Was employed from the earliest periods in the east, not only for the purpose of consecration, but to anoint the head, the beard, and the whole person in daily life, Ge 28:18. See ANOINTING. It was also universally used for food, Eze 16:13. Fresh and sweet olive oil was greatly preferred to butter and animal fat as a seasoning for food, and to this day in Syria almost every kind of food is cooked with oil. It had a place also among the meat-offerings in the temple, being usually mixed with the meal of the oblation, Le 5:11; 6:21. For lamps, also, pure olive oil was regarded as the best, and was used in illuminating the tabernacle. These many uses for oil made the culture of the olive-tree an extensive and lucrative business, 1Ch 27:28; Eze 27:17; Ho 12:1. Oil was as much an article of storage and of traffic as corn and wine, 2Ch 32:28; Ezr 3:7. The best oil was obtained from the fruit while yet green by a slight beating or pressing, Ex 27:20; 29:40. The ripe fruit is now, and has been from ancient times, crushed by passing stone rollers over it. The crushed mass is then subjected to pressure in the oil-mill, Hebrew, gath-shemen. The olive-berries are not now trodden with the feet. This, however seems to have been practiced among the Hebrews, at least to some extent when the berries had become soft by keeping, Mic 6:15. Gethsemane, that is, oil-press, probably took its name originally from some oil-press in its vicinity. See OLIVE.
Only olive oil seems to have been used among the Hebrews. It was used for many purposes: for anointing the body or the hair (Ex 29:7; 2Sa 14:2; Ps 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; Lu 7:46); in some of the offerings (Ex 29:40; Le 7:12; Nu 6:15; 15:4), but was excluded from the sin-offering (Le 5:11) and the jealousy-offering (Nu 5:15); for burning in lamps (Ex 25:6; 27:20; Mt 25:3); for medicinal purposes (Isa 1:6; Lu 10:34; Jas 5:14); and for anointing the dead (Mt 26:12; Lu 23:56).
Its three principal uses among the Hebrew were:
Type of the Holy Spirit's unction (2Co 1:21; 1Jo 2:20,27) and illumination (Zec 4:11-12). The supply of grace comes not from a dead reservoir of oil, but through living "olive trees." Ordinances and ministers are channels, not the grace itself; Zec 4:14, "anointed ones," Hebrew sons of oil; Isa 5:1, "very fruitful hill," Hebrew "horn of the son of oil." The Lord Jesus has the fullness of grace from the double olive tree of the Holy Spirit, so as to be at once our priest and king; He is the tree, ministers the branches, "emptying the golden oil out of themselves" for the supply of the church and to the glory of the Author of grace. In the sanctuary oil served the three purposes:
(1) anointing the priests and holy things,
(2) as food in the bloodless offerings (minchah),
(3) it kept alive the lights in "the pure candlestick," "the lamp of God" (1Sa 3:3) in the holy place.
Messiah is the Antitype "anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows" (Heb 1:9; Ps 45:7); not only above us, the adopted members of God's family, but above the angels, partakers with Him, though infinitely His inferiors, in the holiness and joys of heaven. His anointing with "the oil of exulting joy" took place not at His baptism when He began His ministry for us, but at His triumphant completion of His work, at His ascension (Eph 4:8; Ps 68:18), when He obtained the Holy Spirit without measure (Joh 3:34), to impart to us in measure. The oil of gladness shall be in the fullest sense His "in the day of His espousals, in the day of the gladness of His heart" (Song 3:11; Re 19:7). Guests were anointed with oil at feasts; so He anoints us, Ps 23:5.
