Biblical Uses of Anointing Oil

Anointing Oil in the Bible has many uses apart from its most famous one – that for healing. This article will provide you with more insight into its multiple uses and in each one you can find such joy in the Lord!



  • “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. “ James 5: 14 and Mark 6:13
  • Verse 15 is really significant here: And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. So anointing oil is most commonly used in a church setting for healing.



In Exodus Chapter 30, we see God giving Moses a specific formulation of anointing Oil, known as the HOLY Anointing Oil. Then God gives Moses the instruction to CONSECRATE the tabernacle and all its furnishings.

  • “With it you shall anoint the tabernacle of meeting and the ark of the testimony, the table and all its utensils, the lamp stand and its utensils, and the alter of incense; the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base. You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy.” Lev 8: 10-13

To consecrate means to set them apart, to make them holy, for the service of the Lord.



  • The objects in the tabernacle were sanctified as well, such as Wafers, lamp stand etc. Ex 30.
  • Stone pillars: “So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it.” Gen 35: 14
  • Lev 8:10-13



  • “So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.” 2 Sam 12:20



Jesus sent the apostles on a mission:

  • “And they went out and preached that they should repent. And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.” Mark 6:12-13



  • Anoint the Shield – “Prepare the table, Set a watchman in the tower. Eat and drink. Arise, you princes. Anoint the shield!” Isa 21:5
  • The custom was to rub oil onto the leather to make it supple and fit for use in war.


  • Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him.
  • ‘”He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments.” Lev 21:10
  • 1 Sam 10:1 – King Saul Ordained as King. Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head.
  • Elijah is instructed to anoint Elisha as prophet. “Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.” 1 Kings 19:16



  • Weary travellers were welcomed and perfume or oils poured and massaged on the head, hands and feet. Luke 7: 38, 46

When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume (oil) on them.

This is not Mary Magdalene who used Spikenard.

  • Think of it this way. You are wearing sandals, have just walked a couple of km through the desert and sandy plains of Israel. Your feet are tired, dirty, scratched and bleeding. These oils help not only in refreshing, but healing the wounded and tired feet.



  • And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.“ Mark 14:3-9

  • “And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Luke 23:55-56



  • “It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.” Is 10: 27



  • “Before a girl’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” Esther 2:12 – Myrrh for 6 months and other perfumes



  • “Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes.” Ruth 3: 3
  • How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!” Song 4:10
  • In some translations instead of perfume here, it refers to oil.