Genesis 19


1 “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom:

and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face

toward the ground;”    And there came two angels - literally, the two angels, i.e. the

two men of the preceding chapter who accompanied Jehovah to Mamre; οἱ δύο

ἄγγελλοιhoi duo angelloithe two angels (Septuagint) - to Sodom at even

(having left the tent of Abraham shortly after noon); and Lot - last heard of in

the narrative as captured by the Asiatic kings, and delivered by his uncle

(ch. 14:12, 16) - sat in the gate of Sodom. שַׁעַר, from the idea of opening,



·         the gateway or entrance of a camp (Exodus 32:26-27),

·         of a palace (Esther 2:19),

·         of a temple (Ezekiel 8:5),

·         of a land (Jeremiah 15:7), or

·          of a city (Joshua 2:7).


Corresponding to the ancient forum of the Romans, or agora of the Greeks, the

city gate among the Hebrews was the customary place of resort for the settlement

of disputes, the transaction of business, or the enjoyment of ordinary social

intercourse (compare ch. 34:20; Deuteronomy 21:19; 22:15; Ruth 4:1; Proverbs

31:23). It was probably an arch with deep recesses, in which were placed chairs

for the judges or city magistrates, and seats or benches for the citizens who had

business to transact. So Homer describes the Trojan elders as sitting at the Scaean

gate (3. 148). In what capacity Lot was sitting in the gate is not narrated. That he

was on the outlook for travelers on whom to practice the hospitality he had learned

from his uncle (Peele, Calvin, Willet, Lange) is perhaps to form too high an ideal

of his piety (Kalisch); while the explanation that he had been promoted to the

dignity of one of the city judges, though not perhaps justified as an inference

from v. 9, is not at all unlikely, considering his relationship to Abraham. And Lot

seeing them (and recognizing them to be strangers by their dress and looks) rose up

to meet them; - having not yet abandoned the practice of hospitality, or forgotten,

through mingling with the Sodomites, the respectful courtesy which was due to

strangers, since the writer adds - and he bowed himself with his face toward the

ground (compare ch. 18:2).  (In reference to Lot’s demise in his choice given

by Abram [ch. 13:7-9] we may assume that his declension was associated with

the following:


*  Lot looked towards the plain of Jordan (ch. 13:10)

*  Lot chose all the plain of Jordan (ibid. v. 11)

*  Lot pitched his tent towards Sodom (ibid.)

*  Lot dwelt in Sodom (ch. 14:12)

*  Lot sat in the gate of Sodom – as a leader or magistrate  (ch. v.1, here)

*  Lot was unhappy - Sodom "vexed his righteous soul" (II Peter 2:8)

*  Lot lingered when warned to flee - had to be drug out of Sodom(here, v.16)


Apparently the sojourn in Egypt had a more depraving

effect on Lot than it did on Abram.


"But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners BEFORE the Lord

exceedingly"  (ch. 13:13)


2 “And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, 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 ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.”

And he said, Beheld now, my lords, - Adonai (see ch. 18:3). As yet Lot only

recognized them as men - turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and

tarry all night, and wash your feet (compare ibid. v. 4) and ye shall rise up early,

and go on your ways. Though an act of kindness on the part of Lot, his invitation

was not accepted by the angels obviously with a view to try his character (compare

Luke 24:28). And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. Literally,

for in the broad open spaces (i.e. the streets of the town) we will pass the night;

no great hardship in that climate.


3 “And he pressed upon 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.”  And he pressed upon them greatly. Being himself sincerely desirous

to extend to them hospitality, and knowing well the danger to which they would be

exposed from the violence and licentiousness of the townsmen. And they turned

in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, - mishteh,

from shathah, to drink, is rightly rendered πότονpoton  (Septuagint), a drink,

or refreshing beverage (compare Esther 5:6; 7:7) - and did bake unleavened bread

literally, bread of sweetness, that is, bread not soured by leaven. The banquet was

thus of the simplest kind, chiefly, it may be hoped, for the sake of dispatch. And

they did eat.


4 “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom,

compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every

quarter:”   i.e. of the town, as in Jeremiah 51:31 (Lange); from the extremity, or

extremities, of the town (Kalisch); from the extremities, i.e. all the population

contained within the extremities (Rosenmüller); all the citizens to the last man

(Keil). The text probably conveys the writer's idea.


5 “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which

came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came

in to thee this night? Josephus supposes them to have been of beautiful

countenances ('Ant.,' 1:11, 3), which excited the lust of the Sodomites, and

caused them to assault Lot's house with shameful cries. Bring them out unto us,

that we may know them. The sin here euphemistically referred to (compare Judges

19:22) was exceedingly prevalent among the Canaanites (Leviticus 18:22) and other

heathen nations [and unfortunately, now the United States of America and other

countries of the world can be added to these – hopefully not as prevalent

though, as “fake news” portrays them to be!  CY – 2019] (Romans 1:26-27).

Under the law of Moses IT WAS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH!


6 “And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.  8 Behold now, I have

two daughters which 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; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.”

And Lot went out at the door unto them, - literally, at the doorway, or opening

(pethach, from pathach, to open; compare pateo, Latin; πρόθυρονprothuron

, (Septuagint); in which the gate or hanging door (deleth, from dalai, to be pendulous)

swings, and which it closes (see Gesenius, p. 201) - and shut the door (deleth, as above;

θύρα thura - door, Septuagint) after him, - to protect his visitors, which he also

sought to accomplish by personal exhortation - and said, I pray you, brethren, do

not so wickedly - and also by an infamous proposal which nothing can extenuate

and the utmost charity finds difficult to reconcile any pretence of piety on the part of

Lot. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; - i.e. unmarried

(compare ch. 4:1), though, according to some, already betrothed to two Sodomites

(v. 14) - let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good

in your eyes. The usual apologies - that in sacrificing his daughters to the Sodomites

instead of giving up his guests to their unnatural lust. Lot:


(1) selected the lesser of two sins (Ambrose);

(2) thereby protected his guests and discharged the duties of hospitality incumbent

      on him (Chrysostom);

(3) believed his daughters would not be desired by the Sodomites, either because of

      their well-known betrothal (Rosenmüller), or because of the unnatural lust of the

Sodomites (Lunge);

(4) acted through mental perturbation (Augustine).


