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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
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Nave's Topical Bible - Adultery; Angel (a Spirit); Hospitality; Sodom; Sodomites; Sodomy; The Topic Concordance - Sending and Those Sent; Sexual Activities; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Travellers;
Verse Genesis 19:8. Behold now, I have two daughters — Nothing but that sacred light in which the rights of hospitality were regarded among the eastern nations, could either justify or palliate this proposal of Lot. A man who had taken a stranger under his care and protection, was bound to defend him even at the expense of his own life. In this light the rights of hospitality are still regarded in Asiatic countries; and on these high notions only, the influence of which an Asiatic mind alone can properly appreciate, Lot's conduct on this occasion can be at all excused: but even then, it was not only the language of anxious solicitude, but of unwarrantable haste.
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/genesis-19.html. 1832.
Sodom and Gomorrah (19:1-38)
Meanwhile the two messengers arrived in Sodom. Lot, knowing the danger that strangers faced in the streets of Sodom at night, welcomed them into his house (19:1-3). Although Lot did not agree with the immoral practices of Sodom (2 Peter 2:7-8), he apparently did not have the courage to oppose them. He was even prepared to allow the sexual perverts of the city to rape his daughters, in order to protect his two guests from homosexual assault. In a blinding judgment, God showed his hatred of sexual violence and perversion (4-11; cf. Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 1:10).
God’s messengers then told Lot and his family to escape, because Sodom was about to be destroyed (12-14). Yet Lot had become so much at home in Sodom that God’s messengers had almost to drag him from the city. Even then he asked a special favour from God that would allow him to carry on his former way of life in another city (15-22).
The region around the Dead Sea where Sodom and Gomorrah were situated contained tar pits, sulphur and natural gases (cf. 14:10). A combination of an earthquake and lightning could have caused an explosion similar to that of a volcano, resulting in burning sulphur raining down over the cities (and over Lot’s wife). At the same time it was a direct judgment by God, happening at the time and in the place God had announced (23-29).
So horrifying was the destruction, that Lot decided he could no longer live in safety inside the city. So he took his family out to the hills and lived in a cave. But his two daughters, still affected by the evil influences of Sodom, forced their father into immoral sexual relations with them. The two children that were born through this immorality produced respectively the Ammonites and the Moabites, peoples who later became a source of trouble to Israel (30-38).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/genesis-19.html. 2005.
"But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him. And he said, I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters that 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, forasmuch as they are come under the shadow of my roof."
"All ... from every quarter ..." The wickedness of Sodom was the contamination, not merely of a few, but of the total population.
"Bring them out unto us ..." Why had the presence of these two strangers issued in such a general and widespread demand? The tradition mentioned by Josephus is probably correct: "The Sodomites saw the young men to be of beautiful countenances, and that to a remarkable degree."
"That we may know them ..." This is a euphemism for homosexual intercourse. "This is the carnal sin of pederasty, a crime very prevalent among the Canaanites," and also the unfailing characteristic of paganism.
"I pray you, my brethren ..." Not only did Lot sit in the gate of Sodom, indicating his participation in the affairs of the city, and entitling him to recognition as one of the city fathers, but here he refers to these lust-blinded sinners as "my brethren!" His uncle having recently rescued the whole city from plundering by the eastern invaders, and having restored their king to his throne, Lot was evidently enjoying a certain degree of popularity in Sodom, but oil will not mix with water. The events of the dark night proved that Lot did not belong in Sodom. As is always the case, any respect or popularity that sinful men may give to the followers of the Lord is always tentative and uncertain and sure to disappear on the slightest pretext.
"I have two daughters ..." Lot was most reprehensible in this heartless offer to sacrifice his daughters to the lust of such a mob as had gathered at his door. His pleading the obligations of hospitality as an excuse for so doing was stupid, weak, and sinful. What he would have done was to avoid one sin by committing a greater one. Clearly, his "righteousness" must be understood in a relative sense only.
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/genesis-19.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
- The Destruction of Sodom and Amorah
9. גשׁ־<הלאה gesh-hāl'âh, “approach to a distant point,” stand back.
11. סנורים sanevērı̂ym, “blindness,” affecting the mental more than the ocular vision.
