. Lu 7:46; Joh 12:3; the sick were also anointed, Mr 6:13; Jas 5:14; also the dead body, Mr 14:8; 16:1. One of the punishments on Israel was that the olives should not yield oil for the anointing. De 28:40; Mic 6:15.
6. mashach, ????, 'to spread over, to anoint' for an office, etc. Kings were anointed: Saul, David, Solomon, Joash, Jehu, and Hazael are examples. Prophets were anointed; for Ps 105:15 should read 'anointed ones;' and cf. 1Ki 19:16. Special oil made according to God's directions was used for the anointing of the priests. Ex 30:30; 40:13. With the same oil the tabernacle and its vessels were anointed. Ex 40:9-10. The meat offering was anointed with oil, Le 2:1,4, typical of the pure humanity of the Lord Jesus, and of His being sealed by the Holy Spirit. The cleansed leper was anointed with oil. Le 14:17-18.
Whether this last anointing refers to persons or things and whether the oil is that specially prepared or common oil, the sanctification and power of the Holy Spirit is invariably typified thereby. Anointing with oil for consecration to office is not now enjoined on believers, for they are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and are also priests to God. John reminds even the babes in Christ that they have an unction from the Holy One, and the anointing (the same word, ??????) abideth in them. 1Jo 2:20,27. Thus, as in the O.T., the kings, prophets, and priests were anointed as set apart for God, so the Christian is by the Holy Spirit sanctified for God, both as to his position and service. See THE ANOINTED.
in Holy Scripture, is either, I. Material--with oil--or II. Spiritual--with the Holy Ghost. I. MATERIAL.--
1. Ordinary. Anointing the body or head with oil was a common practice with the Jews, as with other Oriental nations.
Anointing the head with oil or ointment seems also to have been a mark of respect sometimes paid by a host to his guests.
and Psal 23:5
2. Official. It was a rite of inauguration into each of the three typical offices of the Jewish commonwealth. a. Prophets were occasionally anointed to their office,
and were called messiahs, or anointed.
b. Priests, at the first institution of the Levitical priesthood, were all anointed to their offices,
but afterwards anointing seems to have been specially reserved for the high priest,
so that "the priest that is anointed,"
is generally thought to mean the high priest. c. Kings. Anointing was the principal and divinely-appointed ceremony in the inauguration of the Jewish Kings.
The rite was sometimes performed more than once. David was thrice anointed. d. Inanimate objects also were anointed with oil, in token of their being set apart for religious service. Thus Jacob anointed a pillar at Bethel. (
3. Ecclesiastical. Anointing with oil is prescribed by St. James to be used for the recovery of the sick.
Analogous to this is the anointing with oil practiced by the twelve.
1. In the Old Testament a Deliverer is promised under the title of Messiah, or Anointed,
and the nature of his anointing is described to be spiritual, with the Holy Ghost.
see Luke 4:18 In the New Testament Jesus of Nazareth is shown to be the Messiah, or Christ or Anointed, of the Old Testament,
and the historical fact of his being anointed with the Holy Ghost is asserted and recorded.
Christ was anointed as prophet priest and king.
2. Spiritual anointing with the Holy Ghost is conferred also upon Christians by God.
Anointing expresses the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit upon Christians who are priests and kings unto God.