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.