27 Notable Bible Verses About Anointing (with Explanation)

Anointing, a practice rich in symbolism and significance, holds a special place in the tapestry of biblical themes. Throughout the Bible, anointing serves as a powerful and multifaceted symbol, representing consecration, divine appointment, and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The act of anointing, often performed with oil, was a common ritual in ancient times, used to set apart kings, priests, and prophets for a specific purpose in God’s plan.

Biblical verses about anointing offer deep insights into its various dimensions, ranging from its role in healing and protection to its significance in indicating joy, blessing, and divine favor.

These verses also explore the profound implications of Jesus Christ being the Anointed One – the Messiah – and the spiritual anointing of believers as part of their inheritance in Christ.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Fury (with Explanation)

Bible Verses About Anointing

Exodus 30:25-30

“Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they can serve me as priests.”

This passage from Exodus highlights the significance of anointing in the Old Testament. The anointing oil, described as a fragrant blend, was not merely for physical purposes; it symbolized sanctification and the setting apart of objects and individuals for God’s purposes.

Anointing the tent of meeting, the ark, and various articles signified their holy status, reserved for divine service. Similarly, anointing Aaron and his sons was a crucial act that consecrated them as priests, establishing their role in facilitating the relationship between God and His people.

1 John 2:27

“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

In this verse, John speaks of a spiritual anointing received from Christ. Unlike the physical anointing in the Old Testament, this anointing refers to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers. It suggests an intimate, ongoing relationship with God, where the Holy Spirit guides, teaches, and reveals truth.

This anointing transcends the need for external instruction, as it provides direct insight and understanding of God’s will and ways. It’s a profound reminder of the personal connection each believer has with God through the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 61:1

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners.”

Isaiah 61:1 is a powerful prophecy that speaks of Christ’s mission on earth. The anointing here refers to the empowerment by the Holy Spirit for a divine purpose. Christ, as the Messiah, was anointed to bring hope and deliverance.

This verse encapsulates the essence of Jesus’ ministry: bringing good news to the poor, healing the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives, and freedom to the imprisoned. It underscores the transformative power of the anointing, which enables one to carry out God’s redemptive work in the world.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

Paul, in these verses, speaks of a spiritual anointing that comes from God for those in Christ. This anointing is a mark of God’s ownership and His work in the believer’s life. The sealing of the Holy Spirit signifies security, authenticity, and a guarantee of what is to come – the complete redemption and inheritance as God’s children.

This anointing is a constant reminder of God’s presence, His promises, and the assurance of salvation. It’s a source of strength and encouragement for believers in their faith journey.

Psalm 23:5

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

This beloved Psalm of David uses the imagery of anointing to express God’s abundant blessings and care. In ancient times, guests were often welcomed with oil poured on their heads as a sign of honor and refreshment. David extends this image to describe God’s provision and protection among adversaries.

The anointing signifies being chosen and favored by God, a theme that runs throughout David’s life. The overflowing cup symbolizes the bountiful and never-ending provision of God, even in difficult times.

Luke 4:18

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”

In Luke 4:18, Jesus Himself quotes Isaiah 61:1, applying it to His ministry. This declaration in the synagogue was a pivotal moment, revealing Jesus as the fulfillment of this prophecy. The anointing He refers to is the Holy Spirit’s empowerment for His redemptive work.

Jesus’ mission was characterized by preaching the gospel to the poor, healing, delivering, and liberating those who were oppressed. This verse highlights the essence of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the heart of the gospel – bringing transformation and hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:38

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

This verse from Acts encapsulates the ministry of Jesus. It underscores that His anointing was not merely a ceremonial or symbolic act but was with the Holy Spirit and power. This divine empowerment enabled Jesus to perform miracles, healings, and acts of kindness.

The phrase “doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil” reflects the scope and impact of Jesus’ ministry, emphasizing His role in overcoming evil and delivering people from oppression. This verse is a testimony to the profound effect of the Holy Spirit’s anointing in fulfilling God’s purposes on earth.

James 5:14-15

“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.”

James 5:14-15 reflects the early Christian practice of anointing the sick with oil, symbolizing healing and forgiveness. This ritual, carried out by church elders, represents not only physical healing but also spiritual restoration. The emphasis is on the power of prayer and faith in invoking God’s intervention.

The anointing with oil serves as a tangible expression of God’s presence and care, reinforcing the community’s role in supporting and praying for one another. It’s a testament to the belief in God’s ability to heal both body and soul.

