Who is Prohibited to Make or Use the Holy Anointing Oil?


Anointing oil is one the few tangible elements used in the Old Testament which was carried over for use into the New Testament  (James 5:14,  Mark 16:13).  A very descriptive recipe of how to make the Holy Anointing Oil can be found in the 30th chapter of Exodus.

However much ignorance and fear of the prohibition in this chapter have prevented many capable believers from using it.

Is it indeed prohibited for believers to make and/or to use?   Who has the right to use this sacred substance?

It was forbidden to be used on an “outsider” or to be used as an emollient on the body of any common persons and the children of Israel were forbidden to duplicate any like it for themselves. 

In this article we will attempt to discover who, in this modern age, is permitted to be anointed with this most precious oil.

Let us take a closer look at the instructions for the manufacturing and use of the Holy Anointing Oil in Exodus 30. God gives TWO messages to TWO different groups of people in this chapter concerning the anointing oil. Not knowing which messages pertains to which group has been the source of much confusion in the past.

The first message (or set of instructions) is given for Moses and the priesthood (all that minister in any priestly capacity). This message begins in verse 22 and ends in verse 30.

The second message (or set of instructions) is given to the children of Israel. This message begins in verse 31 and ends in verse 33.

I. The first message, which is for Moses and the priesthood, gives the following information:

  1. The recipe for the Holy Anointing Oil (vs. 23,24).
  2. How to make the Holy Anointing Oil (vs. 25).
  3. That all the articles of the mishkan are to be anointed with it 26-28).
  4. The degrees of holiness in using the oil (vs. 29).
  5. That all the priesthood is to be anointed with it (vs. 30).


II. The second message, which is for the children of Israel only, gives the following information:

  1. The message is for the children of Israel (vs. 31 a).
  2. This is a holy anointing oil for all generations (vs.31 b).
  3. It is prohibited to be poured upon a common man’s flesh (vs. 32 a).
  4. The common people of Israel are forbidden to make any other like it for themselves (vs. 32 b).
  5. If the common people of Israel make any other like it and put it upon a stranger then he shall be cut off from his people (vs. 33).


In the first message we are told that the oil is to be used on the priests (vs.30).

In the second message we are told not to pour it upon man’s flesh (vs. 32).

This seems to be a direct contradiction. First it is to be poured on man and then he says it is not to be poured on man. However the very next verse makes it much plainer revealing the prohibition being putting “it upon a stranger.” The NIV translated this last statement as “whoever puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from his people.”

The ESV makes it much clearer:

“32 It shall not be poured on the body of an ordinary person, and you shall make no other like it in composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you.

33 Whoever compounds any like it or whoever puts any of it on an outsider shall be cut off from his people.”

Gill’s Exposition of the Bible comments “Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured,…. That is, not upon common men, or on men’s flesh in common, as was usual at feasts and entertainments in the eastern countries, see Psalm 23:5 but this was not to be used on such occasions, otherwise it was poured on the flesh of some men, as Aaron and his sons, on whose head it was poured and ran down to the beard.”

Notice that the prohibition to “make any other like it” is directed toward the common children of Israel and NOT to the priesthood.

The prohibition says:

  1. It is a Holy Anointing oil ONLY to be used by the priesthood.
  2. Not to make any LIKE it (not referring to making the holy anointing oil, but a counterfeit).
  3. It is not to be made by the common children of Israel (made by priesthood only).
  4. It is not to be poured upon a common person.


We discover God does not want common man to make any of his divine recipes “for yourselves” for the purpose of enjoying “to smell thereto” (Ex. 30. 37,38).

Again in summery, It was forbidden to be used on an outsider or to be used as an emollient on the body of any common persons and the children of Israel were forbidden to duplicate any like it for themselves.

Originally the oil was used exclusively for the priesthood and the Tabernacle articles but was later extended to include prophets and kings.

