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Oil

OIL (Heb. shemen, Gr. elaion). In the Bible almost always olive oil, perhaps the only exception being Esth.2.12, where it is oil of myrrh. The olives were sometimes beaten (Lev.24.2), sometimes trodden (Mic.6.15), but generally crushed in a mill designed for that purpose. The upper stone, instead of rubbing against the lower as in a flour mill, rolled on it and so pressed out the oil. The wheel usually was turned by ox-power or donkey-power, the animal being blindfolded. Olive oil was not only a prime article of food, bread being dipped in it, but it was also used for cooking, for anointing, and for lighting. Oil was one of the principal ingredients in making soap (Jer.2.22).