Christ (Greek christos, "anointed one") is the translation of the Hebrew word for Messiah in the Septuagint version of the Bible. Ancient peoples considered anointing with oil a sign of being set apart for special honor or for an exalted office. In the Old Testament, the anointing of prophets and priests set them apart for their religious functions (1 Kings 19:16; Isaiah 61:1; Exodus 28:41, 29:7); the anointing of kings was a symbol of their power as representatives of God in a theocracy (1 Samuel 10:1, 16:13; 2 Samuel 2:4; 2 Kings 9:6; Psalms 89:20).
The concept became especially associated with King David, and when the Hebrews looked for another "anointed one" to lead their nation, they at first conceived of him as a man from David's line. Later, some writers shifted their hope from a messianic figure to an age of peace inaugurated directly by God. In New Testament times, Christ became the surname of Jesus, reflecting the Christian belief that he is the anointed one of God.