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Bible Commentaries

Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books

Genesis 19

Verses 1-3

Righteous Lot

When the angels of the Lord came to Sodom, they found Lot sitting in the gate. City gates in those days were active places. Much commerce was carried on there. Justice was often meted out by the elders of the city. We do not know Lot's purpose in being there, but we do know he was hospitable. He insisted the visitors come to his house for the night ( Gen_19:1-3 ). It is also the Christian's duty to exhibit hospitality ( Mat_25:35 ; 1Ti_3:2 ; Heb_13:2 ). Lot was tormented by the unrighteous acts he saw committed. Peter says of Lot, "for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds" ( 2Pe_2:8 ). This story shows he even tried to turn them aside from sin.

Verses 4-5

Sodom's Sin

The men of Sodom were involved in the sin of homosexuality. They had become so wicked that they were not ashamed ( Isa_3:9 ; Php_3:19 ). Their sinfulness had become so great that they would force strangers within their city to participate in their evil deeds ( Gen_19:4-5 ). Both young and old came to the house of Lot to get him to bring out his visitors that they might "know them carnally." This "knowing" was like that described in Gen_4:1 and Mat_1:25 .

The sin of homosexuality was punishable by death ( Lev_20:13 ). In Rom_1:1-32 , Paul describes the downward spiral of the Gentiles into sin. He says, in part, "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (1:26-27).

Verses 6-11

God's Judgment

Lot stood outside his house and pled with the men of Sodom. He would not turn over his guests to them. He even offered them his virgin daughters rather than have them sin against his visitors. They accused him of acting as their judge, which may be what he did in the gate of the city. The crowd pushed Lot back to the door and started to break it down.

Habakkuk describes God by writing, "You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness" (1:13). It should not surprise us then that the angels would open the door, pull Lot inside and strike the men outside blind ( Gen_19:6-11 ). Yet, they were so sinful they kept groping for the door!

Verses 12-38

Lot and His Family

Any doubt one has about God keeping wicked under his protective care is removed by this story. The angels delivered Lot, his wife and their two daughters safely from the city before its destruction. Unfortunately, Lot's wife ignored the angels' instruction. She was turned to a pillar of salt for looking back ( Gen_19:12-29 ; 2Pe_3:6-9 ).

Lot's daughters also involved him in sin. They got him drunk on two consecutive nights and lay down with him. Both conceived a child by their father. Perhaps the evil which had surrounded them had influenced his daughters to think of such a plan (19:30-38).

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 19". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/genesis-19.html. 2014.