YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH

Many hold that the relevance today of the Old Testament is greatly overshadowed by the New Testament almost to the point of obsolescence. They believe and preach that the old is a shadow of the new and imply (if not said outright) that although interesting it is the physical or carnal and not the spiritual and as such can be almost discarded. 

Below I have presented a short study on the subject of Matthew 5:13 to whit:

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Now we know that salt seasons; but do we give our time to considering the full implications of the verse, and indeed, can the full meaning be extracted from that verse alone?

Consider the following verse from Leviticus 2:13:

And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

Why should salt be included in the offering which is to be burnt. It does not need preservatives to keep it fresh and nobody will eat of it!

Again in Numbers 18:19

All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.

Offering = ruwmah ter-oo-maw' or trumah (Deut. 12:11) {ter-oo-maw'}; from 7311; a present (as offered up), especially in sacrifice or as tribute:-- gift, heave offering

Now salt has become a covenant. Do you begin to wonder how the simple statement of You are the salt of the earth has stemmed from a covenant. If the Old Testament covenants are now finished with then why did Messiah bring it up and teach it to His disciples?

Finally in Ezekiel 43:24 

And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the LORD.

Again the salt is put on meat to be burnt. What is so special about salt in the physical apart from preserving and flavouring? So let us now look at the spiritual!

Salt is generally created by water evaporating from salt water as in the Dead Sea or any of the ocean type seas. It is the light and heat of the sun that causes this although you could also say that the wind does as well. I say light and heat because you cannot naturally have one without the other.

Water is chesed, kindness; salt is  gevura, severity.  It is an axiom of kabbalistic thought that every physical substance is, in essence, the devolved form of a higher spiritual entity. Thus salt does not only "symbolize" or "represent" the supernal realm of gevura, it is gevura in its physical manifestation. You may have heard me allude to this elsewhere when I have written that all things are in God but not all things are God.

Salt on its own is gevura, meaning bitter, but when it descends to a lower level (i.e. it enters the substance of another food), it becomes chesed and grants taste to that food.  Salt does not truly enter the substance that it affects; it brings out the natural flavour of the food. When you eat a properly salted food, you are not tasting food with salt; you are tasting a food whose natural flavour has been brought out by salt.

In the realm of Torah, "salt" is  Kabbala, the inner dimension of Torah. Unlike the legal aspects of Torah, which can be completely understood and "tasted", Kabbala is hidden and concealed.
The advantage of the legal aspects is that man is able to fully digest divine wisdom as it is manifest on the physical plane in the form of the laws of the Torah. This level is called chochma, wisdom, where the human mind can become one with divine wisdom.  Kabbala, which speaks of supernal realities, is beyond chochma. This is its advantage-and its disadvantage. Because it is beyond chochma, it cannot be fully absorbed by the human mind. Conversely, because of its transcendence its effect on its student is much more powerful. If I put that in another way, perhaps I could say that it is the essence of revealed knowledge. A state where the mind knows something but has not as yet worked out how it knows.

How many times have you tried to explain some concept and been stuck for words. Your level of understanding is higher than the student who you wish to share your knowledge with, but it has to be presented in a form that is digestible. If it cannot be explained by you in words of one or two syllables, perhaps it is wiser to say that and not allude to carnal and spiritual which although true, belittles the student. We are stuck for words because it has been revealed to us and not taught. You can see the sun and feel it’s warmth but can you explain it. Tell someone who has lived their lives indoors to go outside and exactly what the sun is will be revealed to them in a way that your words cannot adequately explain.

Deuteronomy 29:29

The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

The Torah law is the bread and meat. Midrash and Kabbala are the salt, which grants taste to the food, neutralizing negativity. We can now start to see why we are the salt of the earth and the reason for it.

Salted earth is also used to preserve wheat. Wheat alluding to bread, bread of life being Messiah. The numerical value of the Hebrew word for "wheat", chitah, is 22, alluding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, with which the Torah is written. Additionally, the giving of the Torah is celebrated on Shavuot with the offering of the first produce of the wheat harvest (Ex. 34:22). Messiah was that offering, not temporary or yearly but a permanent one. The first because although the fields were ripe, no sickle had touched a single stalk and no man had ascended to heaven.

Hence the necessity for the study of both dimensions of Torah: the hidden and the revealed. Incidentally the word Torah although generally taken as the books of Moses, the Pentateuch, is much more and can be applied to any judicial system or set of commands as in “Your words (Torah) are life”

John 6:63 

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words (Torah) that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

hray'-mah from 4483; an utterance (individually, collectively or specially),; by implication, a matter or topic (especially of narration, command or dispute).

 

The  Arizal points out the connection between salt and the priestly blessing:

The Hebrew word for salt, melach, is numerically equivalent to 78, which is 3x26 (3x the divine name  Havayah, which equals 26). Similarly, the priestly blessing contains the name Havayah three times: "May Havayah bless you...May Havayah shine His countenance...May Havayah raise his countenance...." These blessings keep the world in existence and are therefore compared to salt, which sustains other items.

Another characteristic of salt is that it cuts down and destroys negative things. It has this capacity because it stems from gevura of holiness. Thus the divine name used in the verse regarding the covenant of salt is Elo-him "brit elo-hecha", which is the divine name that embodies gevura. It can therefore transform and "sweeten" the negative forms of severity, since severity is sweetened by its root.

The bitter waters of Jericho were therefore cured by the prophet Elisha through salt. And when negativity is cured or sweetened through its source, the change is internal and hence much more powerful.

Salt also has healing powers. Thus, the Tikunei  Zohar (54a) points out that one of the permutations of the word melach is chalam, which connotes strengthening and healing (see Job 39:4 and Isaiah 38:16).

The sacrifice, therefore, had to include salt. For in the spiritual "sacrifice", man's approach toward God, all of the properties of salt must be present. His approach must have the staying power of salt, i.e. it cannot be a transient affair. Furthermore, it must involve and transform the animal soul, not only overwhelming and silencing it, but actually causing the animal soul to experience an internal change, i.e. the sweetening of the severities through their root.

We are the salt of the earth. Our purpose is to sweeten it and to reduce negativity which even now surrounds it. We flavour it with the words of Messiah and the life that we lead and the effects that has on others.

I know this has been short but hope that I have given you enough to think of this shadow of the Old Testament as being more than an insubstantial thing. It does contain life, and revelation and God within!

I have often heard it said that we are not grafted in with Judaism to form the complete family and ignore the separation of the wall which Christ breached. I say that God intended us to be inseparable, to be joined at the hip, for Ephraim and Manasseh to be reunited!  And not only that, but that all men should be as one in Him who transcends all and everything. I can only ask that you reconsider!s

My Love to you all,

Zurishaddai

 

 

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