anointing oil

Anointing Oil Significance in the Bible & Modern Uses

Anointing oil has been used for different purposes from the Old to New Testaments. In the Old Testament (O.T), for example, it was used to anoint the heads of priests and kings to set them apart for the work God had given them. 

Also, in ancient times, the Tabernacle articles were anointed with oil to consecrate them, making them Holy. In the New Testament (N.T.), anointing oil is used to heal the sick. In Mark 6:13, the disciples used Olive oil to anoint sick people and heal them. 

Anointing with oil signifies God’s presence and hence heals and consecrates. 

But should we use anointing oil today? Also, who should use it and for what purposes? 

Read on to find out.

Is Anointing Oil Biblical?

Anointing oil has been used throughout the Bible, from the Old to the New Testament Biblical times. 

Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with oil to prepare him for his death. 

You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

Luke 7:46 (WEB)

When she did, Jesus did not rebuke her. Rather, He rebuked those around him, citing that they did not anoint Him with oil, but Mary did.

Besides, the apostles, who had been with Jesus before His departure, used the olive oil to anoint sick people, and they recovered instantly. 

As seen in Psalms 89:20, God anointed his servant, King David, with oil. Therefore, anointing oil is biblical, and since there are more than three witnesses (bible verses), the church should continue to use anointing oil without fear.

What Is Anointing Oil Used For?

Anointing oil, as seen above, is used for various purposes in the bible; for example, to anoint kings, consecrate Tabernacle articles, heal the sick, and deliver people from bondage. 

Let’s take a closer look.

Anoint the Sick

There has been serious confusion regarding anointing the sick. Some believe severely sick people should be anointed to prepare them for their death. 

Others believe that anointing the sick brings healing. Who is right, and who is deceived? 

Find out for yourself below.

When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus’ home, Mary was there. When he sat down to eat, Mary came with a twelve-ounce jar of costly perfume. She poured it on Jesus’ feet to anoint him. 

3 Therefore Mary took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed Jesus’s feet and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.

John 12:3 (WEB)

But why did Mary anoint Jesus? 

 The Bible says she prepared Him for his burial. 

12 For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of as a memorial of her.”

Matthew 26:12 (WEB)

This is why some Christians believe we anoint the sick to prepare them for death. But was Jesus sick? No! 

Is there anyone else in the bible who wasn’t sick but was anointed in readiness for his death? No!

The anointing of Jesus in readiness for His death was exceptional, and that’s why He wasn’t ill.

Never anoint a sick person to prepare them for death. It’s God who determines what happens to us when we are ill. 

But Apostle James says we should anoint the sick in the name of the Lord.

So, why should we?

To save the sick person so that the Lord raises them from the bed of sickness, not for them to die! Read that again. Digest it! 

14 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer of faith will heal him who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.

James 5:14-16 (Web)

The Book of Mark 6:13 is a second witness of using oil to heal the sick for recovery, not to prepare them for death.

13 They cast out many demons, and anointed many with oil who were sick and healed them.

Mark 6:13 (WEB)

In fact, in this particular context, Jesus sent the disciples away on a mission to heal sick people and free those bound by demons.

Not in any instinct do we see Jesus telling the disciples to anoint anyone so that they can die or get ready for burial! It’s deception, and the bible has proved that to us. 

Consecrating Tabernacles/Alters

When a new altar has been built, the first thing before it’s used should be anointing it with oil. Oil sets that alter (Tabernacle) apart for use in accordance with God’s will. 

It becomes Holy, and everything in it should also be anointed to make it Holy. 

9 “You shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and shall make it holy, and all its furniture, and it will be holy.

Exodus 40:9 (WEB)

When Jacob lay down to sleep in Bethel, the Lord appeared to him and gave him great promises to him and his descendants. When Jacob woke up, he realized that the Lord had been in that place. Where he lay was the house of God, heaven’s gateway, yet he didn’t know it! 

17 He was afraid, and said, “How awesome this place is! This is none other than God’s house, and this is the gate of heaven.” 18 Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil on its top.

Genesis 28:17-18 (WEB)

Hence, he set up a stone to show that it was a Holy place and used olive oil to consecrate it. 

God also instructed Moses to use anointing oil to consecrate the Tabernacle and its inanimate objects. 

10 Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and sanctified them.

