Salt and light

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This article is about the biblical metaphor. For the television network, see Salt + Light Television.
A page from the Gospel of Matthew from the Book of Durrow, 7th century

Salt and light are metaphors used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, one of the main teachings of Jesus on morality and discipleship.[1] These metaphors in Matthew 5:13, 14, 15 and 16 immediately follow the Beatitudes and refer to expectations from the disciples.[2]

The general theme of Matthew 5:13–16 is promises and expectations, and these expectations follow the promises of the first part.[2]

The first verse of this passage introduces the phrase "salt of the earth":

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

The last verses refer to lamp under a bushel, which occurs in Luke 8:16–18 and Light of the World which occurs in John 8:12.

Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do [men] light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Sermon on the mount: a theological investigation by Carl G. Vaught, 2001, ISBN 978-0-918954-76-3, pages xi–xiv
  2. ^ a b Matthew by Charles H. Talbert, 2010, ISBN 0-8010-3192-3, pages 75–79