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Zoar


Zo’ar (smallness), one of the most ancient cities of the land of Canaan. Its original name was Bela. Gen. 14:2, 8. It was in intimate connection with the cities of the “plain of Jordan”—Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim. See also Gen. 13:10, but not 10:19. In the general destruction of the cities of the plain, Zoar was spared to afford shelter to Lot. Gen. 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, Deut. 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 Gen. 19 evidently implies that it was very near to Sodom. vs. 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 day, locate these cities at the southern end of the Dead Sea.)