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Thursday, April 7, 2022

Lessons from the Wilderness, Volume 52: Covenant and Relationship, Part Two - The Salt Covenant. What is it, and is it important today? Let us see...

 

Lessons from the Wilderness, Volume 52: What is the Salt Covenant, and how does it relate to us today? Let us see…

©2022, David E. Robinson: At the Gates of Yerushalayim Ministries

Go to Part One

Lessons from the Wilderness, Volume 52

Covenant and Relationship Part Two [i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v]

The Salt Covenant


Leviticus 2:11-13

11 “No grain offering that you present to the Lord is to be made with yeast, for you are not to burn t any yeast u or honey v as a fire offering to the Lord. 12 You may present them to the Lord as an offering of firstfruits, w but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. 13 You are to season each of your grain offerings with salt; you must not omit from your grain offering the salt of the covenant x with your God. You are to present salt y with each of your offerings. [vi]

[Author’s note:  Though this is not the first mention of salt in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is the first appearance of the salt covenant.]


Numbers 18:14-20

14 “Everything in Israel that is permanently dedicated to the Lord a belongs to you. 15 The firstborn of every living thing, man or animal, presented to the Lord belongs to you. But you must certainly redeem the firstborn of man, b and redeem the firstborn of an unclean animal. 16 You will pay the redemption price for a month-old male according to your assessment: five shekels of silver by the standard sanctuary shekel, which is 20 gerahs. c

17 “However, you must not redeem the firstborn of an ox, a sheep, or a goat; they are holy. You are to sprinkle their blood on the altar and burn their fat as a fire offering for a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 18 But their meat belongs to you. It belongs to you like the breast of the presentation offering and the right thigh.

19 “I give to you and to your sons and daughters all the holy contributions that the Israelites present to the Lord as a permanent statute. It is a permanent covenant of salt d before the Lord for you as well as your offspring.”

20 The Lord told Aaron, “You will not have an inheritance in their land; there will be no portion among them for you. I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelites. e [vii]

[Author’s note: This verse refers to the establishment of the Aaronic Priesthood.]


2 Chronicles 13:1 – 14:1

13 In the eighteenth-year o of Israel’s King Jeroboam, Abijah p became king over Judah and reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah q r daughter of Uriel; she was from Gibeah.

There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah set his army of warriors in order with 400,000 choice men. Jeroboam arranged his mighty army of 800,000 choice men in battle formation against him. Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, s which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Jeroboam and all Israel, hear me.

Do not you know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel to David and his descendants forever t by a covenant of salt? u

But Jeroboam son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon, son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord. v Then worthless and wicked men gathered around him to resist Rehoboam son of Solomon when Rehoboam was young, inexperienced, and unable to assert himself against them. “And now you are saying you can assert yourselves against the Lord’s kingdom, which is in the hand of one of David’s sons. You are a vast number and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods. w x Did not you banish the priests of Yahweh, the descendants of Aaron and the Levites, and make your own priests like the peoples of other lands do? y Whoever comes to ordain himself z with a young bull and seven rams may become a priest a of what are not gods. b

10 “But as for us, Yahweh is our God. We have not abandoned Him; the priests ministering to the Lord are descendants of Aaron, and the Levites serve at their tasks. 11 They offer a burnt offering and fragrant incense to the Lord every morning and every evening, c and they set the rows of the bread of the Presence on the ceremonially clean table. d They light the lamps of the gold lampstand every evening. We are carrying out the requirements of Yahweh our God, while you have abandoned Him. e 12 Look, God and His priests are with us at our head. The trumpets are ready to sound the charge against you. Israelites, do not fight against the Lord God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.” f

13 Now Jeroboam had sent an ambush g around to advance from behind them. So, they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14 Judah turned and discovered that the battle was in front of them and behind them, so they cried out to the Lord. h Then the priests blew the trumpets, 15 and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. When the men of Judah raised the battle cry, God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. i 16 So the Israelites fled before Judah, and God handed them over to them. j 17 Then Abijah and his people struck them with a mighty blow, and 500,000 choice men of Israel were killed. 18 The Israelites were subdued at that time. The Judahites succeeded because they depended on the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured some cities from him: Bethel and its villages, Jeshanah and its villages, and Ephron k and its villages. 20 Jeroboam no longer retained his power l during Abijah’s reign; ultimately, the Lord struck him m and he died. n

21 However, Abijah grew strong, acquired 14 wives, and fathered 22 sons and 16 daughters. 22 The rest of the events of Abijah’s reign, along with his ways and his sayings, are written in the Writing o of the Prophet Iddo. p 14 1 q Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. His son Asa became king in his place. r During his reign the land experienced peace for 10 years. [viii]

[Author’s note: The reference is to the Davidic dynasty being established with the covenant of salt. Abijah ruled the southern kingdom of Judea, while Jeroboam, who overthrew Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, ruled the northern kingdom of Israel.]


