19:2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night 3 and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 4 “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 5
19:3 But he urged 6 them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. 19:4 Before they could lie down to sleep, 7 all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 8 19:5 They shouted to Lot, 9 “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex 10 with them!”
19:6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 19:7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! 11 19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with 12 a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. 13 Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection 14 of my roof.” 15
19:9 “Out of our way!” 16 they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, 17 and now he dares to judge us! 18 We’ll do more harm 19 to you than to them!” They kept 20 pressing in on Lot until they were close enough 21 to break down the door.
19:10 So the men inside 22 reached out 23 and pulled Lot back into the house 24 as they shut the door. 19:11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest, 25 with blindness. The men outside 26 wore themselves out trying to find the door. 19:12 Then the two visitors 27 said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? 28 Do you have 29 any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? 30 Get them out of this 31 place 19:13 because we are about to destroy 32 it. The outcry against this place 33 is so great before the Lord that he 34 has sent us to destroy it.”
19:14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters. 35 He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy 36 the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them. 37
19:15 At dawn 38 the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 39 or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!” 40 19:16 When Lot 41 hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them. 42 They led them away and placed them 43 outside the city. 19:17 When they had brought them outside, they 44 said, “Run 45 for your lives! Don’t look 46 behind you or stop anywhere in the valley! 47 Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!”
19:18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 48 19:19 Your 49 servant has found favor with you, 50 and you have shown me great 51 kindness 52 by sparing 53 my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 54 this disaster will overtake 55 me and I’ll die. 56 19:20 Look, this town 57 over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 58 Let me go there. 59 It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 60 Then I’ll survive.” 61
19:21 “Very well,” he replied, 62 “I will grant this request too 63 and will not overthrow 64 the town you mentioned. 19:22 Run there quickly, 65 for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 66
19:23 The sun had just risen 67 over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 68 19:24 Then the Lord rained down 69 sulfur and fire 70 on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord. 71 19:25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region, 72 including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew 73 from the ground. 19:26 But Lot’s 74 wife looked back longingly 75 and was turned into a pillar of salt.
19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 76 to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 19:28 He looked out toward 77 Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region. 78 As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace. 79
19:30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 19:31 Later the older daughter said 85 to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby 86 to have sexual relations with us, 87 according to the way of all the world. 19:32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine 88 so we can have sexual relations 89 with him and preserve 90 our family line through our father.” 91
19:33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, 92 and the older daughter 93 came and had sexual relations with her father. 94 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 95 19:34 So in the morning the older daughter 96 said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. 97 Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 98 19:35 So they made their father drunk 99 that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. 100 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 101
19:36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 19:37 The older daughter 102 gave birth to a son and named him Moab. 103 He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 19:38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-Ammi. 104 He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.
[19:3] 6 tn The Hebrew verb פָּצַר (patsar, “to press, to insist”) ironically foreshadows the hostile actions of the men of the city (see v. 9, where the verb also appears). The repetition of the word serves to contrast Lot to his world.
[19:4] 7 tn The verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) means “to lie down, to recline,” that is, “to go to bed.” Here what appears to be an imperfect is a preterite after the adverb טֶרֶם (terem). The nuance of potential (perfect) fits well.
[19:4] 8 tn Heb “and the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, from the young to the old, all the people from the end [of the city].” The repetition of the phrase “men of” stresses all kinds of men.
[19:5] 10 tn The Hebrew verb יָדַע (yada’, “to know”) is used here in the sense of “to lie with” or “to have sex with” (as in Gen 4:1). That this is indeed the meaning is clear from Lot’s warning that they not do so wickedly, and his willingness to give them his daughters instead.
[19:5] sn The sin of the men of Sodom is debated. The fact that the sin involved a sexual act (see note on the phrase “have sex” in 19:5) precludes an association of the sin with inhospitality as is sometimes asserted (see W. Roth, “What of Sodom and Gomorrah? Homosexual Acts in the Old Testament,” Explor 1 : 7-14). The text at a minimum condemns forced sexual intercourse, i.e., rape. Other considerations, though, point to a condemnation of homosexual acts more generally. The narrator emphasizes the fact that the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with men: They demand that Lot release the angelic messengers (seen as men) to them for sex, and when Lot offers his daughters as a substitute they refuse them and attempt to take the angelic messengers by force. In addition the wider context of the Pentateuch condemns homosexual acts as sin (see, e.g., Lev 18:22). Thus a reading of this text within its narrative context, both immediate and broad, condemns not only the attempted rape but also the attempted homosexual act.
