Salty Salt

Date: Sat Oct 07 1995 - 15:16:04 EDT

David Moore responds:
> We should keep in mind that Jesus said that salt that has lost its
>savor is useful neither for the land *nor* for the dunghill. There is no
>implication that salt that has *not* lost its savor would be good for
>either of these.
> Unger's suggestion is most probably not true since salt does not
>hasten decomposition of anything; to the contrary, it retards
>decomposition. Almost any kind of organic refuse could be thrown on a
>dunghill (i.e. compost pile) to decompose and later be used as fertilizer.
>But refuse that was even a little salty could not be so used since salt
>retards the growth of most plants.
> What "salt that has lost its savor" might be is another question.
>It has been suggested that Jesus could have been referring to slag that
>was left after impure salt had been used to salt-cure fish or other
>foodstuffs. Such material would not be salty enough to be used as salt
>but would be too salty to be thrown on the land or even on the dunghill
>(in which case it would also eventually end up on the land).

        1. Is there certainly NO implication that good salt IS somehow
"fit" (EUTHETOS) for the LAND (i.e., as a herbicide/curse) or for the
DUNGHILL (i.e., as Unger proposes)?

        2. Do we know that "dunghill" means "compost pile."

        3. Is Jesus saying that unsalty salt is neither fit for the land
nor for the land via the compost pile?

        I wish I had more light on ANE uses of salt in agri[de]culture and
sanitation. HELP!

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