37. מואב mô'āb, Moab; מאב mē'āb, “from a father.” בן־עמי ben-‛amı̂y, Ben-‘ammi, “son of my people.” עמון ‛amôn, ‘Ammon, “of the people.”
This chapter is the continuation and conclusion of the former. It records a part of God’s strange work - strange, because it consists in punishment, and because it is foreign to the covenant of grace. Yet it is closely connected with Abraham’s history, inasmuch as it is a signal chastisement of wickedness in his neighborhood, a memorial of the righteous judgment of God to all his posterity, and at the same time a remarkable answer to the spirit, if not to the letter, of his intercessory prayer. His kinsman Lot, the only righteous man in Sodom, with his wife and two daughters, is delivered from destruction in accordance with his earnest appeal on behalf of the righteous.
The two angels. - These are the two men who left Abraham standing before the Lord Genesis 18:22. “Lot sat in the gate,” the place of public resort for news and for business. He courteously rises to meet them, does obeisance to them, and invites them to spend the night in his house. “Nay, but in the street will we lodge.” This is the disposition of those who come to inquire, and, it may be, to condemn and to punish. They are twice in this chapter called angels, being sent to perform a delegated duty. This term, however, defines their office, not their nature. Lot, in the first instance, calls them “my lords,” which is a term of respect that may be addressed to men Genesis 31:35. He afterward styled one of them Adonai, with the special vowel pointing which limits it to the Supreme Being. He at the same time calls himself his servant, appeals to his grace and mercy, and ascribes to him his deliverance. The person thus addressed replies, in a tone of independence and authority, “I have accepted thee.” “I will not overthrow this city for which thou hast spoken.” “I cannot do anything until thou go thither.” All these circumstances point to a divine personage, and are not so easily explained of a mere delegate. He is pre-eminently the Saviour, as he who communed with Abraham was the hearer of prayer. And he who hears prayer and saves life, appears also as the executor of his purpose in the overthrow of Sodom and the other cities of the vale. It is remarkable that only two of the three who appeared to Abraham are called angels. Of the persons in the divine essence two might be the angels or deputies of the primary in the discharge of the divine purpose. These three men, then, either immediately represent, or, if created angels, mediately shadow forth persons in the Godhead. Their number indicates that the persons in the divine unity are three.
Lot seems to have recognized something extraordinary in their appearance, for he made a lowly obeisance to them. The Sodomites heed not the strangers. Lot’s invitation; at first declined, is at length accepted, because Lot is approved of God as righteous, and excepted from the doom of the city.
The wicked violence of the citizens displays itself. They compass the house, and demand the men for the vilest ends. How familiar Lot had become with vice, when any necessity whatever could induce him to offer his daughters to the lust of these Sodomites! We may suppose it was spoken rashly, in the heat of the moment, and with the expectation that he would not be taken at his word. So it turned out. “Stand back.” This seems to be a menace to frighten Lot out of the way of their perverse will. It is probable, indeed, that he and his family would not have been so long safe in this wicked place, had he not been the occasion of a great deliverance to the whole city when they were carried away by the four kings. The threat is followed by a taunt, when the sorely vexed host hesitated to give up the strangers. “He will needs be a judge.” It is evident Lot had been in the habit of remonstrating with them. From threats and taunts they soon proceed to violence. His guests now interfere. They rescue Lot, and smite the rioters with blindness, or a wandering of the senses, so that they cannot find the door. This ebullition of the vilest passion seals the doom of the city.
The visitors now take steps for the deliverance of Lot and his kindred before the destruction of the cities. All that are related to him are included in the offer of deliverance. There is a blessing in being connected with the righteous, if men will but avail themselves of it. Lot seems bewildered by the contemptuous refusal of his connections to leave the place. His early choice and his growing habits have attached him to the place, notwithstanding its temptations. His married daughters, or at least the intended husbands of the two who were at home (“who are here”), are to be left behind. But though these thoughts make him linger, the mercy of the Lord prevails. The angels use a little violence to hasten their escape. The mountain was preserved by its elevation from the flood of rain, sulphur, and fire which descended on the low ground on which the cities were built. Lot begs for a small town to which he may retreat, as he shrinks from the perils of a mountain dwelling, and his request is mercifully granted.
