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Genesis 19

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1And the two angels came to Sodom at even. And Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. And Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and he bowed down, the face toward the ground, 2and he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and lodge, and wash your feet; and ye shall rise up early, and go on your way. And they said, No; but we will pass the night in the open place. 3And he urged them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house. And he made them a repast, and baked unleavened cakes; and they ate.
4Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, from the youngest to the oldest — all the people from every quarter. 5And they called to Lot, and said to him, Where are the men that have come in to thee to-night? bring them out to us that we may know them. 6And Lot went out to them to the entrance, and shut the door after him, 7and said, I pray you, my brethren, do not wickedly! 8Behold now, I have two daughters who have not known a man: let me now bring them out to you; and do to them as is good in your sight: only, to these men do nothing; for therefore have they come under the shadow of my roof. 9And they said, Back there! And they said again, This one came to sojourn, and he must be a judge? Now we will deal worse with thee than with them. And they pressed hard on the man — on Lot; and drew near to break the door. 10And the men stretched out their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 11And they smote the men that were at the entrance of the house with blindness, from the smallest to the greatest; and they wearied themselves to find the entrance.
12And the men said to Lot, Whom hast thou here besides? a son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and all whom thou hast in the city — bring them out of the place. 13For we are going to destroy this place, because the cry of them is great before Jehovah, and Jehovah has sent us to destroy it. 14And Lot went out, and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, Up, go out of this place, for Jehovah will destroy the city. But he was as if he jested, in the sight of his sons-in-law.
15And as the dawn arose, the angels urged Lot, saying, Up, take thy wife and thy two daughters who are present, lest thou perish in the iniquity of the city. 16And as he lingered, the men laid hold on his hand, and on the hand of his wife, and on the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful to him; and they led him out, and set him without the city. 17And it came to pass when they had brought them outside, that he said, Escape for thy life: look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain: escape to the mountain, lest thou perish. 18And Lot said to them, Not so, I pray thee, Lord; 19behold now, thy servant has found favour in thine eyes, and thou hast magnified thy goodness, which thou hast shewn to me in preserving my soul alive; but I cannot escape to the mountain, lest calamity lay hold on me, that I die. 20Behold now, this city is near to flee to, and it is small: I pray thee, let me escape thither — is it not small? — and my soul shall live. 21And he said to him, Behold, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which thou hast spoken. 22Haste, escape thither; for I cannot do anything until thou art come there. Therefore the name of the city is called Zoar. 23The sun rose upon the earth when Lot came to Zoar.
24And Jehovah rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven, 25and overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew upon the ground.
26And his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27And Abraham rose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before Jehovah; 28and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, a smoke went up from the land as the smoke of a furnace. 29And it came to pass when God#GodHebrew: Elohim destroyed the cities of the plain, that God#GodHebrew: Elohim remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.
30And Lot went up from Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar. And he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31And the first-born said to the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the land to come in to us after the manner of all the earth: 32come, let us give our father wine to drink, and let us lie with him, that we may preserve seed alive of our father. 33And they gave their father wine to drink that night. And the first-born went in, and lay with her father, and he did not know of her lying down, nor of her rising. 34And it came to pass on the next day that the first-born said to the younger, Lo, I lay last night with my father: let us give him wine to drink to-night also, and go thou in, lie with him, that we may preserve seed alive of our father. 35And they gave their father wine to drink that night also. And the younger arose, and lay with him; and he did not know of her lying down, nor of her rising. 36And both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37And the first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38And the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; the same is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.
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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.