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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [1]

We meet with so many portions of Scripture where this word is used, and in senses so very different from each other, that it merits our more particular attention. The Israelites called it Melach—and probably from the sovereign properties with which it is endued.

I shall beg to set before the reader some of the Scriptures where we meet with it, in order that we may have a better apprehension of the design of God the Holy Ghost in the use of it. I shall begin with those which speak of its destructive quality.

The first account we read of salt is  Genesis 14:3; where mention is made of the Salt Sea in the vale of Siddim; and this is probably what elsewhere is called the Dead Sea, forming the spot where once stood Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain, which the Lord destroyed by fire, and over which Jordan in the seasons of its overflowing pours itself. It is said even to the present hour to send up such steams of a sulphureous nature, as to kill every bird attempting to fly over it.

The next account of salt is in the instance of Lot's wife made a pillar of salt. ( Genesis 19:26) We read in the prophecy of Ezekiel also concerning the miry places, and the marshy places, which were never to be healed, but to be given to salt. ( Ezekiel 47:11) And the prophets Jeremiah and Zephaniah have much the same expressions concerning the perpetual barrenness of lands given to salt, ( Jeremiah 17:6;  Zephaniah 2:9) The psalmist saith, ( Psalms 107:34) that the Lord turneth a fruitful land into saltness, (so the margin renders it) for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

Those instances may be sufficient, in the view of the Scripture, concerning salt, where its use is marked in a way of destruction. Let us now look into the holy volume again for passages where an opposite quality is described, as resulting from the appointment of it.

The first account we meet with where salt is directed to be used in the way of a blessing is in  Leviticus 2:13, "And every oblation of thy meat-offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat-offerings; with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt." So again when the prophet Elisha sweetened the waters of Jericho, he did it by casting a cruse of salt into them; and this was done by commission from the Lord, for the prophet added, "Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren and." ( 2 Kings 2:21) And that salt was considered in the light of a blessing it is said, ( 2 Chronicles 13:5) "that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him, and to his sons by a covenant of salt." Hence we find also that Jesus called his disciples the salt of the earth, as if to intimate that his grace in them preserved the earth from universal putrefaction. ( Matthew 5:13) And elsewhere the Lord said, "have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." ( Mark 9:50) And his servant Paul figuratively recommended the church that their speech should be always with grace seasoned with salt. ( Colossians 4:6)

From both those views of salt, according to the holy Scripture, in being appointed as a figure of evil and of good, it becomes a very interesting enquiry to know yet somewhat more particularly the mind of God the Holy Ghost respecting the use of it. And if I do not greatly err, that service in the church concerning the salt of the oblation, throws a great light upon the whole. We there read that every oblation of the meat-offering was to be seasoned with salt. The salt was never to be wanting; with all offerings the salt was to be offered. And what gives a strong leading feature to the whole was this, that this was called "the salt of the covenant of JEHOVAH." ( Leviticus 2:13)

Now if we first consider the property of salt, that it is to save from corruption, we discover that the salt, which was never to be omitted in the offering, was the grand object the Lord had regard to in the whole. It is expressly called "the salt of the covenant of thy God."Supposing then that this figuratively sets forth the Lord Jesus Christ, we instantly perceive that such is the importance that his person, blood, and righteousness, should be in and with all our offerings, that there can be no coming to the Father but by him. Where Christ is not, there is no savour; it is his blood which gives a fragrancy and a perfume to our most holy things, And if Jesus be the salt of the covenant of our God, and with all our offerings he be first and last presented, both the Alpha and Omega, in our view, as he is in the view of God our Father, then is that Scripture blessedly fulfilled which the Lord delivered by the prophet: "For in mine holy mountain in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me. There will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. I will accept you with your sweet savour; and ye shall know that I am the Lord." ( Ezekiel 20:40-42) Observe, your sweet savour! and the Holy Ghost by Paul, calls Christ's sacrifice a sweet-smelling savour. ( Ephesians 5:2)

There is another consideration in the view of the subject which serves to confirm the doctrine yet farther, namely, the universal use of salt. It is essential to all the purposes of food. It not only ministers to give a taste to the several articles of meat, but to preserve animal life from leprosy, and similar diseases. What is called curing of meat, that is, salting it, hath much signification of a spiritual nature in it. I do not presume to say as much so as to decide upon it, but I venture to believe that the term of "curing of meat by salt" took its rise from the circumstance of the divine cure of our nature by the salt of the covenant. Job saith, "Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt'?" ( Job 6:6) Much more may it be said, Can our poor nature be accepted but in Christ? Can our nature be cured and preserved from everlasting corruption but by the Lord Jesus?

Once more—salt is of the Lord's own providing: it is among the natural productions of the earth. There is indeed a process of art now used for refining salt, and making it minister to various ways of usefulness; but the rock salt in its own pure nature is not of human production nor contrivance; like the earth itself, it is of JEHOVAH'S forming. "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." ( 1 Corinthians 10:26) Such then is Christ, JEHOVAH'S own providing for curing the souls of his people. So that in the salt of the covenant we offer nothing of our own for acceptance, but what God hath first given to us. Jehovah is very jealous of his honour. "An altar of earth shall thou make unto me: and if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shall not build it of hewn stone, for if thou lift up thy tool upon it thou hast polluted it." ( Exodus 20:24-25)

Fourthly, if the reader will consult the context concerning this meat-offering with the salt of the covenant, he will find that it was an offering also made by fire unto the Lord. (See  Leviticus 2:13-16) Hence the salt of the covenant was not simply to cleanse and render pure for acceptance, but it was to sprinkle the offering made by fire. Hence therefore, when the offering was offered with the salt of the covenant, and the Lord gave token of his acceptance by consuming the sacrifice with fire, this formed a confirmation of the divine favour. This is beautifully explained,  Leviticus 9:24 "And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat, which when all the people saw they shouted and fell on their faces." Here was both God's acceptance of the salted offering, and testimony at the same time given that the consumption of the sacrifice became the salvation of the people. The fire that consumed the one would, but for the acceptance of the salted sacrifice, have consumed the other. Well might the redeemed shout for joy while they fell on their faces with the lowest reverence.

