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What's the meaning of words "a pillar of salt"?

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  • What's the meaning of words "a pillar of salt"?

    Here is almost the last part of the conversations in the famous American movie - Once upon a time in America

    Noodles(Robert De Niro) goes to see his first lover, Deborah(Elizabeth Mc Govern) in order to ask who invited himself at the secretary Bailey's party. When Noodles's about to leave her, Deborah says to him,
    "There's an exit back this way. Noodles, go through it. Keep walking. Don't turn around. Please, Noodles. I'm begging you, please."
    Then Noodles says, "Are you afraid I'll turn into a pillar of salt?" and he goes out through the other door in front of them. After seeing her son out there, Noodles finally realizes that the person who invited himself at the party is his old friend, Max(James Woods), and now he is Deborah's husband.

    Here are two of my guestions
    First, I don't know what the words "turn into a pillar of salt" exactly means.
    Is it something kind of "disappointed" or "driven to despair"?
    Second, is the word "a pillar of salt" an idiom? If it's so, is there any other expression using "a pillar of salt"?

    Please help me!!!

  • #2
    I honestly dont know. But by just thinking to myself what a pillar of salt is I can kind of get an idea. A pillar holds something up. Salt when stacked falls down.

    So Pillar of salt is meaning wont be able to hold them/it/him up?

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    • #3
      It's from the Bible. Someone turned to look back at Sodom (or was it Gamorrah (sp?)) burning after being told by God not to, and he/she turned into a pillar of salt.

      That's the gist of it, anyway I'm sure someone will give you the exact story

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      • #4
        I think it was somebody's wife...Peter maybe? I don't know, I haven't heard that story in years...

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        • #5
          Lot's wife. (DOH! thought it was Job's, then I remembered

          Man, its been a long time since hebrew/religious school and even I still knew that!
          Last edited by ethank; Wed 10th Apr '02, 9:18pm.

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          • #6
            In the bible, God came to Abraham and told him that he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because the cities were evil. Abraham asked God if he would save the cities if there were 50 good men there. God said he would save the cities for the sake of 50 good men. Abraham then "haggled" with God with what if's. ie: what if there were only 40 etc down to 10. God told Abraham that if he found 10 good men, he wouldn't destroy the cities.

            God sent two angels (who looked like regular men) into Sodom and Gomorrah where they met Lot, Abrahams nephew. Lot asked the Angels to come to his house where his wife would cook for them and they could sleep there. The Angels wanted to stay in the city square, but Lot convinced them to come to his house where his wife cooked for them.

            Late in the evening, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah surrounded Lot's house calling for him to send his guests out so they could meet them. Lot knew that they were just wanting to do terrible things to his guests.

            The crowd started to break into the house, but the Angels held the doors fast and struck those who were trying to get in with blindness. Then they told Lot that he had to leave-- that God was preparing to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. They told him to gather his wife and daughters and the men who would be marrying the daughters and to leave the city. The daughter's fiancees didn't believe Lot and he didn't want to leave without them. In the morning, the Angels led Lot, his wife, and daughters out of Sodom and Gomorrah just before God was to destroy the cities. They left them at the edge of the city with the admonition to not look back towards the sinful cities and to run away as quickly as they could. As they were running, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.

            The moral is that Christians shouldn't look back at their sinful ways as that is the path to death.

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            • #7
              Makes such perfect sense now.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by c-prompt
                Makes such perfect sense now.
                yeah, my thoughts exactly
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                • #9
                  The idea of someone haggling with God makes me laugh.

                  "A shekel? For this gourd? You're outta yer mind!"

                  "2 shekels then!"

                  "Oh come on, that's not how ya 'aggle!"

                  etc

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                  • #10
                    On the History channel, where they did a show on finding evidence for the story, the pillar's of salt might have been these weird formations that came about from the weather or something.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sinecure


                      yeah, my thoughts exactly
                      Ok two threads with same reply to my posts. What is your deal?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by c-prompt


                        Ok two threads with same reply to my posts. What is your deal?
                        Why does their have to be a deal, one can not reply to with the same answer more then once? Let loose C.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Susan


                          The moral is that Christians shouldn't look back at their sinful ways as that is the path to death.
                          Actually, this is one interpretation. The other is obedience. Being she turned back, she was disobedient. You have to remember, if you picked up a stick on the sabbath, you were struck dead.

                          Obedience is greater than sacrifice.

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