The first Scriptural mention of anointing with oil can be found in Genesis, when the patriarch Jacob poured oil onto a stone pillar as he made a vow to God. By doing this, Jacob consecrated the pillar as an altar to the Lord, prompting him to name the region surrounding the pillar ‘Beth-El’, which translates to “House of God.” From there, the Bible goes on to speak about both anointing and anointing with oil many more times, establishing the ancient practice as one that is very dear and special in the eyes of God. Since Anointing Oil is still considered to be as essential to modern worship as it was in the times of the Bible, many people hope to enrich their connection with the Lord through using it.
Although there is a biblical command to not replicate the Holy Anointing Oil made by Moses, all of our Anointing Oils have been carefully crafted so that they do not transgress this prohibition, so while many of our Oils use the same or a similar blend of ingredients and measurements described in the Holy Bible, these Anointing Oils are permissible for ritual use and each one has a specific meaning attributed to it, as you soon shall see!
Anointing Oils and Their Meanings
Many and varied are the scents and meanings of today’s modern anointing oils. For the uninitiated who are interested in enriching their worship through the practice of anointment, choosing the correct anointing oil from the Holy Land can be difficult and confusing. Therefore, we’ve done what we can to make things easier for you by creating the simple guide below with brief explanations of each anointing oil scent and their ideal uses! Enjoy!
- Myrrh: Derived from a genus of small, thorny trees known as Commiphora Myrrha, myrrh is a prominent biblical scent. It was prized in ancient times for its aromatic fragrance, which is often described as being sharp, pleasant, and a little bitter. A primary component of Shemen HaMishchah, the Holy Anointing Oil made by Moses, it was also used as a preparation for the future Persian Queen Esther, who bathed in oil of myrrh and perfumed lotions for several months before she was presented to the king. A gift of myrrh and frankincense was also given to the Messiah at His birth, signifying how valuable the fragrance was. Spiritually, myrrh is connected with purification and preparing oneself for the KING, making it ideal for use before prayer.
- Spikenard: Prized for its sweet and earthy scent, spikenard was a rare and costly oil derived from a flowering plant in the honeysuckle family called Nardostachys Jatamansi. It was used in the making of Ketoret, the sacred incense of the Temple Altar, as well as by Mary of Bethany to anoint the head and feet of the Messiah. This faithful act of devotion, combined with the intimate nature of Mary using her hair to wipe the feet of Jesus is why spikenard speaks of intimacy and uninhibited worship. Spikenard anointing oil is a good choice for those who want to symbolize how deeply dedicated they are to the Lord.
- Cassia: Similar in appearance and virtue to its close cousin, cinnamon, cassia was another of the principal spices infused into the Holy Anointing Oil created to anoint priests, kings, and their garments. Its sweet and spicy scent was so divine that the Scriptures foretell that the coming King Messiah will wear robes saturated with the majestic fragrance of cassia. From a spiritual perspective, cassia speaks of prideless devotion and consecration in service to the Lord, and for this reason, cassia anointing oil will make a suitable choice for any who desire to make a statement that they dedicate themselves to God.
- Frankincense: Another component in the making of Ketoret, frankincense is considered by many to be a “pure incense.” The earthy, woody, and slightly spicy scented resin comes from a genus of trees in the Boswellia family, and many describe its fragrance as sweet and comforting. In the Scriptures, frankincense was one of the three gifts brought to the Messiah and as such, it is deeply associated with Him and His role as our intercessor. The spiritual purpose of frankincense is purification, and it is considered to be one of the most powerful fragrances that can be used when praying for deliverance.
- Cedar of Lebanon: Beautifully majestic, tall, and resilient, the aromatic wood of this ancient Middle-Eastern tree was once used to build the palaces of King David, King Solomon, and the First Holy Temple. Considered to be the “king” of all biblical trees, the fragrant wood of this tree, along with hyssop, would be used to anoint the home of recovered lepers. Because of its strength and durability, it is spiritually connected with strength, restoration, permanence, and wholeness.
- Hyssop: Connected with purification and empowerment, hyssop is a low-growing, bushy herb whose fragrant flowers and branches were significant in ancient ritual practices. Described as a “Holy Herb,” hyssop was the plant God commanded Israel to use as a paintbrush when marking their doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass over them. It was also used in the ritual cleansing of people and homes. Because of its potency for spiritual cleansing as well as it’s fresh and clean-smelling scent, hyssop anointing oil is most popular with worshipers looking to spiritually purge themselves and feel cleansed and invigorated in their faith.
- Pomegranate: One of the Seven Species of Israel, pomegranates have long been a powerful symbol of righteousness, abundance, blessing, and favor. The Bible describes how ornamental motifs of the crowned, ruby-red fruit would prominently decorate the garments of the High Priest and adorned the Temple, illustrating the importance of the biblical fruit. While it is not known whether pomegranates were used in biblical anointing oils, today they are a favorite with those seeking to manifest the qualities associated with pomegranates into their lives.
- Rose of Sharon: Although not an actual rose, but rather a type of hibiscus, the Scriptures describe the Rose of Sharon as being a beautiful and glorious blossom with a scent that’s light, floral, not too sweet or overpowering. It is the flower used to depict the splendor of the Bride of Messiah, who shines with the radiance of heavenly glory, beauty, gentleness and honor. Anointing oils made with this scent are most popular with female worshipers, particularly with brides preparing for marriage.