None of these are insufficient to excuse the wickedness of one who in attempting to

prevent one sin was himself guilty of another (Delitzsch), who in seeking to be a

faithful friend forgot to be an affectionate father (Kalisch), and who, though bound

to defend his guests at the risk of his own life, was not at liberty to purchase their

safety by the sacrifice of his daughters ('Speakers Commentary'). Only unto these men

הָאֵל, an archaic form of הָאֵלֶּה, a proof of the antiquity of the Pentateuch (compare

v. 25; 26:3-4; Leviticus 18:27; Deuteronomy 4:42; 7:22; 19:11) - do nothing

(i.e. offer to them neither violence nor dishonor); for therefore (see ch. 18:5)

came they under the shadow of my roof - in order to find protection.


9 “And they said, Stand back. And they said again, 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 came near to

break the door.”  And they said, Stand back. Ἀπόστα ἐκεῖ - Aposta ekei   

(Septuagint); recede illuc (Vulgate); "Make way," i.e. for us to enter (Keil, Knobel,

Gesenius); Approach hither (Baumgarten, Kalisch); Come near, farther off ('Speaker's

Commentary'). And they said again, This one fellow (literally, the one, an expression

of the Sodomites' contempt) came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: -

literally, and shall he judge, judging; shall he continually play the judge, referring

doubtless to Lot s daily remonstrances against their wickedness (compare

II Peter 2:7-8) - now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed

sore upon the man, even Lot (literally, upon Lot, who appears to have offered a

sturdy resistance to their violence no less than to their clamors), and came near

to break (שָׁבַר, to break to pieces, to shiver) the door.


10 “But the men (i.e. the angels) put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into

the house to them, and shut to the door.”  (delethsee v. 6)


11 “And 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.”

And they smote the men that were at the door - the pethaeh, or opening (ibid.) –

of the house with blindness, - סַגְוֵרִים (sanverim), from an unused quadrilateral

signifying to dazzle, is perhaps here intended not for natural blindness, but for

confused or bewildered vision, involving for the time being loss of sight, and

accompanied by mental aberration; what Aben Ezra calls "blindness of eye

and mind" (compare II Kings 6:18) - both small and great: so that they wearied

themselves to find the door - which they would hardly have done had it been

natural blindness only (Augustine).



Warning Lights in Sodom (vs. 1-11)




Ø      That the light of Lot’s piety was still burning, though he had long been

subjected to the moral contamination of the licentious Pentapolis, is

apparent from —


Ø      The practice of hospitality, which he appears to have maintained,

having probably learned it while in his uncle s tent. So men often

cling to the outward forms of religion when its living power is ceasing

to exert an influence upon the heart; and though adherence to the

former is not to be mistaken for the latter, yet it renders the decline

of the latter less rapid and disastrous than it would otherwise be.


Ø      The kindly reception which he extended to his celestial visitors. If

scarcely so elaborate as the sumptuous entertainment of Abraham at

Mamre, the banquet of Lot was at least as outwardly reverential and as

unaffectedly sincere and earnest. It clearly testified that Lot had not yet

become insensible to the practical duties of religion, as at that time

understood. Early religious training is exceedingly difficult to

eradicate.  (Proverbs 22:6)


Ø      The courageous defense which he made of his threatened guests. At

the risk of his personal safety he endeavored to repel the violence with

which the citizens assailed them; and by the proffer of a sacrifice, the

greatest surely that a parent could make, he sought to beguile the

infamous designs which the townsmen cherished. Whatever may

be said of Lot’s conduct in this latter action, his behavior throughout

towards the angels proved that the life of grace within his soul was

not quite extinct.


Ø      That the light of Lot’s piety, though still burning, was fast fading, may

be gathered from the circumstances:


Ø      That he had remained so long among the Sodomites. Unless a process

of moral deterioration had been going on within the soul of Lot, residence

among a people so depraved would eventually have become impossible.

Instead of being merely vexed (II Peter 2:7) in his righteous soul while in

Sodom, he would have taken the earliest opportunity to escape from Sodom.


Ø      That he had betrothed his daughters to two of Sodoms citizens. That

his prospective sons-in-law were infected by the bad taint of the city may

be inferred from their subsequent behavior, as well as from the preceding

judgment of God on the universal corruption of the city’s inhabitants.

Hence Lot should rather have kept his daughters virgins than have suffered

them to enter into matrimonial engagements with ungodly suitors.


Ø      That he actually offered to sacrifice his daughterspurity to the lust of

the Sodomites. Whatever apology may be offered for so extraordinary a

proposal on the part of Lot, nothing can be plainer than that it implied a

strange obliquity of moral vision, and a serious deadening of fine moral

feeling. It was a clear proof that the immoral contagion had begun to affect

Lot, and that it was high time for him to leave Sodom.


  • THE LURID LIGHT OF SODOM’S IMPIETY. Already well enough

known as to its character, the wickedness of Sodom is at length unveiled in

all its revolting features and frightful dimensions. The history of that last

night in the doomed city proclaimed the sin of Sodom to be:


Ø      Unnatural. In the unbridled license of their appetites they had far

outstripped common sinners; even the natural brute beasts they had left

behind; they had sunk to a monstrosity of wickedness of which shame

forbids to speak. Paul enumerates their sin amongst the forms of impurity

by which the heathen world has at times defiled itself.  (Romans 1:26-28 –

And of which the United States is hurriedly gravitating!  CY – 2018).


Ø      Shameless. Disgusting and repulsive as their wickedness was, instead of

shrinking into darkness and doing it in secret, they openly proclaimed their

filthiness, and would have gratified their lusts in public. It is a lower deep

in moral degradation when one not only does “those things which are not

convenient,” but glories in his shame (Philippians 3:19).


Ø      Violent. This marked a third degree in the wickedness of Sodom, that,

rather than be balked of their lewd design, the citizens were prepared to

set at naught the laws of hospitality, which insured the safety of strangers

within their city, and, if need were, the rights of property, by breaking into

Lot’s house, and, still further, the liberties of the person, by laying hands

on the objects of their unhallowed lusts. Ordinary sinners are satisfied if

they can gratify an unholy impulse without an undue expenditure of crime;

these were ready to trample on all laws of God and man to accomplish

their desire, “adding sin to sin” (Isaiah 30:1).