Then follows the overthrow of the cities. “The Lord rained brimstone and fire from the Lord from the skies.” Here the Lord is represented as present in the skies, whence the storm of desolation comes, and on the earth where it falls. The dale of Siddim, in which the cities were, appears to have abounded in asphalt and other combustible materials Genesis 14:10. The district was liable to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions from the earliest to the latest times. We read of an earthquake in the days of king Uzziah Amos 1:1. An earthquake in 1759 destroyed many thousands of persons in the valley of Baalbec. Josephus (De Bell. Jud. iii. 10, 7) reports that the Salt Sea sends up in many places black masses of asphalt, which are not unlike headless bulls in shape and size. After an earthquake in 1834, masses of asphalt were thrown up from the bottom, and in 1837 a similar cause was attended with similar effects.
The lake lies in the lowest part of the valley of the Jordan, and its surface is about thirteen hundred feet below the level of the sea. In such a hollow, exposed to the burning rays of an unclouded sun, its waters evaporate as much as it receives by the influx of the Jordan. Its present area is about forty-five miles by eight miles. A peninsula pushes into it from the east called the Lisan, or tongue, the north point of which is about twenty miles from the south end of the lake. North of this point the depth is from forty to two hundred and eighteen fathoms. This southern part of the lake seems to have been the original dale of Siddim, in which were the cities of the vale. The remarkable salt hills lying on the south of the lake are still called Khashm Usdum (Sodom). A tremendous storm, accompanied with flashes of lightning, and torrents of rain, impregnated with sulphur, descended upon the doomed cities.
From the injunction to Lot to “flee to the mountain,” as well as from the nature of the soil, we may infer that at the same time with the awful conflagration there was a subsidence of the ground, so that the waters of the upper and original lake flowed in upon the former fertile and populous dale, and formed the shallow southern part of the present Salt Sea. In this pool of melting asphalt and sweltering, seething waters, the cities seem to have sunk forever, and left behind them no vestiges of their existence. Lot’s wife lingering behind her husband, and looking back, contrary to the express command of the Lord, is caught in the sweeping tempest, and becomes a pillar of salt: so narrow was the escape of Lot. The dashing spray of the salt sulphurous rain seems to 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 backsliding.
Abraham rises early on the following morning, to see what had become of the city for which he had interceded so earnestly, and views from afar the scene of smoking desolation. Remembering Abraham, who was Lot’s uncle, and had him probably in mind in his importunate pleading, God delivered Lot from this awful overthrow. The Eternal is here designated by the name Elohim, the Everlasting, because in the war of elements in which the cities were overwhelmed, the eternal potencies of his nature were signally displayed.
The descendants of Lot. Bewildered by the narrowness of his escape, and the awful death of his wife, Lot seems to have left Zoar, and taken to the mountain west of the Salt Sea, in terror of impending ruin. It is not improbable that all the inhabitants of Zoar, panic-struck, may have fled from the region of danger, and dispersed themselves for a time through the adjacent mountains. He was now far from the habitations of people, with his two daughters as his only companions. The manners of Sodom here obtrude themselves upon our view. Lot’s daughters might seem to have been led to this unnatural project, first, because they thought the human race extinct with the exception of themselves, in which case their conduct may have seemed a work of justifiable necessity; and next, because the degrees of kindred within which it was unlawful to marry had not been determined by an express law. But they must have seen some of the inhabitants of Zoar after the destruction of the cities; and carnal intercourse between parent and offspring must have been always repugnant to nature. “Unto this day.” This phrase indicates a variable period, from a few years to a few centuries: a few years; not more than seven, as Joshua 22:3; part of a lifetime, as Numbers 22:30; Joshua 6:25; Genesis 48:15; and some centuries, as Exodus 10:6. This passage may therefore have been written by one much earlier than Moses. 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 Arabs, as a second Palgite element.
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/genesis-19.html. 1870.
