מָשִׁיחַ mashi'ahh
The word Messiah is a transliteration of the Hebrew word meshiahh. This word comes from the root mashahh meaning "to smear" as in Jeremiah 22:14 where it is usually translated as "painted". In the ancient world olive oil was a very versatile commodity. It was used in cooking and because of its disinfectant quality, it was used as a medicine. No shepherd was without a flask of olive oil, which he smeared on himself, or his sheep's injuries. The verb mashahh is also translated as "anointed", as in Exodus 29:7, in the sense of smearing olive oil on the head. This ceremony was performed on anyone becoming a king, priest or prophet in the service of YHWH. The noun meshiahh literally means, "One who is smeared with oil for an office of authority." This word is also used for any "one who holds an office of authority" even if that person was not literally smeared with oil. A good example of this is Cyrus, the King of Persia. While he was not ceremonially smeared with oil, he was one of authority who served Yahweh through his decree allowing Israel to return to Jerusalem.

Strong's: #4899

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