B'resheet (Gen) 19
1(iii) The two angels came to S’dom that evening, when Lot was sitting at the gate of S’dom. Lot saw them, got up to greet them and prostrated himself on the ground. 2He said, “Here now, my lords, please come over to your servant’s house. Spend the night, wash your feet, get up early, and go on your way.” “No,” they answered, “we’ll stay in the square.” 3But he kept pressing them; so they went home with him; and he made them a meal, baking matzah for their supper, which they ate.
4But before they could go to bed, the men of the city surrounded the house — young and old, everyone from every neighborhood of S’dom. 5They called Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out to us! We want to have sex with them!” 6Lot went out to them and stood in the doorway, closing the door behind him, 7and said, “Please, my brothers, don’t do such a wicked thing. 8Look here, I have two daughters who are virgins. Please, let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them what seems good to you; but don’t do anything to these men, since they are guests in my house.” 9“Stand back!” they replied. “This guy came to live here, and now he’s decided to play judge. For that we’ll deal worse with you than with them!” Then they crowded in on Lot, in order to get close enough to break down the door. 10But the men inside reached out their hands, brought Lot into the house to them and shut the door. 11Then they struck the men at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they couldn’t find the doorway.
12The men said to Lot, “Do you have any people here besides yourself? Whomever you have in the city — son-in-law, your sons, your daughters — bring them out of this place; 13because we are going to destroy it. Adonai has become aware of the great outcry against them, and Adonai has sent us to destroy it.” 14Lot went out and spoke with his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up and leave this place, because Adonai is going to destroy the city.” But his sons-in-law didn’t take him seriously.
15When morning came, the angels told Lot to hurry. “Get up,” they said, “and take your wife and your two daughters who are here; otherwise you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16But he dallied, so the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand and the hands of his two daughters — Adonai was being merciful to him — and led them, leaving them outside the city. 17When they had brought them out, he said, “Flee for your life! Don’t look behind you, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain, but escape to the hills! Otherwise you will be swept away.” 18Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lord! 19Here, your servant has already found favor in your sight, and you have shown me even greater mercy by saving my life. But I can’t escape to the hills, because I’m afraid the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. 20Look, there’s a town nearby to flee to, and it’s a small one. Please let me escape there — isn’t it just a small one? — and that way I will stay alive.”
(iv) 21He replied, “All right, I agree to what you have asked. I won’t overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22Hurry, and escape to that place, because I can’t do anything until you arrive there.” For this reason the city was named Tzo‘ar [small].
23By the time Lot had come to Tzo‘ar, the sun had risen over the land. 24Then Adonai caused sulfur and fire to rain down upon S’dom and ‘Amora from Adonai out of the sky. 25He overthrew those cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities and everything growing in the ground. 26But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a column of salt.
27Avraham got up early in the morning, went to the place where he had stood before Adonai, 28and looked out toward S’dom and ‘Amora, scanning the entire plain. There before him the smoke was rising from the land like smoke from a furnace! 29But when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Avraham and sent Lot out, away from the destruction, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.
30Lot went up from Tzo‘ar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, because he was afraid to stay in Tzo‘ar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there isn’t a man on earth to come in to us in the manner customary in the world. 32Come, let’s have our father drink wine; then we’ll sleep with him, and that way we’ll enable our father to have descendants.”
33So they plied their father with wine that night, and the older one went in and slept with her father; he didn’t know when she lay down or when she got up. 34The following day, the older said to the younger, “Here, I slept last night with my father. Let’s make him drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him, and that way we’ll enable our father to have descendants.” 35They plied their father with wine that night also, and the younger one got up and slept with him, and he didn’t know when she lay down or when she got up. 36Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.
37The older one gave birth to a son and called him Mo’av; he is the ancestor of Mo’av to this day. 38The younger also gave birth to a son, and she called him Ben-‘Ammi; he is the ancestor of the people of ‘Amon to this day.
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1The two angels#19:1. “Angels”: the account alternates between calling the two visitors “angels” and “men.” arrived at Sodom in the evening. Lot happened to be sitting at the entrance to Sodom, and when he saw them he stood up to meet them, and bowed low with his face to the ground.
