Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
Unsavoury means insipid, without taste. It is necessary to add salt in order to make it either palatable or wholesome. The literal truth of this no one can doubt. Insipid food cannot be relished, nor would it long sustain life. "The Orientals eat their bread often with mere salt, without any other addition except some dry and pounded summer savory, which last is the common method at Aleppo." It should be remembered also that the bread of the Orientals is commonly mere unleavened cakes. The idea of Job in this adage or proverb is, that there was a fitness and propriety in things. Certain things went together, and were necessary companions. One cannot be expected without the other; one is incomplete without the other. Insipid food requires salt in order to make it palatable and nutritious, and so it is proper that suffering and humiliation should be united. There was a reason for his complaints, as there was for adding salt to unsavoury food. Some have supposed that Job means to rebuke Eliphaz severely for his harangue on the necessity of patience, which he characterises as insipid, impertinent, and disgusting to him; as being, in fact, as unpleasant to his soul as the white of an egg was to his taste. Dr. Good explains it as meaning, "Doth that which hath nothing of seasoning, nothing of a pungent or irritating power, within it, produce pungency or irritation? I, too, should be quiet, and complain not if I had nothing provocative or acrimonious; but, alas! the food I am doomed to partake of is the very calamity which is most acute to my soul, that which I most loathe, and which is most grievous and trying to my palate." But I see no reason to think that in this he meant to reproach Eliphaz for an insipid and unmeaning address.
Parallel VersesKJV: Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?