34 – Bible Restrictions On Holy Oil… Do They Still Apply?
By David Stewart, PhD, DNM, IASP, BCRS
In Exodus 30:22-31 God gives a recipe to Moses for a “Holy Anointing Oil.” It is a blend of Myrrh, Cassia, Cinnamon, Calamus (Cane), and Olive oils. This Bible passage also describes the appropriate uses for this holy oil, which include the anointing of the alter, all the instruments of the alter,and the priests who serve in the temple.
Immediately following these verses (Exodus 30:32-33), a restriction is placed on applications of the oil: “Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it; it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.”
The question then arises as to what this prohibition means, whether it is still in effect, and whether we should be concerned about it today.
The answers to these questions are in the book, Healing Oils of the Bible, pp. 68-69, where it mentions that the covenant between God and the Hebrews (under which the formula and directions for the Holy Anointing Oil were given) was terminated in Jeremiah 3:8.
In discussing this passage with some Messianic Jews, they told me that the King James and other English translations of the Old Testament are misleading here. The taboo against using the oil “upon man’s flesh” and “putting it on a stranger,” etc. refers to applying the oil to evil and coarse individuals who are unspiritual and unholy. The passage also means that the holy oil is not to be used without proper spiritual acknowledgement. In other words, the oils is not to be used personally (like a perfume) or for other trivial applications, but is to be regarded with respect and used in spiritually appropriate ways.
My copy of The Complete Jewish Bible has a little different wording of that scripture. It says not to use the oil on or by “unauthorized persons.” My Jewish friends say that anyone who is a sincere member of the congregation would have been “authorized” to use and receive this oil, even when the Old Covenant was in effect during and after Moses’ time. The English/Christian version of this passage makes it sound like the oil is to be used only on priests, and holy objects, etc., which my Jewish friends say is not quite true.
My advice is this. If you are not totally convinced of the interpretation just given, that ordinary members of the congregations were eligible to use the oil even in Moses’ day, and are reluctant to receive this blend for fear of the repercussions stated in Scripture, perhaps you can feel at ease in consideration of Jeremiah 3:8 and Jeremiah 31:31-34, which make the debate over the meaning of Exodus 30:32-33 a moot point today and no longer relevant.
WHERE CAN YOU PURCHASE THE HOLY ANOINTING OIL?
One of the Messianic Jews with whom I discussed this issue is an Israelite who actually compounds and sells the exact formula given in Exodus 30:23-24. His name is Moshe Cohen (Moshe is a Hebrew spelling for Moses). His American name is Marty. He and his wife, Carol, have two addresses, one in Texas, the other in Israel. His email address is moshe@FromIsrael.co.il and his website is www.FromIsrael.co.il. His oil is compounded in and sold from the Holy Land.
Marty said that when he was looking for suppliers for the constituents of the oil blend and a company to compound and bottle it for him, some refused to deal with him for fear of the curse given in Exodus. He said he tried to explain to them that the curse was no longer in effect, having been revoked in Jeremiah, but they were still too afraid to do business with him. However, he did find suppliers and has been selling this blend for years. He gave me a bottle. So far, there have been no curses, for neither Moshe nor myself.
So if you want to purchase some genuine Exodus Holy Anointing Oil, now you know where to get it. If you want to mix your own, the formula in modern units is given in Healing Oils of the Bible, but you would have a hard time getting cassia and calamus as individual oils in order to complete the blend.
The Old Testament (Old Covenant) curse was rescinded when the covenant with Moses was cancelled, as reported in Jeremiah 3:8 “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce . . .” In Jeremiah 31:31-34 a New Covenant is proposed as a personal and internal relationship to God in the heart rather than a congregational and external relationship hinging on compliance with the law. Christians take the New Covenant to be Jesus who said, as he offered the wine during the Last Supper, “This cup that is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:20)
IF THE QUESTION COMES UP DURING A BIBLE OILS PROGRAM
Many people teach the Bible Oils class outlined in the book, Healing Oils of the Bible, where Exodus 30:22-31 is read. When I teach that class, I watch closely as that Bible passage in Exodus is read, making sure we stop just before verse 32 in order to avoid raising questions and taking class time to explain the warning given in the next two verses. This issue is not central to the intent of the Bible Oils class and can consume valuable time. For people who think of this question later, the answer is in the book.
When the issue does come up in class, my quick answer is simply this: “This prohibition was part of the covenant of God with Moses. That covenant was rescinded in Jeremiah 3:8 and replaced with a new one. So it is okay to use that blend today without any fear. However, the blend we will pass around tonight (Exodus II), while it contains the four oils of the Holy Anointing Oil of Exodus 30:23-24, it contains other oils of Exodus as well. So it is not the same as the Holy Oil. Even so, if you have concerns, then don’t apply the oil blend we are using tonight.”
This short answer will dispense with the topic 99% of the time so you can move on to the more important material to be included. I do not bring up the details of my long answer about the Holy Anointing oil in class, as discussed above, but if someone persists for a more thorough answer, I simply say “See me afterwards” rather than belabor the point during the program.
Occasionally people want to obtain the Holy Biblical Blend of Exodus, speculating that this blend may have been used by the elders for healing in James 5:14-16. If people want this blend, for whatever reason, I just refer them to Moshe Cohen’s website and email address through which thay may obtain the blend, straight from the Holy Land.
For those of you who are giving programs on Healing Oils of the Bible, if this question ever comes up, now you have a way to answer that is short and accurate without spending undue class time.
Dr. Stewart’s book, Healing Oils of the Bible, is available from bookstores and many sources, including www.RaindropTraining.com.
“Reprinted from The Raindrop Messenger, a free eline newsletter, with permission from Dr. David Stewart. To subscribe or download back issues, visit www.RaindropTraining.com.”