Psalm 45:7

“You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Psalm 45:7, often interpreted as a messianic prophecy, highlights the anointing of the king with the “oil of joy.” This anointing signifies God’s favor and the joy that comes from loving righteousness and hating wickedness. It sets the anointed one apart, elevating him above his peers.

The verse underlines the principle that divine anointing is linked to moral integrity and a commitment to God’s ways. The “oil of joy” symbolizes the deep, abiding happiness that comes from a life aligned with God’s purposes and commands.

Hebrews 1:9

“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Hebrews 1:9 echoes Psalm 45:7, applying it to Christ. This verse underscores Jesus’ alignment with God’s will—His love for righteousness and disdain for wickedness. The anointing with the “oil of joy” is symbolic of the deep and profound joy that comes from being in perfect harmony with God’s nature and purposes.

This anointing distinguishes Jesus from others, signifying His unique role as the Messiah. It’s a powerful reminder of the joy and fulfillment found in pursuing a life that reflects God’s righteousness.

1 Samuel 16:13

“So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.”

This verse narrates the anointing of David by Samuel, marking a significant turn in Israel’s history. The anointing symbolizes God’s choice of David as king, setting him apart for leadership and divine purpose.

The Spirit of the Lord coming powerfully upon David from that day forward signifies not just a ceremonial appointment, but a profound spiritual empowerment for his future role. This moment underscores the theme that God’s choice and anointing often come unexpectedly, elevating the humble and the young to positions of great responsibility and influence.

Leviticus 8:12

“He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him.”

In Leviticus 8:12, the anointing of Aaron as high priest is a crucial moment in the establishment of the Levitical priesthood. The pouring of oil upon Aaron’s head is more than a ritual; it symbolizes the consecration of his life to God’s service.

This anointing sets Aaron apart for a sacred role, representing the people before God and performing duties integral to Israel’s worship and relationship with God.

1 Kings 19:16

“Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.”

This verse depicts God’s instruction to Elijah, marking a pivotal moment in the history of Israel. The anointing of Jehu and Elisha signifies a transition of leadership and prophetic authority. Jehu’s anointing as king indicates a divine appointment to leadership with a specific purpose in God’s plan for Israel.

Similarly, Elisha’s anointing as Elijah’s successor underlines the continuity of prophetic ministry. These acts of anointing demonstrate the way God works through specific individuals, empowering them for roles of significant impact and influence according to His divine plan.

Psalm 89:20

“I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him.”

Psalm 89:20 reflects on God’s choice of David as king, emphasizing the divine nature of this appointment. The “sacred oil” represents God’s blessing and the conferral of authority and responsibility. This verse highlights David’s humble origins and God’s initiative in choosing and empowering him.

The anointing signifies not just a royal appointment, but also a covenantal relationship between God and David, one that would have lasting implications for Israel and the unfolding of biblical history.

Mark 6:13

“They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”

Mark 6:13 describes the actions of Jesus’ disciples, emphasizing the role of anointing in their ministry. The act of anointing the sick with oil, coupled with the expulsion of demons, signifies a holistic approach to healing, addressing both physical and spiritual needs.

This practice reflects the power and authority granted to the disciples by Jesus, illustrating the continuation of His healing ministry through them. The anointing with oil serves as a physical symbol of God’s healing power, demonstrating the compassion and care of the early Christian community for those in distress.

1 Samuel 10:1

“Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, ‘Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?'”

This verse narrates the anointing of Saul as the first king of Israel by the prophet Samuel. The pouring of olive oil on Saul’s head was a significant act, symbolizing God’s selection and empowerment of Saul for kingship.

The anointing set Saul apart as ruler over God’s chosen people, an inheritance that held great responsibility. This moment highlights the role of prophets in recognizing and affirming God’s chosen leaders and underscores the solemnity and divine approval inherent in the act of anointing in ancient Israelite culture.

2 Kings 9:6

“Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head and declared, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I anoint you king over the LORD’s people Israel.'”

In 2 Kings 9:6, the prophet’s anointing of Jehu as king over Israel signifies a major shift in the nation’s leadership. This act, done at God’s command, was a clear indication of divine appointment and authority.

The prophet’s declaration that Jehu is anointed “king over the LORD’s people Israel” emphasizes the sacred responsibility of kingship.