Now if the reader will pause over the subject, and by looking back take a retrospective view of the whole, he will perceive that salt in the church of God had a twofold dispensation: and, like Him whom it evidently prefigured, it became "the savor of life unto life, or of death unto death?" ( 2 Corinthians 2:16) Jesus was set for "the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against." ( Luke 2:34) Where Jesus is like the salt of the covenant, he will preserve from putrefaction, "That little leaven shall leaven the whole lump." ( 1 Corinthians 5:6) Like the tree of Marah, Jesus makes the waters sweet. ( Exodus 15:25) Like the cruse of salt at Jericho, though salt in its own nature will make sweet water brackish, Jesus will heal the spring, and make it wholesome. In short, where Jesus is there is the salt of the covenant—"Destroy it not, there is a blessing in it." ( Isaiah 65:8)

On the other hand, "if the gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost." ( 2 Corinthians 4:3) Where Christ, the salt of the covenant, is rejected, that land, that people, that family, is given up to perpetual, barenness: it never can be healed. Oh, for grace to know our mercies, and truly to value them! For he that now saves from corruption, will one day be the everlasting condemnation of those that reject him. "For (he saith himself) every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt have lost his saltness," (if Jesus be not the savour of life unto life) "wherewith will ye season it?" (who can then give acceptance to the sinner?) Christ"becomes the savour of death unto death"—graciously therefore he adds, "have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." ( Mark 9:40; Mar 9:50)

Very largely as I have trespassed on this article, I cannot forbear, by way of confirmation to the whole, to add the relation given by a traveller concerning the usage in the eastern nations of making solemn engagements with salt. He tells us, that one of those people, willing to assure him of the seriousness of his promise to him, and that he would certainly fulfil it, called to a servant to bring him bread and salt; as soon as it was brought, he took a little of the salt between his fingers, and looking very gravely, he put it on a morsel of the bread and ate it, assuring me that now I might rely on his promise. Baron Du Tott. Is it not possible that this might have been a custom received by tradition, however understood, and worse applied, of the offering made with salt in the Scripture?

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

SALT , Salt is rightly included by ben-Sira among ‘the chief of all things necessary for the life of man’ ( Sir 39:26 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ). The Hebrews of the Southern Kingdom, at least, had access to inexhaustible stores of salt both in the waters of the Dead Sea, hence named in OT ‘the Salt Sea’ (  Deuteronomy 3:17 etc.) whence it could easily be obtained by evaporation, and in the deposits of the Jebel Usdum at its south-western extremity. References to saltpits or saltpans, or to both, are found in   Zephaniah 2:9 , 1Ma 11:25 . One hundred pounds of water from the Dead Sea are said to yield 24 1 / 2 lbs. of salt, compared with 6 lbs. obtained from the same quantity of water from the Atlantic.

In addition to its daily use as a condiment in the preparation of food (cf.  Job 6:6 ), and its important place in the sacrificial ritual, salt was employed by the Hebrews in an even greater variety of ways than it is among ourselves. New-born infants, for example, were rubbed with salt (  Ezekiel 16:4 ) a practice in which a religious, rather than a hygienic, motive may be detected. A grain of salt placed in the hollow of a decayed tooth was considered a cure for the universal evil of toothache (Mishna, Shabbath , vi. 5). In other treatises of the Mishna we find frequent references to the use of salt for salting fish, for pickling olives, vegetables, etc. The salting of meat for preservation is referred to in the ‘Epistle of Jeremy’ ( Bar 6:28 ). The modern Jewish custom of laying all meat in salt for the purpose of more thoroughly draining it of the blood was doubtless observed in Bible times. In Palestine, under the Seleucids, salt formed a government monopoly ( 1Ma 10:29; 1Ma 11:35 ), as it did in Egypt under the Ptolemys.

As regards the presence of salt in the ritual of sacrifice, the words of  Mark 9:40 AV [Note: Authorized Version.] , every sacrifice shall be salted with salt,’ although omitted by RV [Note: Revised Version.] following the best authorities, are nevertheless true to fact. The legislation of the Priests’ Code, at least, expressly ordains: ‘with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt’ (  Leviticus 2:13 ) a passage which expressly specifies that the cereal or vegetable offerings (the ‘meal offerings’ of RV [Note: Revised Version.] ) had to be salted as well as the more important and more evident animal or flesh sacrifices (cf.   Ezekiel 43:24 ). A special ‘salt chamber’ is mentioned among the chambers adjoining the Priests’ Court in the description of Herod’s Temple given in the Mishna. The sacred incense, also, had to be ‘seasoned with salt’ (  Exodus 30:35 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), as was also the case with the shewbread, according to the better Gr. text of   Leviticus 24:7 . The original idea in this extended ritual use of salt was doubtless this that just as salt was an indispensable accompaniment of man’s dally food, so it could not be absent from the ‘food of God,’ as the sacrifices are termed in   Leviticus 21:6;   Leviticus 21:17 .

In the developed priestly legislation, however, there can be little doubt that the presence of salt had a symbolical significance. From its use as a preservative, reflected in our Lord’s figure, ‘Ye are the salt of the earth’ ( Matthew 5:13 ), and as an antidote to decay, it is natural that salt should become a symbol of permanence, and even of life as opposed to decay and death. ‘Salt,’ it has been said, ‘seems to stand for life in many a form of primitive speech and in the world’s symbolism’ (Trumbull, Covenant of Salt ). From this symbolical standpoint we probably reach the true explanation of the striking expression ‘ a convenant of salt ’ (  Numbers 18:19 ,   2 Chronicles 13:5 ), which denotes a covenant that is inviolable and valid in perpetuity. The presence of salt, therefore, with every sacrifice may have come to symbolize the irrevocable character of J″ [Note: Jahweh.] ’s covenant with Israel (cf. G. B. Gray’s Com . on   Numbers 18:19 ).

This seems preferable to the usual explanation which connects the expression in question with the well-known code of Arab [Note: Arabic.] hospitality, by which a traveller in the desert, and even an enemy, if he has once partaken of an Arab’s hospitality, has a right to his host’s protection; since this ‘ordinance of salt’ as it is termed, is valid only for a limited period (see Jaussen. Coutumes des Arabes [1908], 87 f.). On the other hand, the obligations which the partaking of one’s hospitality imposes on a guest are emphasized in the words of   Ezra 4:14 ‘because we eat the salt of the palace’ (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ).

