Then the kinsman of Abraham set out for the fastness: the chieftain did not spare the pace for his womenfolk, 2535 but he pushed his steps most hastily until he had brought his wife and children to the citadel of Saegor. When the sun rose, [when] the peaceful luminary of the nations went forth, then, I have heard, the Master of Glory sent 2540 sulphur out of heaven, and swart flame for the punish-ment of men, swelling fire, since they had offended the Lord for a long period in former days: thus the Ruler of spirits gave them retribution. Utmost terror seized upon 2545 the heathen race: tumult arose in the city, the outcry of the accursed race over shameful death, just beginning. The flame seized upon all that it found green, in the rich city, just as around outside no small portion of the broad 2550 earth was filled with conflagration and terror: trees and earth’s harvests turned to ashes and embers, even as far as the avenging curse direly extended over the 2555 broad country of the people. The devastating fire rushing on in tumult devoured all things together, far and wide, that men had owned in the cities of Sodoma and Gomorra: all this, together with the people, God 2560 the Lord destroyed.
When Loth’s wife, his bride in the city, heard the din of fire, the death of the people, then she looked back-ward [to see] this devastation. The Scriptures tell us that she immediately turned into the likeness of a pillar of salt: ever since then this statue has stood there 2565 motion less (this is a strange story), where she incurred this severe penalty because she would not obey the ministers of glory in their commands: now, stiff and erect, she will have to await her doom in that place, at 2570 the Lord’s Judgment Day, when the world has com-pleted its [allotted] number of years. This is one of the miracles which the King of Glory has wrought.
Then Abraham went forth alone, at dawn, so that he 2575 again stood in the place where the pious leader had formerly spoken with his Lord in words. He saw the reek of death and destruction ascending widely from the earth. Riches and feasting preoccupied [the people] to such an extent that they had become bold in wicked 2580 deeds, eager for sin: they forgot the Truth and God’s commandments, and who had given them prosperity and wealth in their cities; therefore the King of the Angels sent his fervid fire to punish them. Our faithful 2585 Lord then remembered Abraham mercifully, the dear man, as he often had done, and saved his kinsman, Loth, when the multitude perished. The [latter] hero, famed for his deeds, did not dare to tarry longer in the strong- 2590 hold for fear of the Lord, but Loth departed from the city with his children to seek a dwelling-place far from the place of slaughter, until they found a cave in the side of a high dune: there the pious Loth, dear to his 2595 Lord, dwelt in righteousness for a great number of days, with his two daughters....