Ø      Obdurate. Even when struck with blindness they did not discontinue

their impious attempt. They wearied themselves groping about in the

darkness, but it was still in an endeavor “to find the door.” Common

sinners pause when confronted with the just judgments of Heaven; these

were only maddened into greater fury. And, to complete the picture,

this appalling wickedness was:


Ø      Universal. From all quarters and of all ages they clustered and clamored

round the door of Lot’s house. There does not seem to have been any

dissension in the multitude. They were all of one mind. (Also the

so-called Progressive-Left in society today – going so far as to attempt

to educationally contaminate primary grade children with graphic sex

education, for which they are not mentally or emotionally ready for;

consider homosexual couples, barred from having children, wanting

to adopt; ad nauseam – CY – 2019)  Could anything more signally

attest Sodom’s ripeness for destruction?  (WHAT ABOUT TODAY?

CY – 2019)


  • LEARN:


1. How rapidly a good man can deteriorate in evil company.

2. How completely a nation can resist the ameliorating influences of its

    good men.

3. How disgustingly repulsive sin is when fully developed.


12 “And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy

sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of

this place:  13  For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen

great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.”

And the men said unto Lot, - after the incident recorded in the preceding verses.

Lot by this time had doubtless recognized their celestial character; accordingly,

the Codex Samaritanus reads "angels" - Hast thou here any besides? (i.e. any other

relatives or friends in the city in addition to the daughters then present in the house)

son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever (not of things, but of

persons) thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: for we will destroy this

place (literally, for destroying this place are we, i.e. we are here for that purpose),

because the cry of them - not "the outcry on account of them," i.e. which the men

of Sodom extort from others (Gesenius), but the cry against them which ascends to

heaven, the cry for vengeance on their iniquities (compare ch. 4:10; 18:20 –

is waxen great before the face of the Lord (compare ch. 6:11; 10:9); and the Lord

(Jehovah) hath sent us (language never employed by the Maleaeh Jehovah) to

destroy it.


14 “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters,

and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he

seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.”  And Lot went out (obviously that

same evening), and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, - literally,

those taking his daughters, meaning either those who had taken them (Septuagint,

Targums, Knobel, Delitzsch), or more probably those intending to take them, their

affianced husbands (Josephus, Vulgate, Clericus, Rosenmüller, Ewald, Keil, Kalisch) –

and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord (Jehovah) will destroy this (literally,

the) city. But (literally, and) he seemed as one that mocked - as one that made laughter;

from the same root as the word Isaac (ch.17:19; compare Judges 16:25) - unto his sons

in law.


15 “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take

thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the

iniquity of the city.  16  And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand,

and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the

LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without

the city.”  And when the morning arose, - literally, as soon as the dawn (from שָׁחַר,

to break forth as the light) went up, i.e. on the first appearance of the morning twilight –

then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters,

which are here; - literally, which are found; not implying the existence of other

daughters (Knobel), but contrasting with the sons in law (Keil, Kalisch) lest thou be

consumed in the iniquity (or punishment, as in Isaiah 5:18) of the city. And while

he lingered, - Lot's irresolution would have been his ruin but for his attendant.

His heart manifestly clung to the earthly possessions he was leaving. The angels

made no mention of his attempting to save a portion of his great wealth - the men

laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his

two daughters; the Lord being merciful to him: - literally, in the mercy, or

gentleness, of Jehovah to him; the primary idea of the verb from which the noun

is derived being that of softness (compare Isaiah 63:9) - and they brought him

forth, and set him without the city.


17 “And 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.”  And it came to pass, when they

had brought them (i.e. Lot and his family) forth abroad (literally, without the city),

that he - one of the angels (Rabbi Solomon, Jarchi, Rosenmüller, Lange, 'Speaker's

Commentary'); the one that had taken Lot's hand (Inglis); Jehovah speaking through

the angel (Delitzsch); the angel speaking in the name of God (Keil, Kalisch); Jehovah

Himself, who, though not mentioned, had now appeared upon the scene (Ainsworth,

Candlish) - said, Escape for thy life (literally, for thy soul; and clearly in this case

the loss of the soul in the higher sense must have been involved in the destruction

of the life); look not behind thee. From the event it may be inferred that this

injunction was also given to Lot's wife and daughters; perhaps to hide God's working

in the fiery judgment from mortal vision (Knobel), but more likely to express

detestation of the abhorred city (Bush), to guard against the incipience of any

desire to return (Lange), and to stimulate their zeal to escape destruction. Neither

stay thou in all the plain - or "circle" (see ch. 13:10). Once so attractive for its

beauty, it must now be abandoned for its danger. Escape to the mountain (the

mountain of Moab, on the east of the Dead Sea), lest thou be consumed.


18 “And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:  Adonai, which should rather

be translated Lord; whence it would almost seem as if Lot knew that his interlocutor

was Jehovah. Keil admits that Lot recognized a manifestation of God in the angels,

and Lange speaks of a miraculous report of the voice of God coming to him along

with the miraculous vision of the angels. That the historian uses "them" instead of

"him" only proves that at the time Jehovah was accompanied by the angels, as He

had previously been at Mamre (see ch. 18:1).


19 “Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified

thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape

to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:”  Behold now, thy servant hath

found grace in thy sight (compare ch. 18:3), and thou hast magnified thy mercy

(language inappropriate to be addressed to the angels, though exactly suitable

if applied by Lot to Jehovah), which thou hast showed unto me in saving my

life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil (more correctly,

the evil, i.e. the destruction threatened upon Sodom) take me, and I die.


Behold now, this city is near to flee unto(literally, thither), and it is a little one:

Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” 

Lot's meaning was that since Zoar was the smallest of the cities of the Pentapolis,

it would not be a great demand on God's mercy to spare it, and it would save him

from further exertions for his safety. A singular display of moral obtuseness (slow

to understand) and indolent (lazy)selfishness on the part of Lot.


21 “And He said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also,

that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.”  And He

said unto him, See, I have accepted thee (literally, I have lifted up thy face,

the petitioner usually supplicating with his face toward the ground, so that the

elevation of his countenance expressed the granting of his request) concerning

this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.


22 “Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither.

Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.  .I.e. "The Little;" obviously from

Lot's remark concerning it (v. 20); Σηγώρ  - Sagor  (Septuagint). The original name

of the city was Bela (ch. 14:2). It has been sought for in the Wady Zuweirah, a pass

leading down from Hebron to the Dead Sea, on the west side of the lake (De Sancey);

in the Ghor-el-Mezraa, i.e. upon the southern peninsula, which projects a long way

into the Dead Sea (Robinson); and in the Ghor-el-Szaphia, at the south-eastern end

of the see, at the opening of the Wady-el-Raumer (Keil); but has now been identified

with Zi'ara, at the northern extremity of the lake (Tristram, 'Land of Moab,' p. 330;

see v.. 28, on the site of cities of the plain).