In marked contrast to the above-mentioned employment of salt as a symbol of life, stands its parallel occurrence as a symbol of barrenness, desolation, or death ( Deuteronomy 29:23 and elsewhere). By this aspect of the symbolism of salt it has been usual to explain the treatment meted out by Abimelech to the city of Shechem in the early narrative,   Judges 9:45 : ‘He beat down the city and sowed it with salt .’ It is more in harmony, however, with the fundamental conception of the han (see Ban) to regard the strewing of the site of the city with salt as symbolizing its complete dedication to J″ [Note: Jahweh.] (see the parallels adduced in EBi [Note: Encyclopædia Biblica.] iv. col. 4249 f.).

A. R. S. Kennedy.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

An appetizing seasoning of food to man and beast. In the East the vegetable food especially needs salt ( Job 6:6;  Isaiah 30:24, margin). An antidote to the effects of heat on animal food. A necessary accompaniment of the various altar offerings, bloody and unbloody ( Leviticus 2:13, "the salt of the covenant of thy God";  Ezekiel 43:24;  Mark 9:49-50). It signifies the imperishableness of Jehovah's love for His people; as an antiseptic salt implies durability, fidelity, purity. The opposite of leaven, the symbol of corruption. Covenants were cemented by feasts and hospitality, the viands of which were seasoned, as all foods, with salt. Hence, "a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord" is an indissoluble covenant ( Numbers 18:19;  2 Chronicles 13:5;  Ezra 4:14, margin). An Arab who just before would have robbed and murdered you, once you taste his salt, would die to save you; "faithless to salt" is the Persian term for a traitor.

So Jesus, cf6 "have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another" ( Mark 9:50); as no sacrifice to God, and no food to man, is acceptable without salt, so prayers offered without "peace" of heart toward fellow men are savourless; a warning to the disciples who had just been disputing with one another, and judging, fellow men who used Jesus' name though not following the disciples ( Mark 9:33-50). Being "salted with the salt of the (Heavenly King'S) palace," and bound to fidelity to Him, and brought into a covenant of salt with Him, they are called on to have a loving, imperishable savour toward one another and to all men.  Colossians 4:6, "let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt," i.e. the savour of fresh spiritual wisdom excluding all "corrupt communication," and tasteless unprofitableness or insipidity ( Matthew 5:13;  Ephesians 4:29).

Near Colosse was a salt lake, hence the image. The idea in  Mark 9:49, cf6 "for every one shall be salted with fire, ,is: the reason why it is better for us to cut off offending members is that the work of every one, believer and unbeliever, shall be tried with fire; to believers "the Refiner's fire" ( Malachi 3:3;  Matthew 3:11), symbolizing God's searching purity; a consuming fire ( Hebrews 12:29) to His foes, who nevertheless shall be imperishable in their doom (Salt Symbolizing Preservation From Decay) , but purging out only the dross from His people ( 1 Corinthians 3:13;  1 Peter 1:7;  1 Peter 4:12). The righteous can withstand the fire, for it is part of their present salting as "a living sacrifice" ( Isaiah 33:14-15;  Romans 12:1). Every offending member and offense must be removed, to enable us to withstand that testing fire and be found without dross unto glory and honour.

The southern shore of the Salt Sea supplied, salt abundantly; compare "the valley of salt" ( 2 Samuel 8:13) near the mountain of fossil salt, five miles long, the chief source of the salt in the sea. The salt pits (A Source Of Revenue; Josephus Ant. 13:4, Section 9) were at the S. of the Dead Sea; the marshes here are coated with salt deposited periodically by the spring rising of the waters which in summer evaporate; and here were the pillars of salt traditionally represented as Lot's wife (Josephus Ant. 1:11, Section 4; Apocr.  Wisdom of Solomon 10:7 ) . Inferior salt was used for manure ( Matthew 5:13;  Luke 14:35). Too much salt produced barrenness ( Deuteronomy 29:23;  Zephaniah 2:9). "Sowing with salt" doomed symbolically to barrenness a destroyed city and depopulated region ( Judges 9:45;  Psalms 107:34 margin). Salt as expressing purity was the outward sign Elisha used in healing the waters ( 2 Kings 2:20-21). The Israelites used to rub infants with salt to make the skin dense and firm, and for purification and dedication of them to God ( Ezekiel 16:4).

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [4]

God appointed that salt should be used in all the sacrifices that were offered to him,  Leviticus 2:13 . Salt is esteemed the symbol of wisdom and grace,  Colossians 4:6;  Mark 9:50 : also of perpetuity and incorruption,  Numbers 18:19;  2 Chronicles 13:5 . The orientals were accustomed also to ratify their federal engagements by salt. This substance was, among the ancients, the emblem of friendship and fidelity, and therefore used in all their sacrifices and covenants. It was a sacred pledge of hospitality which they never ventured to violate. Numerous instances occur of travellers in Arabia, after being plundered and stripped by the wandering tribes of the desert, claiming the protection of some civilized Arab, who, after receiving them into his tent, and giving them salt, instantly relieves their distress, and never forsakes them till he has placed them in safety. An agreement, thus ratified, is called, in Scripture, "a covenant of salt." The obligation which this symbol imposes on the mind of an oriental, is well illustrated by the Baron du Tott in the following anecdote: One who was desirous of his acquaintance promised in a short time to return. The baron had already attended him half way down the stair case, when stopping, and turning briskly to one of his domestics, "Bring me directly," said he, "some bread and salt." What he requested was brought; when, taking a little salt between his fingers, and putting it with a mysterious air on a bit of breast, he ate it with a devout gravity, assuring du Tott he might now rely on him.

