Anointing is a word used a lot in church, but not explained very often. If you listen closely, you could probably figure out that anointing is a word used for the presence of God, or God speaking through someone. It’s almost synonymous, figuratively, with God’s Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 61 says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.”

Here we see the word anointing being used in a more figurative sense, as we do in church, most often.

But the actual definition of the word anointing is: “to smear or rub with oil, typically as part of a religious ceremony”. Where did that come from, in the Bible? Was anyone ever physically anointed with oil?


Pick a few of these examples to read and study:

  • Aaron & sons: Exodus 28, 29, 30, 40. Leviticus 8, Numbers 3, 35

  • Ruth: Ruth 3:3

  • Saul: 1 Samuel 9, 10

  • David: 1 Samuel 16, 11 Sam 2, 5, 12. Psalm 89

  • Solomon: 1 Kings 1, 1 Chronicles 29

  • Hazael, Jehu, Elisha: 1 Kings 19, 9

  • Sick people: Mark 6, James 5

  • Jesus: Mark 14

  • Jesus’ feet: Luke 7, John 12

After reading a few of these examples, what do you think God’s anointing produced in the lives of the anointed? What did you learn from these examples? What changes in your life because of what you learned?