ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
The practice of anointing with perfumed oil was common among the Hebrews.
Five types of annointing:
The act of anointing signified consecration to a holy or sacred use; hence the anointing of the high priest (Ex. 29:29; Lev. 4:3) and of the sacred vessels (Ex. 30:26). The high priest and the king are thus called “the anointed” (Lev. 4:3, 5, 16; 6:20; Ps. 132:10). Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him (1 Sam. 16:13; 2 Sam. 2:4, etc.). Prophets were also anointed (1 Kings 19:16; 1 Chr. 16:22; Ps. 105:15). The expression, “anoint the shield” (Isa. 21:5), refers to the custom of rubbing oil on the leather of the shield to make it supple and suitable for use in war.
Anointing was also an act of hospitality (Luke 7:38, 46). It was the custom of the Jews to anoint themselves with oil, as a means of refreshing or invigorating their bodies (Deut. 28:40; Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 104:15, etc.). Some Arabs still continue this custom today.
Oil was used also for medicinal purposes. It was applied to the sick, and also to wounds (Ps. 109:18; Isa. 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 (Ps. 2:2; Dan. 9:25-26), because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost (Isa. 61:1), figuratively the “oil of gladness” (Ps. 45:7; Hebrews 1:9). Jesus of Nazareth is this anointed One (John 1:41; Acts 9:22; 17:2-3; 18:5, 28), the Messiah of the Old Testament.