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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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Was employed from the earliest periods in the east, not only for the purpose of consecration, but to anoint the head, the beard, and the whole person in daily life, Genesis 28:18 . See Ezekiel 16:13 . Fresh and sweet olive oil was greatly preferred to butter and animal fat as a seasoning for food, and to this day in Syria almost every kind of food is cooked with oil. It had a place also among the meat-offerings in the temple, being usually mixed with the meal of the oblation, Leviticus 5:11 6:21 . For lamps, also, pure olive oil was regarded as the best, and was used in illuminating the tabernacle. These many uses for oil made the culture of the olive-tree an extensive and lucrative business, 1 Chronicles 27:28 Ezekiel 27:17 Hosea 12:1 . Oil was as much an article of storage and of traffic as corn and wine, 2 Chronicles 32:28 Ezra 3:7 .

The best oil was obtained from the fruit while yet green by a slight beating or pressing, Exodus 27:20 29:40 . The ripe fruit is now, and has been from ancient times, crushed by passing stone rollers over it. The crushed mass is then subjected to pressure in the oil-mill, Hebrew, gath-shemen. The olive-berries are not now trodden with the feet. This, however seems to have been practiced among the Hebrews, at least to some extent when the berries had become soft by keeping, Micah 6:15 . Gethsemane, that is, oil-press, probably took its name originally from some oil-press in its vicinity. See OLIVE .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Oil'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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