Leviticus 8:10 (WEB)

So, God’s temples should be consecrated by pouring anointing oil on them and everything in them.

Consecrating God’s Servants

Anointing oil is used to consecrate God’s servants for the great work God assigns them. Moses anointed Aaron by anointing his head with oil to set him apart to do God’s assignment. 

7 Then you shall take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head, and anoint him.

Exodus 29:7 (WEB)

According to Exodus 30:30, Aaron’s sons were also anointed because they were to serve in the temple alongside their father.

30 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office.

Exodus 30:30 (WEB)

But why is it important to anoint God’s servants with oil?

Anointing Gives Supernatural Knowledge: God’s work is not easy. Some powers oppose God’s work and hence need someone with special knowledge. Ordinary people cannot stand this God-given knowledge; hence, they have to give special honor to God’s servants.

20 You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.

1 John 2:20 (WEB)

Anointing Gives Supernatural Power: When God anointed Jesus, special power abode in Him. Consequently, He could preach the Good News to the spiritually poor, heal the sick, set free those under the attack of evil spirits, and, according to Luke 4:18, restore the blind eyes! 

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Acts 10:38 (WEB)

The Anointing Empowers: Paul did not have to go physically praying for the sick people. Handkerchiefs and aprons that got into contact with them tapped the anointing he carried. When they were laid on the sick, they received their miracles. 

Therefore, the anointing empowers God’s servants so they don’t have to go everywhere physically. If there’s a point of contact or they just speak the Word of God regarding a situation, miracles occur, and God’s name is glorified. 

11 The Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judah for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying, 12 and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.”

Acts 19: 11-12 (WEB)

Anointing Brings Establishment: When we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior, opposing powers try to cause us to fall. Remember that verse that says the devil is roaming like a lion looking for someone to devour? 

8 Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

1 Peter 5:8 (WEB)

God anoints us to stand against the adversary and remain firm in Christ. Praise God, we’re not without help! 

21 Now he who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,

2 Corinthians 1:21 (WEB)

Consecrating Priestly Clothes

Priestly garments are not ordinary; they’re special and carry the wearer's anointing! Besides anointing Aaron and his sons with oil, Moses was also supposed to anoint their clothes so they could be set apart as Holy. 

21 You shall take of the blood that is on the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron, and on his garments, and on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be made holy, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.

Exodus 29:21 (WEB)

Doing this causes God’s power to abide in these garments; hence, when sick people get in contact with them, they receive miracles. 

The woman with the issue of blood only touched Jesus’ garment. 

27 having heard the things concerning Jesus, came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes. 28 For she said, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Mark 5: 27-29  (WEB)

The Bible clearly says that Jesus noticed power had gone out from Him! 

30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

Mark 5:30 (WEB)

Clearly, priestly garments have God’s power and can be used to do extraordinary things as God wills.  

Consecrating Kings

The exaltation of kings comes from the Lord. He exalts others while putting others down. 

6 For neither from the east, nor from the west, nor yet from the south, comes exaltation. 7 But God is the judge. He puts down one, and lifts up another.

Psalms 75: 6-7 (WEB)

When the Lord anoints people, they become great even though they were the least in their families or tribe! 

17 Samuel said, “Though you were little in your own sight, weren’t you made the head of the tribes of Israel? Yahweh anointed you king over Israel;

1 Samuel 15:17 (WEB)

The person the Lord exalts as king should be consecrated by anointing him with oil. Zadok anointed Solomon to be the next king after David, his father.

39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the Tent, and anointed Solomon. They blew the trumpet; and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!”

1 Kings 1:39 (WEB)

Prophet Elisha gave a young prophet olive oil so that he could anoint Jehu as the next king of Israel. 

6 He arose, and went into the house. Then he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of Yahweh, even over Israel.

2 Kings 9:6 (WEB)

Samuel anointed David to take up leadership from the rebellious Saul. 

 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the middle of his brothers. Then Yahweh’s Spirit came mightily on David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

1 Samuel 16:13 (WEB)

When he did, God’s power abode in David from that day. Not only did he receive the power to lead, but also to play instruments and cast demons out of Saul! 

23 When the spirit from God was on Saul, David took the harp and played with his hand; so Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

1 Samuel 16:23 (WEB)

What Is Biblical Anointing Oil Made Of?

The original recipe for Biblical Holy anointing oil is found in the Book of Exodus 30:22-25. 