The covenant of salt.

According to H. Clay Trumbull, his research describes a covenant as:

“…As I have come to see it, as a result of my research, the very idea of a "covenant" in primitive thought is a union of being, or of persons, in a common life, with the approval of God, or of the gods. This was primarily a sharing of blood, which is life, between two persons, through a rite which had the sanction of him who is the source of all life…”[ix] He goes on to compare the different types of covenant, the “salt and the threshold”, as being synonymous with, or in the form of, the “blood” covenant as all three represent life, for as scripture says:

Leviticus 17:10-11

10 aAnd any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, bI will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For athe 1life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for bit is the blood by reason of the 1life that makes atonement.’[x]


Salt, Strong's number H4417, and the Hebrew original: מלח  with a transliteration melach and phonetic pronunciation of meh'-lakh], is mentioned in twenty-nine verses, thirty-one times in the King James, and as the G217 original ἅλας, ttransliteration Halas and pphonetically  hal'-as ten times in six verses of the New Testament. The verses listed about are the only direct mentions of the salt covenant. 

So, how and why does it take on such importance?

It is not as much the salt as it is in the act of covenant itself. I would like to quote Mr. Trumbull here, as he gives us a small view of how language actually fails in the attempt to describe concepts:

“…Our English word "covenant," like many another word in our language and in other languages, fails to convey, or even to contain, its fullest and most important meaning in comparison with the idea back of it. As a matter of fact, this must be true of nearly all words. Ideas precede words. Ideas have spirit and life before they are shaped or clothed in words. Words have necessarily human limitations and imperfectness, because of their purely human origin.

When an idea first seeks expression in words, it is inevitable that it be cramped by the means employed for its conveyance. At the best the word can only suggest the idea back of it, rather than accurately define and explain that idea. In practice, or in continued and varied use, in the development of thought and of language, changes necessarily occur in the word or words selected to convey a primal idea, in order to indicate other phases of the idea than that brought out or pointed to by the first chosen word. While these changes and additions aid some persons to an understanding of the root idea, they tend to confuse others, especially those who are looking for exactness of definition.

 As a rule, the earlier words chosen for the expression of an idea are more likely than later ones to suggest the main thought seeking expression. Hence there is often a gain in looking back among the Greek and Sanskrit and Hebrew and Assyrian roots carried forward by religion or commerce into our English words and idioms when we are searching for the true meaning of an important custom or rite or thought. Yet this will ordinarily be confusing rather than clarifying to an exact scholar…” [xi]

Only by context and the connections it forms are we able to see that a covenant takes on a peculiar, perpetual sacredness. This then, in this form, is no ordinary compact, treaty, or agreement. The spiritual covenant is a sacred sworn oath or bond, that is to be upheld by the parties entered into it. From the primitive acts of covenant, be they derived as a blood covenant or a threshold covenant, the salt covenant adds further dimension to the progressive development of the covenant theme.

Furthering our study, we read:

“Covenant of Salt.

Biblical phrase for a two-way agreement, the inviolability of which was symbolized by salt. A Middle Eastern saying, “There is bread and salt between us,” meant that a relationship had been confirmed by sharing a meal. Salt symbolized the life and enduring nature of the alliance. In the OT[xii] salt appears in the relationship between God and Israel (Lv 2:13). As a purifying agent and preservative in the cereal offering, salt symbolized the indissoluble nature of the covenant between God and Israel.

