In our two previous podcasts, we explained the ancient "Threshold Covenant." This was one of the most important covenants in Bible times. Another ancient, important covenant was the "Salt Covenant." In this episode and the next podcast episode, we are going to explain the salt covenant, how it points to Jesus and what it means for our lives today. So please be sure to join us for Part 1 and Part 2 as we discover this powerful covenant. The information we are sharing is taken from our book, "The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread," which you can order from our website at rbooker.com. Peggy start us off with some background.
In Matthew 5:13 (NKJV), Jesus says to His followers, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."
When Jesus compared His disciples to salt, He was speaking to them in terms they understood much more clearly than we do today. Their knowledge of the importance and use of salt was a part of their everyday lives. So when He used this phrase, they knew immediately what He meant. So what did Jesus mean when He told them they were the salt of the earth? And how can salt lose its flavor? To understand His statement, we must know something about salt and how people in Bible times viewed salt.
Salt in the Bible
The words salt, salted and saltness are found about 44 times in the Bible. Since nobody wants to eat bland food, Bible people seasoned their food with salt just as we do. In Job 6:6 (NKJV), Job lamented, "Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?" But salt had much more importance to people than just seasoning their food.
To ancient people, salt was life and life was salt. It not only flavored their food but it also preserved their food and had purifying qualities. Try to imagine living in Bible times when salt was used in everything the people did. People used salt in their sacrificial offerings to their gods. They used salt in healing, in their baths, as a substitute for blood and as protection against evil spirits. Egyptians used salt to preserve their mummies.
Salt was used as a sign of covenant relationships, as a symbol of honor, friendship, loyalty, hospitality and, in marriage, fidelity and commitment. Salt was even used in blessings and curses. It is no wonder that salt was considered to be a sacred commodity.
Salt and Blood
Since the people thought of salt as a sacred commodity, their most important use of salt was in covenant-making. Salt was considered an equivalent to blood and was used with blood and as a substitute for blood. Bible people understood a salt covenant to be like a blood covenant. As we have learned, a blood covenant was a sacred compact binding people to each other and to their gods in a covenant relationship. Salt was important in covenant-making because it added its unique healing, preserving and purifying qualities.
In the last podcast episodes, we learned about the Threshold Covenant and the blood at the threshold as an expression of covenant-making. If a guest came unannounced and there was no time to sacrifice an animal, the host would sprinkle salt on the threshold in place of the blood. People recognized salt as the equivalent or a representative of blood.
The Covenant of Salt
Three times the Bible speaks about a "covenant of salt." Salt was used with the sacrifices, ordaining the priesthood and establishing David and his descendants as God's chosen kings over Judah. Each one connects to Jesus as the blood covenant-salt of the covenant sacrifice greater than bulls and goats, the High Priest greater than Aaron and the King greater than David. Wow! This is truly amazing. Join us in this and the next podcast episodes as we discover how the covenant of salt points to Jesus and what this means for your life.
Dr. Richard Booker is the author of The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread and 40 life-changing books, and has developed 18 college-level Bible courses from a Judeo-Christian perspective. He has made more than 550 television programs and serves as a spiritual father to many. He is known for his ability to explain complicated subjects in easy-to-understand language for everyday people. He and his wife, Peggy, have led tours to Israel for 30 years where for 18 years, Richard was a speaker at the International Christian Celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. This event is attended by 5,000 Christians from 100 nations. Dr. Booker and Peggy hosted a Kristallnacht Memorial for eighteen years during which time they worked closely with the Holocaust Museum and Survivors in Houston, Texas. They also participated in a Holocaust educators tour to Europe. In addition, they hosted an Erev Shabbat event for fifteen years where they taught the importance for Christians and Jews to discover one another in mutual love and respect. To learn more, see their website at rbooker.com.
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