Bela (Zoar) in the Bible – Places In The Bible – Detailed Explanation – Bible Glossary

I. What is Bela (Zoar) in the Bible?

In the Bible, Bela, also known as Zoar, is a city mentioned in the book of Genesis. It is one of the five cities of the plain, along with Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim. Bela is often referred to as Zoar, which means “small” or “insignificant” in Hebrew. The city is known for its significance in biblical history and its connection to the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

II. What is the significance of Bela (Zoar) in biblical history?

Bela (Zoar) holds significant importance in biblical history due to its role in the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the Bible, when God decided to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah due to their wickedness, He sent two angels to warn Lot and his family to flee the city. Lot and his family were instructed to escape to the mountains, but Lot pleaded with the angels to allow him to flee to the nearby city of Zoar instead. The angels granted his request, and Zoar was spared from destruction.

III. What events in the Bible mention Bela (Zoar)?

The city of Bela (Zoar) is mentioned in several passages in the Bible, primarily in the book of Genesis. One of the most significant mentions of Zoar is in Genesis 19, where the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is recounted. In this passage, Lot and his family are instructed to flee to Zoar before the cities are destroyed by fire and brimstone. Zoar is also mentioned in Deuteronomy 34:3, where Moses is said to have viewed the Promised Land from the top of Mount Nebo, overlooking the cities of the plain, including Zoar.

IV. What is the location of Bela (Zoar) in modern times?

The exact location of Bela (Zoar) in modern times is a subject of debate among scholars and archaeologists. Some believe that Zoar was located near the southern end of the Dead Sea, in the region of modern-day Jordan. Others suggest that Zoar may have been situated further north, closer to the city of Jericho. The lack of definitive archaeological evidence has made it difficult to pinpoint the exact location of Zoar with certainty.

V. What archaeological evidence supports the existence of Bela (Zoar) in biblical times?

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the exact location of Bela (Zoar), there is some archaeological evidence that supports the existence of the city in biblical times. Excavations in the region near the Dead Sea have uncovered ancient settlements that date back to the time period when Bela (Zoar) is believed to have existed. These findings include pottery shards, coins, and other artifacts that suggest the presence of a thriving community in the area during ancient times.

VI. How does Bela (Zoar) relate to other cities mentioned in the Bible?

Bela (Zoar) is often compared and contrasted with the other cities of the plain mentioned in the Bible, particularly Sodom and Gomorrah. While Sodom and Gomorrah are known for their wickedness and ultimate destruction, Zoar is portrayed as a place of refuge and safety for Lot and his family. The contrast between the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah and the salvation of Zoar serves as a powerful reminder of God’s mercy and protection for those who are faithful to Him. Additionally, the mention of Zoar in the Bible alongside other prominent cities such as Jerusalem and Jericho highlights its significance in biblical history.