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Genesis 19

19
1The two angels#19:1. “Angels”: the account alternates between calling the two visitors “angels” and “men.” arrived at Sodom in the evening. Lot happened to be sitting at the entrance to Sodom, and when he saw them he stood up to meet them, and bowed low with his face to the ground.
2“Sirs, please come and stay with me for the night,” he said. “You can wash your feet and then be on your way early in the morning.”
They replied, “No, it's fine. We'll spend the night here in the square.”
3But Lot insisted, and they went with him to his house. He made them a meal and baked bread for them to eat. 4But they hadn't even gone to bed before the men of Sodom, young and old, from every part of town, came and surrounded the house. 5They shouted out to Lot, “Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out here to us so we can have sex with them.”
6Lot went out to talk to them in the doorway, closing the door behind him.
7“My friends, please don't do such an evil thing! 8Listen, I've got two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you want, but please don't do anything to these men. It's my responsibility to look after them.”#19:8. “It's my responsibility to look after them”: literally, “They have come under the protection of my roof.”
9“Out of our way!” they shouted. “Who do you think you are, coming to live here and now trying to judge us? We'll do even worse things to you than we were going to do to these men!” They rushed forward at Lot and tried to break down the door.
10But the men inside reached out and grabbed Lot, dragged him inside, and slammed the door shut. 11Then they made all the men in the doorway, young and old, suddenly go blind so they couldn't find the door.
12The two men asked Lot, “Is there anyone else here who's part of your family—sons-in-law, or sons or daughters, or anyone else in the town? If there are, make sure they leave, 13because we are about to destroy this place. The complaints that have reached the Lord about its people have become so bad that he has sent us to destroy it.”
14Lot went immediately to speak to the men who were engaged to marry his daughters. “Get up quickly and leave,” he said, “because the Lord is about to destroy the town!” But they thought it was just a joke.
15At dawn, the angels begged Lot to be quick, telling him, “Hurry up! Leave right now with your wife and your two daughters here, otherwise you'll be wiped out when the city is punished.” 16But Lot hesitated. The men grabbed his hand, and those of his wife and two daughters, and dragged them along, leaving them outside the town. The Lord was kind to them to do this.
17As soon as they were outside, one of the men said, “Run for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the valley! Run to the mountains otherwise you'll be destroyed!”
18“Please sir, not that!” Lot replied. 19“If you don't mind, since you have already been so kind to me by saving my life, don't make me run to the mountains—I just can't make it. The destruction will overtake me and I'll die! 20Look, there's a town nearby that's close enough to run to, and it's so small. Please let me run there—it's really very small. It would save my life.”
21“Fine—I'll do as you ask,” he replied. “I won't destroy this town you've mentioned. 22But hurry up and run there quickly, because I can't do anything until you get there.” (This is why the town was called Zoar.)#19:22. Zoar means “little place.” Originally it was called Bela (see 14:2).
23The sun had already risen by the time Lot reached Zoar. 24Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25He completely destroyed the towns and all their inhabitants, the whole valley and everything growing there. 26But Lot's wife, who was lagging behind, looked back, and she turned into a pillar of salt.
27Abraham got up early the next morning and went back to where he had stood before the Lord. 28He looked down at Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole valley floor, and saw the land burning, sending up smoke like from a furnace.
29When God destroyed the towns of the valley he didn't forget the promise he made Abraham, and he saved Lot from the destruction of the towns where Lot was living.
30Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar, so he left town and went to live in a cave in the mountains with his two daughters. 31Sometime later the older daughter said to the younger one, “Our father is growing old, and there's no men left to give us children like everyone does. 32Come on, let's get our father drunk with wine and sleep with him so we can keep his family line going.”
33So they got their father drunk with wine that night. The older daughter went and slept with him, and he didn't notice when she lay down or when she got up.
34The next day the older daughter said to the younger one, “Last night I slept with our father. Let's get him drunk with wine again tonight and you can go and sleep with him so we can keep his family line going.”
35So once again that night they got their father drunk with wine and the younger daughter went and slept with him, and he didn't notice when she lay down or when she got up.
36This is how both Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. 37The older daughter had a son, and she called him Moab.#19:37. “Moab”: understood to mean “son of my father.” He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 38The younger daughter had a son too, and she called him Ben-ammi.#19:38. “Ben-ammi”: “son of my people.” He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.