8. I have two daughters. As the constancy of Lot, in risking his own life for the defense of his guests, deserves no common praise; so now Moses relates that a defect was mixed with this great virtue, which sprinkled it with some imperfection. For, being destitute of advice, he devises (as is usual in intricate affairs) an unlawful remedy. He does not hesitate to prostitute his own daughters, that he may restrain the indomitable fury of the people. But he should rather have endured a thousand deaths, than have resorted to such a measure. Yet such are commonly the works of holy men: since nothing proceeds from them so excellent, as not to be in some respect defective. Lot, indeed, is urged by extreme necessity; and it is no wonder that he offers his daughters to be polluted, when he sees that he has to deal with wild beasts; yet he inconsiderately seeks to remedy one evil by means of another. I can easily excuse some for extenuating his fault; yet he is not free from blame, because he would ward off evil with evil. But we are warned by this example, that when the Lord has furnished us with the spirit of invincible fortitude, we must also pray that he may govern us by the spirit of prudence; and that he will never suffer us to be deprived of a sound judgment, and a well-regulated reason. For then only shall we rightly proceed in our course of duty, when, in complicated affairs, we perceive, with a composed mind, what is necessary, what is lawful, and what is expedient to be done; then shall we be prepared promptly to meet any danger whatever. For, that our minds should be carried hither and thither by hastily catching at wicked counsels, is not less perilous than that they should be agitated by fear. But when reduced to the last straits, let us learn to pray, that the Lord would open to us some way of escape. Others would excuse Lot by a different pretext, namely, that he knew his daughters would not be desired. But I have no doubt that, being willing to avail himself of the first subterfuge which occurred to him, he turned aside from the right way. This, however, is indisputable; although the men of Sodom had not yet, in express terms, avowed the base desire with which they were inflamed, yet Lot, from their daily crimes, had formed his judgment respecting it. If any one should raise the objection that such a supposition is absurd; (420) I answer, that, since by custom they had imagined the crime to be lawful, the crowd was easily excited by a few instigators, as it commonly happens, where no distinction is maintained between right and wrong. When Lot says, Therefore came they under the shadow of my roof; his meaning is, that they had been committed to him by the Lord, and that he should be guilty of perfidy, unless he endeavored to protect them. (421)
(420) “ Siquis absurdum esse objiciat, totum populum duos viros ad stuprum captasse,” etc.
(421) It will be thought that Calvin has said enough, and more than enough, in excuse of this strange conduct of Lot. It serves to show the low tone of morals, not only in the world at large, but among those who had enjoyed the advantages of a religious education. At the same time, it affords evidence of the kind of chivalrous regard which was paid to strangers, and of which so much is read in profane writers. — Ed.
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/genesis-19.html. 1840-57.
Chapter nineteen of the book of Genesis deals with the destruction of the city of Sodom. The Lord came to Abraham and informed him of the fact that because of the wickedness of Sodom, it was necessary for the judgment of God to come. Abraham pleaded with the Lord for Sodom, interceded actually saying, "But what if there are fifty righteous; would You destroy the righteous with the wicked?" And the basis of Abraham's intercession was the Lord of the earth should be fair, or be just. Even in judgment, God must be fair or just. God cannot be injust in any action at any time ever.
Now this is an area that Satan is constantly seeking to make a case against God. How can a God of love--or would a God of love condemn a man to eternal hell who has never heard of Jesus Christ? What about that person who lives over in Africa, who lived and died never knowing of Jesus Christ? Is he going to have to suffer forever in hell because he lives in Africa, and never had a chance to hear? It is interesting the Bible doesn't give us the answer directly, but the Bible does give us an indirect answer and that is that God is totally fair.
When God judges, it will be absolutely just. And Abraham's argument with God was, "Shall not the Lord of the earth be fair, or be just?" When God spoke of the judgment that was going to come, now Abraham saw an inequity if God would judge the righteous with the wicked. That wouldn't be fair. That's the premise and the basis of Abraham's argument with the Lord, that it wouldn't be fair to judge the righteous with the wicked.
Now Jesus said to His disciples, "In this world you're going to have tribulation: but [He said] be of good cheer; I've overcome the world" ( John 16:33 ). The church has had tribulation. The church today is under great persecution. In Romania, they're tightening again their Communistic hold and they are again beginning to really persecute the church in Romania. Many of the pastors have been imprisoned in the past few weeks.
