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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.

Genesis 19

19
The Doom of Sodom
1It was evening when the two angels came to Sodom. Lot was sitting at Sodom’s [#In ancient times this was the primary place of commerce and legal business.city] gate. Seeing them, Lot got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2And he said, “See here, my lords, please turn aside and come into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may get up early and go on your way.” But they said, “No, we shall spend the night in the open plaza [of the city].” 3However, Lot strongly urged them, so they turned aside and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them [with wine], and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4But before they lay down [to sleep], the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded the house, #The emphasis in the text that all the men of Sodom came reveals the depth of their depravity.all the men from every quarter; 5and they called out to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them [intimately].” 6But Lot went out of the doorway to the men, and shut the door after him, 7and said, “Please, my brothers, do not do something so wicked. 8See here, I have two daughters who have not known a man [intimately]; please let me bring them out to you [instead], and you can do as you please with them; only do nothing to these men, because they have in fact come under the shelter of my roof [for protection].” 9But they said, “Get out of the way!” And they said, “This man (Lot) came [as an outsider] to live here temporarily, and now he is acting like a judge. Now we will treat you worse than your visitors!” So they rushed forward and pressed violently against #Lit the man.Lot and came close to breaking down the door [of his house]. 10But the men (angels) reached out with their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door [after him]. 11They struck (punished) the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, from the young men to the old men, so that they exhausted themselves trying to find the doorway.
12And the [two] men (angels) asked Lot, “Have you any others here [in Sodom]—a son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters? Whomever you have in the city, take them out of here; 13for we are destroying this place, because the outcry [for judgment] against them has grown so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy and ruin it.” 14So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were [betrothed, and legally promised] to marry his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he appeared to be joking.
15When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot [to hurry], saying, “Get up! Take your wife and two daughters who are here [and go], or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16But Lot hesitated and lingered. The men took hold of his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, because the Lord was merciful to him [for Abraham’s sake]; and they brought him out, and left him outside the city [with his family]. 17When they had brought them outside, one [of the angels] said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, or stop anywhere in the entire valley; escape to the mountains [of Moab], or you will be consumed and swept away.” 18But Lot said to them, “Oh no, [not that place] my lords! 19Please listen, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness (mercy) to me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, because the disaster will overtake me and I will be killed. 20Now look, this town [in the distance] is near enough for us to flee to, and it is small [with only a few people]. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) so that my life will be saved.” 21And the angel said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also; I will not destroy this town of which you have spoken. 22Hurry and take refuge there, for I cannot do anything [to punish Sodom] until you arrive there.” For this reason the town was named Zoar (few, small).
23The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24Then the Lord rained down brimstone (flaming sulfur) and fire on Sodom and on Gomorrah from the Lord out of heaven, 25and He overthrew (demolished, ended) those cities, and the entire valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. 26But Lot’s wife, from behind him, [foolishly, longingly] looked [back toward Sodom in an act of disobedience], and she #Lot’s wife not only “looked back” to where her interests were, but perhaps lingered behind and was overtaken by the fire and brimstone; her dead body likely became continually encrusted with salt since this disaster occurred in the salt-rich area around the Dead Sea.became a pillar of salt.
27Abraham started out early the next morning to the place where he [only the day before] had stood before the Lord; 28and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley [of the Dead Sea]; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of #Not only were Sodom and Gomorrah blazing ruins, but also Admah and Zeboiim (Deut 29:23; Hos 11:8), as well as all the towns in the Valley of Siddim; Zoar was the lone exception.the land went up like the smoke of a kiln (pottery furnace).
29Now when God ravaged and destroyed the cities of the plain [of Siddim], He remembered Abraham [and for that reason], and He sent [Abraham’s nephew] Lot out of the midst of the destruction, when He destroyed the cities in which Lot had lived.
Lot Is Debased
30Now Lot went up from Zoar, and lived in the mountain together with his two daughters, for he was afraid to stay [any longer] in Zoar; and he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is aging, and there is not a man on earth [available] to be intimate with us in the customary way [so that we may have children]. 32Come, let us make our father drunk with wine, and we will lie with him so that we may preserve our family through our father.” 33So they gave their father wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she got up [because he was completely intoxicated]. 34Then the next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay with my father last night; let us make him drunk with wine tonight also, and then you go in and lie with him, so that we may preserve our family through our father.” 35So they gave their father wine that night also, and the younger got up and lay with him; and again he did not know when she lay down or when she got up. 36Thus both the daughters of Lot conceived by their father. 37The firstborn gave birth to a son, and named him Moab (from father); he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38The younger also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-ammi (son of my people); he is the father of the Ammonites to this day.