Agnostic Reading the Bible

Genesis 19 – Part 3 – Burning down the city


  • The Lord rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.
  • He over threw those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities and that which grew upon the ground.
  • Lot’s wife looked back behind and she became a pillar of salt. 1
  • Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord.
  • He looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah. Toward all the land of the plain and beheld the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. 2
  • It came to pass; when God destroyed the cities of the plain that God remembered Abraham.
  • He sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities where Lot dwelt.
  • Lot went up, out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountain with his two daughters with him.
  • He feared to dwell in Zoar and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
  • The firstborn said unto the younger: Our father is old and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. 3
  • Come, let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him. That we may preserve seed of our father. 4
  • They made their father drink wine that night.
  • The first born went in and lay with her father.
  • He perceived not when she lay down, nor when she rose.
  • The next night the firstborn said to the younger: I lay yesternight with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight and go thou in and lie with him.
  • They made their father drink wine that night.
  • The youngest arose and lay with him.
  • He perceived not when she lay down, nor when she rose.
  • Thus both daughters of Lot with child by their father.
  • The first born bare a son and named called him Moab. The same is the father of the Moabities unto this day.
  • The younger also bare a son and called him Ben-Ammi. The same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

1 – For starters, this will tie in from Part 2 of Genesis 19.

I refer back to in part 2 when Lot is warned to not look back. He is not told why he shouldn’t look back or what the consequences are for doing so. But we learned what happens because of Lot’s wife. She looked back and became a pillar of salt.

The big question is: why salt? Why not ashes, dust, or why we’re at possibilities, why not a pile of stone/statue. Up until this point there has been no correlation between food/material/seasoning and good events or bad events. Or even people being affected by them due to acts of God.

I set out to discover what might have or haven’t been explained for this event. I have come across several sights which talked about this event and why she may have been turned into a pillar of salt. I came across four websites with explanations. The first two:

Site 1 – This site actually offers multiple excerpts from different sources about the subject of Lot’s wife turning to salt.

Site 2 – This site tries to add a scientific explanation to the incident. Although there isn’t any, it offers it’s own thoughts.

These two sites I liked because they pretty much come to the same conclusion as me. She is turned into salt because that’s what is said. No other reason or explanation.

Site 3

Site 4

These two site seem to have more insight on the historical past of Lot’s wife. Knowing how she was as a native of Sodom. That she was just as corrupt as the others of the city, so when she turned back she was subject to death as the others in the city.

I do not like these explanations. It’s one thing to rely on the texts of the Bible to be of historical context. That so much is known about the past and details. That other sacred texts know details of this one woman in this city. Especially since the city and everyone and everything was destroyed. Even now we aren’t fully sure where the cities once were in the world, but we know the upbringing of one woman from one of those cities. So leaving it as it is as; a pillar of salt for whatever reason should be the way it is.

2 – While everyone mentions about Lot’s wife turning to salt because she looked at the city that was being destroyed. It isn’t mentioned about Abraham. He watches the destruction but nothing happens to him. The only way I could see that he was safe is one of two options. One, he is under the protection of the Lord and therefore left unharmed. The second is he is far enough away that he is not affected by the raining fire. It just seems if a person was to look at the destruction, an ill effect will come to them like Lot’s wife.

3 – As stated earlier in the chapter, Lot’s daughters were virgins. They were also married as it was mentioned about Lot’s sons in law. They were offered to the men of Sodom to save the angels, but were not taken. The question is why are they still virgins? The men of Sodom were not good and the city full of sin, why were the daughters never taken by their husbands? It seems odd that they never felt compelled to have sex with their own wives.

4 – This is the first time incest is mentioned. There is all the theories that we are all from incest being from Adam and Eve or even from Noah and his family can one draw that there was incest to repopulate after the flood. But that’s all there is; theories. Nothing is mentioned about people sleeping with their own kin until now.

Is incest wrong? As of now according to the Bible, no. There is no mention as of yet that incest is wrong or a sin. So there is no wrong doing for the daughters of Lot to lay with their father and bare his children. But then again, there has been many mention of sin being committed without men/women knowing what is a sin until after they have committed sin and are being punished for it.

Final thoughts:

The sin of men were great, leading to the fire and brimstone doom of the city. The Lord’s covenant remains intact with the saving of Lot as Abraham watched from afar. Lot’s daughters have sons, which are also his sons.

With the destruction of only two cities, the Lord sticks to his decree. He said he would not kill all man for their sins or flood the earth to kill everyone. But he can destroy a couple cities and the inhabitants of them. The kill the few to save the many mentality. Therefore the Lord is justified in the destruction of two cities.


April 17, 2013 - Posted by | Genesis | , , , , , , ,

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