The offering of oil on the altar was the offerer's acknowledgment that all his spiritual gifts were from Jehovah. The "beaten oil" for the sanctuary light was made from olives bruised in a mortar. So Messiah's bruising preceded His pouring out the Spirit on us (Ex 25:6; 27:20). The olives were sometimes "trodden" (Mic 6:15), or "pressed" in a "press," making the fats overflow (Joe 2:24; 3:13; Hag 2:16). The oil was stored in cellars, in cruses (1Ki 17:14). Solomon supplied Hiram with "20,000 baths of oil" (2Ch 2:10), "20 measures of pure oil" (1Ki 5:11). Oil was exported to Egypt as the special produce of Palestine (Ho 12:1). Meat offerings were mingled or anointed with oil (Le 7:10,12); but the sin offering and the offering of jealousy were without oil (Le 5:11; Nu 5:15). The oil indicated" gladness"; its absence sorrow and humiliation (Isa 61:3; Joe 2:19; Ps 45:7).
With one exception (Es 2:12 'oil of myrrh') all the Scripture references to oil are to 'olive oil,' as it is expressly termed in Ex 27:20; Le 24:2 etc., according to the more correct rendering of RV. Considering how very numerous these references are
In the description of the goodness of the land of promise one of the advantages mentioned is 'a land of oil olive'; and among the blessings enumerated with which God would endow His obedient people is that their oil should be multiplied. De 7:13; 8:8. It was an article of value, and the people had their olive yards as well as their vineyards. Oil was employed for various purposes. It was used as food, 2Ch 2:10,15; 11:11; Ps 55:21; for anointing the kings, etc., 1Sa 10:1; 16:1,13; in the sacrifices of the meat offering, Le 2; as an ingredient in the holy ointment, Ex 30:24-25, see OINTMENT; as a cosmetic, Ps 23:5; 92:10; Lu 7:46; to give light in the lamps, Ex 35:8,14; as an emollient, Lu 10:34. Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit. Mt 25:3-10; Heb 1:9.
Of the numerous substances, animal and vegetable, which were known to the ancients as yielding oil, the olive berry is the one of which most frequent mention is made in the Scriptures.
1. Gathering, --The olive berry was either gathered by hand or shaken off carefully with a light reed or stick.
2. Pressing. --In order to make oil the fruit, was either bruised in a mortar crushed in a press loaded with wood or stones, ground in a mill, or trodden with the feet. The "beaten" oil of
was probably made by bruising in a mortar, It was used-- (1) As food. Dried wheat, boiled with either butter or oil, but generally the former, is a common dish for all classes in Syria.
(2) Cosmetic. Oil was used by the Jews for anointing the body, e.g. after the bath, and giving to the skin and hair a smooth and comely appearance, e.g. before an entertainment. (3) Funereal. The bodies of the dead were anointed with oil.
(4) Medicinal. Isaiah alludes to the use of oil in medical treatment.
see also Mark 6:13; Jame 6:14 (5) For light. The oil for "the light" was expressly ordered to be olive oil, beaten.
(6) Ritual. Oil was poured on or mixed with the flour or meal used in offerings.
Kings, priests and prophets were anointed with oil or ointment. (7) In offerings. As so important a necessary of life, the Jew was required to include oil among his firstfruit offerings.
Tithes of oil were also required.
OIL, ???. The invention and use of oil is of the highest antiquity. It is said that Jacob poured oil upon the pillar which he erected at Bethel, Ge 28:18. The earliest kind was that which is extracted from olives. Before the invention of mills, this was obtained by pounding them in a mortar, Ex 27:20; and sometimes by treading them with the feet in the same manner as were grapes, De 33:24; Mic 6:15. The Hebrews used common oil with their food, in their meat- offerings, for burning in their lamps, &c. As vast quantities of oil were made by the ancient Jews, it became an article of exportation. The great demand for it in Egypt led the Jews to send it thither. The Prophet Hosea thus upbraids his degenerate nation with the servility and folly, of their conduct: "Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind; he daily increaseth falsehood and vanity; and a league is made with Assyria, and oil carried into Egypt," Ho 12:1. The Israelites, in the decline of their national glory, carried the produce of their olive plantations into Egypt as a tribute to their ancient oppressors, or as a present to conciliate their favour, and obtain their assistance in the sanguinary wars which they were often compelled to wage with the neighbouring states. There was an unguent, very precious and sacred, used in anointing the priests, the tabernacle, and furniture. This was compounded of spicy drugs, namely, myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, and cassia, mixed with oil olive.