Psalm 2:2

“The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying…”

Psalm 2:2 speaks to the rebellion of earthly rulers against God and His anointed one. The term “anointed” in this context likely refers to the king of Israel, seen as God’s representative on earth. This verse reflects the tension between divine authority and human power structures.

It underscores the notion that true power and authority come from God, and opposition to His anointed is ultimately futile. The Psalm as a whole serves as a reminder of God’s sovereignty over all rulers and nations, and the ultimate triumph of His divine plan.

Luke 7:46

“You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has poured perfume on my feet.”

In this verse, Jesus contrasts the actions of a Pharisee with those of a sinful woman who anointed His feet. The act of anointing in this context is a profound gesture of hospitality, respect, and devotion.

By highlighting the woman’s act of anointing His feet with expensive perfume, Jesus emphasizes her deep reverence and repentance. This incident demonstrates the significance of anointing as a symbol of honor and the acceptance of Jesus’ message. It also illustrates Jesus’ appreciation of sincere acts of worship and devotion, regardless of a person’s social status.

Acts 4:27

“Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”

Acts 4:27 highlights the recognition of Jesus as the anointed one of God, even amidst the conspiracy and opposition of political and religious leaders. The reference to Jesus as the anointed one underscores His divine appointment and mission. This verse reflects the early Christian understanding that the opposition and crucifixion of Jesus were part of God’s predetermined plan.

It portrays the fulfillment of God’s purpose through the life and death of Jesus, emphasizing that even acts of rebellion against God’s anointed ultimately serve to accomplish His divine will.

Psalm 92:10

“But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured fresh oil on me.”

Psalm 92:10 uses the imagery of a wild ox and fresh oil to symbolize strength and renewal. The “horn” is a symbol of power and might, while the “fresh oil” represents anointing and blessing from God. This verse speaks to the rejuvenation and empowerment the psalmist experiences through God’s favor.

It’s an expression of confidence in God’s ability to uplift and sustain, reflecting the transformative effect of divine anointing. This verse encourages trust in God’s provision and the revitalizing power of His presence in the believer’s life.

Isaiah 45:1

“Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut.”

Isaiah 45:1 is remarkable for its reference to Cyrus, a Persian king, as “his anointed.” This indicates God’s sovereignty over all nations, using even non-Israelite rulers to achieve His purposes. The anointing of Cyrus symbolizes God’s empowerment for a specific task – to free the Israelites from exile.

This verse underscores the theme of God’s universal control and His ability to use diverse instruments for His divine plan. It challenges the traditional understanding of anointing, extending it beyond the bounds of Israel to include foreign rulers in God’s redemptive history.

Matthew 26:7

“A woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.”

This verse in Matthew describes a significant and intimate moment where a woman anoints Jesus with expensive perfume. This act of anointing symbolizes honor, devotion, and recognition of Jesus’ identity and mission. The perfume’s value underscores the depth of the woman’s sacrifice and love.

Jesus’ acceptance of this act highlights its significance, especially as it prefigures his burial. This event teaches about the worthiness of Jesus for our utmost devotion and the beauty of selfless acts of worship, regardless of societal norms or expectations.

Acts 10:38

“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

This verse succinctly summarizes the essence of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The anointing of Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power is central to understanding His miraculous works and teachings. This divine empowerment enabled Jesus to perform acts of healing and goodness, reflecting God’s compassionate nature.

The phrase “healing all who were under the power of the devil” emphasizes Jesus’ authority over evil and suffering. This verse encapsulates the core of the Christian message: the demonstration of God’s love and power through Jesus Christ, enabled by the Holy Spirit’s anointing.

Psalm 105:15

“‘Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.'”

This verse from Psalm 105 is a declaration of God’s protection over His anointed and prophets. It serves as a warning against causing harm to those whom God has chosen and set apart for His divine purposes. The phrase “my anointed ones” refers to leaders, particularly kings and prophets, who have a special calling and are under God’s protection.

This verse reflects the reverence and respect that should be afforded to God’s chosen instruments. It also underscores the belief in the sacredness of God’s appointees and the divine retribution that could follow any harm done to them.

2 Samuel 2:4

“Then the men of Judah came to Hebron and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.”

This verse records a significant moment in David’s rise to power, where he is anointed king over Judah. The anointing marks a formal recognition and acceptance of David’s leadership by the tribe of Judah. This event highlights the step-by-step fulfillment of God’s promise to David, beginning with his reign over Judah before eventually becoming king over all Israel.

