Genesis 19:26
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

King James Bible
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Darby Bible Translation
And his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

World English Bible
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Young's Literal Translation
And his wife looketh expectingly from behind him, and she is -- a pillar of salt!

Genesis 19:26 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

She became a pillar of salt - The vast variety of opinions, both ancient and modern, on the crime of Lot's wife, her change, and the manner in which that change was effected, are in many cases as unsatisfactory as they are ridiculous. On this point the sacred Scripture says little. God had commanded Lot and his family not to look behind them; the wife of Lot disobeyed this command; she looked back from behind him - Lot, her husband, and she became a pillar of salt. This is all the information the inspired historian has thought proper to give us on this subject; it is true the account is short, but commentators and critics have made it long enough by their laborious glosses. The opinions which are the most probable are the following:

1. "Lot's wife, by the miraculous power of God, was changed into a mass of rock salt, probably retaining the human figure."

2. "Tarrying too long in the plain, she was struck with lightning and enveloped in the bituminous and sulphuric matter which abounded in that country, and which, not being exposed afterwards to the action of the fire, resisted the air and the wet, and was thus rendered permanent."

3. "She was struck dead and consumed in the burning up of the plain; and this judgment on her disobedience being recorded, is an imperishable memorial of the fact itself, and an everlasting warning to sinners in general, and to backsliders or apostates in particular."

On these opinions it may be only necessary to state that the two first understand the text literally, and that the last considers it metaphorically. That God might in a moment convert this disobedient woman into a pillar or mass of salt, or any other substance, there can be no doubt. Or that, by continuing in the plain till the brimstone and fire descended from heaven, she might be struck dead with lightning, and indurated or petrified on the spot, is as possible. And that the account of her becoming a pillar of salt may be designed to be understood metaphorically, is also highly probable. It is certain that salt is frequently used in the Scriptures as an emblem of incorruption, durability, etc. Hence a covenant of salt, Numbers 18:19, is a perpetual covenant, one that is ever to be in full force, and never broken; on this ground a pillar of salt may signify no more in this case than an everlasting monument against criminal curiosity, unbelief, and disobedience.

Could we depend upon the various accounts given by different persons who pretend to have seen the wife of Lot standing in her complete human form, with all her distinctive marks about her, the difficulty would be at an end. But we cannot depend on these accounts; they are discordant, improbable, ridiculous, and often grossly absurd. Some profess to have seen her as a heap of salt; others, as a rock of salt; others, as a complete human being as to shape, proportion of parts, etc., etc., but only petrified.

This human form, according to others, has still resident in it a miraculous continual energy; break off a finger, a toe, an arm, etc., it is immediately reproduced, so that though multitudes of curious persons have gone to see this woman, and every one has brought away a part of her, yet still she is found by the next comer a complete human form! To crown this absurd description, the author of the poem De Sodoma, usually attributed to Tertullian, and annexed to his works, represents her as yet instinct with a portion of animal life, which is unequivocally designated by certain signs which every month produces. I shall transcribe the whole passage and refer to my author; and as I have given above the sense of the whole, my readers must excuse me from giving a more literal translation: -

- et simul illic

In fragilem mutata salem, stetit ipsa sepulchrum,

Ipsaque imago sibi, formam sine corpore servans

Durat adhuc etenim nuda statione sub aethra,

Nec pluviis dilapsa situ, nec diruta ventis.

Quinettam, si quis mutilaverit advena formam,

Protinus ex sese suggestu vulnera complet.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

looked. This unhappy woman, says the Rev. T. Scott, 'looked back,' contrary to God's express command, perhaps with a hope of returning, which latter supposition is favoured by our Lord's words, 'Let him not return back: remember Lot's wife.' She was, therefore, instantaneously struck dead and petrified, and thus remained to after ages a visible monument of the Divine displeasure.

Genesis 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for your life; look not behind you...

Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

Luke 17:31,32 In that day, he which shall be on the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away...

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.


Numbers 16:38 The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar...

The Swift Destroyer
'And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest them be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that He said, Escape for thy life; look not
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Some Man Will Say, "So Then any Thief Whatever is to be Accounted Equal...
19. Some man will say, "So then any thief whatever is to be accounted equal with that thief who steals with will of mercy?" Who would say this? But of these two it does not follow that any is good, because one is worse. He is worse who steals through coveting, than he who steals through pity: but if all theft be sin, from all theft we must abstain. For who can say that people may sin, even though one sin be damnable, another venial? but now we are asking, if a man shall do this or that, who will
St. Augustine—Against Lying

Jesus, My Rock.
When the storm and the tempest are raging around me, Oh! where shall I flee to be safe from their shock? There are walls which no mortal hands built to surround me, A Refuge Eternal,--'Tis JESUS MY ROCK! When my heart is all sorrow, and trials aggrieve me, To whom can I safely my secrets unlock? No bosom (save one) has the power to relieve me, The bosom which bled for me, JESUS MY ROCK! When Life's gloomy curtain, at last, shall close o'er me, And the chill hand of death unexpectedly knock, I will
John Ross Macduff—The Cities of Refuge: or, The Name of Jesus

The Apostles Chosen
As soon as he returned victorious from the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus entered on the work of his public ministry. We find him, at once, preaching to the people, healing the sick, and doing many wonderful works. The commencement of his ministry is thus described by St. Matt. iv: 23-25. "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout
Richard Newton—The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young

Cross References
Luke 17:32
Remember Lot's wife!

Genesis 19:17
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"

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