Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.36
(ll. 2513-2526) And straightway Lot made answer unto them: "I may not wander
so far hence, afoot, in search of safety, with these women. But ye may fairly
show me love and friendship, and grant me grace and favour. I know a little high-
built town not far from here; there grant me rest and respite, in Zoar to find
safety. If ye will shield that lofty stronghold from the flame, we may abide there
for a time secure, and save our lives."
(ll. 2526-2534) And friendly was the righteous angels' answer: "Thou shalt
receive this boon, since thou hast spoken of the city. Go quickly to that
stronghold, and we will grant thee peace and our protection. We will not wreak
God's vengeance on these faithless men, nor slay this sinful race, till thou hast
brought thy children unto Zoar, and thy wife with them."
(ll. 2535-2547) Then Abraham's kinsman hastened to the stronghold. He swiftly
journeyed with his women, and stayed not foot until he led his children into Zoar,
under the city-gates, and his wife with them. And when the sun arose, peace-
candle of men, then, as I have heard, the Lord of glory sent brimstone out of
heaven, black fire and raging flame, in vengeance upon men, because so long in
days gone by they had displeased the Lord. The Ruler of spirits gave them their
(ll. 2547-2561) And a great fear gripped the heathen race; din arose in their
cities, wailing of sinful men, a wretched people at the point of death. All that was
green in the golden cities the flame devoured; likewise no little portion of the wide
land round about was covered with flame and terror. Fair groves and fruits of the
earth were turned to ash and glowing ember, even as far as that grim vengeance
swept the broad land of men. A roaring flame, destroying all things high and
spacious, consumed the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah. All this the Lord God
destroyed, and the people with it.
(ll. 2561-2575) But when Lot's wife heard the rushing flame, and dying men
within the city, she looked behind her to that place of death. Straightway, the
writings tell us, she was changed into the likeness of a pillar of salt; and ever
since, the image (far- famed is the story) has stood in silence where that bitter
vengeance came upon her, because she would not heed the bidding of the
thanes of glory. Hard and high-towering in that spot of earth she must abide her
fate, the doom of God, till time shall cease and the world vanish away. That is a
wonder which the Lord of glory wrought!