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The anointing of oil is a recurring theme in scripture. Indeed, there is much use of anointing oil in the Bible, but what is the purpose of anointing oil in the life of a present-day believer? We at Logos Trading Post hope to answer that question in a way that is enriching to your faith in God using Bible verses about anointing oil, but it is also our sincere hope that we can be a blessing to you by providing anointing oils to use as an expression your faith. We have several varieties to offer, so in addition to sharing a bit about anointing oil in the Bible and the purpose of anointing oil, we will also share a bit about the different kinds of anointing oil we offer and what each kind symbolizes.

First, What is Anointing Oil?

Thus far, we’ve been writing about anointing oil as a symbol of faith, as a recurring theme in scripture, and as something that comes in many varieties, but you may be asking yourself a more foundational question, “What is anointing Oil?” For the answer, look no further than Exodus 30:23-24, which says, “Take for yourself the finest spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane [keneh bosem], 500 shekels of cassia, and a hin of olive oil.” These instructions given by God to Moses have been faithfully adhered to for thousands of years; even present-day anointing oil is composed of the very same ingredients. There is one complication, however: the third ingredient in the list was rendered keneh bosem in the original Hebrew Bible, but it is not a straightforward term to translate. The translation in the Holman Christian Standard Bible (used above) is fragrant cane, but there are many other ideas about how to translate it among Bible Scholars. Some say it was a form of Indian cymbopogon; some say palmarosa, and a select few even suggest that it was cannabis! All in all, though, the general consensus is that the third ingredient is cane balsam, more commonly called sweet cane - a reasonable theory, considering that cane balsam is a plant that grows natively in the promised land. Though there’s still debate, pretty much any anointing oil you can find in modern-day that doesn’t claim otherwise is composed of the standard myrrh, cinnamon, sweet cane, cassia, and olive oil - at least as its basis; many makers of anointing oil create different varieties by adding additional ingredients and fragrances. These extra ingredients can create unique scents, but they can also add an additional layer of symbolic meaning to the oil. We actually offer several different varieties ourselves, such as Lily of the Valley Anointing Oil or Frankincense Anointing Oil. Keep reading on, and we will share a bit about each kind of anointing oil that we offer, as well as the theological significance associated with their ingredients.

What Does It Mean to Be Anointed?

Speaking of theological significance, what exactly does it mean to be “anointed”? Obviously, when someone has anointing oil put on them, it could be said that they are “being anointed.” The purpose of anointing oil is not necessarily found in its ingredients or what they create, but it is in what the oil is used for. It is a natural concoction made of naturally occurring ingredients - the act of anointing with oil is symbolic, but it is no less spiritually meaningful because of that. To be anointed is to be consecrated unto God, set apart as one intended to serve His divine purposes. Simply: to be anointed is to be prophetically declared as holy before God.

Messiah quite literally means, “anointed one,” so anyone declared anointed is already in great company. Anointing oil in the Bible, at least in the case of the Old Testament, was reserved for use on significant individuals - prophets, kings, priests, and those sorts of people. However, a particular New Testament anointing oil scripture broadens its use. James 5:13-14 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” This is just one specific verse discussing anointing oil in the Bible - there are many more Bible verses about anointing oil - but setting our focus on this particular anointing oil scripture allows us to see a prescriptive use for it in the lives of faithful new-covenant believers. Indeed, just as dwelling in the presence of God is no longer reserved for a select few high priests in the holy of holies but is instead available to all who have faith in the one seated at the right hand of God, the anointing of oil is no longer reserved for a select few. All believers now have instructions for the use of anointing oil, and all members of the Church can be declared anointed before God.

What is the Purpose of Anointing Oil?

Continuing the discussion that naturally follows from James’ anointing oil scripture, the purpose of anointing oil is directly concerned with a faithful, selfless prayer for the sick. Every believer under Christ has the opportunity to connect directly with God through prayer, a freedom that must not be taken for granted. Utilizing that freedom to pray in a selfless act of prayer for the sick is a beautiful, meaningful act - anointing the sick with oil is a symbolically rich addition to that act. Yes, the oil is not, in itself supernatural. However, using anointing oil in your prayers for the sick connects you with thousands of years of Biblical history; Moses used it among the Israelites of his day, and the continuation of that tradition by New Testament believers is meaningful. The faith of believers who use the oil is what makes it spiritually powerful. Yes, there are many varieties of anointing oil, even at Logos Trading Post alone, but it doesn’t matter which oil is used to anoint the sick - what matters is that prayer is being given in faith.

Some Final Remarks from Logos Trading Post

All in all, anointing oil is a vastly meaningful subject, one that simply couldn’t be covered comprehensively in just a simple online article. We happily encourage you to look into and appreciate anointing oils for yourself, using them as an expression of your faith and trust in God. If you feel after reading this article that anointing oils are for you, please consider purchasing them from Logos Trading Post. Not only are our all of our varieties of the highest quality, but they are made by believers in the Holy Land. Buying from us supports the Christian industry in the Middle East, strengthening the faith of the believers there, giving them both the boldness and the means to carry out the Christian mission of spreading the gospel. Your brothers and sisters in Christ thank you for your support.