Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 01 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Alphonsus Liguori
home iconTravel
line break icon

You can visit Lot’s wife both in England and in the Holy Land

LOTS WIFE,PILLAR OF SALT

PD

Daniel Esparza - published on 01/30/18

These two rock formations, both resembling the biblical “pillar of salt,” remind their visitors not to waver in decisive moments.

Lot’s wife is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 19. Some other mentions of her are found in the book of Wisdom (10:7), the Gospel of Luke (17:32) and in other Abrahamic traditions, including some Islamic accounts. In the Quran, for example, Lot’s wife is also present in the context of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but her turning into a pillar of salt is not at all mentioned. One only reads Lot and his family were all saved, “except an old woman among those who remained behind.”

The biblical story tells of two angels who arrived in Sodom. Lot invited them to spend the night in his house. He served them, fed them, and gave them shelter, even protecting them from other Sodomites who wanted Lot to hand them over. Instead, Lot would offer his two daughters, but was refused. By the morning, the two angels urged him to get his family and flee the city, which was about to be destroyed: “Flee for your life! Do not look behind you, nor stop anywhere in the plain; flee to the hills, lest you be swept away!” The rest of the story, we already know. Lot’s wife disobeys, looks behind, to the city, and immediately turns into a pillar of salt.

On the Israeli Mount Sodom, near the shores of the Dead Sea, one finds a tall rock pillar, which has been commonly identified with Lot’s wife. It seems even the biblical story is based in different, older local stories regarding the origin of this formation, and it is customary to say a blessing when one goes by this pillar. The Jewish-Roman historian Josephus, like some of the early Church Fathers (Irenaeus and Clement of Rome) all mention it in their respective works. Now, what they could never have mentioned is the existence of another rock “pillar” – in fact, a sea stack – on the northeastern English shores of Marsden Bay, also known as Lot’s Wife. Far as it is from Sodom, nevertheless, the powerful and popular biblical image still seduces the imaginations of many.

Tags:
BibleTravel
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
HIDILYN DIAZ
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
2
SIMONE BILES
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
3
PRINCESS DIANA AND MOTHER TERESA
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
4
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
5
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
6
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
7
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.