An everlasting “covenant of salt” (Nm 18:19) was made between God and Aaron, who represented the whole priesthood of Israel. Since the Levites received no inheritance in the Promised Land, God himself was to be their special portion forever. God’s covenant with King David and his sons was also called a covenant of salt (2 Chr 13:5).” [xiii]

And as others have commented:

“…. COVENANT OF SALT, sôlt (בְּרִית מֶלַח, berῑth melaḥ; ἅλας, hálas, classical Gr ἅλς, háls): As salt was regarded as a necessary ingredient of the daily food, and so of all sacrifices offered to Jeh* [xiv] (Lev 2:13), it became an easy step to the very close connection between salt and covenant-making. When men ate together, they became friends. Cf the Arab. expression, “There is salt between us”; “He has eaten of my salt,” which means partaking of hospitality which cemented friendship; cf “eat the salt of the palace” (Ezr 4:14). Covenants were generally confirmed by sacrificial meals and salt was always present. Since, too, salt is a preservative, it would easily become symbolic of an enduring covenant. So, offerings to Jeh* were to be by a statute forever, “a covenant of salt for ever before Jeh*” (Nu 18:19). David received his kingdom forever from Jeh* by a “covenant of salt” (2 Ch 13:5). In the light of these conceptions the remark of Our Lord becomes the more significant: “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace one with another” (Mk 9:50) …” [xv]

The Hebrew word for covenant, be ̆riyth, means an agreement between two parties, based in trust, to fulfill their ends of the deal. Salt was used as a healing agent, hence “pouring salt on the wound”.[xvi] Another example: “…The custom of rubbing a newborn child with salt probably also constitutes a measure thought to enhance health (Ezk. 16:4), something also consistent with the estimation of salt in antiquity as a medicine7 and its use in religious rites of healing…” 8 [xvii]

Salt also played a less figurative role in some ancient covenants as it was a key ingredient in meals that were eaten on the establishment of a pact [xviii] :

“…Covenant of Salt. The regulations involving the use of salt with cereal offerings in Lev. 2:13 emphatically call this the “salt of the covenant with your God.” Since evidence shows that outside Israel salt was even considered to be a food of the gods, one cannot with Jirku12 understand this salt of the covenant as a kind of self-imprecation in the case of covenant violation. Since salt is a part of every meal among human beings, and since it is used primarily with cereal offerings, then the sacrifice and sacrificial meal would more likely be the constitutive factors influencing such linguistic usage. What is fundamental is that “the communal partaking of salt is a sign of friendship and a symbol of communality.”13 The same was true for the Greeks and Romans;14 cf. also synalízomai in Acts 1:4.

Binding mutual commitments result from the hospitality of table fellowship. Thus, the scribes writing to Artaxerxes emphasize that they are bound to watch out for his interests because they “eat the salt of the palace” (Ezr. 4:14). Just as the covenant was enacted through eating and drinking before God and with God (Ex. 24:11), so did God allot to the priests their portion of the sacrifice through a “covenant of salt forever” (Nu. 18:19). In 2 Ch. 13:5, Abijah asserts against Jeroboam that Yahweh had given the kingship over Israel to David and his sons for all time by a “covenant of salt.”

The “covenant of salt” transfers to the divine covenant the notion of hospitality associated with table fellowship, with its subsequent commitment to loyalty and solicitude; Israel is to keep its covenantal obligations, although God, too, is to provide for the election and rights of the covenantal partner…[xix]

Now we can understand the practice that the ancients did in making a “covenant of salt”: those engaged in this covenant would wear small pouches of salt on their clothing. To make a covenant of salt, they would each take a pinch out of their pouch and then exchange the salt by placing their pinch in the other’s bag. The idea was simple: this type of covenant exchange was perpetual. To break this type of vow would require the breaking party to be able to pick out his particular grains of salt out of the others bag – an impossible task.  This is why a covenant is a form of committed relationship – not just an agreement or a contract. Between human relationships there is always an element of compromise; if ascribed to a covenant with God, then the party involved must understand the dynamics of dealing with a other-worldly force that is powerful, and that the actions of the covenant partners (God and human) have to strike a balance to achieve harmony and benefit for both parties. There must always be the bowing of one’s will to that of God’s and knowing that only the power of God does the covenant accomplish the purposes for which it was made.

