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In every case where we find the word anointing(KJV) in the Old Testament it is from a Hebrew word that is a noun. Most of the time it is coupled with the word oil as in anointing oil. If I was reading this without knowing that the word anointing is a noun I would think it is an adjective. Is the word anointing a gerund? Is anointing oil a compound noun?

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Almost any English word can be used as almost any part of speech. Depending on the sentence. Sentences, please? –  John Lawler Apr 21 '13 at 3:23
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"He poured anonting oil on Aaron's head and anointed him to consecrate him(Lev. 8:12)" Both words, anointing and oil are listed as nouns in Strong's Concordance. –  linda macdonald Apr 21 '13 at 23:51
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The short answer is that you can't tell in that sentence, because there aren't any marks on the words (as there would be in Hebrew, for instance), and because both adjectives and nouns can appear as the first item in a compound noun (yes, this is a compound noun, or noun compound). There are tests that can distinguish adjectives from nouns in some situations, but in general what part of speech a word is is determined by its use in a sentence, not by an official concordance. It's not a very important piece of information; and it's not necessary to determine it exactly most of the time. –  John Lawler Apr 22 '13 at 0:48
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Thanks John, I appreciate your help. –  linda macdonald Apr 23 '13 at 1:24
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1 Answer

It's worth noting that in the Hebrew the phrase is (apologies for lack of rigorous transliteration) shemen hamishcha; that's a noun phrase composed of two nouns (Hebrew basically uses juxtaposition to create noun phrases). The English 'anointing oil' is similarly a noun phrase composed of two nouns; if the '-ing' is putting you off consider it the same as 'anointment oil'. But as the commenters have said, the specific status of the constituent words is fairly unimportant (here and generally).

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