Summary: The is a study on the purpose and history of being anointed.
By Reverend Daniel Panitz
You know I have heard the word anointed used so much in charismatic arenas that I decided to study the concept further. I have heard it said that this minister or that minister is or is not under the anointing. In Christian circles it appears the “anointing” is a sought after commodity. Yet there is no one acceptable definition to determine who is anointed, or a uniform belief as to how the anointing is acquired or imparted. I have witnessed that not only people can be anointed but cloth, places or locations, music, or television shows all have been referred to as anointed. There appears to be some unclear issues concerning what an anointing is. When I am unclear or uncertain I go to the bible for my answers. Once we are armed with what the bible has to say about the anointing we may be in a better position to understand it better.
There are three Hebrew words in the Old Testament which have been variously translated into the English word “anoint” or “Anointed” they are Mashach which means to rub with oil to consecrate. Mashiyach means an anointed or a consecrated person or thing. Lastly, Mishchah, which is translated into English as an anointing oil. All are very close in sounding to the word Messiah.
There are four Greek words in the New Testament that have been translated into “anoint”. Aleipho which means to anoint, is seen in John 12:3 were Mary anoints the feet of Jesus. It is also used in Mark 6:13, where the disciples anointed those that were sick. Another Greek word meaning to rub oil on one is Chiro. Chiro is more limited in use as it refers to rubbing on of oil in sacred use. In Luke 4:18, the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath sent Me to heal the broken hearted to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. In 1 John 2:30 a very special use of the Greek word describing the smearing on of oil with a special purpose is described using the word Chrisma. “And ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all the things . And as for you. The anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that anyone teach you; but as His anointing teacheth you; concerning all things, and is true and is no lie, and even as it taught you ye abide in Him. Epichrio means to “anoint” and has been used twice in the bible. John 9:6 “when he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay”. And again in John 9:11 “ He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay. And anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight”.
Now here is something even more surprising the word In Greek for the “anointed one” is pronounced Khristos meaning covered in oil, or anointed. It is from this word and its definition and its pronunciation that the name and title for our lord Christ can be attributed to. The Greek the word “Christ” and the Hebrew word Messiah both means “the anointed”. Anointing was a sign of the coming of the Redeemer. The prophet Isaiah, prophesized that “the yoke of (Satan’s Oppression) shall be destroyed because of the anointing” (Isaiah 10:27). That is the coming of our Lord and Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus himself said reading from a Messianic prophecy that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because he hath anointed Me…” (Luke 4:18-19)
In the Hebrew tradition the act of anointing with a holy oil was part of the ritual of consecration of the high priests, (Exodus 29:29). In Isaiah 1:6 we see that olive oil was used for medicinal purposes as it was applied to the sick. It was the custom of the Jews to anoint themselves that is cover their bodies with a refreshing bath of oil. High Priests and Kings were often referred to as the “anointed ones”, (Leviticus 4:3-5). Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him. In 1 Sam 10:1 we see that Saul and David were anointed as kings by the prophet Samuel. It was believed in the Old Testament that the kings were anointed with oil and only afterwards did they receive the grace through the Holy Spirit to carry out their duty. Jesus on the other hand, was anointed because the Holy Spirit had come upon Him, (Acts 10:38). Jesus was anointed with Power itself. God was pleased that Jesus should be His Son (Maththew3:16). And so Jesus was the anointed of God.