Leviticus 2:13
(13) And every oblation.--But salt, which is the contrary to leaven, and which preserves from putrefaction and corruption, was to be an ingredient, not only of bloodless, but of all animal sacrifices (Ezekiel 43:24).

The salt of the covenant of thy God.--From its antiseptic and savoury qualities, salt became the symbol of hospitality, friendship, durability, fidelity. "To eat bread and salt together" is, in the East, an expression for a league of mutual amity (Russell, Aleppo, i. 232). When the Arabs make a covenant together, they put salt on the blade of a sword, from whence every one puts a little into his mouth. This constitutes them blood relations, and they remain faithful to each other even when in danger of life (Ritter, Erd. 14:960). Hence the expression "a covenant of salt," which also occurs in Numbers 18:19, and 2Chronicles 13:5, denotes an indissoluble alliance, an everlasting covenant. Hence, too, the phrase "salted with the salt of the palace" (Ezra 4:14) means bound by sacred obligations of fidelity to the king.

Verse 13. - Every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt. Salt is commanded as symbolizing in things spiritual, because preserving in things physical, incorruption (cf. Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:49; Luke 14:34; Colossians 4:6). It is an emblem of an established and enduring covenant, such as God's covenant with his people, which is never to wax old and be destroyed, and it is therefore termed the salt of the covenant of thy God. Hence "a covenant of salt" came to mean a covenant that should not be broken (Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5). The use of salt is not confined to the meat offering. With all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt. Accordingly we find in Ezekiel 43:24, "The priest shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering."

2:12-16 Salt is required in all the offerings. God hereby intimates to them that their sacrifices, in themselves, were unsavoury. All religious services must be seasoned with grace. Christianity is the salt of the earth. Directions are given about offering their first-fruits at harvest. If a man, with a thankful sense of God's goodness in giving him a plentiful crop, was disposed to present an offering to God, let him bring the first ripe and full ears. Whatever was brought to God must be the best in its kind, though it were but green ears of corn. Oil and frankincense must be put upon it. Wisdom and humility soften and sweeten the spirits and services of young people, and their green ears of corn shall be acceptable. God takes delight in the first ripe fruits of the Spirit, and the expressions of early piety and devotion. Holy love to God is the fire by which all our offerings must be made. The frankincense denotes the mediation and intercession of Christ, by which our services are accepted. Blessed be God that we have the substance, of which these observances were but shadows. There is that excellency in Christ, and in his work as Mediator, which no types and shadows can fully represent. And our dependence thereon must be so entire, that we must never lose sight of it in any thing we do, if we would be accepted of God.And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt,.... Which makes food savoury, and preserves from putrefaction; denoting the savouriness and acceptableness of Christ as a meat offering to his people, he being savoury food, such as their souls love, as well as to God the Father, who is well pleased with his sacrifice; and also the perpetuity of his sacrifice, which always has the same virtue in it, and of him as a meat offering, who is that meat which endures to everlasting life, John 6:27 and also the grave and gracious conversation of those that by faith feed upon him, Mark 9:50.

neither shall thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering; this seems to suggest the reason why salt was used in meat offerings, and in all others, because it was a symbol of the perpetuity of the covenant, which from thence is called a covenant of salt, Numbers 18:19 namely, the covenant of the priesthood, to which these sacrifices belonged, Numbers 25:13 hence the Targum of Jonathan,"because the twenty four gifts of the priests are decreed by the covenant of salt, therefore upon all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt:"

with all thine offerings thou shall offer salt, even those that were not to be eaten, as well as those that were; as the burnt offering of the herd, of the flock, and of fowls, and their several parts; all were obliged to be salted that were offered, excepting wine, blood, wood, and incense (x); hence there was a room in the temple where salt was laid up for this purpose, called , "the salt room" (y); and which was provided by the congregation, and not by a private person (z); our Lord has reference to this law in Mark 9:49 the Heathens always made use of salt in their sacrifices (a).

(x) Maimon. Issure Mizbeach, c. 5. sect. 11. (y) Misn. Middot, c. 5. sect. 2.((z) Maimon. Issure Mizbeach, c. 5. sect. 13. (a) Ante Deos Homini, &c. Ovid. Fastor. l. 1. Vid. Horat. Carmin. l. 3. Ode 23.

Leviticus 2:12
Top of Page
Top of Page