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Annoint my head with oil

Started by Donald_Kirchner, November 22, 2023, 12:30:57 PM

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Donald_Kirchner

Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

peter_speckhard


Donald_Kirchner

#2
It's from an LCMS FB board. The gist is:

"I have to admit, I always wondered what this part of Psalm 23 meant. I thought "He anoints my head with oil" was figurative language for God keeping the Psalmist healthy. I never knew this parallel.

Anoint my head with oil

'Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects. So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply! His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!'"
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Donald_Kirchner on November 22, 2023, 01:41:32 PMIt's from an LCMS FB board. The gist is:

"I have to admit, I always wondered what this part of Psalm 23 meant. I thought "He anoints my head with oil" was figurative language for God keeping the Psalmist healthy. I never knew this parallel.

Anoint my head with oil

'Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects. So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply! His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!'"

Interesting. But I don't know. "My cup overflows," "you spread a table before me in the presence of my enemies," --these are things that lend themselves to an interpretation that doesn't press the analogy with shepherds and sheep. Anointing the head with oil has fairly rich Biblical associations with people, so even if it was common to put oil on sheep's heads, which I've admittedly never heard of, I suspect that the anointing part of the psalm goes along with the things like spreading a table and having an overflowing cup.   

Donald_Kirchner

#4
Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 22, 2023, 03:41:08 PM
Quote from: Donald_Kirchner on November 22, 2023, 01:41:32 PMIt's from an LCMS FB board. The gist is:

"I have to admit, I always wondered what this part of Psalm 23 meant. I thought "He anoints my head with oil" was figurative language for God keeping the Psalmist healthy. I never knew this parallel.

Anoint my head with oil

'Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects. So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply! His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!'"

Interesting. But I don't know. "My cup overflows," "you spread a table before me in the presence of my enemies," --these are things that lend themselves to an interpretation that doesn't press the analogy with shepherds and sheep. Anointing the head with oil has fairly rich Biblical associations with people, so even if it was common to put oil on sheep's heads, which I've admittedly never heard of, I suspect that the anointing part of the psalm goes along with the things like spreading a table and having an overflowing cup. 

Agreed. I surmise that's why the writer called it a parallel (He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.) And why I'd not heard that parallel before.  ;)
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

In my study of the psalm, the first part describes David's shepherd experience. The second part describes David's experience as a shepherd-king over Israel. The part about his head being anointed appears in the shepherd-king portion. So I wouldn't take the anointing as an anointing for sheep.

Olive oil functions like lotion, soothing skin and promoting healing. You can take the olive oil out of your cabinet and apply it directly to your skin. Rub it in. It'll be good for you.

Richard Johnson

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on November 22, 2023, 09:39:12 PMIn my study of the psalm, the first part describes David's shepherd experience. The second part describes David's experience as a shepherd-king over Israel. The part about his head being anointed appears in the shepherd-king portion. So I wouldn't take the anointing as an anointing for sheep.

Olive oil functions like lotion, soothing skin and promoting healing. You can take the olive oil out of your cabinet and apply it directly to your skin. Rub it in. It'll be good for you.

Off topic and odd, but we heard (and have proven to our satisfaction) that one of the best natural healing elements for skin owies is Vitamin E. You take a gel caps of it, puncture with a pin, and squeeze a little out, apply it to the injured skin, cover with bandaid. Burns and abrasions heal very quickly. It's quite remarkable.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Terry W Culler

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on November 22, 2023, 09:39:12 PMIn my study of the psalm, the first part describes David's shepherd experience. The second part describes David's experience as a shepherd-king over Israel. The part about his head being anointed appears in the shepherd-king portion. So I wouldn't take the anointing as an anointing for sheep.

Olive oil functions like lotion, soothing skin and promoting healing. You can take the olive oil out of your cabinet and apply it directly to your skin. Rub it in. It'll be good for you.



IMO, at the start of the psalm God is referenced in the 3rd person, later He is addressed directly.  The first part is a time when things are going well in the psalmists' life, the latter part when things are not so good.  It's a poetic statement of how men relate to God differently at different times in our lives.
"No particular Church has ... a right to existence, except as it believes itself the most perfect from of Christianity, the form which of right, should and will be universal."
Charles Porterfield Krauth

RPG

Quote from: Richard Johnson on November 23, 2023, 07:19:52 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on November 22, 2023, 09:39:12 PMIn my study of the psalm, the first part describes David's shepherd experience. The second part describes David's experience as a shepherd-king over Israel. The part about his head being anointed appears in the shepherd-king portion. So I wouldn't take the anointing as an anointing for sheep.

Olive oil functions like lotion, soothing skin and promoting healing. You can take the olive oil out of your cabinet and apply it directly to your skin. Rub it in. It'll be good for you.

Off topic and odd, but we heard (and have proven to our satisfaction) that one of the best natural healing elements for skin owies is Vitamin E. You take a gel caps of it, puncture with a pin, and squeeze a little out, apply it to the injured skin, cover with bandaid. Burns and abrasions heal very quickly. It's quite remarkable.
After a major surgery, the wound care folks advised me to apply a small drop to the scar each day once the incision healed. It made a huge difference. Even places like Target carry little 3oz bottles of it--enough to last a very long time.
The Rev. Ryan P. Gage
Eureka, SD

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