Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


Additional Links

(fully זֵית שֶׁמֶן, olive of oil, Deuteronomy 8:8; briefly שֶׁמֶן Exodus 30:24, or זִיַת, simply, 2 Kings 18:21; A. V. "oil olive"), the product of the fruit of the olive-tree, being emphatically the oil of the East, answering to butter, cream, and fat for the table, as well as for illumination. Olive-oil is much used as an article of food in the countries in which it is produced, and to a smaller extent in other countries, to which it is exported also for medicinal and other uses. A good illustration of the use of olive-oil for food is furnished by 2 Chronicles 2:10, where we are told that Solomon provided Hiram's men with "twenty thousand baths of oil." Comp. Ezra 3:7. Too much of this product was supplied for home consumption: hence we find the country sending it as an export to Tyre (Ezekiel 27:17) and to Egypt (Hosea 12:1). This oil was used inn coronations: thus it was an emblem of sovereignty (1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 12:3; 1 Samuel 12:5), It was also mixed with the offerings in sacrifice (Leviticus 2:1-2; Leviticus 2:6; Leviticus 2:15). Even in the wilderness very strict directions were given that, in the tabernacle, the Israelites were to have "pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always" (Exodus 27:20), . For the burning of it in common lamps, see Matthew 25:3-4; Matthew 25:8. The use of it on the hair and skin was customary, and indicative of cheerfulness (Psalms 23:5; Matthew 6:17). It was also employed medicinally in. surgical cases (Luke 10:34). See, again, Mark 6:13; James 5:14, for its use in combination with prayer on behalf of the sick. (See OIL).

In the south of France and in Italy, where the olive culture is conducted most carefully, the fruit is gathered by hand in November; and after passing through a mill, which separates the pulp or flesh from the hard stone, the pulp is put into bags of rushes and subjected to a gentle pressure. The result is the "virgin oil," greenish in its tint, and highly prized for its purity. In Palestine several methods are practiced for extracting the oil. (See OLIVE).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Olive-Oil'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

Search for…
Enter query in the box below:
Choose a letter to browse:
Prev Entry
Next Entry