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Bible Cities: Zoar
Ancient Zoar

Map of Ancient Zoar


Zoar in Easton's Bible Dictionary small, a town on the east or south-east of the Dead Sea, to which Lot and his daughters fled from Sodom (Gen. 19:22, 23). It was originally called Bela (14:2, 8). It is referred to by the prophets Isaiah (15:5) and Jeremiah (48:34). Its ruins are still seen at the opening of the ravine of Kerak, the Kir- Moab referred to in 2 Kings 3, the modern Tell esh-Shaghur.
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/Z/Zoar/

Zoar in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Originally Bela; still called so when Abram first settled in Canaan (Genesis 14:2; Genesis 14:8; Genesis 14:10). Connected with the cities of the plain, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim (Genesis 13:10). The southern division of the Dead Sea (apparently of comparatively recent formation), abounding with salt, and throwing up bitumen, and its shores producing sulphur and nitre, answers to the valley of Siddim, "full of slime pits," and to the destruction of the cities by fire and brimstone, and to the turning of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt. The S. bay is probably the vale of Siddim. Scripture does not say the cities were buried in the sea, but overthrown by fire from heaven (Deuteronomy 29:23; Jeremiah 49:18; Jeremiah 50:40; Zephaniah 2:9; 2 Peter 2:6). Josephus speaks of Sodomitis as burnt up and as adjoining the asphaltite lake (B. J., 4:8, Section 4). All ancient testimony favors the position of the cities being at the southern end. The traditional names of Usdum, etc., the traditional site of Zoar (called by Josephus, Ant. 1:11, Section 4, Zoar of Arabia), the hill of salt traditionally made Lot's wife, all favor their site being within or around the shallow southern bay. Tristram however identifies Zoar with Zi'ara at the northern end. Jerome (ad Joshua 15, and Quaest. in Genesis 14) and Theodoret (in Genesis 19) say Zoar was swallowed up by an earthquake probably after Lot had left it. So Wisdom (Wisdom of Solomon 10:6) says five cities were destroyed; so Josephus (B. J. 4:8, Section 4). But Deuteronomy 29:23 mentions only four; and Eusebius says Bela or Zoar was in his day garrisoned by Romans. It is the point to which Moab's fugitives shall flee (Isaiah 15:5; Jeremiah 48:34). Lot's view from the mountain E. of Bethel between Bethel and Ai (Genesis 13:3; Genesis 13:10; Genesis 12:8) is not to be pressed as though he could see all the plain of Jordan as far as to the S. of the Dead Sea; he saw only the northern end, but that sample assured him of the well watered character of the whole. From Pisgah or Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:3) Moses saw from "the plain of the valley of Jericho" southward as far as "unto Zoar"; not that Zoar was near Jericho, for Jehovah showed him "all the land of Judah and the South." It was probably on the S.E. side of the Dead Sea, as Lot's descendants, Ammon and Moab, occupied that region as their original seat. Tristram's statement that the ground of Zi'ara falls in terraces for 3,000 ft. to the Jordan valley is at variance with Lot's words, "I cannot escape to the mountain: behold this city (evidently not a place so hard to get up to as 3,000 ft. elevation) is near to flee unto, and it is a little one"; its inhabitants are so few that their sins are comparatively little, and so it may be spared. (Rashi.) Subsequently Lot fearing Zoar was not far enough from Sodom, nor high enough to be out of danger, fled to the mountains to which the angel originally urged his flight (Genesis 19:17-23; Genesis 19:30). God's assurance "I will not overthrow this city ... for the which thou hast spoken" ought to have sufficed to assure Lot; his want of faith issued in the awful incest of the mountain cave; compare the spiritual lesson, Jeremiah 3:23. Abulfeda spells it Zoghar. Fulcher, the crusading historian (Gesta Dei, 405), found Segor at the point of entrance to the mountains of Arabia, S. of the lake; probably in the wady Kerak, the road from the S. of the Dead Sea to the eastern highlands. Irby and Mangles found extensive ruins in the lower part of this wady, which they name Dera'ah, perhaps corrupted from Zoar.
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/Z/Zoar/

Zoar in Hitchcock's Bible Names little; small
http://www.bible-history.com/hitchcock/Z/Zoar/

Zoar in Naves Topical Bible A city of the Moabites, near the Jordan River Ge 13:10 -Territory of De 34:3; Isa 15:5; Jer 48:34 -King of, fought against Chedorlaomer Ge 14:2,8 -Not destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah Ge 19:20-23,30
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/Z/ZOAR/