As we study the different covenants, we must always remember that the covenant is born in the relationship. Questions arise, and here is how one commentator puts it:

“…Covenant is a form of committed relationship—and the facets of the covenants revealed by the efforts of commentators traditional and modern to explain this curious reference in our parashah[xx] can be instructive to us as we think about the relationships in our own lives (including our relationships with God). How will we make them endure? Will they have impact beyond our own lifetimes? What intimate activities seal and reseal our commitments—especially during a time when physical proximity is limited? How can we keep them in balance and thereby harness their power instead of being consumed by it...” [xxi]

Covenants, like the covenant of salt, are enduring – meaning that they continue over generations. A covenantal relationship has the impact not just in the life of the ones who make it, but also in the generations to come. So, what is the enduring condition of the salt covenant? It is in the power of salt to preserve.

What did Messiah say about salt?

1a Blessed are the 2poor in spirit, for btheirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are athose who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are athe 1gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6  Blessed are athose who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 Blessed are athe merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 Blessed are athe pure in heart, for bthey shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for athey shall be called sons of God.

10 Blessed are those who have been apersecuted for the sake of righteousness, for btheirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are you when people ainsult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for ain the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13 You are the salt of the earth; but aif the salt has become tasteless, how 1can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.[xxii]

 

By comparing His disciples as the salt of the earth, He implied that they were worthy and of virtue, but it came with a caveat: become “tasteless”, that is of no more worth or virtue, no longer good for anything.

What was salt used for? It was used as flavoring; used to preserve food; used in sacrifices; used in some cases as fertilizer; and last, it had an element of judgment and destruction added to it.

·         Disciples, like salt, are everywhere. They can add flavor (enhance the human condition):

Colossians 4:4-6

6 Conduct yourselves7 with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone. [xxiii]

 

·         Disciples preserve; they are sent into the world to slow down the rot, preserve the good, and help it from becoming corrupted – if they have not lost their taste…

·         Disciples are living sacrifices, and as Leviticus 2:13 says “…with all your offerings you shall offer salt…” And what are disciples to do?

Net® (2nd Ed) Bible: Matthew 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came up and said to them,26 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go27 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,28 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember,29 I am with you30 always, to the end of the age.”31[xxiv]

 We are to create disciples of the whole world, offering the earth and all in it to be a living sacrifice unto God.

·         Disciples are to be fertilizer. Andrew Wilson offers this insight:

“…Disciples are fertilizers. We are meant to be in those places where conditions are challenging, and life is hard. We are sent to enrich the soil, kill weeds, protect against disease, and stimulate growth, and as we scatter, life springs up in unexpected places. Barren lands become fruitful. When the people of God are redeemed, as the prophet says, “the wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus” (Isa. 35:1)…”[xxv]

·         Disciples can be elements for judgment -or destruction. There are many fine examples listed in the Article referenced above; I choose to focus on one, in context:

Net® (2nd Ed) Bible: Mark 9:42-50

42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone53 tied around his neck and to be thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter into life crippled than to have54 two hands and go into hell,55 to the unquenchable fire.56 45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off! It is better to enter life lame than to have57 two feet and be thrown into hell.58 47 If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out!59 It is better to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than to have60 two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

49 Everyone will be salted with fire.61

50 Salt62 is good, but if it loses its saltiness,63 how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with each other.” [xxvi]

 Again, disciples are cautioned not to lose their “flavor”. Notice He asks if one loses that “flavor”, that virtue and worth to the kingdom of God, how can they ever regain it?

HCSB Hebrews 6:1-12

6 Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, r teaching about ritual washings, s laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. t And we will do this if God permits.

 For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, u tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away, because v to their own harm, they are re-crucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt. w

For ground that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end. x

 Even though we are speaking this way, dear friends, in your case we are confident of the better things connected with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love y you showed for His name when you served the saints—and you continue to serve them. z 11 Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope, 12 so that you will not become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit 

the promises through faith and perseverance. a [xxvii]

This is what salt that loses its flavor looks like.

This is salt that forgot its covenant.

This is salt that walks away from the relationship with Messiah and God, and man.

I understand this has been a long post. I pray those who will read it, will think about their covenant and relationship to one another, and to God.

I pray that He who sits on the Throne of Grace preserves your salt and will richly bless those that retain it.

Till we meet again my beloved,

Amein and Amein.



