salt

salt

The most commonly used seasoning in antiquity (Job 6:6). Its preservative powers made it a necessity and a synonym for life-giving forces. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls the people who listen to him the “salt of the earth” (Matt 5:13). In Israelite worship, salt was used to season incense (Exod 30:35) and all offerings had to be seasoned with salt (Lev 2:13; Ezek 43:24). A related usage finds salt symbolizing the making of a covenant (Num 18:19; 2Chr 13:5). Ironically, salt also became associated with the destruction of life, a land gone to waste (Deut 29:23; Job 39:6; Ps 107:34; Jer 17:6; Zeph 2:9). In a common practice of conquest, Abimelech “razed the city and sowed it with salt” (Judg 9:45). Lot’s wife was turned into a “pillar” of salt (Gen 19:26). Numerous references to the “Salt Sea” (Josh 15:5; Deut 3:17) and the Valley of Salt (2Kgs 14:7; 2Chr 25:11) clearly identify the Dead Sea area as the place where supplies of salt were procured. Salt could either be mined in the rock formations along the Dead Sea or obtained by letting water evaporate from pans. Once the salt was removed from sediment, it was rinsed, purified, and crushed until fine.

Job 6:6

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Matt 5:13

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Exod 30:35

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Lev 2:13

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Ezek 43:24

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Num 18:19

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2Chr 13:5

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Deut 29:23

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Job 39:6

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Ps 107:34

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Jer 17:6

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Zeph 2:9

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Judg 9:45

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Gen 19:26

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Josh 15:5

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Deut 3:17

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2Kgs 14:7

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2Chr 25:11

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