Zoar in Smiths Bible Dictionary (smallness), one of the most ancient cities of the land of Canaan. Its original name was BELA. Ge 14:2,8 It was in intimate connection with the cities of the "plain of Jordan" --Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, See also Ge 13:10 but not Gene 10:19 In the general destruction of the cities of the plain Zoar was spared to afford shelter to Lot. Ge 19:22,23,30 It is mentioned in the account of the death of Moses as one (of the landmarks which bounded his view from Pisgah, De 34:3 and it appears to have been known in the time both of Isaiah, Isa 15:5 and Jeremiah. Jer 48:34 These are all the notices of Zoar contained in the Bible. It was situated in the same district with the four cities already mentioned, viz. in the "plain" or "circle" of the Jordan, and the narrative of Ge 19:1... evidently implies that it was very near to Sodom. vs. Ge 19:15, 23:27 The definite position of Sodom is, and probably will always be, a mystery; but there can be little doubt that the plain of the Jordan was at the north side of the Dead Sea and that the cities of the plain must therefore have been situated there instead of at the southern end of the lake, as it is generally taken for granted they were. [SODOM] (But the great majority of scholars from Josephus and Eusebius to the present of the Dead Sea.)
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/Z/Zoar/

Zoar in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE zo'-ar (tso`ar; the Septuagint usually Segor, Zogora): The name of the city to which Lot escaped from Sodom (Gen 19:20- 23,30), previously mentioned in Gen 13:10; 14:2,8, where its former name is said to have been Bela. In 19:22, its name is said to have been given because of its littleness, which also seems to have accounted for its being spared. The location of Zoar has much to do with that of the cities of the Plain or Valley of Siddim, with which it is always connected. In Dt 34:3, Moses is said to have viewed "the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, unto Zoar," while in Isa 15:5 and Jer 48:4 (where the Septuagint reads unto "Zoar," instead of "her little ones") it is said to be a city of Moab. The traditional location of the place is at the south end of the Dead Sea. Josephus says (BJ, IV, viii, 4) that the Dead Sea extended "as far as Zoar of Arabia," while in Ant, I, xi, 4, he states that the place was still called Zoar. Eusebius (Onomasticon, 261) locates the Dead Sea between Jericho and Zoar, and speaks of the remnants of the ancient fertility as still visible. Ptolemy (v. 17,5) regards it as belonging to Arabia Petrea. The Arabian geographers mention it under the name Zughar, Sughar, situated 1 degrees South of Jericho, in a hot and unhealthful valley at the end of the Dead Sea, and speak of it as an important station on the trade route between Akkabah and Jericho. The Crusaders mention "Segor" as situated in the midst of palm trees. The place has not been definitely identified by modern explorers, but from Gen 19:19-30 we infer that it was in the plain and not in the mountain. If we fix upon the south end of the Dead Sea as the Vale of Siddim, a very natural place for Zoar and one which agrees with all the traditions would be at the base of the mountains of Moab, East of Wady Ghurundel, where there is still a well-watered oasis several miles long and 2 or 3 wide, which is probably but a remnant of a fertile plain once extending out over a considerable portion of the shallow south end of the Dead Sea when, as shown elsewhere (see DEAD SEA), the water level was considerably lower than now. Robinson would locate it on the northeast corner of el-Lisan on the borders of the river Kerak, but this was done entirely on theoretical grounds which would be met as well in the place just indicated, and which is generally fixed upon by the writers who regard the Vale of Siddim as at the south end of the Dead Sea. Conder, who vigorously maintains that the Vale of Siddim is at the north end of the Dead Sea, looks favorably upon theory of W.H. Birch that the place is represented by the present Tell Shaghur, a white rocky mound at the foot of the Moab Mountains, a mile East of Beth-haram (Tell er-Rameh), 7 miles Northeast of the mouth of the Jordan, a locality remarkable for its stone monuments and well-supplied springs, but he acknowledges that the name is more like the Christian Segor than the original Zoar.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/Z/ZOAR/

Zoar Scripture - Deuteronomy 34:3 And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Deuteronomy/34/

Zoar Scripture - Genesis 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it [was] well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, [even] as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/13/

Zoar Scripture - Genesis 14:2 [That these] made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/14/

Zoar Scripture - Genesis 14:8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same [is] Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/14/

Zoar Scripture - Genesis 19:22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/19/

Zoar Scripture - Genesis 19:23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/19/

Zoar Scripture - Genesis 19:30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/19/

Zoar Scripture - Isaiah 15:5 My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives [shall flee] unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Isaiah/15/

Zoar Scripture - Jeremiah 48:34 From the cry of Heshbon [even] unto Elealeh, [and even] unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar [even] unto Horonaim, [as] an heifer of three years old: for the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Jeremiah/48/



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