Archive for February 9th, 2012

February 9, 2012

Salt in the Bible

pillar of salt

The role of salt in the Bible is relevant to understanding Hebrew society during the Old Testament and New Testament periods. Salt is a necessity of life and was a mineral that was used since ancient times in many cultures as a seasoning, a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings, and as a unit of exchange.

The Bible contains numerous references to salt. In various contexts, it is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value, and purification. The main source of salt in the region was the area of the Dead Sea, especially the massive six mile long salt cliffs of Jebel Usdum. The face of the ridge is constantly changing as weather interacts with the rock salt. The Hebrew people harvested salt by pouring sea water into pits and letting the water evaporate until only salt was left. They used the mineral for seasoning and as a preservative. In addition, salt was used to disinfect wounds.

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February 9, 2012

Dietrich Varez

Dietrich Varez (b. 1939) is an iconoclastic printmaker-painter. His work is among the most widely-recognized of any artist in Hawaii. A long-time resident of the Big Island, he is known primarily for scenes of Hawaiian mythology and of traditional Hawaiian life and stylized designs from nature.  The studio where Varez works and lives is in a rural forested area near the small town of Volcano, Hawaii a few miles from the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

He built the house himself after many years of living in tents or cabins on the land or in the Park. For most of his life there, he and his family have lived a self-sufficient pioneering life. They capture rainwater for their needs, and had no electricity for thirty years. The road to his home has been described as ‘barely passable.’ Varez and his wife rarely leave their homestead, virtually never travelling off-island.

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