Although salt, in small quantities, may contribute to the communicating, and fertilizing of some kinds of stubborn soil, yet, according to the observations of Pliny, "all places in which salt is found are barren and produce nothing." The effect of salt, where it abounds, on vegetation, is described by burning, in  Deuteronomy 29:23 , "The whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt of burning." Thus Volney, speaking of the borders of the Asphaltic lake, or Dead Sea, says, "The true cause of the absence of vegetables and animals is the acrid saltness of its waters, which is infinitely greater than that of the sea. The land surrounding the lake, being equally impregnated with that saltness, refuses to produce plants; the air itself, which is by evaporation loaded with it, and which moreover receives vapours of sulphur and bitumen, cannot suit vegetation; whence that dead appearance which reigns around the lake." So a salt land,  Jeremiah 17:6 , is the same as the "parched places of the wilderness," and is descriptive of barrenness, as saltness also is,  Job 39:6;  Psalms 107:34;  Ezekiel 47:11;  Zechariah 2:9 . Hence the ancient custom of sowing an enemy's city, when taken, with salt, in token of perpetual desolation, Judges 4:45; and thus in after times the city of Milan was burned, razed, sown with salt, and ploughed by the exasperated emperor, Frederic Barbarossa. The salt used by the ancients was what we call rock or fossil salt; and also that left by the evaporation of salt lakes. Both these kinds were impure, being mixed with earth, sand, &c, and lost their strength by deliquescence. Maundrell, describing the valley of salt, says, "On the side toward Gibul there is a small precipice, occasioned by the continual taking away of the salt; and in this you may see how the veins of it lie. I broke a piece of it, of which that part that was exposed to the sun, rain, and air, though it had the sparks and particles of salt, yet it had perfectly lost its savour; the inner part, which was connected with the rock, retained its savour, as I found by proof." Christ reminds his disciples,  Matthew 5:13 , "Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost its 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." This is spoken of the mineral salt as mentioned by Maundrell, a great deal of which was made use of in offerings at the temple; such of it as had become insipid was thrown out to repair the road. The existence of such a salt, and its application to such a use, Schoetgenius has largely proved in his "Horae Hebraicae." The salt unfit for the land, Luke 16:34, Le Clerc conjectures to be that made of wood ashes, which easily loses its savour, and becomes no longer serviceable.

Effoetos cinerem immundum jactare per agros.

Virgil Georg. v. 81.

"But blush not fattening dung to cast around, Or sordid ashes o'er th' exhausted ground. WARTON.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [5]

(ἅλς; also ἅλας, a form which is rare except in Septuagintand NT; adj. ἁλυκός)

This condiment of food was in general use among the civilized nations of antiquity. From the religious significance which it had for the primitive mind, and especially its association with sacrificial meals, it became-and still is throughout the East-a symbol of guest-friendship and fidelity; from its purifying and antiseptic properties, an image of the power of good men to preserve the moral soundness of society ( Matthew 5:13); and front its piquancy, a suggestion of the relish which wit and wisdom give to talk which would otherwise be insipid. St. Paul exhorts the Colossians to let their speech be ‘seasoned with salt’ (ἅλατι ἠρτυμένος,  Colossians 4:6), and the salt which he had in mind possessed finer properties than the ἅλες and sal of Greek and Latin writers.

Attic ‘salt’ was Attic wit. Pliny (Historia Naturalis (Pliny)xxxi. 7) says: ‘The higher enjoyments of life could not exist without the use of salt: indeed, so highly necessary is this condiment to mankind, that the pleasures of the mind can be expressed by no better term than the word salt (sales), such being the name given to all effusions of wit.’ The meaning of the word is usually indicated by the context in which it occurs: ‘Sale vero et facetiis Caesar … vicit omnes’ (Cic. de Offic. I. xxxvii. 133); ‘facetiarum quidam lepos quo, tanquam sale, perspergatur omnis oratio’ (Cic. de Orat. i. 34); ‘sal niger,’ i.e. biting wit, sarcasm (Hor. Ep. II. ii. 60).

St. Paul was of course familiar with this classical ‘salt,’ which at its best was intellectual acuteness and sparkling wit, but which easily degenerated into εὐτραπελία ( Ephesians 5:4). There was no lack of it in his university town of Tarsus. But as a Christian he takes the word-like χάρις, ἀγάπη and many another term-and gives it a new and better connotation. He eliminates from it the bitterness of sarcasm and adds to it the essential grace of Christianity. Without making it less intellectual, he makes it more spiritual. As a lover of good talk, he is far from deprecating what is stimulating and pungent. He desiderates all the old readiness ‘to answer each one’ ( Colossians 4:6 b), but the answer will no longer be the repartee which seeks a brilliant personal victory; it will be the response of the heart that loves still more than of the mind that glitters. If the new meaning of the metaphor is to be determined by the context in which it is employed-‘walk in wisdom,’ ‘let your speech be always with grace’-salt becomes the symbol of a rare combination of virtues. A spiritual wisdom and Christian grace, at once quickening the gifts of Nature and hallowing the charms of culture, are to replace pagan wit as the savour of that human intercourse which is the feast of reason and the flow of souls.

Literature.-Thayer Grimm’s Gr.-Eng. Lexicon of the NT, Greek-English Lexicon of the NT2, 1890, s.v. ἅλας; articles ‘Salt’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols)and Encyclopaedia Biblica; J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon3, 1879.

James Strahan.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

Was procured by the Jews from the Dead Sea, wither from the immense hill or ridge of pure rock salt at its southwest extremity, or from that deposited on the shore by the natural evaporation. The Arabs obtain it in large cakes, two or three inches thick, and sell it in considerable quantities throughout Syria. It well-known preservative qualities, and its importance as a seasoning for food,  Job 6:6 , are implied in most of the passages where it is mentioned in Scripture: as in the miraculous healing of a fountain,  2 Kings 2:21; in the sprinkling of salt over the sacrifices consumed on God's altar,  Leviticus 2:13   Ezekiel 43:24   Mark 9:49; and its use in the sacred incense,  Exodus 30:35 . So also good men are "the salt of the earth,"  Matthew 5:13; and grace, or true wisdom, is the salt of language,  Mark 9:50   Colossians 4:6 . See also  Ezekiel 16:4 . To sow a land with salt, signifies its utter barrenness and desolation; a condition often illustrated in the Bible by allusions to the region of Sodom and Gomorrah, with its soil impregnated with salt, or covered with acrid and slimy pools,  Deuteronomy 29.33;  Job 39.9;  Ezekiel 47.11;  Zephaniah 2.9 .

