In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, why would God kill Lot’s wife by turning her into a pillar of salt for simply looking in the wrong direction?

In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, why would God kill Lot’s wife by turning her into a pillar of salt for simply looking in the wrong direction?

As soon as the angels got them outside, one of them said, “Run for your lives! Don’t look back and don’t stop anywhere on the plain! Run to the mountains, or you will be swept away!” Genesis 19:17 (HCSB)

But his wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26 (HCSB)

Lot’s wife, who had been so blessed by God and so near to safety, was caught up in the destruction. Her action in looking back was in direct opposition to the command: ‘Do not look behind you or stay anywhere in the plain’ (19:17). Jesus said, ‘Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it’ (Luke 17:32-33).

Lot’s wife tried to hang on to her life in Sodom and lost her life in the great conflagration. We can know great privileges and yet still belong to the world and come under God’s wrath. John Bunyan closes the first part of Pilgrim’s Progress with this warning: ‘Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction.’
Philip H. Eveson, Welwyn Commentary Series – The book of origins: Genesis simply explained

Verse 26 reports that Lot also lost his wife; by looking back she evidenced her affections for her life at Sodom. Lot’s wife may have been a Sodomite; there is no mention of her prior to chap. 19, unless we are to assume she was among the “women” (14:16) rescued by Abram. In any case, the woman is nameless, no more than a prop in the story whose tragic end became a dreaded lesson (Luke 17:32).

The description “looked back” is the same language in the angel’s prohibition (v. 17). The feature of “salt” in the Dead Sea area (cf. “salt sea,” 14:3) and its sterile effects on arable land may explain the casting of her figure in the mineral. Her physical translation into an edifice of salt, probably to be understood as a coating of salt, testified to the consequence of disobedience and was an appalling reminder of the events at Sodom (Luke 17:28-29,32).

Because it was a direct violation of what God told her to do and it showed an attitude of feeling sorry for what was lost rather then being relieved that they were safe from those horrid people who threatened their lives and the virginity of their daughters and the safety of men who came to stay with them, because the men of the city wanted to rape them, they did not know they were angels.

Genesis 19 - ASV Bible - Bible Study Tools

Genesis 19: 3 And the two angels came to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face to the earth;

Genesis 19 - ASV Bible - Bible Study Tools

Genesis 19: 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter;

5 and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

(Genesis 19 | Online Bible | New World Translation

Genesis 19: 5 And they kept calling out to Lot and saying to him: “Where are the men who came in to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may have sex with them.”b)

6 And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him.

7 And he said, I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly.

8 Behold now, I have two daughters that 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, forasmuch as they are come under the shadow of my roof.

9 And they said, Stand back. And they said, 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 drew near to break the door.

You can see what is life like in Sodom where Lot and his family lived. And now the nagels want to take them out and they ‘liger’ that is, they are unable to go, so they help them, compassionately, by taking hoild of their hands and telling them what to do and what not to do. See below:

Genesis 19 - ASV Bible - Bible Study Tools

Genesis 19: 15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are here, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

16 But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

17 And 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.

God did not turn her into a “pillar of salt”. She was told not to look back at the massive explosion occurring because it was DANGEROUS to do so!

The “wrath of God” that struck Sodom and Gomorrah was a natural phenomenon.

From the book “Recovering the Lost World” by Jno Cook:

A series of approaches between Venus and Earth started in the year 1492 BC, with the second some 50 years later in 1442 BC (originally thought to be 52 years, and 1440 BC). Venus, on an inner orbital path, aligned with the Earth and Sun. This approach was apparently much closer (about 10 million miles) than the previous contact of 800 years earlier (about 20 million miles). Following a massive compressive slam in the Pacific Ocean below the equator by a few degrees at most, an arc from Venus to Earth was delivered laterally, traveling (perhaps) a number of times around the globe.

It was this celestial activity that no doubt alerted Abraham that “God” was about to do something serious and so he warned his nephew Lot to get himself and his family out of Sodom while he could. Whether or not he was actually visited by angels is another story, but what we do seem to have evidence for is that he was said to have taught astrology in Heliopolis at the time and would therefore have been in a perfect position to observe these astronomical events and perhaps discern their importance.

