Who Turned Into Salt In The Bible

Our pre-christianized ancestors had traditions that were so vibrant and rich to their everyday lives. The bible gives us tidbits of these stories. It’s exciting to be able to read about their traditions and rituals.

Have you ever wondered who turned into salt in the bible? Obviously, we’re talking about Lot’s wife. If you haven’t read the story of Genesis 19:26 then I highly suggest you do. It’s truly a fascinating story. One you may not ever have heard. At least that’s what I thought before I did some research.

When God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he caused the cities to be overrun by an army of fire-breathing scorpions. In an attempt to escape the horrifying molten death, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.

After cleansing the Israelites of their idolatry, God made a covenant (“cut-a-piece-of flesh” pact) with them.   At the apex of this covenant, every man in Israel was circumcised at Kibroth Hattaavah (known as “Graves of Desire.”)   Three months later, a party was sent out by Moses to scout out Canaan and the Terribles.   That party was eaten by a group of giants they found in Rephaim Valley.

Many people don’t know the Bible. They should, however. It’s a source of inspiration, and it’s filled with incredible stories of miracles, love, and friendship. For instance, we all remember the story of Lot and his wife in their attempt to escape from Sodom. But did you know that there are so many other biblical characters that turned into salt? In honor of these forgotten heroes I’ve put together this blog post on who turned into salt in the bible.

Who Turned Into Salt In The Bible

Lot was considered a righteous man, but was forced to be separated from Abram because of the lack of resources for both their stock and resources. Lot chose the land near Sodom, “while Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan” (Genesis 13:12).

Genesis 13:13 reminds us that “the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.”

Lot was warned the land was to be destroyed and to leave immediately when two angels in the form of men approached him. After much hesitancy and his home being physically confronted by the men of Sodom seeking the angels, Lot and his family finally made the move to escape.

They were clearly instructed in Genesis 19:17: “Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!”

While en route out of the city, Lot’s wife looked back at the destruction, against the angels’ instruction. As a consequence, she turned into a pillar of salt.

Who Turned Into Salt In The Bible

Genesis 19 tells the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, lived in Sodom with his family. His daughters were engaged to local men. Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom, the area where financial and judicial transactions took place, when two angels came into town. Lot invited them to stay with his family. After a rather exciting evening, the angels made sure Lot, his wife, and his two daughters left before God destroyed the city (Genesis 19:13). As they fled, the angels warned them, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away” (Genesis 19:17).

Lot ran, his daughters close behind. “But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). She lagged behind. She turned and watched the flaming sulfur fall from the sky, consuming everything she valued. Then it consumed her. The Hebrew for “looked back” means more than to glance over one’s shoulder. It means “to regard, to consider, to pay attention to.” The Scriptures don’t say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly. Either she identified too much with the city—and joined it—or she neglected to fully obey God’s warning, and she died.

We’re fortunate to receive similar warnings. Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us to take off the old self that is ruled by sin and be renewed, putting on the new self that is in the likeness of God. Similarly, 1 John 5:16 says that willful, deliberate sin can lead to death. Lot’s wife wasn’t able to accept that. What she chose to value in her heart led her to sin, which led to her death.

The Bible isn’t clear whether Lot’s wife was covered in the salt that rained down with the brimstone or if her remains were dusted with a coating of salt later. But it is interesting that she is described as a “pillar.” The Hebrew for “pillar” refers to a garrison or a deputy, that is, something set to watch over something else. The image of Lot’s wife standing watch over the Dead Sea area—where to this day no life can exist—is a poignant reminder to us not to look back or turn back from the profession of faith we have made, but to follow Christ without hesitation and abide in His love (Luke 17:32).

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