Are believers still “strangers” to God?    No we are not . . . we have been “grafted in.” As Paul writes we are no longer an “alien” or “stranger” to God’s family but we can call upon the LORD God of Israel as our own (Ephesians 2:12).

“But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God” (Romans 2:29).

But who are the priests today which have the right to use this oil?

Today we live under a new covenant. The Word says,

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2: 5 )

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Peter 2:9)

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelations 1:6).

“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10).

We are a chosen people and a chosen generation who have been made “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9).

Although there may be different levels of development, every born again believer is a minister. Jesus is the fulfillment of every type and shadow of the Tabernacle of Moses.  Had Jesus not come we would never put our hand to this most sacred oil, however, he has become our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (although in the physical he did have the Cohanim, or Aaronic, priestly bloodline through his mother Mary, who was cousin to Elizabeth, who was “of the sons of Aaron” ) and we have been made a holy priesthood who follow after.

It is our incredible blessing to use the Holy Anointing Oil for purposes of consecration. It is every born again believers great commission to take this gospel to all of the world.

As a royal priesthood of born again believers we have the right to use the Holy Anointing Oil. But the prohibition still stands that it should not be used on those which are not born again ( a stranger, common, not of the spiritual children of Israel). Olive oil scented with myrrh alone or some other spice may be used for anointing those who are not yet born again. However, the holy oil of Exodus 30 is for special consecration only for born again believers and only by born again consecrators.

“And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations (Ex. 30:30,31).”

Dr. Curtis D. Ward


30 thoughts on “Who is Prohibited to Make or Use the Holy Anointing Oil?

  1. Thank you for this article,I wanted to know both how to make Holy Oil,and if it was permissible for me to make it,you have answered both questions and I thank you for it.May God bless you for the help you give to us travelers upon His highway.

  2. I am a born again believer and under the unction of the Holy Spirit I was instructed to make the Holy Anointing Oil according to the scripture in Exodus 30vs22 – I have read your article and would like your permission to use it on my website which I am still creating. The article answers/brings clarity to questions I have been posed by others.
    God Bless
    Carmel Barbier

  3. I am looking for and oil to anoint my home with due to uneasy feelings and spirits. I need to cleanse my home. Yes, I’m a firm believer. Just wanted to know if this is an acceptable use of this oil to put on doorways and throughout my home.

  4. @@@

    Dear Curtis, Aloha. I hope this finds you in top-shape and high spirits.

    I read your two articles about holy anointing oil with great interest and I’m grateful that you allow comments to be posted.

    I have a somewhat different take on the holy anointing oil and who can make it than I’ve read here so far. I have personally made and used holy anointing oil from 2004 until 2010 and, God-willing I look forward to making and using it again soon. As the founder of The Hawai’i Cannabis (THC) Ministry located in the Moses Building in Hilo, Hawai’i it was my pleasure and honor to anoint people with the specific holy anointing oil recipe of Exodus 30:23 and prayer; only we used Cannabis as the fragrant cane instead of calamus. Possibly like you wrote about healing King Abkar of a terrible skin disease by anointing him, we had miracles of blessing with some of our anointing including healing severe cases of gangrene and avoiding amputations.

    Three Hebrew-English dictionaries that I own say that kaneh bosem is Cannabis hemp, or marijuana. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of Hebrew University (the discoverer of thc) wrote to me personally last year to confirm his belief that Cannabis hemp is the ‘fragrant cane’ in the holy anointing oil.

    Science now confirms many of the miraculous blessings that Cannabis can bestow upon those who use it in many ways including drinking the fresh, raw juice of the leaves and flowers as a “dietary essential”. Please watch LEAF on Youtube for details.

    Count me in as one of these who strongly believe that ” … the leaves of the (Cannabis hemp) tree of life are for healing the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” Rev. 22:2-3.