Christians have been persecuted in China, in Russia, and in those Communist dominated countries, as well as the Moslem dominated countries. Communism is not the only foe of Christianity; Moslem Islamism is perhaps the greatest foe of Christianity. In the Islam countries, it is a capital crime to seek to convert an Islamic person to Christianity. You'd be put to death for that, causing him to change his religious beliefs. And so the church has always experienced persecution from the world.
The Bible says don't count it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing has happened unto you. In fact, if the world loves you then you better examine your position. "But if the world hates you," don't be alarmed, "Jesus said, It hated me. The servant is not greater than his lord" ( John 15:18 , John 15:20 ). So the persecution that the church experiences though has as its source or origin the world and the worldly system.
The Great Tribulation that is coming or the judgment of God, whenever that comes, then the church is not a victim because God will be fair in His judgment. "And if there be fifty righteous", the Lord said, "Sure I'll spare it for fifty righteous". Abraham finally talked Him down to ten. And God said He would spare it for ten righteous.
And the angels of the Lord came unto the city of Sodom. We'll get into that as we get into the nineteenth chapter. But they could not find even ten righteous. Lot, that righteous man, the only truly righteous person they could find in the city was Lot himself and not even his family was thoroughly righteous. But being merciful, God let his family out with him.
Now twice in the New Testament, once by Jesus and once by Peter, is this used as an example of the last days. Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man" ( Luke 17:28 , Luke 17:30 ), and how that the judgment did not come until the day that Lot was taken out of the city and then God rained upon the city fire and brimstone. Jesus uses that but points out the fact that Lot was delivered before the judgment came.
And Peter also points out to the deliverance of Lot showing how that "God knows how to deliver the righteous, but to reserve the ungodly for the Day of Judgment" ( 2 Peter 2:9 ). Delivering that righteous man Lot who was vexed by the manner of life of those around him. So taking the same argument of Abraham, "Shall not the Lord of the earth be just?" Would it be just that God would bring His great wrath and judgment upon the church, along with the unbelieving world? No.
And even as God delivered Lot, God shall deliver His church before the great period of judgment and the wrath of God comes upon the earth. It's just a matter of God's principle in judgment.
So in the nineteenth chapter,
And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot was bidding them to come into his home; as he bowed himself in the oriental custom towards the ground ( Genesis 19:1 );
Now hospitality was something that was extremely important in that eastern culture. And here Lot sitting in the gate of the city, it is interesting that in that culture also the women did most of the work. The women would go out and plow the fields. The women would go out and plant the fields. The women would go out and harvest the fields while the men attended to the more important things of sitting in the gate of the city and talking about the weather, whether or not it's going to rain tomorrow, you know.
Also, sitting in the gate of the city was a place of prominence. All of the judgments were done in the gates of the city. If there were conflicts between people, problems, they would come to the elders, the elder men, who would sit in the gate of the city and the elder men would give judgments concerning the conflicts that had arisen. And thus, it was a place of honor and distinction to sit in the gate of the city. And so Lot sitting in the gate of the city saw these two men as they were coming at evening. Bowing down to them in the oriental custom.
He invited them to turn into the servant's house, and tarry all night, to wash your feet, rise up early, and you can go on your way. And they said, No, we will abide in the street tonight ( Genesis 19:2 ).
But Lot knowing the conditions of the city and knowing that danger of such a thing,
Pressed upon them [or constrained them] greatly; and so 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. But before they were able to lie down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both old and young, and all of the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and they said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee tonight? bring them out to us, that we may know them ( Genesis 19:3-5 ).
And this is to know them in an intimate sexual way.
And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And he said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 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 ( Genesis 19:6-8 ).
Now this, of course, first of all shows what low esteem the woman was held in, in that particular culture. Lot was willing to sacrifice his own two daughters unto this mob, their virginity and all. He was willing to turn his own two daughters over to the mob that they might do what they would to his two daughters, and yet seeking to protect the two men who are strangers to him. But yet if you would take a visitor in your home, then you took the responsibility for them to really take care of them completely. But women were held in extremely low esteem in that day, in that culture and in many of the primitive cultures.
