Salt as a Sign of Judgment:
Deuteronomy 29:23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger.
Joshua 9:45 All that day Abimelek pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it.
Psalm 107:33-34 He turned rivers into a desert, / flowing springs into thirsty ground,
and fruitful land into a salt waste, / because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
Jeremiah 17:6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
Jeremiah 48:9 Put salt on Moab, for she will be laid waste; her towns will become desolate, with no one to live in them.
Salty Lands as a Place of Desert and Abandon:
See many of the above and many in addition … sort of the aftermath of judgment. To many to list all.
Salt as a Part of Worship, Essential to the Covenant with God
Exodus 30:34-36 34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, 35 and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. 36 Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.
Leviticus 2:13 Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.
Ezra 6:9 Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and olive oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—must be given them daily without fail …
Ezra 7:21-23 21 Now I, King Artaxerxes, decree that all the treasurers of Trans-Euphrates are to provide with diligence whatever Ezra the priest, the teacher of the Law of the God of heaven, may ask of you— 22 up to a hundred talents of silver, a hundred cors of wheat, a hundred baths of wine, a hundred baths of olive oil, and salt without limit. 23 Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven. Why should his wrath fall on the realm of the king and of his sons?
Ezekiel 43:23-24 23 When you have finished purifying it, you are to offer a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without defect. 24 You are to offer them before the Lord, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and sacrifice them as a burnt offering to the Lord.
Salt as the Seal of a Covenant
Numbers 18:19 Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.
2 Chronicles 13:5 Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?
The Healing Virtue of Salt
2 Kings 2:19-21 19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”
20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.
21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’”
Ezekiel 16:4 On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths.
Salt as Seasoning:
Job 6:6 Is an egg eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow?
Salt in the New Covenant
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth@@. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
Mark 9:49-50 After speaking of hell, Jesus said, 49“Everyone will be salted with fire.** 50 Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Luke 14:33-35 33 “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.++ 34Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
Salt in Speech: Good when used sparingly, not good in abundance.
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt%%, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
James 3:10-12 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? %% 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
@@ Historical note on salt and earth: salt was both healing and judging, the seal of a covenant between God and man. Those who receive the words of Jesus are the seal of the covenant between God and man in the land. If we are faithful, we bring miraculous healing to the earth from God. If we are not faithful to our purpose, we bring judgment to the land from God.
** Historical note on how salt was harvested: salty soil was boiled down and salt extracted by marching armies so the army took the crust of salt from the boiling pot and nourished the sweaty army. ++ Historical note on salt and worship: salt was used to spice up the worship. It was used to emphasize the covenantal nature of worship towards the Creator. Sacrifice and giving things up was to be joined to salt for it to be worthy worship. We like a little salt, so does God. He desires to only judge a little bit.
%% Contextual note on Salt and Speech: salty speech (referring to judgment) is essential for communicating truth and bringing grace. If we never refer to hell, heaven will not be so sweet. If we speak of hell too often and too loosely, it loses significance. We lose our freshness.
The Parable of Salt in Sausage: The difference between a sausage patty and a hamburger is that salt is mixed in well with the sausage. The salt in ground meat serves the same function as sulfur (another chemical associated with judgment biblically) in rubber compounds. Sulfur and salt in these instances are activators. They activate the forming of chemical bonds or links within the compound so that the mixture doesn’t just fall apart after fire/heat is applied. A little touch of judgment reminds us to activate our faith and not to hold our faith passively. This ability of sausage to bounce back is equivalent to our resilience in life. When we realize that God judges our works, we are more likely to actively express our faith in works of service and witness
© Italics written and verses organized by Mert Hershberger, 2023, Ypsilanti MI.
Verses from New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.