And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. Genesis 19:30.
By Simon Brown.Our group wished to visit Zoar as they had Admah, to see if anything remained of the town. They knew that Zoar was one of the five cities destroyed by brimstone, but not if anything remained of it. Genesis 19 tells of how Lot and his family fled to this area to escape the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Simon knew of a place named Safi, also called Zoar, and they elected to try this.
They set off for the farthest point of the Dead Sea area, and to their disappointment were confronted by the Jordanian border. Imagine the frustration as they looked at their goal through a border fence, within filming distance but unapproachable. Even worse, there was said to be a site called Lot’s Monastery in the hills above the town.
This was another place that Lot visited with his daughters during his flight to the caves. Genesis 19 v 30.
Staring across the border, they began to realise that even more travelling was on hand. 5 minutes was about to become 6 hours.
All were determined to see this piece of biblical history. (See video) They now had to travel back past Sodom, Gomorrah, Eng’edi and Qumran, to Jericho, Admah and the border bridge with Jordan on the opposite side of the Dead Sea.
They reached the border after a 3 hour drive, only to take another hour to cross it. The party became a little concerned when Simon was told to put the camera away by an armed border guard. Finally they were across and they hired a taxi, and took off on another 3 hour drive to just short of their starting point, but on the other side of the fence.
Everyone was quite surprised by the differences between Israel and Jordan.
The military were very much in evidence here and they constantly passed through road blocks guarded by armoured vehicles.
The houses were very different from the UK, being mostly box-like and single storey. They stopped for refreshment at some local shops when Einar, being the daring one of the team, decided to start filming. Suddenly they were surrounded by children who just stared at them in fascination.
Just as they were resuming the journey, the driver suddenly pointed to a rock on the cliffs and informed them that this was Lot’s wife. This we didn’t believe, as it was too far from Sodom and on the wrong side of the Dead Sea.
Excitement grew as they neared their destination, and on the right was the tip of the Dead Sea. They had completed the long circular journey begun 6 hours ago, and were now back at its southern tip.
Finding a sign indicating that Lot’s Monastery lay somewhere ahead, they gratefully left the taxi. The remains of a building could be seen halfway up a nearby mountainside and this was reputed to be the most significant archaeological site in the whole of Jordan.
A large meandering staircase was cut into the side of the mountain, and everyone eyed it with some misgivings. There was nothing for it but to climb, and after several rest stops the mood lightened as they approached the ruins of an ancient monastery, built around the entrance to a cave sometime in the 6th century AD. The cave is set at the far end of the North aisle and the fine mosaic work is perfectly preserved. To the right is a huge reservoir which made monastic life possible.
The party eventually entered the cave and were amazed to be confronted by masonry and brickwork. Genesis 19 v 36,
Simon believes that although this was incest, the daughters truly believed that no one else had been left alive.
The views from the monastery toward Safi, now called Zoar, were truly astounding. Lot now becomes something of an enigma, as from this time forward he is never again mentioned in the scriptures.
This latest trip also ends at this place. The facts have been presented and you, the jury, are out!
This article is taken from the film Our Search for Real Discoveries DVD In this documentary Simon's team return to Sodom and Gomorrah for a closer look. They also search for Admah and Zoar the surrounding towns.
◄ Genesis 19 ►
King James Bible
Lot Welcomes the Angels
1And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 2And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. 3And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 4But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. 9And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. 10But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
Lot Flees to Zoar
12And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: 13For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. 14And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16And 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. 17And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 21And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 22Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
24Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
Lot's Wife Looks Back
26But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: 28And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.
29And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.
Lot and his Daughters
30And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31And 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: 32Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 35And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 36Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.