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THE ANOINTING OIL
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! As a fellow believer and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:9), it is my utmost privilege to explain the truths hidden in the word of God, regarding the anointing oil, with the help of the Holy Spirit. This book is intended to usher every born again Christian, to have a more intimate relationship with Christ Jesus and to help them live a life of freedom and victory.
The word Oil in the Bible:
The Hebrew word used to describe oil is shemen and most commonly, it refers to the Olive oil. The word es shemen meaning “the tree of oil” refers to the Olive tree (1 Kings 6:31-33 ; Isa 41:19). This is also related to the word shemesh meaning to be “brilliant”. In one place, as in the beautification process of Esther, (Esther 2:12) the word oil is referred to the “oil of myrrh”, (an aromatic gum resin).
In the New Testament the Greek word referred to oil is, “elaion”, which exclusively refers to Olive oil. The Mount of Olives, where Jesus spent his last night praying, (Matt 26:36) was named Gethsemane. (Gat shemen meaning a “press of oil” in Hebrews), for the numerous Olive groves, and Olive oil presses at its base. In Aramaic, the word mesah corresponds to “anointing oil” (Ezra 6:9 ; 7:22), directly related to the Hebrew verb mashach meaning “to anoint”.
The significance of Olive tree and Olive oil in the scriptures:
The Olive oil, derived from the Olive tree had a significant, yet mysterious role in biblical times. The word oil has been mentioned 192 times in the Bible, in various places. The word used to describe Olive in Hebrew is Zayith meaning “yielding illuminating oil”. It is related to the word ziv meaning “prominent or brightness”.
Moreover, it is the commonly used oil in the biblical times, as a commodity for trade, as a part of the daily consumption, along with offerings in the tabernacle, as fuel for lamps in the tabernacle and homes, lubricant for skin and hair, as an aromatic substance, sometimes with a sense of honor, as a medication and in various healing contexts, for performing various royal and religious procedures and in figurative expressions for fertility and prosperity. (Deuteronomy 33:24 ; Job 29:6)
The Humble Olive tree:
The Olive tree on the outside, appear to be ordinary as any other trees and may be even messier at times with Olives littered on the ground. But as it grows old, it acquires an interesting appearance, with a tall trunk and a unique pattern of knots, turns and protuberances in its form.
The Encyclopedia Judaica says, “There are trees in Israel estimated to be 1,000 years old that still produce fruit. In old age the tree becomes hollow but the trunk continues to grow thicker, at times achieving a circumference of 20 feet” (“Olive,” vol.12, page 1363). Another interesting fact about this incredible tree is that, shoots can grow from its roots, even if the trunk is cut down, ensuring the existence of the tree.
Ø The “Olive tree” holds a prominent position in the scriptures and was used to describe the prosperity of the land as in (Deuteronomy 6:11; 8:8; 28:40).
Ø Olive trees were known for their fatness. (Judges 9:9)
Ø Olive trees and branches were used to make wood works in the temple. (1Kings 6:31-33)
Ø The Olive tree was used to describe the two anointed people of God, Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel. (Zechariah 4:11)
The mystery behind the olive oil:
The extraction of the olive oil is first initiated by shaking of the olives from the olive tree. Sometimes the tree is beaten with a pole to facilitate the dropping of olive fruit. These collected Olive berries are bruised in a mortar and pestle or a stone press to extract the precious olive oil. The extraction of the Olive oil is explained in the Encyclopedia Judaica as below,
“The olives were beaten down from the trees with poles (Isa.17:6), and were pounded into pulp in mortars or by the feet (Micah 6:15). The pulp was placed in wicker baskets from which the lightest and finest oil could easily run off. This grade of oil, known as beaten oil (Heb. Shenen katit), is mentioned five times in the Bible. It served as fuel for the lamp in the Tabernacle (Exo.27:20; Lev.24:2) and as an element in the obligatory daily meal offerings (Exo.29:40; Num.28:5). King Solomon traded this type of oil with Hiram of Tyre in exchange for cedar and cypress wood (I Kings 5:10-11). After the removal of the beaten oil, a second grade was produced by heating and further pressing the pulp. . . .
“Oil was one of the three staples of life. . . As a typical product of Palestine and as a necessity, oil is listed, particularly in Deuteronomy, among the three blessings of the land in time of God’s favor – grain, wine, and oil (Deut.11:14, etc.)” (“Oil,” vol.12, p.1347).
The eminence of using Olive oil in scriptures:
Oil was considered as the symbol of joy, honor and favor in ancient days. Hence it was used to anoint the head and body after bath. (Ruth 3:3). Similarly, David washed and anointed himself with oil, before worshipping the Lord. ((II Sam.12:20). Some of such instances where oil was used for anointing are given below,
Ø Jacob anointed a pillar in Bethel. (Genesis 31:13)
Ø Aaron and his sons were anointed with the anointing oil to minister in the priest`s office. (Exodus 25:6, 28:41, 29:21)
Ø The offerings were anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:2)
Ø After cleansing the altar, it was anointed with oil to sanctify it. (Exodus 29:36, 40:10)
Ø The anointing oil was poured upon Aaron to sanctify him. ( Leviticus 8:12)
Ø Samuel anointed Saul with oil, to be the captain over his inheritance, as the king of Israel. (1Samuel 10:1, 15:1)
Ø Samuel anointed David in the midst of his brethren, and THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD came upon him. (1 Samuel 16:13)
Ø The shield of Saul was anointed with oil. (2 Samuel 1:21)
Ø David was anointed as the King of Israel. (2 Samuel 5:3)
Ø The priest Zadok anointed Solomon as King. (1 King 1:39)
Ø God told Elijah to anoint Elisha to be the prophet in his place. (1 King 19:17)
Ø The disciples anointed the sick with oil and they were healed. (Mark 6:13)
· The anointing oil was used for sanctification of the altar and tabernacle.
· It was used by GOD himself, to anoint Priests, Kings and Prophets for his sumptuous purposes.
· The anointing oil is directly linked with THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD.
· The anointing oil was used by the early church to heal the sick.
· Jesus was anointed by the LORD GOD and THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD was upon him.