What Does it Mean to Anoint with Oil?
According to Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament, the Hebrew word translated into English as “anoint” means to cover, rub, smear or consecrate, usually with oil. It is the word “masah” from which we get the word Messiah. Jesus was the “anointed one”. Some believe that it is also the root for the English word massage, because essential oils have been traditionally massaged into the body.
Vines also says, “The Old Testament most commonly uses the word to indicate ‘anointing’ in the sense of a special setting apart for an office or function. Thus Elijah was anointed to be a prophet. More typically, kings were anointed for their office.” Priests were anointed with oil for their office. The New Testament teaches that all Christians are appointed by God for a specific office or function, that He has chosen for us and gifted us for.