With all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt - Salt was the opposite to leaven, for it preserved from putrefaction and corruption, and signified the purity and persevering fidelity that were necessary in the worship of God. Every thing was seasoned with it, to signify the purity and perfection that should be extended through every part of the Divine service, and through the hearts and lives of God's worshippers. It was called the salt of the covenant of God, because as salt is incorruptible, so was the covenant made with Abram, Isaac, Jacob, and the patriarchs, relative to the redemption of the world by the incarnation and death of Jesus Christ. Among the heathens salt was a common ingredient in all their sacrificial offerings; and as it was considered essential to the comfort and preservation of life, and an emblem of the most perfect corporeal and mental endowments, so it was supposed to be one of the most acceptable presents they could make unto their gods, from whose sacrifices it was never absent. That inimitable and invaluable writer, Pliny, has left a long chapter on this subject, the seventh of the thirty-first book of his Natural History, a few extracts from which will not displease the intelligent reader.
Ergo, hercule, vita humanior sine Sale nequit degere: adeoque necessarium elementum est, ut transierit intellectus ad voluptates animi quoque. Nam ita Sales appellantur omnisque vitae lepos et summa hilaritas, laborumque requies non alio magis vocabulo constat. Honoribus etiam militiaeque inter ponitur, Salariis inde dictis - Maxime tamen in sacris intelligitur auctoritas, quando nulla conficiuntur sine mola salsa.
"So essentially necessary is salt that without it human life cannot be preserved: and even the pleasures and endowments of the mind are expressed by it; the delights of life, repose, and the highest mental serenity, are expressed by no other term than sales among the Latins. It has also been applied to designate the honorable rewards given to soldiers, which are called salarii or salaries. But its importance may be farther understood by its use in sacred things, as no sacrifice was offered to the gods without the salt cake."
So Virgil, Eclog. viii., ver. 82: Sparge molam.
"Crumble the sacred mole of salt and corn."
And again, Aeneid., lib. iv., ver. 517: -
Ipsa mola, manibitsque piis, altaria juxta.
"Now with the sacred cake, and lifted hands,
All bent on death, before her altar stands."
In like manner Homer: -
Πασσε δ ' ἁλος θειοιο, κρατευταων επαειπας .
Iliad, lib. ix., ver. 214.
"And taking sacred salt from the hearth side,
Where it was treasured, pour'd it o'er the feast."
Quotations of this kind might be easily multiplied, but the above may be deemed sufficient.
With all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt - Not only every מנחה mı̂nchāh but every animal offering was to be accompanied by salt. It was the one symbol which was never absent from the altar of burnt-offering, showing the imperishablness of the love of Yahweh for His people. In its unalterable nature, it is the contrary of leaven (yeast). The Arabs are said to retain in common use the expression, “a covenant of salt;” and the respect they pay to bread and salt in their rites of hospitality is well known.
Any habit or practice that would lead into sin, and bring dishonor upon Christ, would better be put away, whatever the sacrifice. That which dishonors God cannot benefit the soul. The blessing of heaven cannot attend any man in violating the eternal principles of right. And one sin cherished is sufficient to work the degradation of the character, and to mislead others. If the foot or the hand would be cut off, or even the eye would be plucked out, to save the body from death, how much more earnest should we be to put away sin, that brings death to the soul! DA 439.1
In the ritual service, salt was added to every sacrifice. This, like the offering of incense, signified that only the righteousness of Christ could make the service acceptable to God. Referring to this practice, Jesus said, “Every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” “Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” All who would present themselves “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Romans 12:1), must receive the saving salt, the righteousness of our Saviour. Then they become “the salt of the earth,” restraining evil among men, as salt preserves from corruption. Matthew 5:13. But if the salt has lost its savor; if there is only a profession of godliness, without the love of Christ, there is no power for good. The life can exert no saving influence upon the world. Your energy and efficiency in the upbuilding of My kingdom, Jesus says, depend upon your receiving of My Spirit. You must be partakers of My grace, in order to be a savor of life unto life. Then there will be no rivalry, no self-seeking, no desire for the highest place. You will have that love which seeks not her own, but another's wealth. DA 439.2
Let the repenting sinner fix his eyes upon “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29); and by beholding, he becomes changed. His fear is turned to joy, his doubts to hope. Gratitude springs up. The stony heart is broken. A tide of love sweeps into the soul. Christ is in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. When we see Jesus, a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, working to save the lost, slighted, scorned, derided, driven from city to city till His mission was accomplished; when we behold Him in Gethsemane, sweating great drops of blood, and on the cross dying in agony,—when we see this, self will no longer clamor to be recognized. Looking unto Jesus, we shall be ashamed of our coldness, our lethargy, our self-seeking. We shall be willing to be anything or nothing, so that we may do heart service for the Master. We shall rejoice to bear the cross after Jesus, to endure trial, shame, or persecution for His dear sake. DA 439.3Read in context »