1And the two angels came to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face to the earth; 2and he said, Behold now, my lords, turn aside, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your way. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. 3And he urged them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 4But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him. 7And he said, I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly. 8Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing, forasmuch as they are come under the shadow of my roof. 9And they said, Stand back. And they said, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and drew near to break the door. 10But the men put forth their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of the place: 13for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxed great before Jehovah; and Jehovah hath sent us to destroy it. 14And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for Jehovah will destroy the city. But he seemed unto his sons-in-law as one that mocked. 15And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are here, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 17And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the Plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my lord: 19behold now, thy servant hath found favor in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy lovingkindness, which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest evil overtake me, and I die: 20behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one. Oh let me escape thither (is it not a little one?), and my soul shall live. 21And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which thou hast spoken. 22Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot came unto Zoar. 24Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; 25and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 26But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. 27And Abraham gat up early in the morning 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, the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace.
29And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God 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 out of 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 unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 32come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33And they made their father drink wine that night: and the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first-born said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 35And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 36Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37And the first-born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
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.
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