Salt is also the symbol of perpetuity and incorruption. Thus they said of a covenant, "It is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord,"  Numbers 18:19   2 Chronicles 13:5 . It is also the symbol of hospitality; and of the fidelity due from servants, friends, guests, and officers, to those who maintain them or who receive them at their tables. The governors of the provinces beyond the Euphrates, writing to the king Artaxerxes, tell him, "Because we have maintenance from the king's palace,"  Ezra 4:14 .

Valley Of Salt This place is memorable for the victories of David,  2 Samuel 8:13   1 Chronicles 18:12   Psalm 60:1-12 , and of Amaziah,  2 Kings 14:7 , over the Edomites. There can be little doubt that the name designates the broad deep valley El-Ghor, prolonged some eight miles south of the Dead Sea to the chalky cliffs called Akrabbim. Like all this region, it bears the marks of volcanic action, and has an air of extreme desolation. It is occasionally overflowed by the bitter waters of that sea, which rise to the height of fifteen feet. The driftwood on the margin of the valley, which indicates this rise of the water, is so impregnated with salt that it will not burn; and on the northwest side of the valley lies a mountain of salt. Parts of this plain are white with salt; others are swampy, or marked by sluggish streams or standing pools of brackish water. The southern part is covered in part with tamarisks and coarse shrubbery. Some travellers have found here quicksand pits in which camels and horses have been swallowed up and lost,  Genesis 14:10   Zephaniah 2:9 . See Jordan and Sea 3.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [7]

 Genesis 19:26 (b) This probably represents:

(1) GOD's power to change a blessing to a curse as when one is taken out of this life and sent into the eternal dark.

(2) Salt is a preservative. The memory of the deed of this woman and her act of rebellion were to be preserved for future generations.

(3) Salt is a permanent chemical. The punishment of this woman was to be permanent.

 Leviticus 2:13 (b) Probably this represents the permanence and durability of CHRIST's sacrifice for us in all of its aspects. (See also  Ezekiel 43:24).

 Numbers 18:19 (b) The covenant which GOD makes with His people in this verse is characterized by purity, permanence, stability and savour. You will note that the offerings must contain salt as a picture or symbol or type of these characteristics in GOD, and His Word.

 Deuteronomy 29:23 (b) Here is a symbol of GOD's judgment and curse wherein He prevents the growth of all green things in order to punish the enemy. (See also  Judges 9:45 where Abimelech used it as a curse; see also  Ezekiel 47:11;  Zephaniah 2:9).

 2 Kings 2:20 (b) This is no doubt a type of GOD's healing and preserving power.

 Ezekiel 16:4 (b) The story in this chapter reveals that there was no period of preparation in the forming of the nation of Israel. GOD called Abraham, he obeyed and began the nation of Israel immediately. The salting of the baby at birth showed that GOD found in Abraham all that he needed for the beginning of a healthy growth for a healthy nation.

 Matthew 5:13 (a) This is a type of the believer in the following aspects: Salt (table) is always pure white as the Christian is in GOD's sight. Every crystal of salt is a perfect cube. It is perfectly square. Each Christian is considered to be "square" toward GOD, toward his fellowman, toward his family, and toward himself. Salt preserves. The Christian by his godly influence and Christian activities has a salutary and beneficent effect upon those with whom he associates. The presence of Christians in the world preserves the world from the corruption of Satan. When the Christians are removed, the corruption progresses rapidly.

 Mark 9:49 (b) Here we see a reference to the preserving power of the eternal fire in Gehenna. Instead of destroying the sinner as it punishes him, it will act as a preservative and keep him alive and conscious of his punishment.

 Colossians 4:6 (a) It is symbolical of the character of good language, wherein the thoughts expressed, the words spoken, and the attitude of heart in the conversation bring a sweet influence and a preserving power in the lives of those to whom we speak.

Webster's Dictionary [8]

(1): ( n.) Any mineral salt used as an aperient or cathartic, especially Epsom salts, Rochelle salt, or Glauber's salt.

(2): ( n.) Overflowed with, or growing in, salt water; as, a salt marsh; salt grass.

(3): ( n.) Fig.: Bitter; sharp; pungent.

(4): ( v. t.) To fill with salt between the timbers and planks, as a ship, for the preservation of the timber.

(5): ( n.) Hence, flavor; taste; savor; smack; seasoning.

(6): ( n.) A sailor; - usually qualified by old.

(7): ( n.) The neutral compound formed by the union of an acid and a base; thus, sulphuric acid and iron form the salt sulphate of iron or green vitriol.

(8): ( n.) Fig.: That which preserves from corruption or error; that which purifies; a corrective; an antiseptic; also, an allowance or deduction; as, his statements must be taken with a grain of salt.

(9): ( n.) Hence, also, piquancy; wit; sense; as, Attic salt.

(10): ( n.) Marshes flooded by the tide.

(11): ( n.) Of or relating to salt; abounding in, or containing, salt; prepared or preserved with, or tasting of, salt; salted; as, salt beef; salt water.

(12): ( n.) A dish for salt at table; a saltcellar.

(13): ( n.) Fig.: Salacious; lecherous; lustful.

(14): ( n.) The chloride of sodium, a substance used for seasoning food, for the preservation of meat, etc. It is found native in the earth, and is also produced, by evaporation and crystallization, from sea water and other water impregnated with saline particles.

(15): ( v. t.) To sprinkle, impregnate, or season with salt; to preserve with salt or in brine; to supply with salt; as, to salt fish, beef, or pork; to salt cattle.

(16): ( v. i.) To deposit salt as a saline solution; as, the brine begins to salt.

(17): ( n.) The act of leaping or jumping; a leap.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [9]

Apart from its obvious use in cooking, salt was widely used in the ancient world to keep perishable foods from decay ( Leviticus 2:13;  Job 6:6). Because of salt’s uses and characteristics, the Bible refers to it to illustrate aspects of the lives of Christians. Just as salt gives food a good taste, so the gracious qualities of their new life in Christ should make the speech of Christians wholesome and pleasant ( Colossians 4:6). If they are living as they should, Christians will be a good influence in a world corrupted by sin ( Matthew 5:13;  Mark 9:50).

