“You are to season every grain offering of yours with salt — do not omit from your grain offering the salt of the covenant with your God, but offer salt with all your offerings.”-Leviticus 2:13
Today we’re going to talk about why the Lord commanded that salt be added to ALL of the offerings.
As with many things in Scripture, the use of salt had both practical and spiritual implications.
All the way back in Genesis actually, we see salt being used in a covenant-making ceremony.
The origins of how salt came to be used in covenant ceremonies is a debatable point among scholars even today, but there is general agreement in its use and its meaning.
Like many other subjects in Scripture, the best way to gain a firm understanding of a particular subject is to go straight to the original languages, in this case, we’re going to take a look at the original Hebrew.
Notice the phrase in verse 13 that says the “salt of the covenant”.
The Hebrew for this phrase is MELACH BERIT ELOHEIKA.
Note that ELOHEIKA is a form of the word ELOHIM.
MELACH BERIT ELOHEIKA is a kind of Hebrew idiom that refers to a binding obligation to God.
Now what’s another word for “binding obligation”?
Of course, the answer is “covenant”.
It appears that salt was used in treaty making well before the time of Moses.
According to ancient records, if a treaty was broken, one of the consequences is that the offending party would have a large volume of his salt thrown out into the fields rendering it unusable.
Salt was also used in hospitality rituals involving guests.
So what I see here is God simply making use of a well understood element whose use was already quite routine in the Middle East for making agreements and other common customs.
Although many church pastors tend to go hog wild in their unscriptural and allegorical interpretations of the use of salt in Scripture, I think we should just take what we’re presented in Scripture at face value.
In other words, the Lord chose to employ this ancient custom to help His people, Israel, because it was already familiar to them.
However, the Lord also made it clear that the use of salt was NOT optional.
From the Lord’s perspective (which is really the only perspective we should concern ourselves with), the SALT OF THE COVENANT was now a sign that the worshipper was in agreement with the Lord and had every intention of upholding God’s covenants.