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Holy Anointing Oil

The Cassia plant source of one of the ingredients of the Holy anointing oil. Source: sylvan/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Cassia plant source of one of the ingredients of the Holy anointing oil. Source: sylvan/Flickr/Creative Commons

[by Helene Rudolph] Exodus 30:23-33 sets forth the instructions given by God to Moses concerning the making of the Holy Anointing Oil, which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Vessels were set apart unto God for sacred purposes, by anointing them with oil.

With the mixture mentioned in this passage, Priests, Prophets and Kings were also consecrated for service to God, during the Old Covenant days.  (See I Sam. 10: 1- 6).

“Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” (I Sam. 16:13)

The Recipe

There were four fragrant ingredients added to the extra virgin olive oil namely myrrh, cinnamon, sweet cane (calamus) and cassia, to compound this oil.  Each of these fragrances carries a unique symbolic.

Put together this oil carries a powerful message in and of itself.  The Holy anointing oil’s message speaks of sacrificial living, about walking righteously and upright according to God’s righteous standards and about judgments in humility.

A Warning

“And you shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil… And you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations… It shall not be poured on anyone’s body, nor shall you make (any) like it, in the same proportions; it is holy, (and) it shall be holy to you. Whoever shall mix (any) like it, or whoever puts any of it on a layman, shall be cut off from his people.” (Exodus 30: 25, 31-33).

The warning given is indeed serious.  God is serious about everything dedicated to, and that which belongs to Him.  He does not want things that are holy, to be treated as common or with irreverence.  We should never go lightly about God’s business, but instead to considerate, with holy fear.

Our High Priest

With the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 AD), the Levitical priesthood couldn’t function like they used to, but it doesn’t mean that the priesthood discontinued.  In John 2:13-22 Yeshua (Jesus) related that the physical Temple actually pointed to Him and that His body was this temple.

In Him the priesthood still continues until this day.  He became our High Priest for eternity, our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek who was a king-priest in the days of Abraham, before the Levitical priesthood (Read Gen. 14:18; Ps. 110; Heb. 6:17 – 7:28).

In accordance with the New Covenant, we show our love and devotion to the Most High God by loving His Son:

“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little.  Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him”. (Psalm 2:12)

“He who hates Me hates My father also.”(John 15:23).  

As a “marriage partner” suitable for the King, we are to become as He is in every way (Rom. 6: 3-7), so that we will not be a mismatch on the wedding day!

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7)

Royal Priesthood

I Peter 2:5, 9,. 10 says, “…you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ …But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for (God’s) own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

With this in mind, let us pray that God will work deep in us, so that the fullness of this fragrant mixture (in the right proportions) will come forth from our lives.

The following article on the holy anointing oil is taken from New Unger’s Bible Dictionary.

“A question arises: In what form were the ingredients of the holy anointing oil and what degree of solidity did the whole attain?  According to Maimonides, Moses, having reduced the solid ingredients to powder, steeped them in water till all the aromatic qualities were drawn forth.  He then poured in the oil and boiled the whole till the water evaporated.  The residue thus obtained was preserved in a vessel for use.  Another theory supposes all the ingredients to have been in the form of oil or ointment.  The measurement by weight of all, except the oil, seems to imply that they were in some solid form, but whether in an oil state or in that of a powder cannot be ascertained.  A process of making ointment consisting, in part at least, in boiling, is alluded to in Job.”

“He makes the depths boil like a pot; He makes the sea like a jar of ointment.” (Job 41:31)


Helene Rudolph has lived with her Jewish husband Ariel, in Israel for the past 14 years. They emigrated from South Africa and have two daughters. Helene teaches and ministers to women about the preparation of the Bride of Messiah. She also produces anointing oils at home, in the city of Modi’in where has she her small business. ( ) Excerpt reprinted by author’s permission from “Fragrance – Bridal Preparation Series”.

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