The Salt Covenant: Part 2

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In our previous podcast, we explained in Part 1 the ancient "Salt Covenant"; this was one of the most important covenants in Bible times. In this podcast, we continue with Part 2 in our explanation of the Salt Covenant, how it points to Jesus and what it means for our lives today. 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 tells us about how Bible people used salt against evil spirits.

Salt as a Covenant Bond of Friendship and Loyalty

Because of the preserving nature of salt, it was used like blood as a symbol of an enduring covenant. Like a blood covenant, a salt covenant was considered a sacred bond between people. Whenever people ate salt with someone, they entered into a covenant relationship with them. If you ate salt with someone, you were responsible for their protection as well as their provisions. They came under your care. On the contrary, it would be the highest dishonor to harm someone with whom you ate salt.

The normal way people ate salt with someone was by sharing a meal. Since bread was part of every meal, salt was added to the bread. Therefore, to eat bread with someone was the same as to "eat salt" with them. If a person ate salt with someone but then tried to harm them, it was said that "Their bread had no salt in it." Another way of saying the same thing was that "Salt was not in their stomachs." Other sayings for someone who did not honor the salt covenant were that the person was "one untrue to salt" or that they were "salt abusers."

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If a person ate salt with someone and then betrayed them, it was said that they "betrayed the salt." If they tried to hurt them through physical harm or theft of their goods, or any violation of their family honor, the person would be violating the most sacred of customs. He would bring shame to his family and be considered an outcast.

There are many fascinating stores in Middle Eastern Arab culture that illustrate this custom, which was their way of life. One you may be familiar with is the tale of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." Many of us grew up reading this story but we may not have fully understood the significance of the story.

According to the story, a leader of a band of robbers visited Ali Baba in order to murder him. He disguised himself so Ali Baba would not recognize him. When it came time to eat the meal, the evil man refused to eat food, which had salt in it. Ali Baba's slave girl noticed this and wondered, Who is he that eats only meat that has no salt in it? She then realized it was the robber and said to herself, So this is the reason why the villain does not eat salt. He came here to slay my master, who is his mortal enemy. As evil as this man was, he was not willing to "eat salt" with the man he was going to murder. He would not violate the covenant of salt.

Join us next week as we begin a power study of uncovering hidden pictures in the Feasts of the Lord.

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 18 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 15 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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