Salted with fire


In The Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 9 Verse 49 states:

  "Everyone will be salted with fire."     

 Please explain.


I think you mean Mark 9:49.

St Paul seems to say something similar in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15:
12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14 If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.


If you search the internet for “Mark 9:49 commentary,” you will find several diverse interpretations. I think the uncertainty of the interpretation is due to the several meanings or significances of salt, and of fire as well. Salt was used to preserve food. I don’t know if it was used to flavor food in those days, as it is used today. It was used to prepare animal sacrifices prior to their burning. It was also used to destroy or lay waste to land (as in Judges 9:45). Fire destroys combustibles, it tests metals, it purifies gold, and it offers up a worthy sacrifice in holocaust. Did salt and fire have still other meanings commonly understood in those days, which have since been forgotten? Which combination of meanings did Jesus have in mind when he spoke those words? I don’t know. I’m leaning toward “Everyone (who comes into hell) will be utterly destroyed by fire.”


To me it’s a foreshadowing of both judgement and purgatory.

Our works will be judged, and they’ll be seen for what they were. If for example, we tried to help other people, however well or badly, because we really wanted to serve God through that service, then that work will be accepted. Our circumstances will be taken into account as well - the poor widow received Christ’s commendation for her two mites, which was all she had to live on, whereas the rich were seen as giving relatively little. She had literally poured herself into the temple treasury - the rich had given a bit of the loose change out of their wallet.

But if we gave money because we wanted to big note ourselves (some corporate sponsorships come to mind here, particularly in high profile sporting events), then that work will be burnt up, since our motive would have been self serving.

Likewise we ourselves will be purified by fire, aka purgatory. It may not be explicitly called that in Scripture, but the Trinity is not called that in Scripture either, nor is the Papacy, the Lutheran Denomination, the Westminster Confession etc.

But Purgatory is certainly implied, and i believe this is one place in Scripture where we are given a clear hint that it’s for real.


Its not Matthew 9:49. Its Mark 9:48.

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 48. [2]For every one shall be salted with fire. The sense seems to be, that every wicked unrepenting sinner (of whom it was before said, that their worm dieth not) shall be severely and continually punished, though not consumed by the fire of hell. — And every victim shall be salted with salt; that is, even good men shall be cleansed and purified by trials and sufferings in this world, as some victims were to be salted by the law. (Leviticus ii. 13.) (Witham)


Doesnt it mean that we become Christ-like via the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.


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