Genesis 19

19
Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.#The story takes place in one day (counting a day from the previous evening): evening (v. 1), dawn (v. 15), and sunrise (v. 23). The passage resembles Jgs 19:15–25, which suggests dependence of one story on the other. 1The two angels reached Sodom in the evening, as Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he got up to greet them; and bowing down with his face to the ground, 2he said, “Please, my lords,#My lords: Lot does not yet know that the men are God’s messengers; cf. 18:3. come aside into your servant’s house for the night, and bathe your feet; you can get up early to continue your journey.” But they replied, “No, we will pass the night in the town square.”#Heb 13:1–2. 3He urged them so strongly, however, that they turned aside to his place and entered his house. He prepared a banquet for them, baking unleavened bread, and they dined.
4#Jgs 19:22–25; Jude 7. Before they went to bed, the townsmen of Sodom, both young and old—all the people to the last man—surrounded the house. 5They called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have sexual relations with them.” 6Lot went out to meet them at the entrance. When he had shut the door behind him, 7he said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not do this wicked thing! 8I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with men. Let me bring them out to you,#Let me bring them out to you: the authority of a patriarch within his house was virtually absolute. Lot’s extreme response of offering his daughters to a violent mob seems to be motivated by the obligation of hospitality. and you may do to them as you please. But do not do anything to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9They replied, “Stand back! This man,” they said, “came here as a resident alien, and now he dares to give orders! We will treat you worse than them!” With that, they pressed hard against Lot, moving in closer to break down the door.#Gn 13:12; 2 Pt 2:7–8. 10But his guests put out their hands, pulled Lot inside with them, and closed the door; 11they struck the men at the entrance of the house, small and great, with such a blinding light#Blinding light: an extraordinary flash that temporarily dazed the wicked men and revealed to Lot the true nature of his guests. that they were utterly unable to find the doorway.
12Then the guests said to Lot: “Who else belongs to you here? Sons-in-law, your sons, your daughters, all who belong to you in the city—take them away from this place!#2 Pt 2:7–9. 13We are about to destroy this place, for the outcry reaching the Lord against those here is so great that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”#Is 1:7, 9; Ez 16:49–50; Zep 2:9. 14So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had contracted marriage with his daughters.#It is uncertain whether Lot’s sons-in-law were fully married to his daughters or only “engaged” to them (Israelite “engagement” was the first part of the marriage ceremony), or even whether the daughters involved were the same as, or different from, the two daughters who were still in their father’s house. “Come on, leave this place,” he told them; “the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, “Come on! Take your wife with you and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16When he hesitated, the men, because of the Lord’s compassion for him, seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters and led them to safety outside the city. 17As soon as they had brought them outside, they said: “Flee for your life! Do not look back or stop anywhere on the Plain. Flee to the hills at once, or you will be swept away.”#Wis 10:6. 18“Oh, no, my lords!” Lot replied to them. 19“You have already shown favor to your servant, doing me the great kindness of saving my life. But I cannot flee to the hills, or the disaster will overtake and kill me. 20Look, this town ahead is near enough to escape to. It is only a small place.#A small place: the Hebrew word misar, lit., “a little thing,” has the same root consonants as the name of the town Zoar in v. 22. Let me flee there—is it not a small place?—to save my life.” 21“Well, then,” he replied, “I grant you this favor too. I will not overthrow the town you have mentioned. 22Hurry, escape there! I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” That is why the town is called Zoar.#Wis 10:6.
23The sun had risen over the earth when Lot arrived in Zoar, 24and the Lord rained down sulfur upon Sodom and Gomorrah, fire from the Lord out of heaven.#Ps 9:6; 11:6; 107:34; Wis 10:7; Sir 16:8; Is 1:9; Lk 17:29; 2 Pt 2:6. 25He overthrew#Overthrew: this term, lit., “turned upside down,” is used consistently to describe the destruction of the cities of the Plain. The imagery of earthquake and subsequent fire fits the geology of this region. those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil.#Dt 29:22; Is 13:19; Jer 50:40; Lam 4:6; Am 4:11. 26But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.#Wis 10:7; Lk 17:32.
27The next morning Abraham hurried to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28As he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region of the Plain,#In a deft narrative detail, Abraham looks down from the height east of Hebron, from which he could easily see the region at the southern end of the Dead Sea, where the cities of the Plain were probably located. he saw smoke over the land rising like the smoke from a kiln.#Rev 9:2; 14:10–11.
29When God destroyed the cities of the Plain, he remembered Abraham and sent Lot away from the upheaval that occurred when God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living.
Moabites and Ammonites.#This Israelite tale about the origin of Israel’s neighbors east of the Jordan and the Dead Sea was told partly to ridicule these ethnically related but rival nations and partly to give popular etymologies for their names. The stylized nature of the story is seen in the names of the daughters (“the firstborn” and “the younger”), the ease with which they fool their father, and the identical descriptions of the encounters. 30Since Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar, he and his two daughters went up from Zoar and settled in the hill country, where he lived with his two daughters in a cave. 31The firstborn said to the younger: “Our father is getting old, and there is not a man in the land to have intercourse with us as is the custom everywhere. 32Come, let us ply our father with wine and then lie with him, that we may ensure posterity by our father.” 33So that night they plied their father with wine, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; but he was not aware of her lying down or getting up. 34The next day the firstborn said to the younger: “Last night I lay with my father. Let us ply him with wine again tonight, and then you go in and lie with him, that we may ensure posterity by our father.” 35So that night, too, they plied their father with wine, and then the younger one went in and lay with him; but he was not aware of her lying down or getting up.
36Thus the two daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37The firstborn gave birth to a son whom she named Moab, saying, “From my father.”#From my father: in Hebrew, me’abi, similar in sound to the name “Moab.” He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today.#Dt 2:9. 38The younger one, too, gave birth to a son, and she named him Ammon, saying, “The son of my kin.”#The son of my kin: in Hebrew, ben-ammi, similar in sound to the name “Ammonites.” He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.#Dt 2:19.