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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 Evil City of Sodom
1That evening, while Lot was sitting near the city gate,#19.1 near the city gate: In a large area where the people would gather for community business and for meeting with friends. the two angels#19.1 two angels: The two men of 18.22. arrived in Sodom. When Lot saw them, he got up, bowed down low, 2and said, “Gentlemen, I am your servant. Please come to my home. You can wash your feet, spend the night, and be on your way in the morning.”
They told him, “No, we'll spend the night in the city square.” 3But Lot kept insisting, until they finally agreed and went home with him. He quickly baked some bread,#19.3 bread: The Hebrew text has “bread without yeast,” which could be made quickly when guests came without warning. cooked a meal, and they ate.
4Before Lot and his guests could go to bed, every man in Sodom, young and old, came and stood outside his house 5#Jg 19.22-24. and started shouting, “Where are your visitors? Send them out, so we can have sex with them!”
6Lot went outside and shut the door behind him. 7Then he said, “Friends, please don't do such a terrible thing! 8I have two daughters who have never had sex. I'll bring them out, and you can do what you want with them. But don't harm these men. They are guests in my home.”
9“Don't get in our way,” the crowd answered. “You're a foreigner. What right do you have to order us around? We'll do worse things to you than we're going to do to them.”
The crowd kept arguing with Lot. Finally, they rushed toward the door to break it down. 10But the two angels in the house reached out and pulled Lot safely inside. 11#2 K 6.18. Then they struck blind everyone in the crowd, and none of them could even find the door.
12-13The two angels said to Lot, “The Lord has heard many terrible things about the people of Sodom, and he has sent us here to destroy the city. Take your family and leave. Take every relative you have in the city, as well as the men your daughters are going to marry.”
14Lot went to the men who were engaged to his daughters and said, “Hurry up and get out of here! The Lord is going to destroy this city.” But they thought he was joking, and they laughed at him.
15Early the next morning the two angels tried to make Lot hurry and leave. They said, “Take your wife and your two daughters and get away from here as fast as you can! If you don't, every one of you will be killed when the Lord destroys the city.” 16#2 P 2.7,8. At first, Lot just stood there. But the Lord wanted to save him. So the angels took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city. 17When they were outside, one of the angels said, “Run for your lives! Don't even look back. And don't stop in the valley. Run to the hills, where you'll be safe.”
18-19Lot answered, “You have done us a great favor, sir. You have saved our lives, but please don't make us go to the hills. That's too far away. The city will be destroyed before we can get there, and we will be killed when it happens. 20There's a town near here. It's only a small place, but my family and I will be safe, if you let us go there.”
21“All right, go there,” he answered. “I won't destroy that town. 22Hurry! Run! I can't do anything until you are safely there.”
The town was later called Zoar#19.22 Zoar: In Hebrew “Zoar” sounds like “small.” because Lot had said it was small.
Sodom and Gomorrah Are Destroyed
23The sun was coming up as Lot reached the town of Zoar, 24#3 Macc 2.5; Mt 10.15; 11.23,24; Lk 10.12; 17.29; 2 P 2.6; Jd 7. and the Lord sent burning sulfur down like rain on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25He destroyed those cities and everyone who lived in them, as well as their land and the trees and grass that grew there.
26 # Ws 10.7; Lk 17.32. On the way, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a block of salt.
27That same morning Abraham got up and went to the place where he had stood and spoken with the Lord. 28He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and saw smoke rising from all over the land—it was like a flaming furnace.
29When God destroyed the cities of the valley where Lot lived, he remembered his promise to Abraham and saved Lot from the terrible destruction.
Moab and Ammon
30Lot was afraid to stay on in Zoar. So he took his two daughters and moved to a cave in the hill country. 31One day his older daughter said to her sister, “Our father is old, and there are no men anywhere for us to marry. 32Let's get our father drunk! Then we can sleep with him and have children.” 33That night they got their father drunk, and the older daughter got in bed with him, but he was too drunk even to know she was there.
34The next day the older daughter said to her sister, “I slept with my father last night. We'll get him drunk again tonight, so you can sleep with him, and we can each have a child.” 35That night they got their father drunk, and this time the younger sister slept with him. But once again he was too drunk even to know she was there.
36That's how Lot's two daughters had children. 37The older daughter named her son Moab,#19.37 Moab: In Hebrew “Moab” sounds like “from (my) father.” and he is the ancestor of the Moabites. 38The younger daughter named her son Benammi,#19.38 Benammi: In Hebrew “Benammi” means “son of my relative.” and he is the ancestor of the Ammonites.