2“Sirs, please come and stay with me for the night,” he said. “You can wash your feet and then be on your way early in the morning.”
They replied, “No, it's fine. We'll spend the night here in the square.”
3But Lot insisted, and they went with him to his house. He made them a meal and baked bread for them to eat. 4But they hadn't even gone to bed before the men of Sodom, young and old, from every part of town, came and surrounded the house. 5They shouted out to Lot, “Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out here to us so we can have sex with them.”
6Lot went out to talk to them in the doorway, closing the door behind him.
7“My friends, please don't do such an evil thing! 8Listen, I've got two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you want, but please don't do anything to these men. It's my responsibility to look after them.”#19:8. “It's my responsibility to look after them”: literally, “They have come under the protection of my roof.”
9“Out of our way!” they shouted. “Who do you think you are, coming to live here and now trying to judge us? We'll do even worse things to you than we were going to do to these men!” They rushed forward at Lot and tried to break down the door.
10But the men inside reached out and grabbed Lot, dragged him inside, and slammed the door shut. 11Then they made all the men in the doorway, young and old, suddenly go blind so they couldn't find the door.
12The two men asked Lot, “Is there anyone else here who's part of your family—sons-in-law, or sons or daughters, or anyone else in the town? If there are, make sure they leave, 13because we are about to destroy this place. The complaints that have reached the Lord about its people have become so bad that he has sent us to destroy it.”
14Lot went immediately to speak to the men who were engaged to marry his daughters. “Get up quickly and leave,” he said, “because the Lord is about to destroy the town!” But they thought it was just a joke.
15At dawn, the angels begged Lot to be quick, telling him, “Hurry up! Leave right now with your wife and your two daughters here, otherwise you'll be wiped out when the city is punished.” 16But Lot hesitated. The men grabbed his hand, and those of his wife and two daughters, and dragged them along, leaving them outside the town. The Lord was kind to them to do this.
17As soon as they were outside, one of the men said, “Run for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the valley! Run to the mountains otherwise you'll be destroyed!”
18“Please sir, not that!” Lot replied. 19“If you don't mind, since you have already been so kind to me by saving my life, don't make me run to the mountains—I just can't make it. The destruction will overtake me and I'll die! 20Look, there's a town nearby that's close enough to run to, and it's so small. Please let me run there—it's really very small. It would save my life.”
21“Fine—I'll do as you ask,” he replied. “I won't destroy this town you've mentioned. 22But hurry up and run there quickly, because I can't do anything until you get there.” (This is why the town was called Zoar.)#19:22. Zoar means “little place.” Originally it was called Bela (see 14:2).
23The sun had already risen by the time Lot reached Zoar. 24Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25He completely destroyed the towns and all their inhabitants, the whole valley and everything growing there. 26But Lot's wife, who was lagging behind, looked back, and she turned into a pillar of salt.
27Abraham got up early the next morning and went back to where he had stood before the Lord. 28He looked down at Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole valley floor, and saw the land burning, sending up smoke like from a furnace.
29When God destroyed the towns of the valley he didn't forget the promise he made Abraham, and he saved Lot from the destruction of the towns where Lot was living.
30Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar, so he left town and went to live in a cave in the mountains with his two daughters. 31Sometime later the older daughter said to the younger one, “Our father is growing old, and there's no men left to give us children like everyone does. 32Come on, let's get our father drunk with wine and sleep with him so we can keep his family line going.”
33So they got their father drunk with wine that night. The older daughter went and slept with him, and he didn't notice when she lay down or when she got up.
34The next day the older daughter said to the younger one, “Last night I slept with our father. Let's get him drunk with wine again tonight and you can go and sleep with him so we can keep his family line going.”
35So once again that night they got their father drunk with wine and the younger daughter went and slept with him, and he didn't notice when she lay down or when she got up.
36This is how both Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. 37The older daughter had a son, and she called him Moab.#19:37. “Moab”: understood to mean “son of my father.” He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 38The younger daughter had a son too, and she called him Ben-ammi.#19:38. “Ben-ammi”: “son of my people.” He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.
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Dr. Jonathan Gallagher. Released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Version 4.3. For corrections send email to firstname.lastname@example.org