Anointing Oils

Biblical Anointing Oil Uses And Applications

Anointing oils can be used as a symbolic representation of our faith in Jesus Christ to answer our prayers through divine intervention; consecration; sanctification; applied as a healing salve or ointment that has true medicinal attributes; used as a perfume for hygiene purposes, funeral, or embalming practices; or preparing weapons for warfare.  Anointing oil and ointments have multiple applications as you will see in the scripture references below.

Praying For Others With Anointing Oil

Important Things To Remember: When using anointing oil during times of prayer, it is important to remember the anointing oil is only a tangible symbolic representation of our faith in Jesus Christ. Anointing oils have no “special power” in and of themselves. It is Jesus Christ alone who performs miracles and answers our prayers of faith—with or without anointing oil.

In Matthew 6:7 the Bible clearly states God knows what we need before we ask him and instructs us how to pray: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10) 

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14-15) 

Therefore, we need to pray for God’s will to be done and surrender our own.

Not my will, but thine. (Luke 22:42)

The act of “anointing with oil” is not intended to replace medical assistance or other therapeutic procedures. Please work in cooperation with health care or mental health professionals.

Ancient  Anointing Oil & Ointment Preparation

Anointing oil is an unguent, or ointment prepared from oil alone or with the addition of flowers, fragrant herbs, gums, resins, seeds, spices, and other botanicals.  Some formulas were very simple and consisted of one active ingredient and olive oil, while other formulas were a  complex mixture of ingredients.  These unguent or ointments had distinct aromatic odors: herbal, medicinal, earthy, balsamic, spicy, or sweet aromas.  It does not mean they had a sweet perfume fragrance like the perfumes we buy at the store today.

Traditional Daily Use

The practice of anointing with perfumed oil was common among the Hebrews and other nations.

  • It was also the custom of the Jews in like manner to anoint themselves with oil, as a means of refreshing or invigorating their bodies. (Deuteronomy 28:40; Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam 14:2; Micah 6:15; Psalms 104:15, Proverbs 27:9; Amos 6:6, etc.) This custom is continued among the Arabians to the present day.
  • Anointing was an act of hospitality. (Luke 7:38,46)
  • It is described as richly perfumed and expensive. (Solomon 4:10; John 12:3)

Medicinal and Prayer For The Sick

Oil was used also for medicinal purposes. It was applied to the sick, and also to wounds. (Psalms 109:18;Isaiah 1:6; Mark 6:13; James 5:14)

High quality anointing oils, ointments, and perfumes made with pure unadulterated ingredients may have calming and medicinal attributes due to the actual healing properties of the pure plant essences used in them.

Weapons and Spiritual Warfare

The expression, “anoint the shield,” (Isaiah 21:5), refers to the custom of rubbing oil on the leather of the shield so as to make it supple and fit for use in war.

Preparation For Burial  and Funerals

  • Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. (John 12:3)
  • The bodies of the dead were sometimes anointed. (Mark 14:8; Luke 23:56)


Purifying the body (Oil of Myrrh):

Now when every maiden’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after she had been there twelve months, according to the regulations for the women, (for so were the days of their beautification accomplished, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes, and with other preparations for beautifying women). ( Esther 2:12)


The Holy Anointing Oil (Exodus 30—Holy Oil) is the only anointing oil specifically mentioned in the Bible for this purpose.

The promised Deliverer is twice called the “Anointed” or Messiah, (Psalms 2:2; Daniel 9:25, 26), because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost, (Isaiah 61:1), figuratively styled the “oil of gladness.” (Psalms 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.

The act of anointing was significant of consecration to a holy or sacred use; hence the anointing of the high priest, (Exodus 29:29; Leviticus 4:3), and of the sacred vessels, (Exodus 30:26). The high priest and the king are thus called “the anointed.” (Leviticus 4:3, 5, 16; 6:20; Psalms 132:10) Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him. (1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Samuel 2:4)  Prophets were also anointed. (1 Kings 19:16; 1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalms 105:15 )

Preparation and Commerce

Prepared by the apothecary:

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

An article of commerce:

Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in thy market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm. (Ezekiel 27:17)

And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. (Revelation 18:13)

Spiritual Anointing With the Holy Ghost

The Most Important Anointing

Spiritual anointing with the Holy Ghost is conferred also upon Christians by God. (2 Corinthians 1:21, 1 John 2:27)  “Anointing” expresses the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit upon Christians.

Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God. (2 Corinthians 1:21)  

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 John 2:27)

All believers who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have been given this “anointing.”

Holy Anointing Oil Recipe

This anointing oil recipe is found the Bible in Exodus 30:23:

Myrrh “five hundred shekels” (about 1 gallon)
Cinnamon “two hundred and fifty shekels”
Calamus “two hundred and fifty shekels”
Cassia “five hundred shekels”
Olive Oil “an hin” (about 1 and 1/3 gallons)

Be sure to read Exodus 30:31-33 – the warning:

And though shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition after it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.

(from Victorie Inc.)

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