Because of its use in flavouring and preserving, salt symbolized a close and permanent relationship between people. It had a ceremonial use in making covenants, where it symbolized the unbroken loyalty that the two parties promised to the covenant ( Leviticus 2:13;  Numbers 18:19;  2 Chronicles 13:5; see Covenant ).

Sometimes, however, salt symbolized judgment and desolation. This was because salty land was useless for farming and became a barren waste. Therefore, a conqueror may have sprinkled salt over a destroyed city to symbolize that it was to be left in permanent desolation ( Deuteronomy 29:23;  Judges 9:45;  Jeremiah 17:6;  Zephaniah 2:9).

The Israelites obtained their salt mainly from the region around the Dead Sea, which was itself so rich in salt that it was sometimes called the Salt Sea ( Genesis 14:3;  Joshua 3:16;  Joshua 15:5;  Joshua 18:19). Somewhere to the south-west of the Dead Sea, in the dry region of Israel known as the Negeb, was a place called the Valley of Salt ( 2 Samuel 8:13;  2 Kings 14:7). (For further details of the Dead Sea and the Negeb see Palestine .)

King James Dictionary [10]

SALT, n. Gr. L. The radical sense is probably pungent, and if s is radical, the word belongs to the root of L. salio but this is uncertain.

1. Common salt is the muriate of soda, a substance used for seasoning certain kinds of food, and for the preservation of meat, &c. It is found native in the earth, or it is produced by evaporation and crystallization from water impregnated with saline particles. 2. In chimistry, a body compounded of an acid united to some base, which may be either an alkali, an earth, or a metallic oxyd. Accordingly, salts are alkaline, earthy, or metallic. Many compounds of this kind, of which common salt, (muriate of soda,) is the most distinguished, exist in nature but most of these, together with many others not known in nature, have been formed by the artificial combination of their elements. Their entire number exceeds 2000. When the acid and base mutually saturate each other, so that the individual properties of each are lost, the compound is a neutral salt when the acid predominates, it is a super salt and when the base predominates, it is a sub salt. Thus we have a subcarbonate, a carbonate, and a supercarbonate of potash. 3. Taste sapor smack.

We have some salt of our youth in us.

4. Wit poignancy as Attic salt.

SALT, a.

1. Having the taste of salt impregnated with salt as salt beef salt water 2. Abounding with salt as a salt land.  Jeremiah 17 . 3. Overflowed with salt water, or impregnated with it as a salt marsh. 4. Growing on salt marsh or meadows and having the taste of salt as salt grass or hay. 5. Producing salt water as a salt spring. 6. Lecherous slacious.

SALT, n.

1. The part of a river near the sea, where the water is salt. 2. A vessel for holding salt.


1. To sprinkle, impregnate or season with salt as, to salt fish, beef or pork. 2. To fill with salt between the timbers and planks, as a ship, for the preservation of the timber.

SALT, To deposit salt from a saline substance as, the brine begins to salt. Used by manufacturers.

SALT, n. A leap the act of jumping. Not in use.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [11]

Salt. Indispensable as salt is to ourselves, it was even more so to the Hebrews, being to them, not only an appetizing condiment in the food, both of man,  Job 11:6 and beast,  Isaiah 30:24, see margin, and a valuable antidote to the effects of the heat of the climate on animal food, but also, entering largely into the religious services of the Jews as an accompaniment to the various offerings presented on the altar.  Leviticus 2:13. They possessed an inexhaustible and ready supply of it on the southern shores of the Dead Sea. See Sea, The Salt .

There is one mountain here called Jebel Usdum , seven miles long and several hundred feet high, which is composed almost entirely of salt. The Jews appear to have distinguished between rock-salt, and that which was gained by evaporation, as the Talmudists particularize one species, (probably the latter), as the "salt of Sodom." The salt-pits formed an important source of revenue to the rulers of the country, and Antiochus conferred a valuable boon on Jerusalem by presenting the city with 375 bushels of salt for the Temple service.

As one of the most essential articles of diet, salt symbolized hospitality; as an antiseptic, durability, fidelity and purity. Hence, the expression "covenant of salt,"  Leviticus 2:13;  Numbers 18:19;  2 Chronicles 13:5, as betokening an indissoluble alliance between friends; and again the expression "salted with the salt of the palace."  Ezra 4:14, not necessarily meaning that they had "maintenance from the palace," as Authorized Version has it, but that they were bound by sacred obligations fidelity to the king. So in the present day, "to eat bread and salt together" is an expression for a league of mutual amity. It was, probably, with a view to keep this idea prominently before the minds of the Jews, that the use of salt was enjoined on the Israelites in their offerings to God.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [12]

 Job 6:6 Isaiah 30:24 Leviticus 2:13 Ezra 4:14

A "covenant of salt" ( Numbers 18:19;  2 Chronicles 13:5 ) was a covenant of perpetual obligation. New-born children were rubbed with salt ( Ezekiel 16:4 ). Disciples are likened unto salt, with reference to its cleansing and preserving uses ( Matthew 5:13 ). When Abimelech took the city of Shechem, he sowed the place with salt, that it might always remain a barren soil ( Judges 9:45 ). Sir Lyon Playfair argues, on scientific grounds, that under the generic name of "salt," in certain passages, we are to understand petroleum or its residue asphalt. Thus in  Genesis 19:26 he would read "pillar of asphalt;" and in   Matthew 5:13 , instead of "salt," "petroleum," which loses its essence by exposure, as salt does not, and becomes asphalt, with which pavements were made.

The Jebel Usdum, to the south of the Dead Sea, is a mountain of rock salt about 7 miles long and from 2 to 3 miles wide and some hundreds of feet high.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [13]

To 'eat the salt' of their masters, is used by the Persians and Hindus to imply that they are fed by their employers. This idea is found in  Ezra 4:14 , where the opposers of the Jews say, "We eat the salt of the palace," as the passage is more literally translated: see margin . With reference to an infant being 'salted,'  Ezekiel 16:4 , Galen records that this was done to render the skin tighter and firmer.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [14]

Salt. See  Leviticus 2:13;  Matthew 5:13.