23 “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

The sun was risen upon the earth - literally, the sun went forth, i.e. it was now

above the horizon. Lot had left Sodom with the first streak of dawn; but, having

lingered, it was clear morning - when Lot entered into Zoar - or "went towards

Zoar," i.e. when the angel left him (Keil).


24 “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone

and fire from the LORD out of heaven;”  Then the Lord rained - literally,

and Jehovah caused it to rain; καὶ κύριος ἔβρεξεkai kurios ebrexe

then Yahweh rained - (Septuagint), which latter term is adopted by Luke in

describing this event (Luke 17:29) – upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah - and also

upon Admah and Zeboim (Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8), Bela, or Zoar, of the

five cities of the Jordan circle (ch. 14:2, 8) being exempted - brimstone and fire

גָּפְרִית; properly pitch, though the name was afterwards transferred to other inflammable

materials (Gesenius); וָאֵשׁ, and fire, which, though sometimes used of lightning, as in

I Kings 18:38; II Kings 1:10, 12, 14; Job 1:16, may here describe a different sort of

igneous agency. Whether this Divinely-sent rain was "burning pitch" (Keil), of lightning

which ignited the bituminous soil (Clericus), or a volcanic eruption which overwhelmed

all the region (Lynch, Kitto), it was clearly miraculous in its nature, and designed as

a solemn punitive infliction on the cities of the plain - from the Lord - i.e. Jehovah

(the Son) rained down from Jehovah (the Father), as if suggesting a distinction of

persons in the Godhead (Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Athanasius, et alii, Delitzsch,

Lunge, Wordsworth); otherwise the phrase is regarded as "an elegancy of speech"

(Aben Ezra), "an emphatic repetition" (Calvin), a more exact characterization of

the storm (Clericus, Rosenmüller) as being out of heaven.



The Judgment of Fire (v. 24)




Ø      Mercifully warned. The intimation conveyed by the angels was:


o        Explicit; the city was to be destroyed. The cry for vengeance could no

longer be resisted. The cup of its iniquity was full.


o        Emphatic; there was no dubiety about the announcement. Already the

doom had been decreed, and they had come to be the ministers of its



o        Merciful; it was designed to secure the escape of himself and friends

from the impending overthrow. “Whatsoever thou hast, bring them out of

this place.”


o        Timely; there was still ample opportunity for not only getting clear out

of the perilous region himself, but for alarming his daughters’ intended

husbands. So are sinners warned:


§         clearly,

§         expressly,

§         graciously, and

§         opportunely


in the gospel to flee from the wrath to come, to escape from

the city of destruction.


Ø      Urgently hastened. Notwithstanding the angel s warning, it is obviou

   that Lot trifled, probably from a latent apprehension that there was plenty

   of time, if not from any secret dubiety as to the need for the celestial

   exhortation; and so do sinners dally yet with the solemn announcement of

   the gospel, which necessitates that they Be vehemently pressed, like Lot,



o        Earnest admonition. “Arise!” “Up!” “Get thee out of this place!”

o        Serious caution, “Lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”


Ø      Graciously assisted. Even the urgency displayed by the angels would

         not have sufficed to rescue Lot, had they not extended to him and his

         worldly-minded partner a helping hand. Hankering after Sodom, perhaps

         thinking of the wealth they had to leave, the good man and his wife still

         lingered, and were at last only dragged forth by main force beyond the

         precincts of the doomed city. It reminds us that few, probably none, would

         ever escape from the city of destruction if Divine grace were not practically

         to lay hold of them and drag them forth; and even this Divine grace would

         not do unless the Lord were specially merciful to them, as he was to Lot.


Ø      Minutely directed. To the further prosecution of their journey they were

   not left without most careful instructions as to how they might secure their

   safety; and neither are awakened sinners, who have-been aroused to see

   their peril and to start upon the way of life, permitted to struggle on

   without celestial guidance as to how to make their calling and election

   sure. Like the fleeing Lot and his wife, they are counseled:


o        to be in earnest, seeing it is their life for which they flee;

o        to beware of backsliding, since he who looketh back is not fit for the

kingdom of God;

o        to indulge in no delay, since so long as one continues in the plain of his

natural condition he stands in imminent peril; and

o        to persevere until he reaches the mount of salvation in Jesus Christ.




Ø      Supernatural. Whatever the natural forces employed in the destruction

      of the fair cities of the Jordan circle, their employment with such severity

      and at such a time, viz., precisely at the moment when the moral

      degradation of the people showed them to be ripe for judgment, was a

      signal demonstration of the miraculous character of the catastrophe;

      as indeed the narrative alleges it to have been a phenomenon altogether, out

      of the common course of events: “Jehovah rained down fire from Jehovah.”


Ø      Unexpected. It does not appear that the inhabitants of Sodom generally

      were warned of the approaching fire-storm, though, if Lot’s sons-in-law

      may be accepted as an indication of the temper in which the people at that

      time were, any such announcement would only have been listened to with

      mocking incredulity. So was it in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:38);

      so will it be in the end of the world (II Peter 3:3-4).


Ø      Complete. The cities with their inhabitants, the fields with their

      vegetation, were engulfed in the sulfurous baptism and “turned into ashes.”

      As overwhelming in its kind, though not as sweeping in its extent, as had

      been the previous submergence of the world by a flood of water, the

      devastation sent upon the fair Pentapolis of the Jordan circle was a ghastly

      shadow and premonition of that vengeance of eternal fire which shall yet

      devour the ungodly (II Thessalonians 1:8).


Ø      Righteous. It was a just judgment which had been richly merited, as the

      visit of the angels had convincingly demonstrated. Indeed that previous

      unveiling of the filthiness of Sodom which had taken place may be viewed

      as having been designed to supply a visible justification of the

      righteousness of the great Judge in consigning them to so disastrous an

      overthrow. And so before the infliction of the great day of wrath upon the

      impenitent and the ungodly there will be a revelation of the secret

      characters of all hearts and lives, that “thou mightest be justified when thou

      speakest, and be clear when thou judgest (Psalm 51:4).


Ø      Public. In particular, besides being experienced by the unhappy sufferers

      and observed by the trembling fugitives who had sought refuge in Zoar, it

      was witnessed by Abraham, who gat him up early, and, looking towards

      Sodom, saw the smoke of the country ascending like the smoke of a

      furnace to heaven — a fit emblem of the terrible publicity which will

      invest the final judgment of a sinful world (Matthew 25:31-46;

      II Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 18:9).




Ø      Intensely melancholy. Overtaken by the sulfurous storm, she was

      transfixed where she stood, and in a moment after wrapped in a sheet of

      saline incrustation. Affecting in itself, her doom was rendered all the more

      impressive from the circumstance that she had so nearly escaped. Alas,

      nearly saved means wholly lost!


Ø      Truly deserved. Contrary to the angel’s instructions, she had looked

      behind. Thus she had brought her tragic fate upon herself. Obedience

      would have saved her; disobedience proved her ruin, Whether she was lost

      eternally it is not safe to say, but her temporal destruction had been

      righteously incurred.


Ø      Solemnly suggestive. It was doubtless designed to teach many lessons,

      such as:


o       the danger of disobedience,

o       the folly of delay,

o       the severity of the Divine judgments, and

o       the intensity of the Divine displeasure against sin.




1. The difficulty of saving a good man (I Peter 4:18).

2. The ability of God to punish sin (Hebrews 10:31).

3. The danger of looking back (ibid. vs. 26-27, 38).

4. The possibility of being nearly saved, yet wholly lost (Mark 12:34).


25 “And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants

of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”  And He overthrew

literally, turned over, as a cake'; whence utterly destroyed (compare

Deuteronomy 29:23; κατέστρεψενkatestrepsen - overthrew, Septuagint;

subvertit, Vulgate). In Arabic "the overthrown' is a title applied, κατ ἐξοχὴν

kat exochaen, to Sodom and Gomorrah (Gesenius). From the use of the expression

καταστροφή - katastrophaean overthrow (II Peter 2:6), Wordsworth thinks an

earthquake may have accompanied the burning - those cities, - that they were

submerged as well as overthrown (Josephus) is a doubtful inference from ch. 14:3

(see v. 28, on the site of cities of the plain). The archaic הָאל is again employed

(compare v. 8) - and all the plain, - kikkar, circle or district (ch. 13:10) - and all

the inhabitants of the cities, - a proof of their entire corruption (ch. 18:32) –

and that which grew upon the ground - literally, that which sprouts forth from

the ground, the produce of the soil; thus converting "a fruitful land INTO

BARRENNESS for the wickedness of them that dwell therein" (Psalm 107:34).





                        The Righteousness of God Revealed (vs. 23-25)


The judgment of God upon Sodom and the cities of the plain. The

deliverance of Lot. The reception of the two angels by Lot was a great

contrast to that of the three by Abraham. The scene of the Divine judgment

is suggestive. The plain of the Jordan was well watered, attracted Lot by

its beauty and promise. Early civilization gathered about such spots, but

civilization without religion is a blasting influence. There are hidden

fountains of judgment ready to burst forth and pour the fire of Divine

wrath upon the sinners. The man who “pitched his tent towards Sodom

(ch. 13:12) became at last a townsman, “vexed with the filthy conversation,”

(II Peter 2:7) yet, but for Divine mercy, involved in its punishment. The whole

narrative teaches important lessons, especially on the following points:


  • A TRULY RELIGIOUS LIFE is not a mere secret of the soul, but HAS



  • THE HOUSEHOLD of the true believer is A LARGE ENOUGH


            FAITHFULNESS, yet must we take heed that our house is well defended

            against the invasions of the corrupt world.



            SMALL BEGINNING OF ERROR! The selfishness of Lot’s first choice

            of his residence was the seed of evil which multiplied into all the

            subsequent suffering and wrong.


  • “Behold the GOODNESS and SEVERITY OF GOD” — mingled

            judgment and mercy, not mingled in a confused manner, but with perfect

            order. The man who had joined with Abraham in the covenant with

            Jehovah, who with all his faults was yet a believer, is warned, rescued by

            angels; able by his intercession to obtain mercy for others.


  • The DIVINE JUSTICE which is manifested on the large scale as

            BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD is also revealed in the

            smaller sphere of HOUSEHOLDS and families. Lot’s wife is an apostate,

            and becomes involved in the destruction of the wicked. His sons-in-law

            mock at the Divine warning. His daughters become the incestuous

            originators of nations which afterwards greatly trouble the history of the

            people of God.



            ASPECTS OF IT. “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered

            Zoar.” The same day, while the sun was serenely smiling on the city of

            refuge, the storm of fire and destruction from heaven was gathering over

            the doomed people and ready to burst upon them. “When God destroyed

            the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the

            midst of the overthrow.”


26 “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

But his wife looked back from behind him, - i.e. went behind him and looked back;

ἑπέβλεψενepeblepsenlooked back (Septuagint), implying wistful regard; respiciens

(Vulgate); an act expressly forbidden by the angel (v. 17) - and she became (literally,

she was, conveying an idea of complete and instantaneous judgment) a pillar of salt.

נְעִיב מֵלַח; στήλη ἀλόςstaelae alosa pillar of salt (Septuagint); a statue or column

of fossil salt, such as exists in the neighborhood of the Dead Sea. That she was literally

transformed into a pillar of salt (Josephus, Calvin, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Wordsworth),

though not impossible, is scarcely likely. A more probable interpretation is that she was

killed by the fiery and sulphurous vapor with which the atmosphere was impregnated,

and afterwards became encrusted with salt (Aben Ezra, Keil, Lange, Murphy, Quarry),

though against this it has been urged:


(1) that the air was not filled with "salt sulphurous rain," but with fire and brimstone; and


(2) that the heaven-sent tempest did not operate in the way described on the other

inhabitants of Sodom (Inglis).


A third explanation regards the expression as allegorical, and intimating that the fate of

Lot's wife was an everlasting monument of the danger of disregarding the word of the

Lord, either as a covenant of salt signifies a perpetual covenant (Clark), or with

reference to the salt pillars which, in a similar manner, attest the destruction of the

cities (Inglis).



                                    The Danger of Falling Back (v. 26)


“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of

salt.” Every part of this narrative is suggestive of lessons. Reminded how

the righteous scarcely saved,” and of the danger of an amiable weakness.

In Lot’s sons-in-law we see how the world receives the gospel (compare

Ezekiel 20:49; James 1:24). In his wife, one convinced, but not

converted; seeking safety, but with a divided aim (James 1:8). In the

angel’s help, God’s watchful care, even where the need is unknown. (In our

ignorance and self-will – CY – 2019)  The text teaches the responsibility of

those who hear the gospel. There are dangers surrounding us, but there is a

a way of safety (Psalm 101:1; II Corinthians 2:16). But not enough to be roused

(Matthew 10:22; Hebrews 12:1). Many are awakened to flee, yet look back

(Luke 9:62). Lot’s wife was not deaf to the call; she did not think it fancy;

but really believed; felt the danger, and fled (II Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4).

But the sun rose; the valley beautiful; home attractive; no signs of danger. Must she

leave all; and at once? She paused. THAT PAUSE WAS DEATH!



      (compare Matthew 12:43-45). Some, intent on the world, think not of the future.

            Preaching seems only a venerable form; prayer a proper homage to God.

            But as to anything more, no hurry. But a time of anxiety comes. Perhaps a

            wave of revival, or some special occurrence — illness, bereavement, care.

            Eternity is brought near, false confidence dispelled (Isaiah 28:17). Then

            in earnest to seek the true refuge (Hebrews 6:18). The Bible read;

            prayer a real pleading. But the sun arises. The immediate cause passes

            away. Fears fade away. Then a looking back. Surely some of you can

            remember times of earnestness. Perhaps in hours of anxious watching, or in

            preparation for communion, or God has spoken directly to the soul and

            made you feel His presence (ch. 28:16-17). Then the blessedness

            of accepted salvation was felt. The message was not a parable then. The

            Bible and prayer were precious then. But time went on. The immediate

            influence, gone. All as before. Old ways asserted their power; hard to give

            them up. In mercy the call once more. Awake; the storm is at hand, though

            thou, seest it not. Pray that the Holy Spirit may transform thy heart.



      She felt her husband’s earnestness, and went with him, but so far only. We

      know the power of example. When we see those we love affected, we are moved

      to be as they. So at the preaching of John the Baptist. So at times of

            missions. Have any felt this influence; been stirred to read and pray? It is

            well. But has it lasted? For a real saving change there must be a personal

            transaction with the Lord as a living Savior; a laying hold of Him, a real

            desire and effort that the will and whole nature be submitted to Him.



            While Lot lingered angels laid hold of hands. There are times when God

            pleads urgently. One refuge after another is swept away. Call upon call, sign

            upon sign, till the will seems conquered. But all is not done (Philippians

            3:13). Such pleadings neglected, cease. Observe, God led Lot out of

            Sodom, not to Zoar. There is work still to be done (II Peter 1:10). The

            question is not as to the past, but as to the present. It will not save a man

            that he was once anxious. Look not back. LOOK TO JESUS!  (Hebrews

            12:2). Let earnestness in every part of Christian life testify that you are not

            looking back (ibid.  ch. 10:39).


27 “And Abraham gat up early in the morning (of the catastrophe) to the place

(i.e. and went to the place) where he stood before the LORD:  (see on Genesis 18:22).


28 “And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the

plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a

furnace.” And he looked toward - literally, towards the face, or visible side (compare

ch. 18:16 where the same phrase is employed to describe the act of the angels on leaving

Mamre) - Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, or Jordan circle.

The cities of the plain are commonly believed to have been situated at the southern

extremity of the Dead Sea, The principal reasons assigned for this conclusion may be

stated (but see – CY – 2019)


1. Josephus and Jerome, the one representing Jewish, and the other Christian,

    tradition, both speak of a Zoar as existing in that locality.


2. The difference of level between the northern and southern ends of the lake,

    the one according to Lynch being 1300 feet, and the other not more than 16 feet,

    seems to favor the idea that the latter is of recent formation, having been, in fact,

    submerged at the time of the overthrow of the cities.


3. A ridge of rock-salt on the west of the Yale of Salt is called by the name

    Jebel Usdum, in which a trace of the word Sodom is by some detected; and the

    pillars of salt that in that region have from time to time been detached from the

    salt cliffs have been designated by the name of Lot's wife (Bint Sheikh Lot).


4. The statement of ch. 14:3 appears to imply that the Salt Sea now covers what

    was originally the vale of Siddim.


5. The expression "like the land of Egypt as thou comest to Zoar" (ch. 13:10)

    is suggestive rather of the southern than of the northern extremity of the lake

    as the site of the Pentapolis. It may be added that this opinion has received the

    sanction of Robinson, Stanley, Porter, Thomson (The Land and the Book), and

    other eminent geographers.


On the other hand, there are reasons for believing that the true site of the cities

was at the north, and not the south, of the Dead Sea.


1. The circle of the Jordan was visible from the Bethel plateau (ch. 13:10);

    the southern extremity of the Dead Sea is not.


2. From the heights above Hebron or Mamre, though the actual circle is not visible,

    "yet the depression between the nearer hills and those of Gilead can be perceived,

    and Abraham could at once identify the locality whence the smoke arose," after

    Sodom's burning.


3. Chedorlaomer's route (ch. 14:7-14) was from Kadesh to Hazezon-tamar, midway

    up the western shore of the Dead Sea, from Hazezon-tamar to the vale of Siddim,

    and from Siddim to Dan, the natural conclusion being that on reaching

    Hazezon-tamar he did not turn southward, but continued marching northwards.


4. Moses from Mount Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:3) beheld “the south, and the plain

    of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar," which was certainly

   possible if Zoar was in the line of vision with the plain and the city of Jericho,

   but as certainly impossible if it was at the southern extremity of the lake This

   view has been advocated by Grove (Smith's 'Biblical Dictionary,' art. ZONE)

   and by Tristram ('Land of Israel,' pp. 354-358, and 'Land of Moab,' pp. 330-334),

   and has been adopted by Drew ('Imp.' 'Bible Dict.,' art. Sodom), Dykes ('Abraham,

   the Friend of God,' p. 185), and Inglis ('Genesis, p. 168). And beheld, and, lo,

   the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a (literally, of the) furnace.


Thus the appalling catastrophe proclaimed its reality to Abraham; to subsequent ages

it stamped a witness of its severity (“.....Sodom and Gomorrha....are set forth for an

example,suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” - Jude 1:7)


(1) upon the region itself, in the bleak and desolate aspect it has ever since possessed;


(2) upon the page of inspiration, being by subsequent Scripture writers constantly

      referred to as a standing, warning against incurring the Almighty s wrath

     (Deuteronomy 29:22; Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 49:18; Lamentations 4:6; Amos 4:11;

     II Peter 2:6; Jude 1:7); and


(3) upon the course of ancient tradition, which it powerfully affected. Cf. Tacitus,

     'Hist.,' 5:7: "Hand procul inde eampi, quos ferunt olim uberes, magnisque

     urbibus habitatos, fulminum jaetu arsisse; et manere vestigia; terramque

     ipsam specie torridam vim frugiferam perdidisse; nam cuncta atra et inania

     velut in cinerem vanescunt. Ego, sicut inelitas quondam urbes igne celesti

     flagrasse concesserim." For traditional notices of this event by Diodorus

    Siculus, Strabo, Pliny, Ovid, &c. vide Rosenmüller (Scholia I. Genesis 19:25).


29 “And 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 the which Lot dwelt.”  And it came to pass - not a

pluperfect (Rosenmüller), as if a direct continuation of the preceding narrative,

but a preterit, being the commencement of a new subdivision of the history in

which the writer treats of Lot's residence in Zoar - when God - Elohim. Hence,

as a fragment of the original Elohist's composition, the present verse is by the

pseudo-criticism connected with ch.17:27 (Ilgen, Tuch, Block); but "a greater

abruptness of style and a more fragmentary mode of composition" than this

would indicate "could not easily be imagined" (Kalisch). The change in the

Divine name is sufficiently explained by the supposition that the destruction

of the cities of the plain was not at the moment viewed by the writer in its

connection with the Abrahamic covenant and intercession, but as a sublime

vindication of Divine justice (cf. Quarry, p. 444) - destroyed (literally, in He

destroying, by Elohim, or in Elohim s destroying) the cities of the plain, that

God remembered Abraham. If the narrative containing the intercession of

Abraham and the overthrow of Sodom was due to the Jehovist, how came the

earlier author to know anything about those events? The obvious allusions to

them in the present verse could only have been made by one acquainted with

them. Either, therefore, the present verse proceeded from the hand of the so-called

Jehovist, or it requires explanation how in the original document this should be the

first and only occasion on which they are referred to (cf. Quarry, p. 445). And

in answer to Abatham's prayer (ch. 18:23) - sent Lot out of the midst of the

overthrow (there is no reason to suppose that Abraham was aware of his nephew's

escape), when he overthrew - literally, in the overthrowing of the cities, the inf.

being construed with the case of its verb (see Gesenius, § 133) - the cities in the

which - one of which (compare Judges 15:7) - Lot dwelt.




                                                The Last Days of Lot (v. 29)




Ø      The terror of Divine judgment. The appalling spectacle of Sodom’s

                  overthrow had no doubt filled him with alarm. And so are God s

                  judgments in the earth designed to put the souls of men in fear

                 (Psalm 9:20; 46:8-10; 119:120).


Ø      The terror of men. Dwelling in Zoar, he apprehended an outburst of

                  wrath from the citizens, who probably regarded him as the cause of the

                  ruin which had invaded Sodom. So are better men than Lot sometimes

                  overtaken by the fear of man (II Samuel 22:5; Psalm 18:4), though

                  they should not (Isaiah 51:12).


Ø      The terror of conscience. That Lot enjoyed while in Zoar a calm and

                  undisturbed repose of heart and mind is scarcely supposable. Rather it may

                  be safely conjectured that after the storm and the fire and the earthquake

                  through which he had lately passed, the still small voice of conscience

                  spoke to him in awe-inspiring accents, unveiling his past life, reproving him

                  of sin, and piercing him through with many sorrows; and that under the

                  agitations produced by its accusations and reproaches he became afraid,

                  and withdrew to the mountains. “Thus conscience doth make cowards of

                  us all.”




Ø      Descending into unbelief. God had promised to spare Zoar for him, and

                  him in Zoar, and one would have thought Lot had been sufficiently warned

                  of the sin of distrusting God. Yet he is scarcely established in the city

                  which God had granted in response to his own prayer than he begins to

                  think it hardly safe to remain within its precincts. How inveterate is



Ø      Plunging into sin. The details of the present story clearly show that Lot,

                  when he went to the mountain cave, endeavored to escape from his terrors

                  not by carrying them to God’s throne, but by drowning them in dissipation.

                  The wretched man, who had once been a saint in God’s Church, must have

                  been in the habit of drinking to excess, else his daughters would never have

                  thought of their abominable stratagem. Only one little gleam of virtue can

                  be detected as entitled to be laid to Lot’s account, viz., that his daughters

                  apparently believed that unless their father was drunk he would never be

                  brought to assent to their lewd proposal.


Ø      Sinking into shame. Twice overcome by wine, he is twice in succession

                  dishonored by his daughters; and twice over, while in his drink stupor, he

                  allows himself to commit an act which almost out-Sodoms Sodom. To

                  what depths a saint may fall when once HE TURNS HIS BACK ON



  • DISAPPEARING INTO OBLIVION. Nothing could more distinctly

            mark the Divine disapprobation with Lots conduct than the fact that after

            this he was suffered —


Ø      To live an unrecorded life, being never heard of again in the pages of

                  Holy Scripture.


Ø      To die an unnoticed death. Where and how he met his end the historian

                  does not condescend to state.


Ø      To sink into an unknown grave. Whether buried in his mountain cave or

                  entombed in the Jordan valley no man knoweth unto this day.


  • SEE:


Ø      The danger of turning aside from God and good men (Hebrews 3:12;


Ø      The melancholy end of a worldly life (I Corinthians 10:6;

                                    Philippians 3:19; II Timothy 4:10).

Ø      The bitter fruits of parental neglect (I Samuel 2:27-36; Proverbs 29:15-17)




                                    The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 29)


  • THE VISIBLE JUDGMENT. “God overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.”


Ø      The reason.

Ø      The instrumentality.

Ø      The reality.

Ø      The lessons of the overthrow.


  • THE UNKNOWN MERCY. “He sent Lot out of the midst of the

            overthrow.” To Abraham this was:


Ø      A great mercy.

Ø      A mercy granted in answer to prayer. But —

Ø      An unknown mercy, there being no reason to believe that

      Abraham ever saw Lot again, or knew of his deliverance.


  • LEARN:


Ø      That God always mixes-mercy with His judgments.

Ø      That His mercies are not always so perceptible to the eye of sense

      and reason as His judgments.

Ø      That God’s people get more mercies poured into their cups than

                        they are at all times cognizant of.


30 “And 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.”  And Lot went up out of Zoar (probably soon after),

and dwelt in the mountain (i.e. of Moab, on the east of the Dead Sea), and his

two daughters - step-daughters, it has been suggested, if Lot married a widow

who was the mother of the two girls (Starke) - with him; for he feared to dwell in

Zoar - from which the panic-stricken inhabitants may have fled towards the

mountains (Murphy), either because at that time it was shaken by an earthquake

(Jerome, Rosenmüller); or because he dreaded the conflagration which devoured

the other cities might spread thither (Peele, Kalisch, Wordsworth), or the rising

waters of the Dead Sea which engulfed them might reach to it (Bush) –

apprehensions which were groundless and unbelieving, since God had granted

Zoar for an asylum (Lange); or because he saw the wickedness of the inhabitants,

who had not been improved by Sodom's doom (Vatablus, Inglis); or simply

because he was driven by "a blind anxiety of mind" (Calvin). And he dwelt in a cave,

- i.e. in one of those cavernous recesses with which the Moabitish mountains abound,

and which already had been converted into dwelling-places by the primitive

inhabitants of the region (compare ch. 14:6) - he and his two daughters


31 “And the firstborn 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:”

And the firstborn said unto the younger, - showing that she had not escaped the

pollution, if she had the destruction, of Sodom. "It was time that Lot had left

the cities of the plain. No wealth could compensate for the moral degradation

into which his family had sunk" (Inglis) - Our father is old, - an indirect

confirmation of the inference (see Genesis 11:26) that Abram was younger than

Haran, since Lot, Haran's son, now an old man - and there is not a man in the earth

not in the entire world (Origen, Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Kalisch), which is scarcely

probable, since they knew that Zoar had been spared; but either in the district

whither they had fled (Calvin, Willet), being under the impression that, living

in so desolate a region, they could have no more intercourse with mankind;

or in the land of Canaan (Ainsworth, Bush), meaning that there were no more

godly men with whom they might marry; or perhaps they meant that no man

would now care to unite himself with them, the remnant of a curse-stricken

region (Knobel, Keil) - to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth.


32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that

we may preserve seed of our father.”  Come, let us make our father drink wine, -

either, therefore, Lot had not left Sodom totally unprovided (Inglis), or some little

time had elapsed after his escaping to the mountain cave, since his daughters are

provided with this intoxicating beverage - and we will lie with him. Considering

the town in which the daughters of Lot had been reared, the mother of whom they

were the offspring, and the example they had received from their father (v. 8),

"we can understand, though we cannot cease to abhor, their incestuous conduct"

(Kalisch). Their proposal was revolting and unnatural in the extreme. By subsequent

Mosaic legislation a transgression of such enormity was rendered punishable by

death. Even in the present instance the perpetrators were not wholly unconscious

of the wickedness of their conduct. The fact that they required a stratagem for the

attainment of their purpose shows that at least they could not calculate on their

father going along with it. That we may preserve seed of our father. Literally,

quicken or vivify seed (compare v. 34). Lot's daughters may be credited with

whatever virtue may be supposed to reside in this motive for their conduct.


33 “And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn

went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down,

nor when she arose.”  And they made their father drink wine that night - which

was sinful both in them and him (see Isaiah 5:11; Proverbs 20:1; Habakkuk 2:15) –

and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she

lay down, nor when she arose. That it was his own daughter quacum concumberet

(Rosenmüller), being so intoxicated that he could not discern who it was to whom

he had approached, or even what he was doing (Keil). The reading, "when he lay

down and when he arose (Septuagint) is incorrect, and the explanations that Lot was

a mere unconscious instrument in this disgraceful transaction (Kalisch), that he

was entirely ignorant of all that had taken place (Chrysostom, Cajetan), that he

was struck on account of his intemperance with a spirit of stupor (Calvin),

are not warranted by the text.


34 “And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn 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.

35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose,

and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.”

And they made their father drink wine that night also. The facility with which Lot

allowed himself to be inebriated by his daughters Clericus regards as a sign that

before this the old man had been accustomed to over-indulgence in wine. The

inference, however, of Kalisch, that because "Lot's excess in the enjoyment of

wine is no more blamed than it was in Noah," "the narrative exempts him from all

serious reproach," can scarcely be admitted. And the younger arose, and lay with him

(following the bad example of her sister); and he perceived not when she lay down,

nor when she arose (like in v. 33).


36 “Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.”

After this Lot disappears from sacred history, not even his death being recorded.


37 “And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the

father of the Moabites unto this day.  And the firstborn bare a son, and called his

name Moab - Meab, from the father, alluding to his incestuous origin (Septuagint,

which adds λέγουσα ἐκ τοῦ πατρός μοῦ - legousa ek tou patros mou -  while I

say indeed the father of me - Augustine, Jerome, Delitzsch, Keil); though Mo (water,

an Arabic euphemism for the semen virile) and ab has been advanced as a more

correct derivation (Rosenmüller). The same is the father of the Moabites - who

originally inhabited the country northeast of the Dead Sea, between the Jabbok

and the Arnon (Deuteronomy 2:20), but were afterwards driven by the Amorites

south of the Arnou - unto this day. This phrase, indicating a variable period from

a few years to a few centuries (compare Exodus 10:6), cannot be regarded as a

trace of post-Mosaic authorship (De Wette, et alii), since in Genesis it is always

used of events which had taken place several centuries before the time of Moses,

as in ch.26:33; 35:30; 47:26.


38 “And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi:

the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.”

And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi. I.e. son

of my people (Septuagint, Jerome, Augustine), meaning that her child was the

offspring of her own kind and blood (Rosenmüller), or the son of her relative

(Kalisch), or of an unmixed race ('Speaker's Commentary'). The same is the

father of the children of Ammon - an unsettled people who occupied the territory

between the Jabbok and the Arnon, from which they had ejected the Rephaims

or Zamzummims (Deuteronomy 2:22), and in which they possessed a strong city,

Rabbah (II Samuel 11:1); in their habits more migratory and marauding than the

Moabites (Isaiah 15, 16; Jeremiah 48.), and in their religion worshippers of Molech,

"the abomination of the Ammonites" (I Kings 11:7) - unto this day.




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