Sep 082015


Pillar of Salt That Was Once Lot’s Wife In The Bible 

Salt plays a very important role in our lives and in India it played a very significant role in the freedom movement also, when Mahatma Gandhi led the freedom fighters on Dandi March to oppose the tax on Salt. But salt stories are almost as old as civilization.  I am not sure when I first read about Lot’s Wife, but my guess is it was a story about an archaeologist finding a beautiful statue of women in the desert.  The archaeologist carries the statue in the back of a truck and starts for the city to make some money by selling the statue.  It starts raining on the way and when they reach the destination he can not find the statue in the back of his open truck. Now the statue is initially believed by the archaeologist to be made of some smooth stone.  Throughout the journey, the archaeologist had only stopped the truck at border checkpoint but they did not notice anybody taking the statue out. So the question came where did the statue of the mysterious woman vanish?  Finally, the archaeologist reaches a conclusion that the statue must have been of ” Lot’s Wife”.  I was a boy when I read this story in Reader’s Digest but decided to dig further ( pun unintended), and the search led to Holy Bible and the story of Lot’s wife and how she became a pillar of Salt as she disobeyed the instruction from Angels.  Anywhere you go in Jordan you are never far from the history and religion and often they are together like conjoined twins.


What was Lot’s wife’s name?

As Lot and family were fleeing the city of Sodom, they were instructed by the angels to not look back, but Lot’s wife did look back and was immediately converted in a pillar of Salt. Now our today’s travel Tuesday picture is of that Pillar of Salt believed to be originally Lot’s Wife ( she is not referred by her name in Holy Bible, only some Jewish references mention her as Ado or Edith ).  This Salt Pillar is on a small hill opposite the Jordanian side of Dead Sea. We stopped there on our way to the Dead Sea.  As the landscape was very barren with not even a blade of grass visible, so I waited for this truck to pass below to add some contrast and color to the picture. This also gives some idea of scale to the height of the hill and the pillar.  I was standing on the other side of the road next to the  Dead Sea Bank when I clicked this picture during my visit to Jordan

Surprisingly for all the myths surrounding her, I could not find her name and everywhere she is referred only as Lot’s wife in the Bible.  Even when Jesus refers to her he also calls her only by the same reference –  “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32, NKJV). So I have no idea what was the name of the unfortunate woman who was converted to a pillar of Salt as she was fleeing the doomed city of Sodom with her husband Lot and 2 daughters. The story of Lot has a further reference in the Bible but his Wife’s reference ends with her becoming a pillar of salt. If any of the Bible experts are reading it may I request you to share the name of Lot’s wife in comments?


Lot's wife pillar of salt jordan

Lot’s Wife became a pillar of salt near the Dead Sea

But this pillar and story of Lot’s wife are not the only reason for the importance of Lot in Christianity. It is believed that Jesus is a descendant of Lot through David’s great-grandmother Ruth, who is descended from Moab, Lot’s son through one of his daughters.   When I started my journey to Jordan, I had no idea I will be visiting the pillar of salt that was once Lot’s Wife, but when our guide was narrating the story to me it kind of took me to the flashback and I remembered the story I have read as a child. But reading about a pillar of salt is one thing, standing in front of that very pillar that is believed to be once a living person is absolutely magical feeling. Like I always say.  Traveling is good. Try it.

Next Travel Tuesday – Another picture and my take on fellow desi Travelers 🙂 Till then Happy Travels.

Salt Pillar of Lot's Wife Jordan

The Salt pillar near the Dead Sea in Jordan that was once Lot’s Wife in Bible

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  20 Responses to “Lot’s Wife-A Pillar Of Salt Near Dead Sea in Jordan”

Comments (20)
  1. Lot’s wife name was Ado

  2. A bit of persistence and I’ve answered my own request! I have found the story & author: She Fell Among Thieves” by Robert Edmond Alter. If you are interested, it can be found at

  3. I remember when I was a boy, some 60 years ago, reading the short story of the archeologist & the statue. It was in an American men’s monthly magazine, named either “Saga” or “Argosy.” I cannot recall either the title of the story or author but I was totally captivated by the tale. I have been searching for that information and hoping to find the story somewhere so I can save & read it again. I can find no archive anywhere of those old publications. I was unaware of its publication in Reader’s Digest. If anyone can point me to a potential source, I would be forever grateful. THANKS!!

  4. This was a great narrative. Thank you for sharing this. I am really curious how tall this column is, and if it is possible to walk up to it? I want to go to the Holy Land some day and this is definitely on the list of things I want to see there!

  5. I found this post while searching for the name and/or author of that old short story. You don’t happen to recall either, do you?

    • Hi Karen: I am sorry but I don’t remember beyond what I have written in the blog post… If you do find more details please do share, and I will also try to do some more research… thanks

  6. What a lovely narration of the Story with Beautiful Supporting Pics Loved the Post Sirjee

  7. Thank you for sharing the story and the photo. Amazing.

  8. That is a mysterious looking pillar. It does deserve an interesting story.

    Ah! don’t we love legends like this!
    Thank you so much for sharing this story and picture, DesiTraveler.

  9. What a lovely story. And excellent capture. Without the truck the picture would have been a boring one. 🙂

    • Thanks Nisha.. do stop by the same when visiting Dead Sea .. in Jordan..

      • I too read the story in the Reader’s Digest.
        A couple was wandering in a cave in Israel. They had a good flashlight and soon saw something white in the distance. Getting closer they saw it was a white statue of a woman. It was very smooth and very beautiful. It was so perfect. Both were well versed in the Bible. Both were thinking the same thing. It must be Lot’s wife turned into salt. They licked a finger and gently touched the statue and sure enough it was salt!

        The man thought about his half-ton truck outside. He says, “Honey, stay here while I go and get my truck. He ran all the way to his truck. His heart was revving far faster than the engine of his truck. He quickly got back to his wife and the statue.

        She said, “Honey, do you think we should take this out of here?” “Oh yes, Dearie. This is a major discovery about Lot’s wife’s body of salt. You realise that this statue will bring us millions of dollars? Maybe hundreds of millions.”

        His wife agreed. They very gently loaded it onto the truck and covered it with a blanket so that no one would see it. It was cloudy and started raining. They quickly drove away. It started raining very heavily. After driving for a couple of hours they came to their motel and parked under a roof.

        They went to see their “statue” and stared in disbelief. With a great shock they realised that the rain had totally dissolved the statue. They knew that nobody would ever believe their story.

        Sadly, they walked away and went to a restaurant and ordered some food. She said to her husband, “Maybe it is better this way.” He agreed and added, “Yes, God knew this would be better this way.” They hugged each other and went to have a good sleep.

        Then they went to the Reader’s Digest and told them the whole story. They published it just as it was told to them. Now it is impossible to ever trace it back to that particular issue of the R.D. that I held in my hand. My daughter said to me, “Daddy, do you think that was a true story?” What do you think?

        No. It’s just a made-up story. I read it in the R.D. at least 25 years ago so I just wrote this story by memory. – PN

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