Chapter 19

Introduction

The two angels went to Sodom and Lot met them. Lot recognized them immediately as special beings, God sent angels. He puts them up in his house. After a terrible night with the men of Sodom, Abraham's pleas were remembered and Lot and his household were saved from the disaster. God said do not look back (onto the life behind). Lot's wife looked back and she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Obviously, from scripture it is known there were not ten righteous people in Sodom. Lot is not out of trouble at this point because his daughters want heirs for Lot. So they lay with their drunk father to have children.

Gen. 19:1-7:

The two angels, who had accompanied God to see Abraham in the previous chapter, now to Sodom. Lot recognizes the strength and power of these entities. He bows to the ground to them. Lot asks them to settle into his house for food and comfort. Their feet were again washed, as was the tradition. The angels, at first, said they had to go into the square, the common meeting place within the city. However, Lot does persuade them to stay in his house. He baked unleavened bread and other good food.

Before they were going to bed, the "men of the city" (a way of saying the homosexual men of the city) of Sodom came to Lot's house. They actually surrounded Lot's house. These men were represented in all age groups and parts of the city.

The men of the city called out to Lot. They wanted to know where the men were that came to visit Lot. They wanted the men to have homosexual relations with them. This was essentially going to be a homosexual gang rape. This certainly appears to be a brazen, "I don't care" attitude. Now Lot goes out on the porch and meets the numbers of men. He closes the door behind him. Lot plead with the men to not be wicked. Go home and do not bother them. However, the men would not leave.

It is obvious that the text speaks to the practice of homosexuality in Sodom. The cities in the locale of Sodom nd were known to be evil even at their time. In addition, there are many references to Sodom and Gomorrah and the evil there. We even get the word sodomy from this chapter (Jude 1:7). However, the city was guilty of sins including overbearing pride, oppression of the poor, superior manners toward inferiors, and “abominable things” (Ezek. 16:49-50). Together, Sodom and Gomorrah provided a point of comparison for the sinfulness of Israel and other nations (Deut. 32:32; Isa. 1:10; Jer. 23:14). This evil of Sodom is mentioned elsewhere (2 Pet. 2:6-10) The Holman Bible Dictionary summarizes the Bible position of homosexuality: "In the Holiness Code of Leviticus, homosexuality is considered an abomination (18:22), and such behavior was to be punished by death (20:13).

In the New Testament the early church also considered homosexuality as sinful behavior. Although Jesus never mentioned such behavior, probably because the problem never arose during His ministry among Jewish people, Paul clearly condemned homosexuality. Romans 1:26-27 considers homosexuality to be a sign of God’s wrath upon blind sinfulness. Such behavior is considered a degrading passion, unnatural, an indecent act, and an error, even worthy of death (Rom. 1:32).

Some of the Corinthian Christians apparently had been homosexuals (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Having mentioned homosexuality, Paul stated that “such were some of you” (v. 11). Through faith in Christ they had been “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified” (v. 11). Paul implied here that homosexual behavior is forgivable through the gospel and that any homosexual temptations should be resisted as seriously as those toward fornication or adultery (mentioned in v. 9). Paul also taught that homosexuality was contrary to “sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:10).

The Bible does not recognize homosexuality as biologically constitutional or hereditary (as a kind of third sex), but sees its roots in the sinful nature of man—a psychosocial, learned behavior, expressing rebellion against God and calling for redemption. Such persons are responsible for their behavior. This is a very complex psychological problem with many possible roots or causes, calling for both Christian compassion on the part of God’s people as well as God’s redemptive power through the gospel. The ministry of the church to homosexuals should include: conversion, counseling, education, and support-group relationships."
This is just a sampling of the references to homosexuality.

Gen. 19:8-11:

Here Lot did something very strange to us. He offered his two virgin daughters to the men instead of the men. He pleads that the men not be harmed. They were his guests; therefore, should be left alone and in peace. One may question how a father could do this. However, one must understand the theology and some hierarchy of sin of the people then. It was more evil (if one can accept that one sin is worse than another - NOT Biblical) to have a homosexual rape than to have a rape of the women. So, Lot was offering the lesser of the two sins to the men. However, they did not want to accept that.

