by Brad Scott
Just about everyone has heard the story of Sodom and Gemorrah. Even if one is not familiar with the scriptural account, you can turn on the television any time of the week and see the modern version. The account of Lot and his wife fleeing the twin cities has Lot's wife turning back almost nostalgically to gaze upon them one more time, and was turned into a pillar of salt.
Salt, sulphur, and Sodom are inseparably linked in Scripture. The area was completely dotted with salt pits. The word Sodom (סדם) is the basis from which we get the modern word sodium. When someone is on a sodium free diet, they are abstaining from salt. Salt (sodium) springs forth from Sodom to be used later to establish the principle meaning of the covenant of salt made between YHVH and His people.
Bemidebar (Numbers) 18:19All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto YHVH, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute forever: it is to be a covenant of salt forever before YHVH unto thee and to thy seed after thee.
Salt was the ingredient of the covenant because salt represented the will of YHVH concerning HIS people. Salt was to preserve that which it was applied to, but salt does not take on the flavor or attributes of that which it is sent to preserve. It represented the idea of changing others, but remaining pure itself. YHVH commanded Lot and his wife to separate themselves from the wicked city of Sodom. The covenant of salt was YHVH's reminder to His people to influence the nations but not to let the nations influence them. The irony was that by looking back at Sodom, Lot's wife ended up being preserved, none the less.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