Leviticus 2:13
And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.

Leviticus 2:13. Salt — To signify that incorruption of mind, and sincerity of grace, which in Scripture is signified by salt, (Mark 9:49;

Colossians 4:6,) and which is necessary in all them that would offer an acceptable offering to God. Or in testimony of that communion which they had with God in these exercises of worship; salt being the great symbol of friendship in all nations and ages. The salt of the covenant of thy God — It is so called, either, 1st, Because it represented the perpetuity of God’s covenant with them, which is designed by salt, Numbers 8:19; Numbers 2

Chronicles Leviticus 13:5. Or, 2d, Because it was so particularly required as a condition of their covenant with God; this being made absolutely necessary in all their offerings; and as the neglect of sacrifices was a breach of covenant on their part, so also was the neglect of salt in their sacrifices.

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.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. 13. every … meat offering shalt thou season with salt—The same reasons which led to the prohibition of leaven, recommended the use of salt—if the one soon putrefies, the other possesses a strongly preservative property, and hence it became an emblem of incorruption and purity, as well as of a perpetual covenant—a perfect reconciliation and lasting friendship. No injunction in the whole law was more sacredly observed than this application of salt; for besides other uses of it that will be noticed elsewhere, it had a typical meaning referred to by our Lord concerning the effect of the Gospel on those who embrace it (Mr 9:49, 50); as when plentifully applied it preserves meat from spoiling, so will the Gospel keep men from being corrupted by sin. And as salt was indispensable to render sacrifices acceptable to God, so the Gospel, brought home to the hearts of men by the Holy Ghost, is indispensably requisite to their offering up of themselves as living sacrifices [Brown]. Every oblation of thy meat-offering shalt thou season with salt; either,

1. For the decency and conveniency of the feast, which God would have here represented. Or,

2. For the signification of that incorruption of mind, and sincerity of grace, which in Scripture is signified by salt, Mark 9:49 Colossians 4:6, and which is necessary in all them that would offer an acceptable offering to God. Or,

3. In testimony of that communion which they had with God in these exercises of his worship; salt being the great symbol of friendship in all nations and ages. The salt of the covenant of thy God: so salt is called, either,

1. Because it fitly represented the durableness and perpetuity of God’s covenant with them, which is designed by salt, Numbers 18:19 2 Chronicles 13:5. Or,

2. Because it was so particularly and rigorously required as a condition of their covenant with God; this being made absolutely necessary in all their offerings, as it follows; and as the neglect of sacrifices was a breach of covenant on their part, so also was the neglect of salt in their sacrifices. With all thine offerings; not these only, but all other, as appears from Ezekiel 43:24 Mark 9:49.

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.

And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the {h} covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

(h) Which they were bound (as by covenant) to use all sacrifices, Nu 18:19 2Ch 13:5 Eze 43:24 or it means a sure and pure covenant.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. shalt thou season with salt] Salt, which is necessary for those who eat farinaceous food and a pleasant condiment with flesh meat, was freely used by the Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and other nations of antiquity. They brought it as an accompaniment of sacrifice, in accordance with the primitive view of sacrifice as the food of the gods (cp. ch. Leviticus 21:22). It may have been an element in the Jewish ritual from the earliest times. The phrase ‘salt of the covenant of thy God’ indicates that a symbolical meaning was also attached to it. A covenant among ancient peoples was ratified by eating food together (Genesis 31:54) with which salt was generally taken. ‘There is salt between us’ is in the mouth of the Arab a declaration of friendship and obligation; God’s covenants with Levi and David are ‘covenants of salt’ (Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5); so here ‘the salt of the covenant’ implies that the Israelite, by reason of his covenant relation with God, was bound to bring with his sacrifice the offering of a willing heart (Psalm 54:6; Psalm 119:108). Salt with sacrifice is enjoined in Ezekiel 43:24, and referred to Mark 9:49. For the remission of the tax on salt, cp. 1Ma 10:29; 1Ma 11:35, and Jos. Ant. xii. 3. 3. For the mola salsa of the Romans (Hor. Sat. ii. 3. 200) and other classical references to salt with sacrifice, see the Articles on Salt in HDB. and Enc. Bib.

