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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.

Berĕshith (Genesis) 19

19
1And the two messengers came to Seḏom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Seḏom. And when Lot saw them, he rose up to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground,
2and he said, “Look, please my masters, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet, and rise early and go your way.” And they said, “No, but let us spend the night in the open square.”
3But he urged them strongly, and they turned in to him and came into his house. And he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Seḏom, both old and young, all the people from every part, surrounded the house.
5And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, and let us ‘know’ them.”
6So Lot went out to them through the doorway, and shut the door behind him,
7and said, “Please, my brothers, do not do evil!
8Look, please, I have two daughters who have not known a man. Please, let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you wish, only do no deed to these men, because they have come under the shadow of my roof.
9But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This one came in to sojourn, and should he always judge? Now we are going to treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.
10But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.
11Then they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, and they wearied themselves to find the door.
12And the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city – bring them out of this place!
13For we are going to destroy this place, because the cry against them has grown great before the face of יהוה, and יהוה has sent us to destroy it.
14And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place, for יהוה is going to destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be as one joking.
15And when morning dawned, the messengers urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.”
16And while he loitered, the men took hold of his hand, and his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, יהוה having compassion on him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
17And it came to be, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed.”
18And Lot said to them, “Oh no, יהוה!
19“Look, please, your servant has found favour in your eyes, and you have increased your loving-commitment which you have shown me by saving my life, but I am unable to escape to the mountains, lest calamity overtake me and I die.
20“Look, please, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please let me escape there – is it not a small matter – and let my life be saved?”
21And He said to him, “Look, I have favoured you concerning this matter also, without overthrowing this city for which you have spoken.
22Hurry, escape there. For I am not able to do any deed until you arrive there. So the name of the city was called Tso‛ar.
23The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Tso‛ar.
24And יהוה rained sulphur and fire on Seḏom and Amorah, from יהוה out of the heavens.
25So He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
26But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a post of salt.
27And Aḇraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before יהוה,
28and he looked toward Seḏom and Amorah, and toward all the land of the plain. And he looked and saw the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace.
29Thus it came to be, when Elohim destroyed the cities of the plain, that Elohim remembered Aḇraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.
30And Lot went up out of Tso‛ar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him, for he was afraid to dwell in Tso‛ar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave.
31And the first-born said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us, as is the way of all the earth.
32Come, let us make our father drink wine and lie with him, so that we preserve the seed of our father.
33So they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in and lay with her father, and he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she arose.
34And it came to be on the next day that the first-born said to the younger, “See, I lay with my father last night. Let us make him drink wine tonight as well, and you go in and lie with him, so that we keep the seed of our father.”
35So they made their father drink wine that night as well. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she arose.
36Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.
37And the first-born bore a son and called his name Mo’aḇ, he is the father of the Mo’aḇites to this day.
38And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi, he is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.