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The salt - biblical symbolic meaning

The use of salt in biblical times

Today we think of salt only as a seasoning for our food, but in ancient times salt had more than 14,000 applications. Throughout history, salt has been used for almost everything from melting ice to relax the muscles.

The ancients realized that life could not exist without the salt, so it was never used as currency and even caused wars.

There are over thirty references in the Bible about salt, including the infamous moment in which Lot's wife is turned into memorial salt for having turned toward Sodom at the time of its destruction (Genesis 19:26).

But the preferred use specifically in the Word is the preserver: unlike yeast, which corrupts the dough from which bread is made, salt was used as a food preservative. It is recalled that before did not have electric refrigerators as today, so the salt used to stop the process of breaking down food.

Another use of the salt mentioned in the Gospels by the Lord Jesus Christ is the healer and antiseptic.

So that when he tells the church, "You are the salt of the earth" he is saying that we stop the decomposition process of humanity, while we bring healing, that is, salvation.

You are the salt of the earth; But if the salt loses its taste, with what shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. Matthew 5: 13-14

In the same way that salt was used to stop the corruptive process in food, so the church stops the breakdown of society.

But salt can also enter decomposition process. One symptom that gives the salt when it begins to rot is that it loses its flavor.

If the church begins to participate in the same corruptive process happens the same as when salt loses its saltiness: becomes useless and reason.

In biblical times, once salt definitely lost its qualities, or had absorbed moisture becoming liquid and dirty, it was kept for winter and was thrown into the street, because at that time the streets of Jerusalem were covered with ice, and the the melted salt compound thus avoiding slipping.

Salt is good; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? Neither for the soil nor for the manure pile is useful; They cast it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Luke 14:34

So once the salt began the process of corruption and could no longer be used in food she is dumped to the ground and helped in their fertility, or dunghill, to combat filth. But when finally they had completely extinguished its purifying qualities and only served to accumulate filth is unceremoniously discarded.

This means that if the church loses its sanctity and participate in human filth (Ephesians 5: 5-7) also loses all purpose on this earth, without any contemplation will be thrown out, the weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8: 12).

Salt as a symbol of forgiveness and test

Another use that was given to salt in ancient times, in addition to the already mentioned to preserve food, it was salutary. To prevent a festering wound made it missed him salt and so was cauterized. Of course the process was intense, because the sensation of salt on an open wound is abrasive, but ultimately, it was as healthy.

... Have salt in yourselves; and be at peace with one another. Mark 9:50

The symbolism or spiritual significance of the use of salt in biblical times has to do directly with forgive and ask for forgiveness.

The damage they cause us close to us, and some very dear inclusive, we freezes wounds in the heart, which if not treated with the salt of the Spirit, will become purulent, and eventually will cause turn we also we cause harm to others.

Or maybe even ourselves will have said or done something that needs to be repaired because someone was damaged. In any case, the process necessarily involves going to forgive or ask for forgiveness.

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5: 23-24
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6: 14-15

In the same way the salt symbolizes purification or improvement through testing:

For everyone they will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Mark 9:49
Although he was Son, for what suffered learned obedience; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation for all who obey him. Hebrews 5: 8-9


The word "salary" comes from the amount of salt delivered as paid the Roman legionaries. Its usefulness for daily subsistence, salt was considered of great value. In ancient times to establish a colony made sure to water and salt. The Dead Sea salt provided significant amounts of the entire region, so that control of that area was strategic for Rome.

Words like "salutary", "salvation", "greeting" and "healthy" coming from the use that was given to salt in the treatment of wounds.