22 Moreover Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels; and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty; and of fragrant cane, two hundred and fifty; 24 and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; and a hin of olive oil. 25 You shall make it into a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer: it shall be a holy anointing oil.

Exodus 30:22-25 (WEB)

Anointing oil, according to this  verse, is made of:

  • Liquid myrrh
  • Sweet-smelling cinnamon
  • Aromatic cane
  • Cassia
  • Olive oil

Of course, in modern days, these anointing oils can be made from herbs or their essential oil counterparts.

What Does Anointing Oil Symbolize in the Bible?

Anointing oil in the Bible symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit and His power. Anointing oil in the Old Testament times was a ‘shadow’ of the Holy Spirit that would come in the New Testament after the ascending of Jesus Christ to heaven. 

Also, the oil becomes a symbol of the Holy Spirit after praying and consecrating it to be used in the Holy task. Once concentrated, it ceases to be ordinary oil and becomes the symbol of the Holy Spirit, which rejuvenates, emancipates, empowers, heals, and blesses people. 

Can I Anoint My House With Any Oil?

Yes, you can anoint your house with anointing oil. In modern times, Christians worldwide use anointing oil for personal use, such as to anoint their homes, especially if they’re constantly under demonic or physical attacks. 

Not a single Bible verse talks about anointing our homes. Still, not one condemns anointing them! But we know that when we anoint our homes, they become ‘set apart,’ and demons cannot have access because of the indwelling of the Spirit of the Lord God in them.

Some of the instances that show your home is under a demonic attack include:

  • Seeing the dead in your dreams
  • Inappropriate intimacy with invisible men or women at night (spiritual husbands or wives)
  • Hearing the sounds of invisible people bathing in your bathroom
  • Insects associated with evil spirits (for example, houseflies) raiding your home or constantly following you or a family member
  • Children, spouses, or you often fall sick, but doctors cannot tell your health problem as they can’t detect anything wrong. In such cases, even your body should also be anointed.
  • Demons throwing stones on the roofs of your houses at night
  • Investing a lot of money on your farm to have a bountiful harvest only to lose everything mysteriously

When these and other demonic things happen in your home, it means there is an evil alter that is at work. 

So, remove any demonic things in your home, such as items used by sorcerers, witches, or devil worshippers, and burn them (don’t throw them away because the demonic powers will continue to thrive). Also, eliminate dirty movies, demonic books, and clothes with demonic pictures or symbols.

Buy pure olive oil, pray over it to make it a sacred anointing oil, and then anoint everything inside and outside your house. 

Make a prayer of faith as you plead the blood of Jesus, anointing your home and inviting the power of the Holy Spirit to come and abide in it. Alternatively, ask an anointed priest, head of the high priest, or the elders of the church to come and do this on your behalf.

“And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.” –Isaiah 10:27, NKJV

However, anointing a new home or a house you’ve not lived in for several years is an important practice for believers. It welcomes the Holy Spirit and God’s protection.

41 More Bible Verses About Anointing Oil

2 Kings 9:3

3 Then take the vial of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Yahweh says, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’ Then open the door, flee, and don’t wait.”

Acts 4:27

27 “For truly, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed,

Psalm 89:20

20 I have found David, my servant. I have anointed him with my holy oil,

Mark 16:1

1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.

1 Samuel 9:16

16 “Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He will save my people out of the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked upon my people, because their cry has come to me.”

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”

Ruth 3:3

3 Therefore wash yourself, anoint yourself, get dressed, and go down to the threshing floor; but don’t make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.

Exodus 25:6

6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense

Numbers 4:16

16 “The duty of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be the oil for the light, the sweet incense, the continual meal offering, and the anointing oil, the requirements of all the tabernacle, and of all that is in it, the sanctuary, and its furnishings.”

Numbers 3:3

3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests who were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest’s office.

Daniel 9:24

24 “Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.

2 Samuel 2:4

4 The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. They told David, “The men of Jabesh Gilead were those who buried Saul.”

Exodus 30:32

32 It shall not be poured on man’s flesh, and do not make any like it, according to its composition. It is holy. It shall be holy to you.