Holman Bible Dictionary [15]

Minerals And Metals

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [16]

( מֶלִח , Melach ; Ἃλς ), the chloride of sodium of modern chemistry. Indispensable as salt is to ourselves, it was even more so to the Hebrews, being to them not only an appetizing condiment in the food both of man ( Job 6:6) and beast ( Isaiah 30:24; see margin), and a most valuable antidote to the effects of the heat of the climate on animal food, but also entering largely into their religious services as an accompaniment to the various offerings presented on the altar ( Leviticus 2:13). They possessed an inexhaustible and ready supply of it on the southern shores of the Dead Sea. In the same manner the Arabs of the present day procure their supply of salt from the deposits of the Dead Sea, and carry on a considerable trade in that article throughout Syria. Here may have been situated the Valley of Salt ( 2 Samuel 8:13), in proximity to the mountain of fossil salt which Robinson (Researches, 2, 108) describes as five miles in length, and as the chief source of the salt in the sea itself. (See Valley Of Salt). Here were the salt pits ( Zephaniah 2:9), probably formed in the marshes at the southern end of the lake, which are completely coated with salt, deposited periodically by the rising of the waters; and here also were the successive pillars of salt which tradition has from time to time identified with Lot's wife ( Wisdom of Solomon 10:7; Josephus, Ant. 1 , 11, 4). (See Dead Sea).

Salt might also be procured from the Mediterranean Sea, and from this source the Phoenicians would naturally obtain the supply necessary for salting fish ( Nehemiah 13:16) and for other purposes. The Jews appear to have distinguished between rock-salt and that which was gained by evaporation, as the Talmudists particularize one species (probably the latter) as the "salt of Sodom" (Carpzov, Appar. p. 718). The notion that this expression means bitumen rests on no foundation. The salt pits formed an important source of revenue to the rulers of the country (Josephus, Ant. 13:4, 9), and Antiochus conferred a valuable boon on Jerusalem by presenting the city with 375 bushels of salt for the Temple service (ibid. 12:3, 3). In addition to the uses of salt already specified, the inferior sorts were applied as a manure to the soil, or to hasten the decomposition of dung ( Matthew 5:13;  Luke 14:35). Too large an admixture, however, was held to produce sterility, as exemplified on the shores of the Dead Sea ( Deuteronomy 29:23;  Zephaniah 2:9); hence a "salt" land was synonymous with barrenness ( Job 39:6; see margin;  Jeremiah 17:6; comp. Josephus, War , 4:8, 2, Ἁλμυρωοης Καὶ Ἃγονος ); and hence also arose the custom of sowing with salt the foundations of a destroyed city ( Judges 9:45), as a token of its irretrievable ruin. It was the belief of the Jews that salt would, by exposure to the air, lose its virtue ( Μωρανθῇ ,  Matthew 5:13), and become saltless ( Ἄναλον ,  Mark 9:50). The same fact is implied in the expressions of Pliny, sal iners (31, 39), sal tabescere (31, 44); and Maundrell (Early Travels [ed. Bohn], p. 512) asserts that he found the surface of a salt rock in this condition (see Hackett, Illustrat. of Script. p. 48 sq.).

The associations connected with salt in Eastern countries are important. As one of the most essential articles of diet, it symbolized hospitality; as an antiseptic, durability, fidelity, and purity. Hence the expression, "covenant of salt" ( Leviticus 2:13;  Numbers 18:19;  2 Chronicles 13:5), as betokening an indissoluble alliance between friends (see Gettysb. Evang. Rev. Oct. 1867); and again the expression, "salted with the salt of the palace" ( Ezra 4:14), not necessarily meaning that they had "maintenance from the palace," as the A.V. has it, but that they were bound by sacred obligations of fidelity to the king. So in the present day, "to eat bread and salt together" is an expression for a league of mutual amity (Russell, Aleppo, 1, 232); and, on the other hand, the Persian term for traitor is nemekharam, "faithless to salt" (Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 790). The same force would be given by the preservative quality of salt (Bahrdt, De Federe Salis [Lips. 1761]; Hallervordt, id. [ibid. 1701]; Zeibich, id. [Ger. 1760]; Thomson, Land and Book, 2, 42 sq.). (See Covenant) . It was possibly with a view to keep this idea prominently before the minds of the Jews that the use of salt was enjoined on the Israelites in their offerings to God; for in the first instance it was specifically ordered for the meat offering ( Leviticus 2:13), which consisted mainly of flour, and therefore was not liable to corruption (see Pontanus, De Sale Sacrific. [Traj. 1703]; Spencer, De Legis Rit. 1 , 5, 1). The extension of its use to burned- sacrifices was a later addition (Ezra 43, 24; Josephus, Ant. 3 , 9, 1), in the spirit of the general injunction at the close of Leviticus 2, 13. Similarly the heathens accompanied their sacrifices with salted barley meal, the Greeks with their Οὐλοχύται (Homer, Il. 1 , 449), the Romans with their Mola Salsa (Horace, Sat. 2 , 3, 200) or their Salsoe Fruges (Virgil, Aen. 2 , 133). Salt, therefore, became of great importance to Hebrew worshippers: it was sold accordingly in the Temple market, and a large quantity was kept in the Temple itself, in a chamber appropriated to the purpose (Maii Diss. De Usu Salis Symbol. In Rebus Sacris [Giess. 1692]; Wokenius, De Salitura Oblationum Deo Factar. [Lips. 1747]; Josephus, Ant. 12:3, 3; Middoth , 5, 3; Othon. Lex. Rabb. p. 668). It may, of course, be assumed that in all of these cases salt was added as a condiment; but the strictness with which the rule was adhered to no sacrifice being offered without salt (Pliny, 31, 41), and still more the probable, though perhaps doubtful, admixture of it in incense ( Exodus 30:35, where the word rendered "tempered together" is by some understood as "salted" leads to the conclusion that there was a symbolical force attached to its use (Josephus, Ant. 3, 9, 1; Philo, 2, 255; Hottinger, Jur. Heb. Legg. p. 168); as was certainly the case with the Greeks and Romans (Pliny, Hist. Nat. 31, 44; Ovid, Fast. 1, 337; Spencer, De Leg. Rit. 3, 2, 2; Lukemacher, Antiq. Groec. Sacr. p. 350; Hottinger, De Usu Salis. etc. [Marburg, 1708]; Schickedanz, id. [Servest. 1758]; Maius, id. [Giess. 1692]; Mill, id. (Ult. 1734]). Our Lord refers to the sacrificial use of salt in  Mark 9:49-50, though some of the other associations may also be implied. The purifying property of salt, as opposed to corruption, led to its selection as the outward sign in Elisha's miracle ( 2 Kings 2:20-21), and is also developed in the New Test. ( Matthew 5:13;  Colossians 4:6). The custom of rubbing infants with salt (Ezra 16:4) originated in sanitary considerations, but received also a symbolical meaning (Richter, De Usu Salis Apud Priscos Profano Et Sacro [ Zittas , 1766]).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [17]

