Sanctified Annointing Oil & Incense – Exodus 30

In today’s chapter, we read carefully prescribed descriptions from God regarding the building of the altar of incense and the washbasin.

The things that have me really wondering today are the descriptions of the oil and the incense. I understand that these special mixtures were reserved for the Tabernacle and that God says this about them:

31 And say to the people of Israel, ‘This will always be my holy anointing oil. 32 It must never be poured on the body of an ordinary person, and you must never make any of it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy. 33 Anyone who blends scented oil like it or puts any of it on someone who is not a priest will be cut off from the community.'”

And of the incense:

37 Never make this incense for yourselves. It is reserved for the LORD, and you must treat it as holy. 38 Those who make it for their own enjoyment will be cut off from the community.”

Okay – so back then these mixtures were reserved for the Lord. Where do we draw the line? Today, there is no Tabernacle and the Lord is within us. One of my dBraggers asked similar questions after reading this chapter, “Why can’t we buy this in the book stores today?” and “Why don’t we mix up a batch of this stuff?”

Well, I would pose the same questions. The recipe is right there. Is the warning from God, that we will be cut off from the community, for us today? Has Jesus’ sacrifice done away with this prohibition to use this holy oil and incense?

Now, let’s take this a bit closer to home. As I read the part about the census tax (that’s what it was), I couldn’t help wondering about where we draw the line for our analogies from the Old Testament. In other words, we are so quick to draw analogies from the children of Israel when it comes to their bondage and their wandering in the wilderness, and we say, “that’s just like us today.” We recognize that God is our provider when it comes to what we need by comparing it to the manna. We consider the Ten Commandments to be in effect for today, but the other laws regarding slaves and clothing, etc. that are described in lengthy detail in this book are easily dismissed.

But now – as I read the part about the half shekel offering – it’s simple for me to say, “that was for them back then, not now.” Furthermore, where does the tithe fit in? Is 10% expected of us today (which by the way is not in the New Testament), or is the concept of a census tax more appropriate? Where do we draw the line?

Sorry – but I have more questions than revelations this morning. Any thoughts?


  1. #1 by Steve on January 18, 2007 - 1:16 am

    Wow, good questions. For me at least, I follow the Idea that we are freed from the law, and it’s burdern. The historical accounts of the Old Testament are there for our education, and yes…. in many, many ways they are like us, and we like them. However, there is at least one really important difference – we have a saviour, which makes things a LOT different for us than they were for them. Also not to forget, each of the saved are not just preists, but Hight Preists, in the order of Melchisidek….. I think you could annoint such a person with this oil! Paul discusses some of your other questions in Corinthians, and Romans… basically he sys that each one of us is going to have a different opinion, and we should each do what we think is right, and allow our fellow christians the same freedom.. At least this is how I see it….. what do you think?

  2. #2 by Lyall Scheib on January 18, 2007 - 9:42 pm

    A very good question but as we translate it to New Testament surely the incense represents prayer and the anointing oil the Holy Spirit so prayer and the Holy Spirit are not to be used for yourself. I wouldn’t interpret that to mean don’t pray for yourself but rather – don’t pray selfishly. We are now bond servants of Jesus Christ, we declare Him Lord, we pray in His name so all my prayers must be for Him and His glory only.
    When you think about it to pray for a Mercedes in Jesus name is kind of disgusting when really we want it for our own name.

  3. #3 by Deb on September 28, 2007 - 1:39 am

    Good thoughts all! I am one with questions too….I am one of a team that has come together to pray for our Pasors, Elders and the direction of our church body….today as we were praying, I heard “Anoint”, but no specific Scripture came, so I used a concordance, and started looking up verses with anoint in them…..when I got to Exodus 30:22 and started to read, I caught my breath, and I knew I was “home”………what to do with this info? We have all felt that the Sanctuary should be anointed, and would love to have a time where each of the leaders is anointed…..does this fly in the face of grace and what our Lord did for us through the shedding of His blood, or does it confirm it?
    Any input?

  4. #4 by Theo Singleton on January 19, 2008 - 10:32 am

    I would like to know where to get some annoint oil for use with candles, Not to hurt any one or do any evil either, I live in Detroit MI, and would like to know the location of some places this oil is sold. Please e-mail me with a list of stores where the product can be found.

  5. #5 by Rosemary on May 9, 2008 - 12:12 pm

    I too am researching the practice of annointing with oil. Is it OK for non-clergy to annoint the sick with oil? We recently did that with Olive Oil in our small Life group for three folks who are seriously ill. That was the inclination of some of us to do that. Then as we second guess ourselves , wonder if we should have been so bold as to think we had any authority to annoint the sick on that level. Help!

  6. #6 by Ms Mmipe Modise on June 10, 2008 - 6:28 am

    I am researching the practice of annointing oil, for the new creation christian.

  7. #7 by Ursula on September 17, 2008 - 7:39 am

    I have not been able to find a place where these questions have been answered and I was wondering what was said in answer to Rosemary. I, myself, was researching annointing oil, but when I saw her question was shocked. Dear sweet Rosemary, someone needs to let her now that YES, it is okay for “non-clergy” to annoint. That He does not esteem one over another, that we are all equally loved and important in His sight, just have different jobs to do. And that, Yes, it is okay to be “so bold as to think” that you have “any authority to annoint the sick” on any level. This dear sister needs to be gently reminded about when Jesus was ready to ascend He said that He was going away, He was sending our Comforter (aka the Holy Spirit), that we would be able to do more wonderous works than He had. It just takes faith. Whatsoever you ask, in His name, in faith believing, so shall you receive. In Luke 9:1, “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.: (KJV) Luke 10:19-20, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” The root word for disciple is discipline, if you are disciplined in the teachings of Christ, have received HIS gift of salvation, then this power also belongs to you, rather you are a clergy member or not. You are a child of the living King.

  8. #8 by Freddie on May 18, 2009 - 4:21 pm

    Anyone that is a REBORN CHRISTIAN and walking in faith with Jesus can apply anointing oil. Through the mercy and grace of God, the Father, we have all been appointed as priests with Jesus Christ as our High priest. Jesus Greetings to all.

  9. #9 by Anonymous on May 20, 2009 - 5:48 pm

    Absolutely we can pray for the sick and annoint them .

    My question is can we use ordinary baby oil to pray for anointing and healing of the sick?

    Does the oil be necessarily be in Exodus 30:22-33?

  10. #10 by Dave on August 30, 2010 - 1:41 pm

    I, too, am researching annointing oil. As a scientist and Christian (see my website, I have seen that God never asks us to do something without a reason. If he told us to call the elders and annoint the sick with oil, I feel sure that the oil holds more than just symbolic importance. I am trying to find out if the old testament receipe for annointing oil could act a an electrical conductor to connect the prayer and the prayee. If anyone knows of research done on this topic could you please point me in that direction by responding to this blog?! Thanks-

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