The men now condemn Lot. They say that he came as an "alien", a person who came to live in Sodom but did not belong there. Now since he refused the two men, Lot would also be "taken" by the men. They started pressing very hard against Lot and pushed to his front door and were getting ready to break the door down. Just at that time, the two men inside Lot's house cracked the door open, pulled Lot inside, and closed the door. All of a sudden, the two men struck all the Sodomite men, while in the doorway, with blindness. Now the men could not even find the doorway anymore.

Gen. 19:12-18:

The two men now take a reading on the household. Who is there with Lot except his wife? Lot confirms that Lot, his son-in-law, sons, daughters, and his wife were in the house. The angels tell Lot emphatically to take the family and leave town. The angels are now surely going to destroy Sodom. So Lot talks to the sons-in -law and tells them to leave. However, the Bible says he said it appeared he was saying this in a manner of jesting, or joking around. Why would Lot be joking? Was he actually joking or was he trying to get them moving and they did not accept that this whole thing was going to happen. We can make the assumption that the men who were to marry the two daughters were from Sodom. They were not mentioned before Lot chose the land and moved there. It appears the heritage of the men and the apparent lack of belief caused them to be left behind.

. Lot was told to tell his wife and daughters to get ready to run at dawn. Get out of Sodom or else they would also be killed in the destruction. For some reason, Lot hesitated. Perhaps he was now looking at what he would be leaving behind. He was going to lose EVERYTHING except his immediate family. How would be feel if we had to up and leave everything we owned and run. There are many people who have experienced that same problem when floods come or hurricanes ravage there area or when the unpredictable tornado takes everything. It is hard to accept. Therefore, the angels grabbed Lot, his wife, and daughters and led them out of Sodom forcibly. Then they said to GO! Run for your life! DO NOT LOOK BEHIND! Do not stay anywhere close by ("in the valley"). Go to the mountains! Or else.....

Lot now starts getting worried that if they ran to the mountains that they would be overcome by the catastrophe. He says he does not want to go to the mountains.

Gen. 19:19-22:

Lot says that he really appreciates that he and his family have been chosen in favor by God. The angels have shown loving kindness. But, he feels he would be overcome in the mountains. He asks whether he could run to a local town. It was small and near enough to be able to make it to safety. The name of the town is now made Zoar (means "small" or "insignificant"). Permission is give for the family to run to Zoar. The angels tell them to go and hurry because they cannot start the activities until they get to the town.

Gen. 19:23-25:

The sun was up when Lot and family made it to Zoar. At that time, the Lord started taking out His wrath on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible states fire and brimstone fell. Brimstone is actually a combustible form of sulphur. Within the Bible, it is used by God as a means of divine retribution (Deut. 29:23; Job 18:15; Ps. 11:6; Isa. 30:33; 34:9; Ezek. 38:22; Luke 17:29; Rev. 14:10; 19:20; 20:10; 21:8). It lies on the shore of the Dead Sea and can burst into flame when earthquakes release hot gases from the earth’s interior. So the most likely cause of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was an earthquake that caused the place to burn unmercifully.

Gen. 19:26:

Now comes one of the most well known catastrophe. Recall the angels told them NOT to look back. The significance of this was probably to leave the old life and old traditions and everything that had corrupted them and start anew. However, Lot's wife DID look back. The Bible says she was immediately turned into a pillar of salt.

There are a number of opinions, both ancient and modern, on the "crime" of Lot’s wife and the manner in which she changed was effected. Most of them are as unsatisfactory as they are ridiculous. The Bible does not say much more. There is no suggestion that it was a special miracle or divine judgment. It was a happening because of disobedience to God. Was this a literal transformation or was it metaphoric. Many people have tried to find this pillar in the figure of a woman. So far, none have been found. Rest assured, that area has much salt in the vicinity because of its presence near, what we call today, the Dead Sea. This Sea, actually a large lake, had its water drain or exit blocked off. Over the thousands of years, the fresh water evaporated and left salty water and much actual salt. The only thing that can live in the Dead Sea are certain microbes.

