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Dictionaries :: Ointment

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Easton's Bible Dictionary

Ointment:

Various fragrant preparations, also compounds for medical purposes, are so called (Exd 30:25; Psa 133:2; Isa 1:6; Amo 6:6; Jhn 12:3; Rev 18:13).

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Ointment:

oint'-ment: The present use of the word "ointment" is to designate a thick unguent of buttery or tallow-like consistency. the King James Version in frequent instances translates shemen or meshach (see Ex 30:25) "ointment" where a perfumed oil seemed to be indicated. the American Standard Revised Version has consequently substituted the word "oil" in most of the passages. Merqachah is rendered "ointment" once in the Old Testament (Job 41:31 (Hebrew 41:23)). The well-known power of oils and fats to absorb odors was made use of by the ancient perfumers. The composition of the holy anointing oil used in the tabernacle worship is mentioned in Ex 30:23-25. Olive oil formed the base. This was scented with "flowing myrrh.... sweet cinnamon.... sweet calamus.... and.... cassia." The oil was probably mixed with the above ingredients added in a powdered form and heated until the oil had absorbed their odors and then allowed to stand until the insoluble matter settled, when the oil could be decanted. Olive oil, being a non-drying oil which does not thicken readily, yielded an ointment of oily consistency. This is indicated by Ps 133:2, where it says that the precious oil ran down on Aaron's beard and on the collar of his outer garment. Anyone attempting to make the holy anointing oil would be cut off from his people (Ex 30:33). The scented oils or ointments were kept in jars or vials (not boxes) made of alabaster. These jars are frequently found as part of the equipment of ancient tombs.

The word translated "ointment" in the New Testament is muron, "myrrh." This would indicate that myrrh, an aromatic gum resin, was the substance commonly added to the oil to give it odor. In Lu 7:46 both kinds of oil are mentioned, and the verse might be paraphrased thus: My head with common oil thou didst not anoint; but she hath anointed my feet with costly scented oil.

Written by James A. Patch

See ANOINTING

See OIL

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g3464 Greek: muron

Ointment:

a word derived by the ancients from muro, "to flow," or from murra, "myrrh-oil" (it is probably of foreign origin; see MYRRH). The "ointment" is mentioned in the NT in connection with the anointing of the Lord on the occasions recorded in Mat 26:7, 9, 12; Mar 14:3, 4; Luk 7:37, 38, 46; Jhn 11:2; 12:3 (twice), 5. The alabaster cruse mentioned in the passages in Matthew, Mark and Luke was the best of its kind, and the spikenard was one of the costliest of perfumes. "Ointments" were used in preparing a body for burial, Luk 23:56 ("oinments"). Of the act of the woman mentioned in Mat 26:6-13, the Lord said, "she did it to prepare Me for burial;" her devotion led her to antedate the customary ritual after death, by showing both her affection and her understanding of what was impending. For the use of the various kinds of "ointments" as articles of commerce, see Rev 18:13.

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Ointment:

(An oily or unctuous substance, usually compounded of oil with various spices and resins and aromatics, and preserved in small alabaster boxes or cruses, in which the delicious aroma was best preserved. Some of the ointments have been known to retain their: fragrance for several hundred years. They were a much‐coveted luxury, and often very expensive.-ED.)

(1.) Cosmetic.-The Greek and Roman practice of anointing the head and clothes on festive occasions prevailed also among the Egyptians, and appears to have had place among the Jews (Ruth 3:2).

(2.) Funereal.-Ointments as well as oil were used to anoint dead bodies and the clothes in which they were wrapped (Matthew 26:12).

(3.) Medicinal.-Ointment formed an important feature in ancient medical treatment (Isaiah 1:6; Jeremiah 8:22; John 9:6; Revelation 3:18 etc.).

(4.) Ritual.- Besides the oil used in many ceremonial observances, a special ointment was appointed to be used in consecration (Exodus 30:23; 30:33; 29:7; 37:29; 40:9; 40:15). A person whose business it was to compound ointments in general was called an "apothecary." (Nehemiah 3:8). The work was sometimes carried on by woman "confectionaries." (1 Samuel 8:13).

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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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