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." Leviticus 2:13The presentation of the minchah "made of these things," i.e., of the different kinds of pastry mentioned in Leviticus 2:4-7, resembled in the main that described in Leviticus 2:1-3. The מן הרים in Leviticus 2:9 corresponds to the מן קמץ in Leviticus 2:2, and does not denote any special ceremony of heaving, as is supposed by the Rabbins and many archaeological writers, who understand by it a solemn movement up and down. This will be evident from a comparison of Leviticus 3:3 with Leviticus 4:8, Leviticus 4:31, Leviticus 4:35, and Leviticus 7:3. In the place of ממּנּוּ ירים in Leviticus 4:8 we find מזּבח הקריב in Leviticus 4:10, חלב חוּסר כּאשׁר חוּ in Leviticus 4:31 and Leviticus 4:35; so that מן הרים evidently denotes simply the lifting off or removal of those parts which were to be burned upon the altar from the rest of the sacrifice (cf. Bhr, ii. 357, and my Archologie i. p. 244-5). - In Leviticus 2:11-13 there follow two laws which were applicable to all the meat-offerings: viz., to offer nothing leavened (Leviticus 2:11), and to salt every meat-offering, and in fact every sacrifice, with salt (Leviticus 2:13). Every minchah was to be prepared without leaven: "for all leaven, and all honey, ye shall not burn a firing of it for Jehovah. As an offering of first-fruits ye may offer them (leaven and honey, i.e., pastry made with them) to Jehovah, but they shall not come upon the altar." Leaven and honey are mentioned together as things which produce fermentation. Honey has also an acidifying or fermenting quality, and was even used for the preparation of vinegar (Plin. h. n. 11, 15; 21, 14). In rabbinical writings, therefore, הדבישׁ signifies not only dulcedinem admittere, but corrumpsi, fermentari, fermentescere (vid., Buxtorf, lex. chald. talm. et rabb. p. 500). By "honey" we are to understand not grape-honey, the dibs of the Arabs, as Rashi and Bhr do, but the honey of bees; for, according to 2 Chronicles 31:5, this alone was offered as an offering of first-fruits along with corn, new wine, and oil; and in fact, as a rule, this was the only honey used by the ancients in sacrifice (see Bochart, Hieroz. iii. pp. 393ff.). The loaves of first-fruits at the feast of Weeks were leavened; but they were assigned to the priests, and not burned upon the altar (Leviticus 23:17, Leviticus 23:20). So also were the cakes offered with the vow-offerings, which were applied to the sacrificial meal (Leviticus 7:13); but not the shew-bread, as Knobel maintains (see at Leviticus 24:5.). Whilst leaven and honey were forbidden to be used with any kind of minchah, because of their producing fermentation and corruption, salt on the other hand was not to be omitted from any sacrificial offering. "Thou shalt not let the salt of the covenant of thy God cease from thy meat-offering," i.e., thou shalt never offer a meat-offering without salt. The meaning which the salt, with its power to strengthen food and preserve it from putrefaction and corruption, imparted to the sacrifice, was the unbending truthfulness of that self-surrender to the Lord embodied in the sacrifice, by which all impurity and hypocrisy were repelled. The salt of the sacrifice is called the salt of the covenant, because in common life salt was the symbol of covenant; treaties being concluded and rendered firm and inviolable, according to a well-known custom of the ancient Greeks (see Eustathius ad Iliad. i. 449) which is still retained among the Arabs, by the parties to an alliance eating bread and salt together, as a sign of the treaty which they had made. As a covenant of this kind was called a "covenant of salt," equivalent to an indissoluble covenant (Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5), so here the salt added to the sacrifice is designated as salt of the covenant of God, because of its imparting strength and purity to the sacrifice, by which Israel was strengthened and fortified in covenant fellowship with Jehovah. The following clause, "upon (with) every sacrificial gift of thine shalt thou offer salt," is not to be restricted to the meat-offering, as Knobel supposes, nor to be understood as meaning that the salt was only to be added to the sacrifice externally, to be offered with or beside it; in which case the strewing of salt upon the different portions of the sacrifice (Ezekiel 43:24; Mark 9:49) would have been a departure from the ancient law. For korban without any further definition denotes the sacrificial offerings generally, the bleeding quite as much as the bloodless, and the closer definition of על הקריב (offer upon) is contained in the first clause of the verse, "season with salt." The words contain a supplementary rule which was applicable to every sacrifice (bleeding and bloodless), and was so understood from time immemorial by the Jews themselves (cf. Josephus, Ant. iii. 9, 1).

(Note: The Greeks and Romans also regarded salt as indispensable to a sacrifice. Maxime in sacris intelligitur auctoritas salis, quando nulla conficiuntur sine mola salsa. Plin. h. n. 31, 7, (cf. 41).)

Links
Leviticus 2:13 Interlinear
Leviticus 2:13 Parallel Texts


Leviticus 2:13 NIV
Leviticus 2:13 NLT
Leviticus 2:13 ESV
Leviticus 2:13 NASB
Leviticus 2:13 KJV

Leviticus 2:13 Bible Apps
Leviticus 2:13 Parallel
Leviticus 2:13 Biblia Paralela
Leviticus 2:13 Chinese Bible
Leviticus 2:13 French Bible
Leviticus 2:13 German Bible

Bible Hub






Leviticus 2:12
Top of Page
Top of Page