The Israelites anointed people and things for three specific reasons. Ordinary anointings included personal grooming or a sign of hospitality. Medical anointings symbolically transferred the disease-causing sin onto God or practically salved a wound. Official anointings bestowed divine favor or appointed to a special place or function, as when a prophet, priest, or king was set apart and consecrated. None of these reasons was trivial, none to be taken lightly; each signified a conferring of authority over self and others. The prescribed penalty of excommunication for using holy oil for common anointing revealed the action’s potency.
Granade, S. Ray, "Advent Devotion His Name Shall Be Called “Anointed One”" (2001). Creative Works. 43.