Women, be thankful for Jesus Christ and for Christianity because Jesus is the One who brought really the elevation of womanhood and the honor to the women. And that equalizing of the honor and blessing and all, and it's really through Christianity that women have been able to rise and to take their proper place, not as a subservient or not any way subservient to men but on an equal basis with men. But you won't find that in any culture outside of where the Christian gospel has gone. And where the Christian culture has gone, there always has the state of the woman been elevated. Where there is not a strong Christian gospel, the state of the woman is always that of a subservient state. And if you study your history, you'll find that this is so.
In Greece, in the Greek culture, which was supposed to be such a cultured nation, the women had a very low place, especially the wife. She was considered just one step above the slave. So it is the gospel of Jesus Christ, which has declared there is no difference, male nor female, bond or free, but has given us all an equal status in Christ. "For Christ is all, and in all" ( Colossians 3:11 ), and in and through Him the equal status has been established.
But here Lot, and again I believe that secondly, it shows that even Lot himself in his own morals, in his own values, had been corrupted by his living in Sodom. I do not see how you can live in the midst of such corruption and it not have some influence upon you.
Living as we do in this day and age in which we live, we are under constant bombardment and constant pressure to accept evil, to tolerate evil, and to accept perversion as natural. And if you dare say something against the homosexuals, you have a parade going on out in front. They'll file suits and everything else. And it's got to the place where people become sort of cowered into a position of just not stating your beliefs.
If you would dare say in a university class what Jesus is the only way to salvation, they make fun of you. They put you down. They call you narrow, bigoted and everything else. If you make any affirmation of faith and a belief in living a moral, pure, righteous life, then you're accused of being, you know, a Victorian and living in the past, and all of this, because of the tremendous pressures. And so it's hard to live in the midst of a society that is so corrupt without it rubbing off a little on us. At least we don't speak out on the issues in which we should be speaking out because we feel sort of threatened.
Now Lot's own morals had been corrupted to the extent that he was willing to give his daughters over to be abused by these men. The gesture was not a fine gesture of Lot. It was a gesture that showed his own moral depravity as the result of living in Sodom. Lot made the choice of moving into the plains. He pitched his tent toward Sodom. That was the beginning of it. But now he has his house in Sodom.
There is a danger in pitching your tent towards the world. It is interesting, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful" ( Psalms 1:1 ). There's a progression there. First of all, you're listening to the counsel of the ungodly. Next of all, you're standing around with them and the next thing you find yourself sitting in their company. Lot moved toward Sodom. Next he was living in Sodom. But it had its effect upon his own life and upon his own moral values, the offering of his daughters to this crowd of men.
But they weren't interested in his daughters. They were desiring these men that had come to Lot. And so Lot said, "Don't do this wickedness, to these men. They came unto the shadow of my roof. They're under my protection".
And they said, Stand back. And then they began to say, This fellow came in to live with us as a stranger, and now he's going to try to judge over us: they said we'll deal worse with you, than with them. And they pressed sore upon Lot, and they came near to break the door. But the men [that is, the angels] put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house, and they shut the door. And they smote the men that were outside the door with blindness, all of them: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. And the men said unto Lot [that is, the angels], Have you have any here besides? Do you have sons, or daughters, whatsoever you have in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxed great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which had married his daughters, and said, Up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law ( Genesis 19:9-14 ).
Now though Lot did not escape the pollutions of Sodom entirely, and the Bible gives testimony of him in Peter, "that righteous man" referring to Lot, and it speaks about how he was vexed by the way people were living around him, though he was strong enough because of his early background and experiences with his uncle Abraham to survive in this corrupt society, yet his living in the midst of the corrupt society cost him his family and the morals of his children.
Now there are some times I hear people say, "Well, I have my own philosophy that I live by. I don't need Christianity; it's just a crutch". I remember sitting one night with a man who was a plumber and he was just one of these hard, hard guys and "I don't need any crutches", you know, and
"Christianity is just a crutch and I don't need it". Going on and on, you know, how he was a self-made man. He had his own philosophy and he could get by and all of this. Of course he was drinking the whole while he was talking to me. But I watched the three sons of that man, that particular man, as they all got into drugs. And I saw his sons totally destroyed by drugs. So where he might have been able to maintain in a society with his booze, his sons weren't able to maintain. And they all really just destroyed themselves with drugs.
