oil Summary and Overview
Bible Dictionaries at a Glance
oil in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Only olive oil seems to have been used among the Hebrews. It was
used for many purposes: for anointing the body or the hair (Ex.
29:7; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; Luke 7:46); in some
of the offerings (Ex. 29:40; Lev. 7:12; Num. 6:15; 15:4), but
was excluded from the sin-offering (Lev. 5:11) and the
jealousy-offering (Num. 5:15); for burning in lamps (Ex. 25:6;
27:20; Matt. 25:3); for medicinal purposes (Isa. 1:6; Luke
10:34; James 5:14); and for anointing the dead (Matt. 26:12;
It was one of the most valuable products of the country (Deut.
32:13; Ezek. 16:13), and formed an article of extensive commerce
with Tyre (27:17).
The use of it was a sign of gladness (Ps. 92:10; Isa. 61:3),
and its omission a token of sorrow (2 Sam. 14:2; Matt. 6:17). It
was very abundant in Galilee. (See OLIVE T0002778.)
oil in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Of the numerous substances, animal and vegetable, which were known to the ancients as yielding oil, the olive berry is the one of which most frequent mention is made in the Scriptures.
1. Gathering, --The olive berry was either gathered by hand or shaken off carefully with a light reed or stick.
2. Pressing. --In order to make oil the fruit, was either bruised in a mortar crushed in a press loaded with wood or stones, ground in a mill, or trodden with the feet. The "beaten" oil of #Ex 27:20; 29:40 Le 24:2; Nu 28:6| was probably made by bruising in a mortar, It was used-- (1) As food. Dried wheat, boiled with either butter or oil, but generally the former, is a common dish for all classes in Syria. #Ex 29:2| (2) Cosmetic. Oil was used by the Jews for anointing the body, e.g. after the bath, and giving to the skin and hair a smooth and comely appearance, e.g. before an entertainment. (3) Funereal. The bodies of the dead were anointed with oil. #2Sa 14:2| (4) Medicinal. Isaiah alludes to the use of oil in medical treatment. #Isa 1:6| see also Mark 6:13; Jame 6:14
(5) For light. The oil for "the light" was expressly ordered to be olive oil, beaten. #Mt 25:3| (6) Ritual. Oil was poured on or mixed with the flour or meal used in offerings. #Le 8:12| Kings, priests and prophets were anointed with oil or ointment. (7) In offerings. As so important a necessary of life, the Jew was required to include oil among his firstfruit offerings. #Ex 22:29; 23:16; Nu 18:12| Tithes of oil were also required. #De 12:17| [OLIVE]
oil in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
OIL , amongst the Hebrews, was made from olive - berries and from spices. Ex 25:6. It was used - 1. In the preparation of food, much as butter and lard are used to-day. 1 Kgs 17:12-15; Ex 29:2; Lev 2:4, etc. 2. As a cosmetic for anointing the body, the beard, and the head. 2 Sam 14:2; Ps 23:5; Luke 7:46, etc. 3. For illuminating purposes in lamps. Ex 25:6; Ex 27:20; Matt 25:3, etc. 4. In worship. The first-fruits, Num 18:12, and the tithes were dedicated to the Lord. Neh 13:5. The meat-offerings were also dipped in oil. Lev 2:10; Am 7:16, etc. 5. In the ritual of consecration of kings and high priests. 1 Sam 10:1; Lev 8:12, etc. 6. For medicinal purposes. Mark 6:13; Luke 10:34; Isa 1:6; Jas 5:14. 7. For anointing the dead. Matt 26:12; Luke 23:56. The practice in the early Church of anointing the bodies of persons whose lives were despaired of was derived from Jas 5:14. The Roman Catholic Church has placed the practice among the sacraments, denominating it "extreme unction." As an ordinary cosmetic, the use of oil is significant of joy and gladness, Ps 92:10, and the omission of it betokens sorrow. 2 Sam 14:2; Matt 6:17. See Olive.
oil in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Its three principal uses among the Hebrew were:
(1) To anoint the body so as to mollify the skin, heal injuries, and strengthen muscles (Psalm 104:15; Psalm 109:18; Psalm 141:5; Isaiah 1:6; Luke 10:34; 2 Chronicles 28:15; Mark 6:13; James 5:14) (See ANOINT.)
(2) As we use butter, as food (Numbers 11:8; 1 Kings 17:12; 1 Chronicles 12:40; Ezekiel 16:13; Ezekiel 16:19; Hosea 2:5).
(3) To burn in lamps (Exodus 25:6; Matthew 25:3).
Type of the Holy Spirit's unction (2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27) and illumination (Zechariah 4:11-12). The supply of grace comes not from a dead reservoir of oil, but through living "olive trees." Ordinances and ministers are channels, not the grace itself; Zechariah 4:14, "anointed ones," Hebrew sons of oil; Isaiah 5:1, "very fruitful hill," Hebrew "horn of the son of oil." The Lord Jesus has the fullness of grace from the double olive tree of the Holy Spirit, so as to be at once our priest and king; He is the tree, ministers the branches, "emptying the golden oil out of themselves" for the supply of the church and to the glory of the Author of grace. In the sanctuary oil served the three purposes:
(1) anointing the priests and holy things,
(2) as food in the bloodless offerings (minchah),
(3) it kept alive the lights in "the pure candlestick," "the lamp of God" (1 Samuel 3:3) in the holy place.
Messiah is the Antitype "anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows" (Hebrews 1:9; Psalm 45:7); not only above us, the adopted members of God's family, but above the angels, partakers with Him, though infinitely His inferiors, in the holiness and joys of heaven. His anointing with "the oil of exulting joy" took place not at His baptism when He began His ministry for us, but at His triumphant completion of His work, at His ascension (Ephesians 4:8; Psalm 68:18), when He obtained the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34), to impart to us in measure. The oil of gladness shall be in the fullest sense His "in the day of His espousals, in the day of the gladness of His heart" (Song of Solomon 3:11; Revelation 19:7). Guests were anointed with oil at feasts; so He anoints us, Psalm 23:5.
The offering of oil on the altar was the offerer's acknowledgment that all his spiritual gifts were from Jehovah. The "beaten oil" for the sanctuary light was made from olives bruised in a mortar. So Messiah's bruising preceded His pouring out the Spirit on us (Exodus 25:6; Exodus 27:20). The olives were sometimes "trodden" (Micah 6:15), or "pressed" in a "press," making the fats overflow (Joel 2:24; Joel 3:13; Haggai 2:16). The oil was stored in cellars, in cruses (1 Kings 17:14). Solomon supplied Hiram with "20,000 baths of oil" (2 Chronicles 2:10), "20 measures of pure oil" (1 Kings 5:11). Oil was exported to Egypt as the special produce of Israel (Hosea 12:1). Meat offerings were mingled or anointed with oil (Leviticus 7:10; Leviticus 7:12); but the sin offering and the offering of jealousy were without oil (Leviticus 5:11; Numbers 5:15). The oil indicated" gladness"; its absence sorrow and humiliation (Isaiah 61:3; Joel 2:19; Psalm 45:7).