Endnotes:

[i]NOTICE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: Unless otherwise cited, all material found on this blogsite (original text, opinions, conclusions, and other material not related to cited sources remains the collected intellectual property of the author of this site, David E. Robinson, Elder, Teacher, and are owned and controlled by myself and are protected by copyright and trademark laws and various other intellectual property rights and unfair competition laws of the United States, foreign jurisdictions, and international conventions. Any errors found within, rest solely upon me; please do not blame the Father for my mistakes. I am teachable and correctable, also fallible. 😊

 [ii] FAIR USE DISCLAIMER: This blog site may contain content that is not authorized for use by its owner. All such material will be cited back to its original source. According to Section 107 of the Copyright Act: “…the fair use of a copyrighted work […] for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright…” I have made and will continue to make every effort to stay within all ethical and moral guidelines in the use of material presented here, and the use of these materials is solely intended for educational purposes only, and all efforts to obtain or sustain fair use of non-owned material will be made.

[iii] Author’s note: This site is for education only and is not affiliated with any institution, organization, or religious group. It is the sole production of its editor. Use of information from Jewish-themed websites (or any other source material) should not be construed as these sites endorsing or confirming any thesis introduced by the author of this epistle. I present the information from their respective sites for instructional purposes only and/or to aid in the readers understanding of the subjects discussed.

 [iv] Author’s note:  Throughout this study I may be using the NET Bible® and the NET Notes®: within the notes you will see symbols like this: (א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NET Bible® for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NET Bible®) used in translating the New Testament. Please go to https://bible.org/netbible/ and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.

 [v] Author’s Note: In these studies, I have used the notes that come along with the passages I cite from the sources that I cite: these need a bit of a disclaimer though. As in all things, not everything that is footnoted is something that I necessarily agree with, especially if it contradicts what I believe pertains to any matters of the Torah or the commandments of God. I give you the notes as they are written by the authors of the material I cite from, so that you can see the information contained within them. It is not my place to edit or correct them; if they state anything that is in opposition to what I teach, then so be it. I will address these issues if needed; if I believe something in the notes/comments contradicts the truth of God’s word, then that I will do in the main body of my epistles. That is where my gentle dissent belongs. Most sources (but not all!) will display a decidedly Western/Greek mindset, as opposed to a Hebraic perspective. This does not mean I have to respond to their opinions or conclusions for I have to be intellectually honest – I am biased toward the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, His son Yeshua the Messiah, and the nation and people of Israel. I pray then we all can find common ground as we study the Scriptures, therefore, I will allow their opinions to stand – as I would hope mine are.

t 2:11 Some Hb mss, Sam, LXX, Tg read present

u 2:11 Ex 12:14

v 2:11 Jdg 14:8

The agricultural products harvested first and given to God as an offering with more products to come in later harvests; it is also used as a metaphor for the first people to come to faith or for Jesus, the first person to rise from the dead, or for the Spirit who is given to believers as the first portion (or down payment) of our salvation with more to come in eternity.

w 2:12 Gn 49:3; Ex 23:16, 19

x 2:13 Ex 19:5; Nm 18:19; 2Ch 13:5

y 2:13 Salt, used as a preservative, is a symbol of the permanence of the covenant.

[vi] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Le 2:11–13.

 a 18:14 Lv 27:28

b 18:15 Ex 13:11–16

When something is clean, it is holy or acceptable to God. When it is unclean, it is unholy (such as an unclean spirit). The term can be used in a ritual sense to apply to moral standards for living.

In the OT the shekel is a measurement of weight that came to be used as money, either gold or silver.

c 18:16 Lv 27:6; Nm 3:46–47

d 18:19 Lv 2:13; 2Ch 13:5

This term is used literally or metaphorically to refer to plants or grain, sowing or harvest, male reproductive seed, human children or physical descendants, and also to spiritual children or to Christ (Gl 3:16).

e 18:20 Dt 10:9; Jos 18:7; Ezk 44:28–30

[vii] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Nu 18:14–20.

o 13:1–2 1Kg 15:1–2, 7

p 13:1 = Abijam in 1Kg 14:31–15:8

q 13:2 LXX, Syr, Arabic read Maacah; 1Kg 15:2; 2Ch 11:22

r 13:2 1Kg 15:2; 2Ch 11:20, 22

s 13:4 Jos 18:22

t 13:5 2Sm 7:12–16

u 13:5 Lv 2:13; Nm 18:19

v 13:6 1Kg 11:26

Literally sons of Belial; in Hebrew, the basic meaning of Belial is worthless.

