Zoar (Bela)
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Zoar (Bela)
Bible Meaning: Insignificance, little
Strong's Concordance #H6820

The name Bela, which means "destruction" (Strong's #H1106), is the original city name of Zoar (see Genesis 14:2, 8).

Zoar (Bela) was one of the "cities of the plain" that joined with Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim to fight against Chedolaomer's forces in the Bible's first war (Genesis 14:2, 8). Although Chedorlaomer's confederation of three other kings is victorious against them, they are soon defeated by Abraham (Genesis 14).

Saved From Destruction

The two angels who wished to save Lot and his family from Sodom's destruction wanted him to flee to the mountains (Genesis 19). Lot, believing some evil would befall him on his journey, instead begged to go to the city. His request was granted and he soon fled to the little village.

Lot's wife, on the way to Zoar, disobeys God instruction (Genesis 19:17) and looks back at Sodom as fire and brimstone rains upon it. She is instantly turned into a pillar of salt (verse 26).

Important Verses

Genesis 13:10
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.

Location of Zoar in Canaan Map
Location of Zoar in Canaan

Genesis 14:1 - 3
And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.

Genesis 19:20, 22, 30
Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live . . .

Haste thee, escape thither: for I (an angel) cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar . . .

And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him . . .

Deuteronomy 34:1, 3 - 4
And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan . . .

And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.

And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob . . .

Isaiah 15:5
My heart shall cry out for Moab: his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up: for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction.

Jeremiah 48:33 - 34
And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab; and I (God) have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting.

From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, and even unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim, as an heifer of three years old: for the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate.

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).