How does one explain the fact of Lot’s wife being converted into salt when they were running away from Sodom’s destruction?  What is the “logic” or scientific” explantion behind this fact.


I do not believe that there is any “scientific logic” to what happened to Lot’s wife.  What happened to his wife is presented in the Bible as a  miracle.  I believe the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was also a miracle.  A miracle, by definition, is an event which violates the normal, physical laws of nature.  Therefore, science can never be used to “explain” a miracle.  It can only be used to help identify a miracle.  There is no way, under unmiraculous natural laws, for a human to be turned into salt.  Salt is principally the compound sodium chloride.  Our bodies only contain a few grams of sodium chloride, so, outside of a miracle, this could not have happened.

If there is no “scientific” explanation of this miracle, then we can reasonably ask why God chose to do this to Lot’s wife.  I believe that there is a fairly small number of examples in which God did something just once and had it recorded in scripture to teach us who read the Bible a very important lesson.  The flood in the time of Noah is an example of this.  Also, what happened to Ananias and Saphyra in Acts is a one-off example of God doing something out of the ordinary in order ot make a point for us.

Then we can reasonably ask, what was the point God was making with Lot’s wife.  I believe the answer is very simple.  The message of what happened with Lot’s wife is this:  When we leave our life of sin, we should never look back.  Like Jesus said in Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.”  He also said in Luke 9:62, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”  Like I said, God has used one-time events to teach us solemn lessons.  Life in the world beckons us to come back.  It is always tempting to return to our life of sin.  Hebrews 3:7-4:11 is a long treatise on the same topic.  Because the Jews looked back while wandering in the desert, God said that they did not enter his rest.  He reminds us to not look back–to “make every effort” to enter heaven.

I believe this is the explanation of what happened to Lot’s wife.

John Oakes


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