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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Lot

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LOT . The son of Haran, brother of Abraham. His name seems clearly derived from a root meaning to wrap closely . The account of his life is contained in Genesis 11:27 to Genesis 14:16; Genesis 14:19 . He was born in Ur, and went with Abraham to Haran, and thence to Canaan. He accompanied Abraham in much of his wandering. The separation between them (ch. 13) was due to a quarrel between their herdsmen, each having great possessions of cattle. As a result, Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, making his home in Sodom. During the expedition of Chedorlaomer (ch. 14) he was carried away captive, and rescued by Abraham. In ch. 19 is narrated the escape of Lot and his daughters from Sodom, with the subsequent incidents. The city of Zoar , where they dwelt for a time, is possibly the Zoara or Zoôr of Josephus, at the S.E. extremity of the Dead Sea, in the modern Ghôr es-Sâfieh , a well-watered region. The mountain to which he finally went is doubtless the mountainous region later known as Moab. The story of the daughters of Lot ( Genesis 19:30-38 ) is now usually considered to be not history, but a traditional account of the origin of the two nations, Moab and Ammon. The basis of the story is partly popular etymology of the two names; while it is prompted chiefly by national rivalry and hostility. That Lot was a righteous man ( 2 Peter 2:7-8 ) may be granted in a relative sense, in comparison with the Sodomites; but he shows no great strength of character.

Lot’s wife. The historical character of the story of Lot’s wife and her transformation into a pillar of salt is doubtful: it may have arisen from the peculiarities of the cliffs in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. At its S.W. extremity is a range of cliffs 6 miles long and 600 feet high, called Jebel Usdum , ‘the mountain of Sodom.’ These consist of crystallized rock salt, covered with chalky limestone and gypsum, and curiously furrowed and worn, so as sometimes to resemble a human figure.

George R. Berry.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lot'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/l/lot.html. 1909.

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