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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1And two of the messengers come towards Sodom at even, and Lot is sitting at the gate of Sodom, and Lot seeth, and riseth to meet them, and boweth himself — face to the earth,
2and he saith, ‘Lo, I pray you, my lords, turn aside, I pray you, unto the house of your servant, and lodge, and wash your feet — then ye have risen early and gone on your way;’ and they say, ‘Nay, but in the broad place we do lodge.’
3And he presseth on them greatly, and they turn aside unto him, and come in unto his house; and he maketh for them a banquet, and hath baked unleavened things; and they do eat.
4Before they lie down, the men of the city — men of Sodom — have come round about against the house, from young even unto aged, all the people from the extremity;
5and they call unto Lot and say to him, ‘Where [are] the men who have come in unto thee to-night? bring them out unto us, and we know them.’
6And Lot goeth out unto them, to the opening, and the door hath shut behind him,
7and saith, ‘Do not, I pray you, my brethren, do evil;
8lo, I pray you, I have two daughters, who have not known any one; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do to them as [is] good in your eyes; only to these men do not anything, for therefore have they come in within the shadow of my roof.’
9And they say, ‘Come nigh hither;’ they say also, ‘This one hath come in to sojourn, and he certainly judgeth! now, we do evil to thee more than [to] them;’ and they press against the man, against Lot greatly, and come nigh to break the door.
10And the men put forth their hand, and bring in Lot unto them, into the house, and have shut the door;
11and the men who [are] at the opening of the house they have smitten with blindness, from small even unto great, and they weary themselves to find the opening.
12And the men say unto Lot, ‘Whom hast thou here still? son-in-law, thy sons also, and thy daughters, and all whom thou hast in the city, bring out from this place;
13for we are destroying this place, for their cry hath been great [before] the face of Jehovah, and Jehovah doth send us to destroy it.’
14And Lot goeth out, and speaketh unto his sons-in-law, those taking his daughters, and saith, ‘Rise, go out from this place, for Jehovah is destroying the city;’ and he is as [one] mocking in the eyes of his sons-in-law.
15And when the dawn hath ascended, then the messengers press upon Lot, saying, ‘Rise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters who are found present, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.’
16And he lingereth, and the men lay hold on his hand, and on the hand of his wife, and on the hand of his two daughters, through the mercy of Jehovah unto him, and they bring him out, and cause him to rest without the city.
17And it cometh to pass when he hath brought them out without, that he saith, ‘Escape for thy life; look not expectingly behind thee, nor stand thou in all the circuit; to the mountain escape, lest thou be consumed.’
18And Lot saith unto them, ‘Not [so], I pray thee, my lord;
19lo, I pray thee, thy servant hath found grace in thine eyes, and thou dost make great thy kindness which thou hast done with me by saving my life, and I am unable to escape to the mountain, lest the evil cleave [to] me, and I have died;
20lo, I pray thee, this city [is] near to flee thither, and it [is] little; let me escape, I pray thee, thither, (is it not little?) and my soul doth live.’
21And he saith unto him, ‘Lo, I have accepted thy face also for this thing, without overthrowing the city [for] which thou hast spoken;
22haste, escape thither, for I am not able to do anything till thine entering thither;’ therefore hath he calleth the name of the city Zoar.
23The sun hath gone out on the earth, and Lot hath entered into Zoar,
24and Jehovah hath rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah, from the heavens;
25and He overthroweth these cities, and all the circuit, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which is shooting up from the ground.
26And his wife looketh expectingly from behind him, and she is — a pillar of salt!
27And Abraham riseth early in the morning, unto the place where he hath stood [before] the face of Jehovah;
28and he looketh on the face of Sodom and Gomorrah, and on all the face of the land of the circuit, and seeth, and lo, the smoke of the land went up as smoke of the furnace.
29And it cometh to pass, in God's destroying the cities of the circuit, that God remembereth Abraham, and sendeth Lot out of the midst of the overthrow in the overthrowing of the cities in which Lot dwelt.
30And Lot goeth up out of Zoar, and dwelleth in the mountain, and his two daughters with him, for he hath been afraid of dwelling in Zoar, and he dwelleth in a cave, he and his two daughters.
31And the first-born saith unto the younger, ‘Our father [is] old, and a man there is not in the earth to come in unto us, as [is] the way of all the earth;
32come, we cause our father to drink wine, and lie with him, and preserve from our father — a seed.’
33And they cause their father to drink wine on that night; and the first-born goeth in, and lieth with her father, and he hath not known in her lying down, or in her rising up.
34And it cometh to pass, on the morrow, that the first-born saith unto the younger, ‘Lo, I have lain yesterday-night with my father: we cause him to drink wine also to-night, and go thou in, lie with him, and we preserve from our father — a seed.’
35And they cause their father to drink wine on that night also, and the younger riseth and lieth with him, and he hath not known in her lying down, or in her rising up.
36And the two daughters of Lot conceive from their father,
37and the first-born beareth a son, and calleth his name Moab; he [is] father of Moab unto this day;
38as to the younger, she also hath born a son, and calleth his name Ben-Ammi: he [is] father of the Beni-Ammon unto this day.
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