[19:8] 15 sn This chapter portrays Lot as a hypocrite. He is well aware of the way the men live in his city and is apparently comfortable in the midst of it. But when confronted by the angels, he finally draws the line. But he is nevertheless willing to sacrifice his daughters’ virginity to protect his guests. His opposition to the crowds leads to his rejection as a foreigner by those with whom he had chosen to live. The one who attempted to rescue his visitors ends up having to be rescued by them.
[19:9] 19 tn The verb “to do wickedly” is repeated here (see v. 7). It appears that whatever “wickedness” the men of Sodom had intended to do to Lot’s visitors – probably nothing short of homosexual rape – they were now ready to inflict on Lot.
[19:14] 35 sn The language has to be interpreted in the light of the context and the social customs. The men are called “sons-in-law” (literally “the takers of his daughters”), but the daughters had not yet had sex with a man. It is better to translate the phrase “who were going to marry his daughters.” Since formal marriage contracts were binding, the husbands-to-be could already be called sons-in-law.
[19:14] 37 tn Heb “and he was like one taunting in the eyes of his sons-in-law.” These men mistakenly thought Lot was ridiculing them and their lifestyle. Their response illustrates how morally insensitive they had become.
[19:16] 43 tn Heb “brought him out and placed him.” The third masculine singular suffixes refer specifically to Lot, though his wife and daughters accompanied him (see v. 17). For stylistic reasons these have been translated as plural pronouns (“them”).
[19:19] 49 tn The second person pronominal suffixes are singular in this verse (note “your eyes,” “you have made great,” and “you have acted”). Verse 18a seems to indicate that Lot is addressing the angels, but the use of the singular and the appearance of the divine title “Lord” (אֲדֹנָי, ’adonay) in v. 18b suggests he is speaking to God.
[19:20] 57 tn The Hebrew word עִיר (’ir) can refer to either a city or a town, depending on the size of the place. Given that this place was described by Lot later in this verse as a “little place,” the translation uses “town.”
[19:21] 62 tn Heb “And he said, ‘Look, I will grant.’” The order of the clauses has been rearranged for stylistic reasons. The referent of the speaker (“he”) is somewhat ambiguous: It could be taken as the angel to whom Lot has been speaking (so NLT; note the singular references in vv. 18-19), or it could be that Lot is speaking directly to the
[19:21] 64 tn The negated infinitive construct indicates either the consequence of God’s granting the request (“I have granted this request, so that I will not”) or the manner in which he will grant it (“I have granted your request by not destroying”).
[19:22] 66 tn Heb “Therefore the name of the city is called Zoar.” The name of the place, צוֹעַר (tso’ar) apparently means “Little Place,” in light of the wordplay with the term “little” (מִצְעָר, mits’ar) used twice by Lot to describe the town (v. 20).
[19:23] 68 tn The juxtaposition of the two disjunctive clauses indicates synchronic action. The first action (the sun’s rising) occurred as the second (Lot’s entering Zoar) took place. The disjunctive clauses also signal closure for the preceding scene.
[19:24] sn The text explicitly states that the sulfur and fire that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah was sent down from the sky by the
[19:26] sn Longingly. Lot’s wife apparently identified with the doomed city and thereby showed lack of respect for God’s provision of salvation. She, like her daughters later, had allowed her thinking to be influenced by the culture of Sodom.
[19:28] sn It is hard to imagine what was going on in Abraham’s mind, but this brief section in the narrative enables the reader to think about the human response to the judgment. Abraham had family in that area. He had rescued those people from the invasion. That was why he interceded. Yet he surely knew how wicked they were. That was why he got the number down to ten when he negotiated with God to save the city. But now he must have wondered, “What was the point?”
[19:29] 82 tn Heb “remembered,” but this means more than mental recollection here. Abraham’s request (Gen 18:23-32) was that the
[19:29] sn God showed Abraham special consideration because of the covenantal relationship he had established with the patriarch. Yet the reader knows that God delivered the “righteous” (Lot’s designation in 2 Pet 2:7) before destroying their world – which is what he will do again at the end of the age.
[19:32] sn For a discussion of the cultural background of the daughters’ desire to preserve our family line see F. C. Fensham, “The Obliteration of the Family as Motif in the Near Eastern Literature,” AION 10 (1969): 191-99.
[19:37] 103 sn The meaning of the name Moab is not certain. The name sounds like the Hebrew phrase “from our father” (מֵאָבִינוּ, me’avinu) which the daughters used twice (vv. 32, 34). This account is probably included in the narrative in order to portray the Moabites, who later became enemies of God’s people, in a negative light.
[19:38] 104 sn The name Ben-Ammi means “son of my people.” Like the account of Moab’s birth, this story is probably included in the narrative to portray the Ammonites, another perennial enemy of Israel, in a negative light.