637. Savorless Salt

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Matthew 5:1313Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matthew 5:13). If the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Salt produced by the evaporation of sea-water in hot countries is said sometimes to lose its saline properties. The same result is also sometimes seen in impure rock-salt that has long been exposed to the air. When such is the case there can nothing be done with it but to throw it out into the highway, where men and beasts trample it down. Dr. Thomson tells of some salt which was brought from the marshes of Cyprus by a merchant of Sidon, and stored in small houses with earthen floors. “The salt next the ground in a few years entirely spoiled. I saw large quantities of it literally thrown into the street, to be trodden under foot of men and beasts. It was good for nothing” (The Land and the Book, vol. 2, p. 43).
Schöttgen supposes reference is here made to the bituminous salt from the Dead Sea, which, he says, was strewn over the sacrifices in the temple to neutralize the smell of the burning flesh, and when it became spoiled by exposure it was cast out upon the walks to prevent slipping in wet weather, and was thus literally “trodden under foot of men.”