Biblical Definition Of
In Old Testament times, a common practice was to appoint priests, kings, and sometimes prophets to their positions by the ceremony of anointing. Holy oil was poured over the head of the person as a sign that he was set apart for the service of God. He now had the right, and the responsibility, to perform the duties that his position required (Exod 28:41; Num 3:2-3; 1 Kings 1:39; 19:16; 2 Kings 9:3; Ps 18:50; 28:8; 105:15).
Things as well as people could be anointed. Moses anointed the tabernacle and its equipment to indicate that they were set apart for sacred use (Exod 30:22-30). The oil used to anoint the priests and the tabernacle was prepared according to a special formula that was not to be used for any other purpose (Exod 30:26-33). Official anointing carried with it the authority of God, and therefore no one could lawfully challenge the appointment (1 Sam 10:1; 24:6).
Anointing was also associated with the gift of God’s special power, or the gift of his Spirit, for carrying out some specific task (1 Sam 16:13). Originally, such anointing was a physical ceremony, but because of this spiritual significance, people began to use the word ‘anoint’ solely in a spiritual or metaphorical sense. It symbolized the outpouring of God’s Spirit in equipping a person for God’s service (Isa 61:1; Acts 10:38).
This usage of the word was later extended even further, so that the Bible could speak of all who receive the Holy Spirit as being anointed (2 Cor 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20,27). Jesus was in a special sense God’s Anointed (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:26-27; 10:38).
Concerning the practice of anointing in relation to such things as burial, massaging, healing and showing hospitality,