Biblical Archaeology Review 40:6, November/December 2014

Queries & Comments

Covenant of Salt

In your May/June issue (Queries & Comments, “Salting Newborns”), a reader asks why newborn babies were sprinkled with salt, referring to Ezekiel 16:4: “On that day you were born … You were not rubbed with salt.” Salt is a preservative and represents endurance in the Bible, as is indicated in the expression “covenant of salt.” Israel had an enduring covenant of salt with the Lord (see Leviticus 2:13; Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5). So, too, salt was applied to a newborn in the hope of an enduring, long life.

David L. Blumenfeld, Ph.D. New Rochelle, NY
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