Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Did Lot's wife really turn into a pillar of salt?

Last word on Lot's wife (well, for this year any way). In an old post, DovBear asks why G-d needed to employ magical means to punish her, especially when no one at the time seemed to recognise the miracle.
The Ralbag must have thought it was strange, too, because his view is that it never happened:
Rabbi Levi ben Gershon (Ralbag) suggests that וַתְּהִי ["and she became" - MS] does not refer to Lot's wife, that *she* became a pillar of salt, but rather וַתְּהִי refers to the *city*, which is a feminine noun, so Lot's wife looked back and saw that the city had become a pillar of salt, which was a way of saying it was destroyed. [DB: ie: the whole land was brimstone and salt and burning.]
Ahh, so what happened to Lot's wife? She simply perished with the other people of Sodom.
Very elegant.

No comments: