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Genesis 19

19
The Rescue of Lot from Sodom
1And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening. And Lot was sitting in the gateway of Sodom. Then Lot saw them and stood up to meet them. And he bowed down with his face to the ground. 2And he said, “Behold, my lords, please turn aside into the house of your servant and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you can rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the square.” 3But he urged them strongly,#Literally “he pressed upon them very” and they turned aside with him and came into his house. And he made a meal for them and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4Before they laid down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man,#Literally “from the end” 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 so that we may know#Hebrew idiom for sexual intercourse (cp. Gen 4:1) them.” 6But Lot went out to them at the entrance, and he shut the door behind him. 7And he said, “No, my brothers, please do not do such a wrong thing. 8Behold, I have two daughters who have not known#Hebrew idiom for sexual intercourse (cp. Gen 4:1) a man. Please, let me bring them out to you; then do to them as it seems good in your eyes. Only to these men do not do this thing, since they came under my roof#Literally “my beam” for protection.” 9But they said, “Step aside!” Then they said, “This fellow#Literally “the one” came to dwell as a foreigner and he acts as a judge! Now we shall do worse to you than them!” And they pressed very hard against the man, against Lot, and they drew near to break the door. 10Then the men reached out with their hands and brought Lot in to them, into the house, and they shut the door. 11And the men who were at the entrance of the house they struck with blindness, both small and great, and they were unable to find the entrance. 12Then the men said to Lot, “Who is here with you? Bring out from the place your sons-in-law, and your sons and your daughters, and all who are with you in the city. 13For we are about to destroy this place, because their cry has become great before Yahweh. Yahweh sent us to destroy it.” 14Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were taking#That is, marrying his daughters and said, “Get up! Go out from this place, because Yahweh is going to destroy the city!” But it seemed like a joke#Literally “it was as one making fun” in the eyes of his sons-in-law. 15And as the dawn came up the angels urged Lot saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are staying with you,#Literally “who are found” lest you be destroyed with the punishment of the city.” 16But when he lingered, the men seized him by his hand and his wife’s hand, and his two daughters by hand, on account of the mercy of Yahweh upon him. And they brought him out and set him outside of the city. 17And after bringing them outside one said, “Flee for your life; do not look behind you, and do not stand anywhere in the plain. Flee to the mountains lest you be destroyed.” 18And Lot said to them, “No, please, my lords. 19Behold, your servant has found favor in your eyes and you have shown me great kindness#Literally “your kindness which you have done to me you have made great” in saving my life. But I cannot flee to the mountains, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20Behold, this city is near enough to flee there, and it is a little one. Please, let me flee there. Is it not a little one? Then my life shall be saved.” 21And he said to him, “Behold, I will grant this favor as well;#Literally “I am lifting up your face also concerning this thing” that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22Escape there quickly, for I cannot do this thing until you get there.” Therefore, there name of the city was called Zoar.
The Destruction of Sodom
23After the sun had risen#Literally “had gone out” upon the earth and Lot had entered Zoar, 24Yahweh rained down from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh. 25And he overthrew those cities and the whole plain, and the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation of the ground. 26But his#That is, Lot’s wife looked back,#Literally “behind him” and she became a pillar of salt. 27And Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before Yahweh. 28And he looked down upon the surface of Sodom and Gomorrah, and upon the whole surface of the land, the plain. And he saw that,#Or “and” behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a smelting furnace. 29So it was, when God destroyed the cities of the plain that God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out from the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.
Lot and His Daughters
30And Lot went out from Zoar and settled in the hill country#Or “mountain” with his two daughters, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. So he lived in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31And the firstborn daughter said to the younger one, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the land to come in to us according to the manner of all the land. 32Come, let us give our father wine to drink and let us lie with him#Idiom for “have sexual intercourse with him” that we may secure descendants through our father.”#Literally “that we might preserve offspring from our father” 33And they gave their father wine to drink that night, and the firstborn went and lay with her father, but he did not know when she lay down or when she got up. 34And it happened that, the next day the firstborn said to the younger one, “Look, I laid with my father last night. Let us give him wine to drink also tonight, then go and lie with him that we may secure descendants through our father.”#Literally “that we might preserve offspring from our father” 35And they gave their father wine to drink again that night, and the younger got up and lay with him, but he did not know when she lay down or when she got up. 36And the two daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37The firstborn gave birth to a son, and she called his name Moab. He is the father of Moab until this day. 38And the younger, she also gave birth to a son, and she called his name Ben-Ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites#Literally “sons/children of Ammon” until this day.

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.