w 13:8 Or God; 1Kg 12:28

x 13:8 1Kg 12:28

Or The Lord; it is the personal name of God in Hebrew; “Yah” is the shortened form. Yahweh is used in places where the personal name of God is discussed (Ps 68:4) or in places of His self-identification (Is 42:8).

y 13:9 2Ch 11:14

z 13:9 Ex 29:29–33

a 13:9 1Kg 13:33

b 13:9 Jr 2:11; 5:7

Or holocaust; an offering completely burned to ashes; it was used in connection with worship, seeking God’s favor, expiating sin, or averting judgment.

c 13:11 Ex 29:38; 2Ch 2:4

Bread that was offered in Yahweh’s presence, that is, inside His house, not out on the altar (Lv 24:5–9)

When something is clean, it is holy or acceptable to God. When it is unclean, it is unholy (such as an unclean spirit). The term can be used in a ritual sense to apply to moral standards for living.

d 13:11 Ex 25:30; Lv 24:5–9

e 13:11 Ex 25:31–40

f 13:12 Nm 10:8–9

g 13:13 Jos 8:4–9

h 13:14 2Ch 14:11

i 13:15 2Ch 14:12

j 13:16 2Ch 16:8

k 13:19 Alt Hb tradition reads Ephrain

l 13:20 Lit He did not restrain the power of Jeroboam

m 13:20 1Sm 25:38

n 13:20 1Kg 14:20

o 13:22 2Ch 24:27

p 13:22 1Kg 15:7; 2Ch 9:29; 12:15

q 14:1 2Ch 13:23 in Hb

r 14:1 1Kg 15:8

[viii] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), 2 Ch 13:1–14:1.

[ix] Trumbull, H. Clay. The Covenant of Salt: As Based on the Significance and Symbolism of Salt in Primitive Thought (pp. 1-2). Good Press. Kindle Edition.

 a Gen 9:4; Lev 3:17; 7:26, 27; Deut 12:16, 23–25; 1 Sam 14:33

b Lev 20:3, 6; Jer 44:11

a Gen 9:4; Lev 17:14

1 Lit soul

b Heb 9:22

1 Lit soul

[x] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Le 17:10–11.

[xi] Trumbull, H. Clay. The Covenant of Salt: As Based on the Significance and Symbolism of Salt in Primitive Thought (pp. 4-5). Good Press. Kindle Edition.

[xii] OT Old Testament

[xiii] Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Covenant of Salt,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988) 538.

 [xiv] Jeh* (YHVH)

     Jeh* (YHVH)

     Jeh* (YHVH)

     Jeh* (YHVH)

[xv] Edward Bagby Pollard, “Covenant of Salt,” The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company, 1915) 729.

[xvi] Rubbing salt in the wound may have stung a bit but it did help to control infection.

7 Blümner, 2090.

8 BuA, II, 228f., 240, 309.

[xvii] H. Eising, “מֶלַח,” Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997) 332.

12 Pp. 18f.

13 W. Rudolph, Esra und Nehemiah. HAT, XX (1949), 43.

14 Blümner, 2089, 2091–93.

[xix] H. Eising, “מֶלַח,” Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997) 333.

[xx] Parashah: a passage in Jewish Scripture dealing with a single topic, specifically: a section of the Torah assigned for weekly reading in synagogue worship. “Parashah.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/parashah  .

[xxi] https://www.jtsa.edu/torah/a-covenant-of-salt/  from the Parashah VAYIKRA BY:  TIM DANIEL BERNARD DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL LEARNING AND ENGAGEMENT POSTED ON MAR 27, 2020 / 5780 | TORAH COMMENTARY

1 I.e. fortunate or prosperous, and so thr v 11

a Matt 5:3–12; Luke 6:20–23

2 I.e. those who are not spiritually arrogant

b Matt 5:10; 19:14; 25:34; Mark 10:14; Luke 6:20; 22:29f

a Is 61:2; John 16:20; Rev 7:17

a Ps 37:11

1 Or humble, meek

a Is 55:1, 2; John 4:14; 6:48ff; 7:37

a Prov 11:17; Matt 6:14, 15; 18:33–35

a Ps 24:4

b Heb 12:14; 1 John 3:2; Rev 22:4

a Matt 5:45; Luke 6:35; Rom 8:14

a 1 Pet 3:14

b Matt 5:3; 19:14; 25:34; Mark 10:14; Luke 6:20; 22:29f

a 1 Pet 4:14

a 2 Chr 36:16; Matt 23:37; Acts 7:52; 1 Thess 2:15; Heb 11:33ff; James 5:10

a Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34f

1 Lit will

[xxii] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Mt 5:3–13.

