One of the strangest stories in the Bible, and there are so many truly strange ones in that book, is that of Lot. It is mostly a sordid tale of attempted rape and incest and of a father willing to hand over his daughters to a mob but one of the weirdest elements is of Lot’s wife being punished by being turned turned into a pillar of salt for what seems like an absolutely trivial offense, looking back when they were fleeing from a mob when they had been told not to by god’s angels. It is a decidedly odd punishment for any god to choose to inflict.
The story is utterly preposterous but just yesterday came a report that archaeologists in Israel had found the world’s largest salt cave near the location purported to be where Lot’s wife was turned into salt.
Israeli researchers say they have discovered the world’s longest salt cave.
The 10km (6.2 miles) of passages and chambers inside Malham Cave, overlooking the Dead Sea, were mapped out over two years.
The desert site was near where, according to the Bible, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.
Christians seize upon any possible item that suggests that the stories in the Bible have a factual basis, so I would not be surprised to hear them saying that this vindicates the Bible and that the salt cave is what remains of Lot’s wife. Of course, there seems to be a lot more salt than one would expect from just one person but that could be another miracle, like the multiplication of loaves and fishes.
But I would advise the archaeologists to refrain from doing some of the things in the report.
During one dinner break in the cave, Boaz Langford from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem said the explorers felt their pasta lacked seasoning.
“So we just broke some salt off one of the rocks and used that,” he said.
That does not seem like a respectful way of treating the remains of Lot’s wife.