Lot’s wife “looked back” (the phrase might even be rendered “returned back” or “lagged back”). She was probably seeking to cling to her luxurious life in Sodom (note Christ’s reference to this - Luke 17:32-33), and was destroyed in the “overthrow” (vs 25, 29) of the city. There are many great deposits of rock salt in the region, probably formed by massive precipitation from thermal brines upwelling from the earth’s deep mantle during the great Flood. Possibly the overthrow buried her in a shower of these salt deposits blown skyward by the explosions. There is also the possibility that she was buried in a shower of volcanic ash, with her body gradually being converted into “salt” over the years following through the process of petrifaction, in a manner similar to that experienced by the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The description of turning into a pillar of salt may be related to the closeness of the danger and the residue of God's wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah. The dashing spray of the salt-sulphurous rain may have suffocated her, and then encrusted her whole body. She may have burned to a cinder in the furious conflagration. She is a memorable example of the indignation and wrath that overtakes the halting and the back-sliding.

Gen. 19:27-29:

Now our view goes back to Abraham. He returned to the place where he had last talked to the Lord. He could see Sodom and Gomorrah from this vantage point. Behold, he saw the massive destruction of the cities. God had followed through with His wrath. People MUST obey God's directions or, sometime, there will be a "payback" for NOT following. These verses say again that God "remembered" (understood or had grace for) Abraham. God knew that Abraham was very concerned with the life of Lot and his family. So from previous verses it is seen that God through the angels directed Lot and his family to safety, as long as they did exactly as the angels said. Lot's wife did NOT do exactly what she was told to do. She lagged or looked back and died. However, Lot and his daughters were saved from the destruction.

Gen. 19:30:

During the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his daughters were in Zoar. After the destruction, Lot and his daughters left Zoar and went into the mountains. He was afraid to stay in Zoar. Perhaps that was because of his being selected to be saved or they did not have the same life or life-style as the inhabitants. So, Lot and his daughters stayed in a cave in the mountains. It is possible that all the inhabitants of Zoar were panic-struck and may have fled from danger. They probably ran for the mountains just as Lot did.

Gen. 19:31-38:

Now a turn of events occurs directed by Lot's daughters. We are not sure exactly why the daughters were worried about not ever having a husband. It is very likely that they were affected by their living in Sodom. Since Sodom was so evil (but was not thought of as being evil - they lived in accordance to what they wanted to live), some of the traditions or actions of the Sodomites may have rubbed off onto the daughters. Incest was one of the evil things being regularly done in Sodom and Gomorrah. So, they MAY not have thought it was that evil. So, the oldest daughter said to the younger that there was not a man around who would have them because of the conditions under which they lived. She said they are now responsible to preserve the family (i.e. have babies to extend the family name). So, they decide that they would make their father drunk with wine. Then, they would "lay" with Lot (have sexual intercourse). That way, they could become pregnant and keep the family going. So, that is what they did. Lot was so drunk, he did not even know it happened.

Now, the older again said to the younger that she had been with Lot the last night. She said to do it again so the younger daughter could "lay" with Lot. Again, they got Lot very drunk. The younger had sexual intercourse with Lot. He was do drunk he did not even know it happened. Both daughters were now with child from Lot.

This case of incest is not specifically condemned in Scripture, presumably because the Mosaic laws against incest had not yet been given. Lot’s daughters knew, for example, that their great uncle, Nahor, had married his niece, their own Aunt Milcah (Genesis 11:27-29), and that Abraham’s wife Sarah was his half-sister (Genesis 20:12). Nevertheless, their particular act was unnatural, to say the least, and they knew their father would not consent to it if he were sober. To their credit, they had remained virgins up to this time (Genesis 19:8), even in a licentious city like Sodom and were not motivated by physical lust, but by their concern that their family not be left without descendants. They should have merely trusted God concerning this need, however.

. Lot's older daughter had a son and called him Moab. He became the father of the Moabites. The younger daughter had a son and called him Ben-ammi. He became the father of the Ammonites. Later in time, both of these peoples became enemies of the Hebrew nation.The phrase “Unto this day.” indicates a variable period. In the Bible it can mean from a few years to a few centuries: a few years; not more than seven (Joshua 22:3); part of a lifetime (Num. 22:30; Joshua 6:25); and some centuries ( Exo. 10:6). Moab afterward occupied the district south of the Arnon, and east of the Salt Sea. Ammon dwelt to the northeast of Moab, where they had a capital called Rabbah. They both ultimately merged into the more general class of the Arabst.


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