sôlt ( מלח , melaḥ  ; ἄλας , hálas , ἄλς , háls ): Common salt is considered by most authorities as an essential ingredient of our food. Most people intentionally season their cooking with more or less salt for the sake of palatability. Others depend upon the small quantities which naturally exist in water and many foods to furnish the necessary amount of salt for the body. Either too much salt or the lack of it creates undesirable disturbance in the animal system. Men and animals alike instinctively seek for this substance to supplement or improve their regular diet. The ancients appreciated the value of salt for seasoning food (  Job 6:6 ). So necessary was it that they dignified it by making it a requisite part of sacrifices ( Leviticus 2:13;  Ezra 6:9;  Ezra 7:22;  Ezekiel 43:24;  Mark 9:49 ). In  Numbers 18:19;  2 Chronicles 13:5 , a "covenant of salt" is mentioned (compare  Mark 9:49 ). This custom of pledging friendship or confirming a compact by eating food containing salt is still retained among Arabic-speaking people. The Arabic word for "salt" and for a "compact" or "treaty" is the same. Doughty in his travels in Arabia appealed more than once to the superstitious belief of the Arabs in the "salt covenant," to save his life. Once an Arab has received in his tent even his worst enemy and has eaten salt (food) with him, he is bound to protect his guest as long as he remains. See Covenant Of Salt .

The chief source of salt in Palestine is from the extensive deposits near the "sea of salt" (see Dead Sea ), where there are literally mountains and valleys of salt ( 2 Samuel 8:13;  2 Kings 14:7;  1 Chronicles 18:12;  2 Chronicles 25:11 ). On the seacoast the inhabitants frequently gather the sea salt. They fill the rock crevices with sea water and leave it for the hot summer sun to evaporate. After evaporation the salt crystals can be collected. As salt-gathering is a government monopoly in Turkey, the government sends men to pollute the salt which is being surreptitiously crystallized, so as to make it unfit for eating. Another extensive supply comes from the salt lakes in the Syrian desert East of Damascus and toward Palmyra. All native salt is more or less bitter, due to the presence of other salts such as magnesium sulphate.

Salt was used not only as a food, but as an antiseptic in medicine. Newborn babes were bathed and salted ( Ezekiel 16:4 ), a custom still prevailing. The Arabs of the desert consider it so necessary, that in the absence of salt they batheir infants in camels' urine. Elisha is said to have healed the waters of Jericho by casting a cruse of salt into the spring ( 2 Kings 2:20 f). Abimelech sowed the ruins of Shechem with salt to prevent a new city from arising in its place (  Judges 9:45 ). Lot's wife turned to a pillar of salt ( Genesis 19:26 ).


Salt is emblematic of loyalty and friendship (see above). A person who has once joined in a "salt covenant" with God and then breaks it is fit only to be cast out (compare  Matthew 5:13;  Mark 9:50 ). Saltness typified barrenness ( Deuteronomy 29:23;  Jeremiah 17:6 ). James compares the absurdity of the same mouth giving forth blessings and cursings to the impossibility of a fountain yielding both sweet and salt water ( James 3:11 f).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [18]

Salt was procured by the Hebrews from two sources: first, from rock-salt, obtained from hills of salt which lie about the southern extremity of the Dead Sea; and secondly, from the waters of that sea, which overflowing the banks yearly, and being exhaled by the sun and the heat, left behind a deposit of salt both abundant and good.

From it is clear that salt was used as a condiment with food. Salt was also mixed with fodder for cattle . As offerings, viewed on their earthly side, were a presentation to God of what man found good and pleasant for food, so all meat-offerings were required to be seasoned with salt . Salt, therefore, became of great importance to Hebrew worshippers; it was sold accordingly in the temple market, and a large quantity was kept in the Temple itself, in a chamber appropriated to the purpose. The incense, 'perfume,' was also to have salt as an ingredient (; marginal reading 'salted'), where it appears to have been symbolical, as well of the divine goodness as of man's gratitude, on the principle that of every bounty vouchsafed of God, it became man to make an acknowledgment in kind.

As salt thus entered into man's food, so, to eat salt with any one, was to partake of his fare, to share his hospitality; and hence, by implication, to enjoy his favor, or to be in his confidence. Hence, also, salt became an emblem of fidelity and of intimate friendship. At the present hour the Arabs regard as their friend him who has eaten salt with them, that is, has partaken of their hospitality. The domestic sanctity which thus attached itself to salt was much enhanced in influence by its religious applications, so that it became symbolical of the most sacred and binding of obligations. Accordingly 'a covenant of salt' was accounted a very solemn bond (;; ): a signification to which force would be given by the preservative quality of salt.

But salt, if used too abundantly, is destructive of vegetation and causes a desert. Hence arose another class of figurative applications. Destroyed cities were sown with salt to intimate that they were devoted to perpetual desolation salt became a symbol of barrenness ; and 'a salt land' signifies a sterile and unproductive district .

We have reserved to the end reference to a singular usage among the Israelites, namely, washing new-born infants in salt water; which was regarded as so essential that those could have hardly any other than an ill fate who were deprived of the rite . The practice obviously arose from a regard to the preserving, the domestic, the moral, and the religious uses to which salt was applied, and of which it became the emblem.