The act of anointing by the people signifies a covenantal relationship between the king and his subjects, rooted in mutual respect and divine sanction. It demonstrates the gradual unfolding of God’s plan in David’s life and leadership.

Acts 4:26-27

“The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.”

This passage in Acts reflects on the opposition that Jesus, the anointed one of God, faced from earthly rulers. It cites the collaboration of Herod, Pontius Pilate, and others as a fulfillment of prophecy, underscoring the predetermined plan of God even in the face of adversity. The term “anointed one” here reaffirms Jesus’ messianic identity and God’s endorsement.

This scripture highlights the paradox of the Messiah’s journey – anointed and chosen by God, yet opposed and conspired against by human authorities. It serves as a poignant reminder of the tension between divine purpose and human resistance.

Psalm 28:8

“The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.”

In Psalm 28:8, the psalmist acknowledges God as the source of strength and salvation for His anointed. This verse reflects the deep trust in God’s protection and provision for those He has chosen and set apart for His purposes.

The term “anointed one” could refer to a king, prophet, or the collective people of Israel, signifying their special relationship with God. This scripture emphasizes God’s role as a defender and savior, reinforcing the security that comes from being under God’s care. It’s a declaration of confidence in God’s unwavering support for His chosen ones.

Psalm 45:7

“You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

This verse from Psalm 45 highlights the correlation between character and divine favor. The anointing with the “oil of joy” is a reward for loving righteousness and hating wickedness, signifying God’s pleasure in upright character.

This anointing sets the individual apart, elevating them above their peers. The “oil of joy” symbolizes not only happiness but also a deeper sense of contentment and blessing that comes from living in alignment with God’s will. This verse encourages a pursuit of righteousness, promising divine favor and joy as its reward.

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What Does The Bible Say About Anointing

The Bible speaks about anointing in both the Old and New Testaments, and it carries significant theological and symbolic meanings:

  1. Consecration and Sanctification: In the Old Testament, anointing was often used as a way to consecrate and set apart individuals for a specific, often holy, purpose. Kings (like Saul, David, and Solomon), priests (like Aaron and his sons), and prophets were anointed as a part of their initiation into their divine roles (1 Samuel 16:13, Exodus 30:30).
  2. Symbol of the Holy Spirit: Anointing also symbolizes the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is described as being anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 10:38). This anointing enabled Him to perform His earthly ministry.
  3. Healing and Spiritual Empowerment: Anointing with oil was also used for physical healing and as a symbol of spiritual empowerment. The early church continued this practice as a part of their ministry James 5:14. The oil itself didn’t have power, but it was a symbol of God’s healing and the Holy Spirit’s work.
  4. Messiah – The Anointed One: The word “Messiah” in Hebrew (and “Christ” in Greek) literally means “Anointed One.” This title reflects Jesus’ divine appointment to bring salvation and establish His kingdom. His anointing signifies His selection by God for this redemptive role.
  5. Spiritual Anointing of Believers: In the New Testament, the concept of anointing is also applied to believers. For example, 1 John 2:20-27 speaks of believers receiving an anointing from the Holy One. This is understood as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who teaches and guides the followers of Christ.

Prayer About Anointing

Heavenly Father,

We come before You with hearts open and receptive to Your divine touch. Lord, we seek Your anointing, that sacred consecration that sets us apart for Your purposes and aligns our lives with Your will. As we bow in Your presence, we ask that You anoint us afresh with Your Holy Spirit.

May this anointing break every yoke of bondage, heal every wound, and empower us for service in Your kingdom. Just as You anointed Your servants in the scriptures – kings, priests, and prophets – to fulfill Your divine mandates, we pray for that same empowerment. Let Your Spirit rest upon us, guiding our thoughts, words, and actions, that we might walk in wisdom, strength, and divine insight.

Lord, let this anointing be a symbol of Your presence in our lives, a constant reminder that we are chosen and equipped by You. In moments of doubt or weakness, may this sacred anointing remind us of Your unending faithfulness and love.

As we receive Your anointing, we pray for a transformation not just in ourselves but also in the lives we touch. May Your love and grace flow through us to heal, restore, and bring hope. Help us to be vessels of Your peace and agents of Your change in this world.

We acknowledge that all power and authority come from You. Therefore, we humbly submit to Your sovereign hand. Mold us, use us, and fill us with Your Spirit. Let Your will be done in our lives as we seek to glorify You in all things.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.