    All the very best to you,

    Roger Christie



    • Yes your correct sweet cane does refer to cannabis keneh bosem . The choice select flowers are to be chosen for use. As well As sweet cinnamon along with myrrh frankincense resin oils mixed with olive oil. Deep prayer in thanks to HaShem with no negative thoughts. Love must be used with thanks and the PUREST praise for HaShem.
      You may find Dr. Emotto interesting as he proved the effects of thanks on water.
      A very important reason to give praise as well for every meal .
      It is written praise should be given at least 100 times per day to HaShem. Even when things may seem horrible it is
      For the greatest good. Think not however as each have free will of their own which HaShem gives No one can take away unless by evil deception in which HaShem will like a loving parent punishes a child to the one guilty if such misguided actions .
      I Thank HaShem for every beautiful soul shared in our lives.

  5. Great read! I have been researching the significance of the ingredients in the oil for a while now. I am working on a new blog to share my research. Also I made a few attempts to make the oil, before getting it right. I burnt the first batch and my house smelled bad for days. However, the second went much better. When I began to heat the myrrh my whole house filled with a beautiful aroma.

      • I do not believe in buying and selling in the church sanctuary. Some churches have special spaces for selling things, for example some churches have Christian bookstores annexed to their church and it would be permissible to sell anointing oil there. Some sell in the vestibule. But there should never be buying and selling in the church sanctuary

    • Thanks for the insights. I have been curious about the prohibitions as well and appreciated your breakdown. Also, has anyone considered that the anointing oil signifies the Holy Spirit? I believe that is the real application of the anointing today, and the significance of all the compounds in the anointing oil have great significance with relation to the Spirit of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

  6. In the Old Testament when the anointing oil was instructed to be made and used was SYMBOLIC AGE. The Anointng oil was a TYPE or SYNBOL of the POWER of the Holy Spirit.But in this New Testament that the Holy Spirit is literally and personally with and in the believer Priest, the material anointing oil is no longer required (Hebrews 10:9;Acts 1:8; 2:1-15; Joel 2:38-32;) The case of mentioning or use anointing oil in any of the four Gospels does not raise controversy; since it was an inter- testamental period (Hebrews 10:9) And Scripture stated that Jesus lived under the Law (Old Testament) so as to end the age of symbolism and to usher in the age of REALITY (Hebrews 10:1-12;Galatians 4:3-4; 3:1-5,23-25). In N.T we anoint, heal the sick and cast out the demons in the Name of Jesus with the literal anointing upon us and that also flows out from within us (Acts 1:8 and John 7:37-39).

    • We still use it in our church and there’s nothing wrong with doin so. Tithing is under the Law but we still tithe just my thoughts

  7. What church denomination uses this on a regular basis? The only reason I ask is I am currently searching for a predominantly Caucasian church in my area.

  8. how was the anointing oil used during the early church, reformation .and what is your take on the misuse of anointing oil today in churches

  9. what is your take on the anointing for prosperity?, why the priest anointing was done once , what types of the anointing is there in the Bible ? why would you support or not support the new testament church to anoint their members .Thank you Isaac from Uganda.

  10. Thanks for sharing this, brother. It is so important for more Christian teachers and ministers to share ways that the “people of the pews” can step up to embrace their own personal ministries, step into their role as a priesthood of believers. We have unfortunately fallen into a rut of “ordained clergy do the ministry, everyone else comes to be fed” instead of realizing ministers are to help members realize their own ability to aid God’s Kingdom purposes! Thanks for removing some of the stigma around using anointing oil and reminding Believers this is yet another tool God opened up for them.

  11. Pingback: Holy Anointing Oil – Stones Of Fire

  12. Thank you for wonderful information. I would like to use an anointing oil when I pray over sick individuals. Would also like to make my own. Would love if others shared their experience in making this oil.

  13. By selecting uniform pictures frames and using one location to
    display all personal photos, were giving the area a cleaner
    look. The Majesty can be a man who understands painting
    anf the husband have to know what I’m going to say within the pictures.
    It depends for the concept that will aid the editor to define the next approach to move further on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s