In Israel, as in other ancient kingdoms, it was
customary to dedicate persons or objects to
sacred use by anointing them with oil. Thus
Samuel anointed Saul king, as Moses had
hallowed the tabernacle and Aaron the High
Priest before, and Abraham had sanctified
Isaac. A vessel such as this--simple but
elegant--may have contained oil for ritual use.
Whose hands might have held it so long ago
we can only guess, yet the connection is a
direct one between our age and theirs.