Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Oil was far more extensively used among the ancient Hebrews than in our northern climate. The use of oil is equally general throughout Western Asia at the present time, as it was in primitive ages. Oil was much used instead of butter and animal fat, at meals and in various preparations of food (see Food, and comp. ). In such uses oil, when fresh and sweet, is more agreeable than animal fat. The Orientals think so; and Europeans soon acquire the same preference. Oil was also in many cases taken as a meat-offering; and it was then mixed with the meal of oblation [OFFERING]. The rite of sprinkling with oil, as a libation, does not occur in the law, but seems to be alluded to in .

The application of oil to the person has been described in the article Anointing. Whether for luxury or ceremony, the head and beard were the parts usually anointed, and this use of oil became at length proverbially common among the Israelites ().

The employment of oil for burning has been illustrated in the article Lamps. It is only necessary to add, that for this, and indeed for most other purposes, olive-oil was considered the best, and was therefore used in the lamps of the tabernacle.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Oil'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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