 ·         [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes.  For more information see endnote 4.]

 6 tn The phrase begins with the ἵνα (hina) clause and is subordinate to the imperative προσκαρτερεῖτε (proskartereite) in v. 2. The reference to the idea that Paul must make it known indicates that this clause is probably best viewed as purpose and not content, like the ἵνα of v. 3. It is the second purpose stated in the context; the first is expressed through the infinitive λαλῆσαι (lalēsai) in v. 3. The term “pray” at the beginning of the sentence is intended to pick up the imperative of v. 3.

7 tn Grk “walk.” The verb περιπατέω (peripateō) is a common NT idiom for one’s lifestyle, behavior, or manner of conduct (L&N 41.11).

·         End NET® Bible Notes

 [xxiii] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible, Second Edition. (Denmark: Thomas Nelson, 2019), Col 4:4–6.

 ·         [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes.  Net® Bible is a registered trademark. For more information see endnote 4.]

 26 tn Grk “coming, Jesus spoke to them, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn, “saying”) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

27 tn “Go … baptize … teach” are participles modifying the imperative verb “make disciples.” According to ExSyn 645 the first participle (πορευθέντες, poreuthentes, “Go”) fits the typical structural pattern for the attendant circumstance participle (aorist participle preceding aorist main verb, with the mood of the main verb usually imperative or indicative) and thus picks up the mood (imperative in this case) from the main verb (μαθητεύσατε, mathēteusate, “make disciples”). This means that semantically the action of “going” is commanded, just as “making disciples” is. As for the two participles that follow the main verb (βαπτίζοντες, baptizontes, “baptizing”; and διδάσκοντες, didaskontes, “teaching”), these do not fit the normal pattern for attendant circumstance participles, since they are present participles and follow the aorist main verb. However, some interpreters do see them as carrying additional imperative force in context. Others regard them as means, manner, or even result.

28 tc Although some scholars have denied that the trinitarian baptismal formula in the Great Commission was a part of the original text of Matthew, there is no ms support for their contention. F. C. Conybeare, “The Eusebian Form of the Text of Mt. 28:19,” ZNW 2 (1901): 275–88, based his view on a faulty reading of Eusebius’ quotations of this text. The shorter reading has also been accepted, on other grounds, by a few other scholars. For discussion (and refutation of the conjecture that removes this baptismal formula), see B. J. Hubbard, The Matthean Redaction of a Primitive Apostolic Commissioning (SBLDS 19), 163–64, 167–75; and Jane Schaberg, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (SBLDS 61), 27–29.

29 tn The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has been translated here as “remember” (BDAG 468 s.v. 1.c).

30 sn I am with you. Matthew’s Gospel begins with the prophecy that the Savior’s name would be “Emmanuel, that is, ‘God with us,’ ” (1:23, in which the author has linked Isa 7:14 and 8:8, 10 together) and it ends with Jesus’ promise to be with his disciples forever. The Gospel of Matthew thus forms an inclusio about Jesus in his relationship to his people that suggests his deity.

31 tc Most mss (Ac Θ f13 𝔐 it sy) have ἀμήν (amēn, “amen”) at the end of v. 20. Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. Further, no good reason exists for the omission of the particle in significant and early witnesses such as א A* B D W f1 33 al lat sa.

·         End NET® Bible Notes

 [xxiv] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible, Second Edition. (Denmark: Thomas Nelson, 2019), Mt 28:18–20.

 [xxv] From he article “What Does It Really Mean to be the salt of the Earth?” by Andrew Wilson [edits mine] https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/salt-earth/ [Portions of my epistle are adapted by inspiration from Andrew’s work.]

 ·         [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes.  Net® Bible is a registered trademark. For more information see endnote 4.]

 53 tn Grk “the millstone of a donkey.” This refers to a large flat stone turned by a donkey in the process of grinding grain (BDAG 661 s.v. μύλος 2; L&N 7.68–69). The same term is used in the parallel account in Matt 18:6.

sn The punishment of drowning with a heavy weight attached is extremely gruesome and reflects Jesus’ views concerning those who cause others who believe in him to sin.

