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The New Zealand Evangelist

The Destruction of Sodom. Lot's Wife

page 204

The Destruction of Sodom. Lot's Wife.

The volcanic eruption that destroyed the cities of the Pentapolis was most probably accompanied by the flowing of a stream of lava. Dr. Henderson thinks this fact is implied in the description of the circumstances connected with Lot's escape.

“Why was he prohibited from lingering in any part of the low land, if not because he would be there exposed to the pestilential volcanic effluvia and to the lava? and what reason can be assigned for his obtaining leave to stop in Zoar, but its lying at some distance from the spot where the lava began to act, as likewise on an elevation whence he could survey the approaching ruin, and retire before the stream reached that place? We accordingly find that, however desirous he was to stay there at first, he quitted it before night, for a still more elevated and safe retreat. “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountains; for he feared to dwell in Zoar.'—Gen. xix. 30.

“How natural is the incrustation of his wife on this hypothesis! Remaining in a lower part of the valley, and looking with a wistful eye towards Sodom, she was surrounded, are she was aware, by the lava which, rising and swelling, at length reached her, and (whilst the volcanic effluvia deprived her of life) incrusted her where she stood, so that being as it were embalmed by the salso-bituminous mass, she became a conspicuous beacon and admonitory example to future generations.”