Difference between revisions of "Salt in the Bible"

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===Old Testament===
 
===Old Testament===
 
*'''Job 6:6''' ''"Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without '''salt'''?"''
 
*'''Job 6:6''' ''"Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without '''salt'''?"''
 
 
*'''Leviticus 2:12-13''' ('''Incomplete''')
 
*'''Leviticus 2:12-13''' ('''Incomplete''')
 
*'''Joel 2:20''' ''"But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the '''utmost sea''', and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things."''<ref> The '''east sea''', or the Sea of the Plain, is more commonly known as the Dead Sea! This ''sea'' is infact a large inland lake whose waters are extremely ''saline''. In fact, it is five times more salty than the oceans, and marine life cannot live in it's waters. It is at the lowest point on earth and can be described as desolate.</ref>
 
*'''Joel 2:20''' ''"But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the '''utmost sea''', and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things."''<ref> The '''east sea''', or the Sea of the Plain, is more commonly known as the Dead Sea! This ''sea'' is infact a large inland lake whose waters are extremely ''saline''. In fact, it is five times more salty than the oceans, and marine life cannot live in it's waters. It is at the lowest point on earth and can be described as desolate.</ref>
 
Being in a land barren and desolate, and having your face toward the east sea is a signification of having nothing worthwhile. It is likely that the implied reference to the salinity of this sea is a signification of Judgment. The ''Dead Sea'' is truly a dead sea, it is a place with a salt content so high, that it can only be described as desolate. For this people to be in a land barren and desolate and have their face toward this dead sea, is a figure of the worst possible scenario, and the lowest position one can be in. Under God's judgment where there is nothing around you but desolation! And one's "face" toward the salt sea, signifies this judgment.
 
Being in a land barren and desolate, and having your face toward the east sea is a signification of having nothing worthwhile. It is likely that the implied reference to the salinity of this sea is a signification of Judgment. The ''Dead Sea'' is truly a dead sea, it is a place with a salt content so high, that it can only be described as desolate. For this people to be in a land barren and desolate and have their face toward this dead sea, is a figure of the worst possible scenario, and the lowest position one can be in. Under God's judgment where there is nothing around you but desolation! And one's "face" toward the salt sea, signifies this judgment.
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*'''Ezekiel 47:11''' ''"But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to '''salt'''."''
  
 
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Revision as of 00:19, December 17, 2008

Salt [1][2] is referenced in the Bible on many occassions and whenever it is mentioned it is used as an essential reference.


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A primary source for salt would have been the shores of the Dead Sea. In those days, it is not much would have been known about refining salt and it would have been difficult salt to be distinguished from the sand on the shores of the sea. In essence, this substance which was called "salt" in New Testament scripture would have been a mixture; sometimes more salt than sand. When it was more sand than salt, it had “lost its savor”[3] and therefore was good for nothing but to be “cast out and trodden under the foot of man.” Jesus said to His followers: “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its taste, it is good for nothing except to be thrown out and trodden under the foot of men.”

References in Scripture

Old Testament

  • Job 6:6 "Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt?"
  • Leviticus 2:12-13 (Incomplete)
  • Joel 2:20 "But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things."[4]

Being in a land barren and desolate, and having your face toward the east sea is a signification of having nothing worthwhile. It is likely that the implied reference to the salinity of this sea is a signification of Judgment. The Dead Sea is truly a dead sea, it is a place with a salt content so high, that it can only be described as desolate. For this people to be in a land barren and desolate and have their face toward this dead sea, is a figure of the worst possible scenario, and the lowest position one can be in. Under God's judgment where there is nothing around you but desolation! And one's "face" toward the salt sea, signifies this judgment.

  • Ezekiel 47:11 "But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt."


New Testament

  • Gospel of Matthew 5:13-14 "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."
  • Colossians 4:6

Characeteristics of Salt

Salt in scripture carries a two-fold signification. The positive attribute of salt is that it is the flavor which makes things good, and the negative attribute of salt is that of it's use in making something barren or without worth. These are characteristics which both signify the Blessings, and the Judgments of God.

[The characteristics of salt and how they can be applied to Old and New Testament Scripture.]


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Interpretations by Church fathers

What do the Church fathers have to say about the "salt" term in Scripture? List of articles discussing this:


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Notes

  1. Salt is the every day term for the chemical compound Sodium Chloride (NaCl); it occurs naturally in many parts of the world and is particularly prevalent in the area of the Dead Sea. Halite is the mineral form of sodium chloride.
  2. An interesting quality of salt is that when it is used it looses itself. Example, (1) when used in cooking the salt can not be seen; it makes its contribution and is "gone". (2) In various chemical processes, salt "dissipates" after it has fulfilled its purpose.
  3. Salt never loses its taste. It can become rock hard or it can become damp but scientifically it will always taste the same.
  4. The east sea, or the Sea of the Plain, is more commonly known as the Dead Sea! This sea is infact a large inland lake whose waters are extremely saline. In fact, it is five times more salty than the oceans, and marine life cannot live in it's waters. It is at the lowest point on earth and can be described as desolate.

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