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Genesis 19

19
The men in Sodom were really bad
1Later that day, while the sun was going down, those other 2 men walked into the town called Sodom. They were God’s 2 angel messengers.
Abraham’s nephew, the man that was called Lot, he was sitting near the town gate, and he saw those men come into the town. So he got up to meet them, and he got down on his knees and put his face near the ground, to show them respect. 2He said, “Sirs, come and stay in my house. You can wash your feet and sleep here tonight, then you can go on your way tomorrow morning.”
The men said, “No, it’s all right. We will sleep outside in the park.”
3But Lot kept on asking them strongly to stay with him, so they agreed, and they went with him to his house. Then Lot cooked some flat damper and other food for them, and the men ate it.
4Before they went to bed, all the men that lived in Sodom, both the young men and the old men, they came and stood around Lot’s house, 5and they all yelled out to Lot. They said, “Where are the 2 men that came to your house today? Bring them out here so that we can sleep with them like a man sleeps with his wife.”
6Lot went out to talk to them and shut the door behind him. 7He said, “My friends, please don’t do that really bad thing. 8Look, I’ve got 2 daughters. They have never been married. They have never slept with any man. Let me bring them out here for you, and you can do whatever you want to do with them. But please don’t do anything bad to these men. They are staying in my house, so I have to keep them safe.”#Judges 19:22-24
9But the men of Sodom said to each other, “This man came from another town to live here, and he wants to tell us what to do. He can’t do that.” And they said to Lot, “Get out of our way, or we will do even worse things to you than we will do to those men.” And they pushed hard against Lot so they could get to the door, to break it down and grab the men that were inside.
10But those 2 men were really God’s angel messengers, and they quickly opened the door and pulled Lot inside with them, then they quickly shut the door. 11Then they used their power to make all the men outside the house go blind, the young men as well as the old men, so that they couldn’t find the door to get in.#2 Kings 6:18
The angels told Lot to leave Sodom
12-13Then the 2 men said to Lot, “God heard about all the bad things that the people in this town do, so he sent us to finish it up. You and your family have to get out of this town real soon. Maybe you have sons, or more daughters, or sons-in-law, or other family here. You all have to leave this town before we finish it up.”
14So Lot went and found the men that his 2 daughters were promised to. He said to them, “God is going to finish up this town, so we have to get out now. Come on, let’s go.” But those 2 men thought that Lot was joking, so they didn’t go with him.
15Very early the next morning, the 2 angels tried to get Lot to leave Sodom quickly. They said, “Hurry up Lot. Get your wife, and your 2 daughters, and get out of this town. If you don’t get out quick, you will die, like everyone else.” 16But Lot didn’t hurry, so the angels grabbed Lot’s hand, and his wife, and his 2 daughters, and they quickly pulled them out of the town. You see, God was good to Lot and wanted to save him and his family.#2 Peter 2:7
17As soon as the angels took Lot and his family out of the town, one of the angels told them, “Run away quickly to save your life. Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the flat country, but keep going until you get to the hill country. If you don’t do that, you will die, like all the people in Sodom are going to die.”
18But Lot said to them, “Please sirs, no. 19That’s too far. You have been very good to me and saved my life, but I can’t run fast enough to get to the hill country in time. If I try to do that, the trouble will come before I get there, and I will die too. 20Look, there is a town over there. It’s not too far for me. And it is only a little town, with only a few people. Let us go there, and then don’t finish up that little town. Then we will be safe.”
21The angel said, “All right, I will do that for you. I will let you go to that little town, and I will not finish it up. You will be safe there. 22But go quickly, because I have to wait until you to get there before I finish up Sodom.”
Later, that little town was called Zoar. That name means little.
God burned up Sodom and Gomorrah
23Just after the sun came up, Lot got to Zoar. 24Then God sent fire down from the sky on to Sodom and Gomorrah, and he sent down burning rock, called sulphur, with that fire. 25God burned up those towns, and he burned up the flat country around them, too. Everybody that lived in those towns died, and all the plants in that country died too.#Matthew 10:15; 11:23-24; Luke 10:12; 17:29; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7
26But Lot’s wife turned around and looked back at what was happening to Sodom, and straight away her body turned into a block of salt.#Luke 17:32
27Early in the morning, Abraham went to the hill where he talked with God before. 28He looked down at Sodom and Gomorrah and all the flat country around them, and he saw a lot of smoke, like a really big bush fire.
29That’s how God finished up those towns in the flat country, but he remembered everything he said to Abraham, and he saved Abraham’s nephew, Lot. Yes, God took Lot out of Sodom, where Lot lived, before he finished up that town.
Lot’s daughters did a bad thing
30Lot was frightened to stay in Zoar, so him and his daughters, they went and lived up in the hill country, in a big hole in the rock, called a cave.
31One day the oldest daughter said to her sister, “Our father is old, and we haven’t got any kids, and there are no men around here for us to marry. 32So let’s get our father drunk, and then we can pretend to be his wives, and sleep with him. Then we can have babies, so that we will always have a family.”
33So that night, they got their father drunk, and the oldest daughter pretended to be his wife, and she slept with him. Lot was so drunk that he didn’t know what was happening.
34The next day, the oldest daughter said to her sister, “Last night I slept with our father like I was his wife. Let’s get him drunk again tonight, then you go and pretend to be his wife. Then we will both have babies, and we will always have a family.”
35So that night, they got their father drunk again, and the youngest daughter pretended to be his wife, and she slept with him. And again, Lot was so drunk that he didn’t know what was happening.
36So both of Lot’s daughters had babies, and Lot was the father of those babies. 37Lot’s oldest daughter had a son, and she called him Moab. That name means from our father. His mob are called the Moab tribe, and they are still living today. 38Lot’s youngest daughter also had a son, and she called him Ben-Ammi. That name means son of my relative. Ben-Ammi’s mob are called the Ammon tribe, and they are still living 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.