A Covenant of Salt

At least three times in the Old Testament (Lev. 2:13; Num. 18:19; II Chron. 13:5; and perhaps Ezek. 43:24) mention is made of a “covenant of salt” or “the salt of the covenant.” In Leviticus, Israel is commanded to season every grain offering to God with salt, and to offer salt with all their offerings. In Numbers, Yahweh declares that His giving the Aaronic priests all the offerings of Israel is “an everlasting covenant of salt before Yahweh.” In II Chronicles, Abijah reminds Jeroboam that Yahweh gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons “by a covenant of salt.”

Salt was a preservative in ancient Israel, and so to call a covenant a “covenant of salt” was to highlight and emphasize its permanence. God’s covenant is everlasting (Heb. 13:20), and His faithfulness to His word is assured. The use of salt in the offerings would remind the people that their relationship with God was not some transient reality, but was lasting and sure.

Though the shadows have passed away, and so we don’t use salt in any of our new covenant ceremonies, yet the reality is still with us – God’s covenant promises to us in Christ are as permanent as they have ever been. He has made with his Son (the seed of David) a covenant of salt, promising to give Him a people and to give that people eternal life. In Christ God has made with us a covenant of salt; His mercies are eternal and forever.



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