||The sun had risen by the time that Lot arrived in Tzoar.
Hashemesh yatsa al-ha'arets veLot ba Tso'arah.
||God made sulphur and fire rain down on Sodom and Gomorrah - it came from God, out of the sky.
Va'Adonay himtir al-Sedom ve'al-Amorah gofrit va'esh me'et Adonay min-hashamayim.
||He overturned these cities along with the entire plain, [destroying] everyone who lived in the cities and [all] that was growing from the ground.
Vayahafoch et-he'arim ha'El ve'et kol-hakikar ve'et kol-yoshvey he'arim vetsemach ha'adamah.
||[Lot's] wife looked behind him, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.
Vatabet ishto me'acharav vatehi netsiv melach.
||Abraham woke up early in the morning, [hurrying back] to the place where he had stood before God.
Vayashkem Avraham baboker el-hamakom asher-amad sham et-peney Adonay.
|pillar of salt|
Josephus states that in his time, this pillar could still be seen (Antiquities 1:11:4). It was also known in Talmudic times (Berakhoth 54b). Significantly, at the southern end of the Dead Sea, there is a mountain of salt called Jebel Usdum (Sodom Mountain), 6 miles long, 3 miles wide, and some 1000 feet thick. Although it is now covered with a layer of earth several feet thick, the rest of the mountain is solid salt. This also supports the contention that Lot and his family were heading south toward Tzoar. A rain of salt was part of the upheaval (see Ibn Ezra here and Deuteronomy 29:22).