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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.

Genesis 19

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CHAPTER 19
1And twain angels came to Sodom in the eventide, while Lot sat in the gates of the city. And when he had seen them, he rose, and went to meet them, and worshipped or honoured low to the earth,
2and said, My lords, I beseech, bow ye [down] into the house of your servant, and dwell ye there; wash ye your feet, and in the morrowtide ye shall go into your way. Which said, Nay, but we shall dwell in the street.
3He constrained them greatly, that they should turn in to him. And when they entered into his house, he made a feast, and baked therf bread, and they ate.
4Forsooth before that they went to sleep, men of the city compassed his house, from a child till to an eld [or old] man, all the people together;
5and they called Lot, and said to him, Where be the men that entered to thee tonight? bring them out hither, that we know them, that is, by lechery against kind.
6And Lot went out to them behind the back, and closed the door,
7and said, I beseech, do not ye, my brethren, do not ye do this evil.
8I have two daughters, that knew not yet a man; I shall lead out them to you, and mis-use ye them as it pleaseth you, so that ye do none evil to these men, for they entered under the shadow of my roof.
9And they said, Go thou from hence. And again they said, Thou enteredest [in] hither as a comeling; whether that thou shalt deem us? therefore we shall torment thee more than these. And they did violently to Lot full greatly. Then it was nigh that they would break the doors;
10and lo! the men put forth their hands, and led in Lot to them, and they closed the door.
11And they smote with blindness they that were withoutforth, from the least till to the most; so that they might not find the door.
12Forsooth they said to Lot, Hast thou here any man of thine, husband of thy daughter, or sons, or daughters; if so, lead thou out of this city all men that be thine,
13for we shall do away this place, for the cry of them increased before the Lord, which sent us that we lose them.
14And Lot went out, and spake to the husbands to be of his daughters, that should take his daughters, and said, Rise ye, and go ye out of this place; for the Lord shall do away this city. And he was seen to them to speak as playing.
15And when the morrowtide was, the angels constrained Lot, and said, Rise thou, and take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which thou hast, lest also thou perish altogether in the sin of the city.
16While he dissembled, they took his hand, and the hand of his wife, and of his two daughters; for the Lord spared him. And they led out him, and set [or put] him without the city.
17There they spake to him, and said, Save thou thy life; do not thou behold behind thy back, neither stand thou in all the country about, but make thee safe in the hills; lest also thou perish altogether.
18And Lot said to them, My Lord, I beseech,
19for thy servant hath found grace before thee, and thou hast magnified thy grace and mercy, which thou hast done to me, that thou shouldest save my life; I may not be saved in the hills, lest peradventure evil overtake me, and I die;
20a little city is here beside, to which I may flee, and I shall be safe therein; whether it is not such a little city? and my soul shall live therein.
21And he said to Lot, Lo! also in this I have received thy prayers, that I destroy not the city, for which thou hast spoken;
22haste thee, and be thou saved there, for I may not do anything till thou enter [in] thither. Therefore the name of that city was called Zoar.
23The sun rose on [the] earth, and Lot entered into Zoar.
24Therefore the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire, from the Lord of heaven,
25and destroyed these cities, and all the country about; he destroyed all the dwellers of those cities, and all green things of [the] earth.
26And Lot’s wife looked aback, and she was turned into an image of salt.
27Forsooth Abraham rising early, went to where he stood before with the Lord,
28beheld Sodom and Gomorrah, and all the land of that country; and he saw a dead spark going up from the earth, as the smoke of a furnace.
29For when God destroyed the cities of that country, he had mind of Abraham, and delivered Lot from [the] destroying of the cities in which he dwelled.
30And Lot went up from Zoar, and dwelled in the hills, and his two daughters with him, for he dreaded to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelled in a den, he and his two daughters with him.
31And the more daughter said to the less, Our father is eld [or old], and no man is left on earth that may enter [in] to us, by the custom of all earth;
32come thou, make we him drunken of wine, and sleep we with him, that we may keep the seed of our father.
33And so they gave to their father to drink wine in that night, and the more, or the elder, daughter entered, and slept with her father; and he feeled not, neither when the daughter lay down, neither when she [a] rose.
34And the tother day the more daughter said to the less, or the younger, Lo! I slept yesterday with my father; give we to him to drink wine also in this night; and thou sleep with him, that we save the seed of our father.
35And they gave to their father also in that night to drink wine, and the less daughter entered, and slept with him; and soothly he feeled not then when she lay down, neither when she [a] rose.
36Therefore the two daughters of Lot conceived of their father.
37And the more daughter childed a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of men of Moab unto this present day.
38And the less daughter childed a son, and called his name Benammi, that is, The son of my people; he is the father of men of Ammon till to [this] day.