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Genesis 19

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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.

B'resheet (Gen) 19

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1(iii) The two angels came to S’dom that evening, when Lot was sitting at the gate of S’dom. Lot saw them, got up to greet them and prostrated himself on the ground. 2He said, “Here now, my lords, please come over to your servant’s house. Spend the night, wash your feet, get up early, and go on your way.” “No,” they answered, “we’ll stay in the square.” 3But he kept pressing them; so they went home with him; and he made them a meal, baking matzah for their supper, which they ate.
4But before they could go to bed, the men of the city surrounded the house — young and old, everyone from every neighborhood of S’dom. 5They called Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out to us! We want to have sex with them!” 6Lot went out to them and stood in the doorway, closing the door behind him, 7and said, “Please, my brothers, don’t do such a wicked thing. 8Look here, I have two daughters who are virgins. Please, let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them what seems good to you; but don’t do anything to these men, since they are guests in my house.” 9“Stand back!” they replied. “This guy came to live here, and now he’s decided to play judge. For that we’ll deal worse with you than with them!” Then they crowded in on Lot, in order to get close enough to break down the door. 10But the men inside reached out their hands, brought Lot into the house to them and shut the door. 11Then they struck the men at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they couldn’t find the doorway.
12The men said to Lot, “Do you have any people here besides yourself? Whomever you have in the city — son-in-law, your sons, your daughters — bring them out of this place; 13because we are going to destroy it. Adonai has become aware of the great outcry against them, and Adonai has sent us to destroy it.” 14Lot went out and spoke with his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up and leave this place, because Adonai is going to destroy the city.” But his sons-in-law didn’t take him seriously.
15When morning came, the angels told Lot to hurry. “Get up,” they said, “and take your wife and your two daughters who are here; otherwise you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16But he dallied, so the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand and the hands of his two daughters — Adonai was being merciful to him — and led them, leaving them outside the city. 17When they had brought them out, he said, “Flee for your life! Don’t look behind you, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain, but escape to the hills! Otherwise you will be swept away.” 18Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lord! 19Here, your servant has already found favor in your sight, and you have shown me even greater mercy by saving my life. But I can’t escape to the hills, because I’m afraid the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. 20Look, there’s a town nearby to flee to, and it’s a small one. Please let me escape there — isn’t it just a small one? — and that way I will stay alive.”
(iv) 21He replied, “All right, I agree to what you have asked. I won’t overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22Hurry, and escape to that place, because I can’t do anything until you arrive there.” For this reason the city was named Tzo‘ar [small].
23By the time Lot had come to Tzo‘ar, the sun had risen over the land. 24Then Adonai caused sulfur and fire to rain down upon S’dom and ‘Amora from Adonai out of the sky. 25He overthrew those cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities and everything growing in the ground. 26But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a column of salt.
27Avraham got up early in the morning, went to the place where he had stood before Adonai, 28and looked out toward S’dom and ‘Amora, scanning the entire plain. There before him the smoke was rising from the land like smoke from a furnace! 29But when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Avraham and sent Lot out, away from the destruction, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.
30Lot went up from Tzo‘ar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, because he was afraid to stay in Tzo‘ar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there isn’t a man on earth to come in to us in the manner customary in the world. 32Come, let’s have our father drink wine; then we’ll sleep with him, and that way we’ll enable our father to have descendants.”
33So they plied their father with wine that night, and the older one went in and slept with her father; he didn’t know when she lay down or when she got up. 34The following day, the older said to the younger, “Here, I slept last night with my father. Let’s make him drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him, and that way we’ll enable our father to have descendants.” 35They plied their father with wine that night also, and the younger one got up and slept with him, and he didn’t know when she lay down or when she got up. 36Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.
37The older one gave birth to a son and called him Mo’av; he is the ancestor of Mo’av to this day. 38The younger also gave birth to a son, and she called him Ben-‘Ammi; he is the ancestor of the people of ‘Amon to this day.