Exodus 30:33
Anyone who mixes perfume like it or puts it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.'"
The Golden Altar and the PerfumeJ. Orr Exodus 30:1-11, 34-38
The Laver and the Anointing OilJ. Orr Exodus 30:17-34
The Anointing OilC. Simeon, M. A.Exodus 30:22-33
The Holy Anointing OilJ. Spencer.Exodus 30:22-33
The Holy Anointing OilJ. G. Murphy, LL. D.Exodus 30:22-33
The Use of Oil in Daily Life and in the Symbolism of WorshipJ. H. Kurtz, D. D.Exodus 30:22-33

I. THE LAVER (vers. 17-22). This was to be made of brass (bronze), and was to be placed near the door of the tabernacle between it and the altar. It was to be used by Aaron and his sons for purposes of ablution. A new symbol of the purity required in those who serve before Jehovah. The Christian contracts daily defilements in his walk, for which also daily cleansing is required (cf. John 13:10; 1 John 1:7).

II. THE ANOINTING OIL (vers. 22-34). Precious, fragrant, holy. To be applied not only to Aaron and his sons, but to the tabernacle and all its vessels. See Homily on Consecration (Exodus 24:6, 7). The oil is the symbol of the Spirit. The holiness imparted to Aaron and his sons by this anointing, and by the rites of consecration generally, was indeed no more than a ceremonial or official holiness. It pertained to the office rather than to the man. Yet the holders of the office were, in virtue of their consecration, laid under obligations to personal holiness as well. The private character of the priest might not avail to nullify his official acts; but the absence in the public representative of the spiritual qualifications for his office would not be allowed to go unpunished. Iniquity in the priest would be visited both on priest and people. - J.O.

An holy anointing oil.

1. There was nothing under the law so holy, but that it needed this Divine unction.

2. Nor is there anything under the gospel which does not need it.


1. From the preciousness of the ointment which was used.

2. From the virtue infused into everything anointed with it. Application —

(1)Seek the Holy Spirit for your own souls.

(2)Guard against everything that may reflect dishonour upon Him.

(C. Simeon, M. A.)

I. The use of oil IN DAILY LIFE may be described as threefold.

1. In the first place, it was used for the anointing of the body, by which the skin was rendered soft and smooth; refreshed and invigorated. Orientals ascribed a virtue to it which penetrated even to the bones. Coincident with this was the use of oil in sickness, as a means of lulling pain and restoring health.

2. The second use of oil in the preparation of food is to be looked at from the same point of view. Here also the object was, so to speak, to anoint the food, so as to make it soft and palatable.

3. And thirdly, not less frequent and important was the use of oil for burning and giving light, surely also an anointing for the purpose of enlivening and invigorating. The thing to be anointed was the wick of the lamp. The wick would burn without oil, but only with a weak and miserable light, and very speedily it would become extinguished.

II. All these modes of using oil are transferred to the SYMBOLISM OF WORSHIP.

1. The first we see at once is the anointing of the Tabernacle, its vessels, and the priests themselves.

2. The second is seen in the minchah, or meat-offering, not "meat" at all in our modern acceptation, but composed of wheat, commingled with oil (Leviticus 2:1-8).

3. The third in correspondence is obviously the ever-burning sacred lamp of the holy place.

(J. H. Kurtz, D. D.)

Moses being commanded of God to make an holy anointing oil (ver. 23), was to take a certain quantity of some principal spices, such as myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, and cassia, then to compound them after the art of the apothecary. And thus it is, that the oil of our charity must be rightly ordered; every Christian alms-giver must be a kind of spiritual apothecary. First, his alms must be like myrrh, which distils from the tree without cutting or the least incision, so his charity to be free without the least compulsion. Secondly, cinnamon, hot in taste and hot in operation, so his alms, neither stone-cold as Nabal, nor lukewarm as Laodicea, but hot; as it was said of Dorcas, that she was full of good works. Thirdly, cassia, as sweet as the former, but growing low, the emblem of humility, so giving, but not vain-gloriously. Lastly, calamus, an odoriferous powder, but of a fragile reed; so giving, but acknowledging his weakness, thinking it no way meritorious; for, saith St. Bernard, "Dangerous is the state of that house which thinks to win heaven by keeping house," etc.

(J. Spencer.)

This is to be composed of five ingredients: 500 shekels of pure myrrh, 250 of sweet cinnamon, 250 of sweet calamus, and 500 of cassia, and a hin, about three quarts, of olive oil. It is said to be compounded after the art of the perfumer. It is probable, therefore, as the Rabbins suppose, that the three spices were soaked in water, and boiled, and their essence extracted and mingled with the myrrh and oil (vers. 26-30). With the anointing oil are to be anointed the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the table, the candlestick, and the altar of incense, the altar of burnt-offering, the laver, and all their appurtenances. Being thus anointed, they are hallowed, and are accounted most holy (ver. 10). Aaron and his sons are to be anointed and consecrated to their priestly office (vers. 31-33). This is to be a standing oil for anointing, not to be used for common purposes, not to be imitated in ordinary compounds, on pain of excommunication (Genesis 17:14). The anointing oil is an impressive symbol of sanctifying grace. It is analogous to the water of the laver, which cleanses. The latter points to the quality required; the former to the end contemplated. That which is dedicated to God must be cleansed from stain.

(J. G. Murphy, LL. D.)

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