54 tn Grk “than having.”

55 sn The word translated hell is “Gehenna” (γέεννα, geenna), a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew words ge hinnom (“Valley of Hinnom”). This was the valley along the south side of Jerusalem. In OT times it was used for human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (cf. Jer 7:31; 19:5–6; 32:35), and it came to be used as a place where human excrement and rubbish were disposed of and burned. In the intertestamental period, it came to be used symbolically as the place of divine punishment (cf. 1 En. 27:2, 90:26; 4 Ezra 7:36). This Greek term also occurs in vv. 45, 47.

56 tc Most later mss have 9:44 here and 9:46 after v. 45: “where their worm never dies and the fire is never quenched” (identical with v. 48). Verses 44 and 46 are present in A D Θ f13 𝔐 lat syp,h, but lacking in important Alexandrian mss and several others (א B C L W Δ Ψ 0274 f1 28 565 892 2427 pc co). This appears to be a scribal addition from v. 48 and is almost certainly not an original part of the Greek text of Mark. The present translation follows NA27 in omitting the verse number, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.

57 tn Grk “than having.”

58 tc See tc note at the end of v. 43.

59 tn Grk “throw it out.”

60 tn Grk “than having.”

61 tc The earliest mss ([א] B L [W] Δ 0274 f1, 13 28* 565 700 pc sys sa) have the reading adopted by the translation. Codex Bezae (D) and several Itala read “Every sacrifice will be salted with salt.” The majority of other mss (A C Θ Ψ [2427] 𝔐 lat syp,h) have both readings, “Everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be salted with salt.” An early scribe may have written the LXX text of Lev 2:13 (“Every sacrifice offering of yours shall be salted with salt”) in the margin of his ms. At a later stage, copyists would either replace the text with this marginal note or add the note to the text. The longer reading thus seems to be the result of the conflation of the Alexandrian reading “salted with fire” and the Western reading “salted with salt.” The reading adopted by the text enjoys the best support and explains the other readings in the ms tradition.

sn The statement everyone will be salted with fire is difficult to interpret. It may be a reference to (1) unbelievers who enter hell as punishment for rejection of Jesus, indicating that just as salt preserves so they will be preserved in their punishment in hell forever; (2) Christians who experience suffering in this world because of their attachment to Christ; (3) any person who experiences suffering in a way appropriate to their relationship to Jesus. For believers this means the suffering of purification, and for unbelievers it means hell, i.e., eternal torment.

62 sn Salt was used as seasoning or fertilizer (BDAG 41 s.v. ἅλας a), or as a preservative. If salt ceased to be useful, it was thrown away. With this illustration Jesus warned about a disciple who ceased to follow him.

63 sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its saltiness since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens: Under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a.d. 90), when asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle.

·         End NET® Bible Notes

 [xxvi] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible, Second Edition. (Denmark: Thomas Nelson, 2019), Mk 9:42–50.

Or the Christ; the Greek word is Christos and means the anointed one. Where the NT emphasizes Christos as a name of our Lord or has a Gentile context, “Christ” is used. Where the NT Christos has a Jewish context, the title “Messiah” is used.

r 6:1 Php 3:13; Heb 5:12; 9:14

s 6:2 Or about baptisms

t 6:2 Jn 3:25; Ac 6:6; 17:31–32; 19:4–6

u 6:4 Gl 3:3; Eph 2:8; Heb 10:32

v 6:6 Or while

w 6:6 Heb 10:29; 2Pt 2:21; 1Jn 5:16

x 6:7–8 Gn 3:17–18; Ps 65:10; Is 5:6

y 6:10 Other mss read labor of love

The work of the Holy Spirit that separates believers in Jesus from the world; at the time of saving faith in Jesus, the believer is made a saint; therefore, all believers are saints. The believer participates with the Spirit in a process of transformation that continues until glorification. The goal of sanctification is progressive conformity to the image of Jesus Christ.

z 6:10 Pr 19:17; Mt 10:42; 25:40; 2Co 8:4; 1Th 1:3; 2Tm 1:18

a 6:12 Heb 10:36; 13:7

[xxvii] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Heb 6:1–12.

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