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English Bible Dictionary

Zoar

 

(smallness), one of the most ancient cities of the land of Canaan. Its original name was Bela. (Genesis 14:2,8) It was in intimate connection with the cities of the "plain of Jordan"--Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, See also (Genesis 13:10) but not Genesis10:19 In the general destruction of the cities of the plain Zoar was spared to afford shelter to Lot. (Genesis 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, (34:3) and it appears to have been known in the time both of Isaiah, (Isaiah 15:5) and Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 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 (Genesis 19:1)... evidently implies that it was very near to Sodom. vs. (Genesis 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. (But the great majority of scholars from Josephus and Eusebius to the present of the Dead Sea.)

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