Mark 14:8

8 She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for the burying.

Psalm 132:10

10 For your servant David’s sake, don’t turn away the face of your anointed one.

1 Samuel 16:3

3 Call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. You shall anoint to me him whom I name to you.”

Numbers 7:1

1 On the day that Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle, and had anointed it and sanctified it with all its furniture, and the altar with all its vessels, and had anointed and sanctified them;

2 Samuel 5:3

3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them in Hebron before Yahweh; and they anointed David king over Israel.

Leviticus 6:20

20 “This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer to Yahweh in the day when he is anointed: one tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a meal offering perpetually, half of it in the morning, and half of it in the evening.

Exodus 37:29

29 He made the holy anointing oil and the pure incense of sweet spices, after the art of the perfumer.

1 Samuel 16:6

6 When they had come, he looked at Eliab, and said, “Surely Yahweh’s anointed is before him.”

1 Samuel 2:10

10 Those who strive with Yahweh shall be broken to pieces. He will thunder against them in the sky. “Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

Hebrews 1:8-9

8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your Kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.”

Daniel 10:3

3 I ate no pleasant food. No meat or wine came into my mouth. I didn’t anoint myself at all, until three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Leviticus 8:2

2 “Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and the bull of the sin offering, and the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread;

2 Samuel 1:21

21 You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain on you, and no fields of offerings; for there the shield of the mighty was defiled and cast away, the shield of Saul was not anointed with oil.

2 Chronicles 28:15

15 The men who have been mentioned by name rose up and took the captives, and with the plunder clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them, gave them sandals, gave them something to eat and to drink, anointed them, carried all the feeble of them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria.

Psalm 92:10

10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox. I am anointed with fresh oil.

Revelation 6:6

6 I heard a voice in the middle of the four living creatures saying, “A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenix of barley for a denarius! Don’t damage the oil and the wine!”

1 Kings 19:15-16

15 Yahweh said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 Anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel; and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah to be prophet in your place.

Leviticus 10:7

7 You shall not go out from the door of the Tent of Meeting, lest you die; for the anointing oil of Yahweh is on you.” They did according to the word of Moses.

1 Samuel 24:6

6 He said to his men, “Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, Yahweh’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is Yahweh’s anointed.”

Leviticus 4:5

5 The anointed priest shall take some of the blood of the bull, and bring it to the Tent of Meeting.

2 Kings 11:12

12 Then he brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the covenant; and they made him king and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, “Long live the king!”

2 Samuel 12:7

7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.

Isaiah 61:1-3

1 The Lord Yahweh’s Spirit is on me, because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good news to the humble. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to those who are bound,

2 to proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion, to give to them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that he may be glorified.

Exodus 28:41

41 You shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office.

Leviticus 21:10

10 “‘He who is the high priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and who is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose, or tear his clothes.

1 Samuel 15:1

1 Samuel said to Saul, “Yahweh sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel. Now therefore listen to the voice of Yahweh’s words.

Deuteronomy 33:24

24 About Asher he said, “Asher is blessed with children. Let him be acceptable to his brothers. Let him dip his foot in oil.

Leviticus 16:32

32 The priest, who is anointed and who is consecrated to be priest in his father’s place, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen garments, even the holy garments.

Leviticus 8:12

12 He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.

Luke 10:33-34

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 34 came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

John 11:2

2 It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

In Summary

Anointing oil has been a Christian tradition before and after the coming of Christ Jesus. The use of anointing oil today is an important cultural symbol among God’s people. 

You shouldn’t take anointing oil lightly. It’s only your ordinary oil until it’s prayed over by an anointed priest (servant of God).

Often, anoint yourself, your home, kids, spouse, business, car, pets, and farm because demonic powers will often try to have access. Seal all areas of your life by using anointing oil.

Before you anoint yourself, your home, and everything else, repent your sins and remove every demonic thing you may have. Then, anoint yourself or your property as you invite the Holy Ghost to take full charge. 

Anointing Oil Significance in the Bible & Modern Uses

Author: Nicole Graber

Title: Writer, Editor, Coach

Expertise: Natural Wellness, Healthy Lifestyle, Home Business Strategy, Motherhood


Nicole is a military-trained research analyst, homeschooling mom, healthy lifestyle coach, flexible business consultant, and writer for and, with bylines from and the AP Newswire. After living through and overcoming a season of homelessness and chronic health, Nicole developed a passion for helping others develop healthier habits using functional nutrition, herbalism, and renewing faith.

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