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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 4488 oil
4488 oil

4488 oil

Normally olive oil, which was in plentiful supply in Israel and in general household use. Its ritual uses included the anointing of priests and kings and ceremonial cleansing; in the NT oil was used to anoint the sick. As a sign of God’s provision for his people, oil was associated with prosperity and gladness, and was a mark of spiritual blessing.

The production of oil

Job 24:11 Olives were pressed either with a pestle and mortar or in a stone press; Mt 26:36 “Gethsemane” means “oil press”, named after the stone presses associated with the Mount of Olives.

General uses of oil

As a necessary provision 1Ch 12:40; 2Ch 11:11

As a fuel for lamps Ex 27:20 pp Lev 24:2 See also Ex 35:14 pp Ex 39:37; Nu 4:9; Mt 25:1-10

Mixed with flour in baking 1Ki 17:12-16 See also Ex 29:23; Nu 11:8

As an ointment Isa 1:6 See also Ps 55:21; Lk 10:34

Oil for use in the sanctuary

Ne 10:39 See also Ex 25:6 pp Ex 35:8; Nu 4:16; 1Ch 9:29; Ezr 6:9

Oil used for ceremonial anointing

Instructions for making and using the anointing oil Ex 30:23-33 See also Ex 31:11; Ex 37:29

Holy objects were consecrated by anointing with oil Jacob twice anoints a pillar at Bethel: Ge 28:18; Ge 31:13; Ge 35:14 God’s command to anoint the tabernacle and its furnishings: Ex 40:9-11; Lev 8:10-11

Priests were ordained by anointing with oil Lev 8:12 pp Ex 29:7 See also Ex 29:21 pp Lev 8:30; Lev 10:7; Lev 21:10-12; Ps 133:2; Zec 4:12-14

Kings were anointed with oil 1Sa 10:1 Saul David. Anointing with oil is associated with the gift of the Holy Spirit: 1Sa 16:13; Ps 89:20
1Ki 1:39 Solomon; 2Ki 9:1-6 Jehu

Further ceremonial uses of oil

In ceremonial cleansing Lev 14:15-18,24-29

In offerings At the consecration of priests: Ex 29:2; Nu 8:8 At the daily sacrifice: Ex 29:40; Nu 28:5 With the grain offering: Lev 2:1-7; Lev 6:20-21; Nu 7:13
Lev 7:12 with the thank offering; Nu 6:15 at the completion of the Nazirite’s vow With the burnt offering: Nu 28:9,28; Eze 46:4-5

Oil was excluded from certain offerings Lev 5:11; Nu 5:15

Oil used to anoint the sick

Jas 5:14 See also Mk 6:13

God’s provision of oil

Oil as a sign of God’s blessing Dt 32:13 See also Dt 7:13; Dt 8:7-8; Dt 11:14; Hos 2:8

Oil withdrawn as a sign of judgment Dt 28:40 See also Dt 28:51; Joel 1:10; Mic 6:15; Hag 1:11

Renewed provision of oil following restoration Jer 31:12 See also Hos 2:22; Joel 2:18-19,24

The firstfruits of the oil harvest Nu 18:12; Dt 18:4; 2Ch 31:5; Ne 10:37

Tithes of oil Dt 12:17; Dt 14:23; Ne 13:12

Oil as a commodity for trade 1Ki 5:11 pp 2Ch 2:10; Ezr 3:7; Eze 27:17; Hos 12:1

Oil as a sign of prosperity Job 29:6 See also Dt 33:24; 2Ki 20:13 pp Isa 39:2; Pr 21:20; Isa 57:9; Eze 16:18-19

Oil associated with celebration Ps 45:7 The joy with which God anoints his servants is likened to the oil which anoints the bridegroom in preparation for his wedding. See also Ps 104:15; Ecc 9:8; Isa 61:3; Mt 6:17 Oil draws attention away from the fact that a person is fasting; Heb 1:9

Oil as a sign of honour Ps 23:5 Oil was used to anoint the heads of honoured guests at a meal. See also Ps 141:5; Lk 7:46

See also

3239Holy Spirit, anointing
5373lamp & lampstand
5617measures, liquid
7368grain offering

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