You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of exultation
above your peers. Bible

“Therefore God, your God, has anointed you.” In our English Bibles, an “anointed one” is a translation of the Hebrew word mashiyach (#04899 מָשִׁיחַ), which gets transliterated into English as “Messiah,” and also mashiyach gets translated into Greek as christos (#5547 Χριστός) which comes into English as “Christ.” The term “anointed one” is used of many different people, and so throughout the Bible, many people were “anointed ones” (thus messiahs or christs). For example, Leviticus 4:5 mentions the priest that is “anointed,” which is mashiyach (Messiah) in the Hebrew text and christos (christ) in the Septuagint. So the priest was a “messiah” or “christ” (cp. Lev. 4:16; 6:22). In 1 Samuel 2:10, the king is called a messiah or christ (1 Sam. 12:3, 5). In 1 Samuel 16:6, when Samuel saw Jesse’s son Eliab, he thought he was the messiah, the christ (not “the Messiah,” the savior, but the messiah the next king). In 1 Samuel 24:6 (and other verses as well), David refers to King Saul as God’s messiah or christ (God’s anointed one). In 2 Samuel 19:22, Abishai called David the messiah, or christ. The Bible even says the pagan Persian king Cyrus is a messiah, a christ, because he did God’s work (Isa. 45:1).

No one thought that these different messiahs were THE Messiah or Christ that God promised who would bring salvation to the world. The people who lived in the biblical culture and spoke the biblical languages understood that God anointed many different people for many different tasks. That is why when the angels appeared to the shepherds at Jesus’ birth, they made themselves clear by saying this baby was the “Savior,” “Christ” and “Lord,” not just a “christ.”

The average Christian does not know that priests, kings, and people commissioned to do God’s work were called “Messiah” or “Christ” because when mashiyach (messiah) appears in the Hebrew text (and christos in the Septuagint) in reference to kings and priests, those words are not transliterated as “messiah” or “christ,” but are instead typically translated as “anointed” or “anointed one.” For example, David, speaking of himself, prayed to God, “do not turn away the face of your anointed” (1 Chron. 6:42; cp. 2 Sam. 22:51; 23:2). The word “anointed” is mashiyach, “messiah,” and David used it of himself. That mashiyach gets translated as “anointed” and not transliterated as “messiah” means that the average Christian never sees that there are many messiahs, or christs, in the Bible. However, once we know that there were many “messiahs” in the Bible, we are in a better position to understand why Psalm 45:7 could say the king was anointed by God without making him “the” Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Commentary for: Psalms 45:7