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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Messiah

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A. Nouns.

Mâshı̂yach (מָשִׁיחַ, Strong's #4899), “anointed one; Messiah.” Of the 39 occurrences of mâshı̂yach, none occurs in the wisdom literature. They are scattered throughout the rest of biblical literary types and periods.

First, mâshı̂yach refers to one who is anointed with oil, symbolizing the reception of the Holy Spirit, enabling him to do an assigned task. Kings (1 Sam. 24:6), high priests, and some prophets (1 Kings 19:16) were so anointed: “If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people …” (Lev. 4:3—the first biblical appearance). In the case of Cyrus, he was anointed with God’s Spirit only and commissioned an “anointed deliverer” of Israel (Isa. 45:1). The patriarchs, too, are called “anointed ones”: “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (Ps. 105:15).

Second, the word is sometimes transliterated “Messiah.” After the promise to David (2 Sam. 7:13) mâshı̂yach refers immediately to the Davidic dynasty, but ultimately it points to the “Mes-siah,” Jesus the Christ: “The kings of the earth [take their stand], and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed …” (Ps. 2:2). In Dan. 9:25 the word is transliterated: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince.…” The New Testament also attests the word in this latter meaning (John 1:41). Most frequently in the New Testament the word is translated (“Christ”) rather than transliterated (“Messiah”). See also ANOINT.

Mishchâh (מָשְׁחָה, Strong's #4888), “anointment.” This noun occurs 21 times and only in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It always follows the Hebrew word for oil. The first occurrence is Exod. 25:6: “Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense.”

B. Verb.

Mâshach (מָשַׁח, Strong's #4886), “to smear with oil or paint, anoint.” This verb, which appears 69 times in biblical Hebrew, has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Aramaic, and Arabic. The objects of this verb are people, sacrificial victims, and objects of worship. Aaron and his sons are the objects of this verb in Exod. 30:30: “And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.”

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Messiah'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/vot/m/messiah.html. 1940.

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