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.
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The Wickedness of Sodom
1That evening, the two angels came to Sodom # 19:1 Sodom means “scorched” or “burnt region.” while Lot was sitting at the city’s gateway. # 19:1 A city gateway usually consisted of towers, guardrooms, and a meeting area where people could sit. Often, the city leadership would conduct meetings there (see Ruth 4:1–12). Recent archeological discoveries at Tel-Dan revealed a stone bench that was fifteen feet long connected to the wall of one of its towers. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed with his face to the ground. 2He said, “Please, my lords, come to your servant’s house to spend the night and wash your feet; then you can rise early and go on your way.”
“No,” they answered. “We will be fine to spend the night in the town square.”
3But Lot was so insistent they finally agreed to go to his house. Lot had unleavened bread baked for them and prepared a feast, and they ate. 4But before they retired for the night, the men of the city, men young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom, to the last man, surrounded the house. 5They shouted out to Lot, “Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them!” # 19:5 Or “that we may know [yada’] them.” This word is used frequently for sexual relations. They surrounded the house, not simply to introduce themselves to the men, but to sexually abuse them. See Gen. 13:13; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Deut. 23:18; Judg. 19:22; Rom. 1:18–32; 1 Cor. 6:9–10.
6Lot went outside, shutting the door behind him, 7and said to them, “No! My brothers, I beg you, don’t sink to such depravity! 8Look, I have two virgin daughters; I’ll bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you please. Only don’t do anything to these men, for they are guests in my house.” # 19:8 Or “they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
9“Get out of our way,” they replied. “This guy comes as a foreigner to live among us, and now he dares to judge us! We’ll inflict more harm on you than on them!” Just then they lunged at Lot and tried to break down the door, 10but the two angels reached out and pulled Lot safely back into the house and bolted the door. 11They struck the men outside the house, young and old, with one blazing flash of light # 19:11 The Hebrew word sanverim is found only here and in 2 Kings 6:18. The word indicates more than sightlessness (Hb. invaron), but a sudden immobilizing and dazzling flash of light. See the Aramaic Targums; Yoma 22b.; H. M. Orlinsky, Notes on the New Translation of the Torah (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1969), 93ff.; E. A. Speiser, “The ‘Elative’ in West-Semitic and Akkadian,” JCS 6 (1952): 81ff. so that they could not find the door!
12Then the visitors said to Lot, “Who else lives here? Do you have any other family here—sons or daughters, sons-in-law or daughters-in-law who live in Sodom? Get them all out of the city, 13because we are about to destroy this place. A tremendous outcry against the people has come before Yahweh, and he has sent us here to destroy it!”
14So Lot went out to find the two men who were pledged to marry his daughters and told them, “Hurry, leave the city, for Yahweh is about to destroy it!” But they thought he was only joking and paid him no attention.
15At dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Go! Take your wife and your two daughters and leave or you will be consumed in the judgment about to come to the city!” 16But Lot hesitated, so the angels grabbed his hands and the hands of his wife and daughters and brought them outside the city, because Yahweh was merciful to them. 17Once they were safely outside the city, the angels said to them, “Run for your lives! Don’t stop anywhere in the plain until you’ve reached the mountains. And don’t even look back, or you’ll die!”
18Lot replied, “Oh no, my lords. 19You’ve been so gracious to your servant, and you’ve been so kind to save our lives, but I can’t make it to the mountains. It’s so far from here; disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die! 20Look, over there is a village close enough to run to, and it’s a small one. # 19:20 Or “Zoar,” a wordplay in Hebrew. The word for “small” sounds like Zoar. Let me escape there instead. You can see that it’s such a small village. Let my life be spared!”
21“All right,” he replied. “I will grant this request too. # 19:21 Or “I have lifted up your face,” a figure of speech for showing favor. I will not destroy that village. 22Now, you must hurry. Run to that village, for I can’t do anything until you are there.” (That is why the village was called Zoar.)
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
23By mid-morning, # 19:23 Or “When the sun had risen upon the earth.” Lot arrived at the small village of Zoar, 24And Yahweh’s fire from heaven fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah. 25He completely destroyed the cities of the plain, and all their inhabitants and whatever grew in the valley. # 19:25 Jesus made it clear that if the miracles he did in Israel had been seen in Sodom, the people of Sodom would have repented. Therefore, it will be more tolerable for them in the Day of Judgment than for the cities of Galilee (see Matt. 11:20–24). Knowing that God will soon judge the corrupt world, it is vital that we live holy lives (see 2 Peter 3:11–15). 26But Lot’s wife turned and gazed longingly on the city and turned into a pillar of salt. # 19:26 See Luke 9:62; 17:32. Perhaps there really was a salt-pillar that resembled a human. In the book the Wisdom of Solomon 10:7, which was included in the Septuagint, it says, “A pillar of salt stands as a memorial to an unbelieving soul,” and Josephus claimed to have seen it in his day (Ant. 1.203).
27That morning, # 19:27 Or “The next morning.” It is unclear whether Abraham saw the moment of the destruction of the cities or if he viewed the smoke rising the next day. Abraham hurried back to the place where he had stood before Yahweh. # 19:27 See Gen. 18:22. The implication from Gen. 18:16 and 18:33 is that this high point may have been some distance from Abraham’s camp. 28Looking down toward all the land of the plain, he saw columns of smoke billowing up from Sodom and Gomorrah # 19:28 Gomorrah means “a ruined heap” or “to chastise.” —like the smoke of a furnace!
29So before God destroyed the cities of the plain where Lot had settled, he remembered his affection for Abraham # 19:29 That is, he honored Abraham’s request. God had not forgotten Abraham and then suddenly remembered him, but rather showed his affection for Abraham by fulfilling his request to spare the righteous. and spared Lot from all the destruction.
Lot and His Daughters
30Afraid to remain in Zoar, Lot left there and settled in the hill country and lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31One day, his firstborn suggested to the younger, “Our father is getting old, and there isn’t a man anywhere who could impregnate us in the normal way. 32Come, let’s get our father drunk with wine and have sex with him. That way we can at least have children through our father.”
33That night, they got their father drunk with wine, and the firstborn went in and slept with him. Lot was so drunk he didn’t have a clue about what had happened. # 19:33 Or “he did not know when she lay down and when she arose.” See v. 35. This chapter opens with Lot sitting at the gate of Sodom, the seat of authority, and ends with him drunk in a cave—from councilman to caveman! Lot could have returned to his uncle, Abraham, but instead he fled to a cave. 34The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “I slept with my father last night. Tonight, it’s your turn. We’ll get him drunk with wine, and you can sleep with him and we can preserve our family line through our father.”
35So they got their father drunk the second time; and the younger went in and slept with him. He was once again so drunk he had no clue what had happened. 36As a result, both Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37The older daughter had a son named Moab, # 19:37 Or “from my father,” a wordplay which in Hebrew sounds like “[conceived] from my father.” who is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. # 19:37 Jewish tradition views these two daughters as righteous women whose motives were noble. Perhaps they presumed the entire world had been destroyed and that Zoar was spared only while they were there, leaving no other living male except their father. Regardless, one day a descendant of Moab, Ruth, would be included in the roots of the Jewish monarchy as David’s great-grandmother (see Ruth 4:17–22) and listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (see Matt. 1:5). There is no sin or evil that can hinder God’s grace from shining through even the darkest cloud of human failure. 38The younger also had a son named Ben-Ammi, # 19:38 Or “son of my relative,” a wordplay which in Hebrew sounds like “son of my [paternal] relative.” the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.
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