The actual time in which the plasmaspheres of the two planets came into contact can be reasonably estimated as sometime in the spring of 1493 or 1492 B.C. Mesoamerican Indian manuscripts say that at this time that there was a “cosmic collision of stars in the sky, that the sun did not appear for five days, and people and animals tried to escape to mountain caves.”

According to Cook, the shock wave from the plasmasphere contact would have been felt in Egypt around midnight as the brunt of the impact likely hit in the Pacific Ocean west of South America.

After that a gigantic electrical arc would have angled up past the equator, past Australia, perhaps crossing land over Southeast Asia, India, Arabia and the Eastern Mediterranean. Once it reached the Eastern Mediterranean the axis of Venus would have started to tilt away from the Sun and cause this gigantic electrical arc to angle back to the equator, travel over North Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, and then hit landfall in Central America or upper South America. The water thrown into the atmosphere by the arc would likely have caused at least 5 days of darkness.

After this initial shock, Venus would have been seen in the Middle East as a gigantic red glowing globe. In India, the auroral displays created by the giant electrical arc caused Hindu sources to write in Sanskrit manuscripts:

“These ominous clouds . . . rumbling and shooting lightning, overspread the sky.” They were “as vast as mountains.” “Some were dusky, some crimson, some white, some brilliant (in hue).” Other sources describe them as yellow, or azure, or red. “Loud in roar and mighty in size they fill the entire sky.” They were “fringed with lightning, meteors and thunderbolts.” Then, “rumbling aloud with lightning [they] poured torrential streams thick like chariot wheels.” They “rained with a sullen roar, inundating the three worlds with ceaseless downpour of torrents…” All creation was “smitten by the luminous dense floods.”

I can only imagine the terror that people of the time must have felt at witnessing a gigantic stream of plasma in arc mode, moving across the land like a tornado composed of lightning, resembling some sort of twisted snake with multiple heads.

The destruction of these two cities, the opium capitols of the Near East at the time, occurred when this gigantic plasma discharge struck and ignited subterranean deposits underneath the city of bitumen (a substance similar to asphalt), petroleum, and natural gas and caused a massive, almost volcano like, explosion and likely also precipitated a powerful earthquake as the city of Sodom sat directly on a fault line as well.

It was this explosion that likely killed Lot’s wife when she lingered and turned back to the city, after being warned not to (probably she turned back over concern for her daughters who had stayed behind).

She was most likely killed instantly by the super hot, noxious gases expelled by the explosion at nearly 100 miles per hour, and her body encased in ash on the spot much like the victims of Mount Vesuvius were during the destruction of Pompeii.

We can’t know what she was thinking, but it is safe to assume that her looking back was more than just a glance, and it was of course an act of disobedience. She may have hesitated and turned around wanting to go back. She may not have fully believed the destruction was coming. When she looked back the city was still standing, Jehovah did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah until later when Lot arrived at the city of Zoar. Genesis. 19:15-26

Whatever the reason Jehovah sees what is in the heart and we should trust that he had good reason for doing what he did. The Bible says; “all his ways are justice”

Jesus drew a parallel between the days of Lot and the coming destruction of Armageddon. He used Lot’s wife as a striking example of the need to follow God’s instructions for survival and emphasized the dire consequences of returning to the things behind, by saying: “Remember the wife of Lot.”—

Luke 17:26-32 NW — Likewise, just as it occurred in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. 29 But on the day that Lot went out of Sodʹom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be the same on that day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 “On that day let the person who is on the housetop but whose belongings are in the house not come down to pick these up, and likewise, the person out in the field must not return to the things behind. 32 Remember the wife of Lot

God gave them a clear command “Do not look back”- it was so simple to obey. Disobedience to God’s laws always brings consequences.

Something Jesus said sheds some light on the real reason why she looked back at Sodom. When teaching his disciples on the importance of not looking back to the things of the world left behind, he used Lot’s wife as a warning example (Luke 17:26–32)

This leads to the conclusion that the REASON she looked back was not mere curiosity as to the sounds she was hearing, but also a longing for the things she hadn’t been given enough time to pack.