Many times a man will say, "But I am able to do it. I'm able to stand. I'm strong" and all this. But really, unless you set a strong example, a spiritual example in your home, your children cannot withstand the pressures of the society in the day and the age in which we live, and you're really sacrificing your children to this corrupt world. You may have a philosophy. You may have that by which you can stand. But your children are facing ungodly pressures and they need more than just a philosophy. They need the power of the Holy Spirit within their lives. And thus, you, for their sakes need to get right with God and set a strong spiritual example because they'll never survive.
Lot was able to, but his children weren't. And so as he went to his daughters and said, "Get out of here. This place is going to get destroyed. God's going to destroy this city", they just mocked him, and he was as one who mocked them. And thus, he lost his family to the corrupted morals of Sodom.
And when the morning arose, the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take your wife, and your two daughters, which are here; lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city ( Genesis 19:15 ).
And so they were hurrying them. Said, "Get out of here now".
And while he lingered ( Genesis 19:16 ),
There was a reluctance to leave the place. Even with Lot, he was reluctant to leave. Just sort of lingering around.
the angels took hold of their hands, and upon the hand of his wife, and the two daughters; and the LORD being merciful unto him: they brought him forth, and set him outside the city. And it came to pass, when they have brought them forth, that he said, Escape for your life; don't look behind you, neither stay at all in the plain; escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed ( Genesis 19:16-17 ).
The word "don't look behind" can be translated "don't lag behind" or "do not turn back," "don't stay in the plain."
And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord ( Genesis 19:18 ):
Perfect example of those who pray, "Not Thy will, mine be done". How inconsistent we are even in our language. "Not so, my Lord". Wait a minute. Lord is a title. And even he says thy servant. He calls himself a servant, Lord. And now he's arguing with the Master. You don't argue with your master. If He's your Lord, you do what He says. If you're doing what he said, He is your Lord. If you're not doing what He said, He's not your Lord. And I don't care how much you say, "O Lordy, Lordy" or "my Lord" or whatever. If you're not doing what He said to do, He's not really your Lord. Jesus said, "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and yet you don't do the things I command you" ( Luke 6:46 )?
And so here is Lot in this perfect inconsistency. As they say "flee to the mountains, don't stay in the plains". He says, "Oh, not so, my Lord".
Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die ( Genesis 19:19 ):
Now he realized the Lord had delivered him out of the city before it's to be destroyed, but he can't trust the Lord to preserve him there in the mountains, and so
Let me go to this little city over Zoar ( Genesis 19:20 ).
It's the smallest of the five cities there in the plain; it's just a little city. In fact, the word "Zoar" means little. "Let me go and stay in Zoar". And so the angels granted his request that he might flee to the little city that was nearby, the city of Zoar.
And the angel said, I have accepted you concerning this thing, I will not overthrow this city, of which you have spoken. So hurry, escape there; for I cannot do any thing till you have come within that city ( Genesis 19:21-22 ).
There was the impending judgment but yet it was to be withheld until Lot was safely out of danger. Even as there is an impending judgment of God hanging over the earth today, but it cannot come until the church has been safely placed out of danger. Hurry.
And therefore the name of the place was called Zoar ( Genesis 19:22 ).
Which means small.
And the sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. And then the LORD rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground ( Genesis 19:23-25 ).
Now this destruction could have been by volcanic action. Very possible because there is evidence of volcanic eruptions in that area, a lot of evidence of that. There, of course, are tremendous salt deposits in that area. I mentioned this morning there is a-on the southern end of the west of the Dead Sea there on the western side, there is a mountain of salt that is five hundred feet; no, beg your pardon, it's seven hundred feet high and five miles long. A mountain of salt; it isn't sodium chloride, your table salt. It's more of the potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate, vast deposits of salt. Mountains of salt in that area that cannot be explained by slow sedimentation. But have to be explained by deposits through eruptions of some kind; a great overthrowing.
Now potassium nitrate is a particular salt if mixed with potassium permanganate. All you need is just a little glycerin poured upon it and you've got fire and brimstone. You got a Fourth of July display. You've got fire shooting and spouting and all it needs is just a little glycerin upon it to really set the whole thing off. The heavy water will respond upon the potassium permanganate and the potassium nitrates will keep the thing really going and sputtering and sparking. And it's like a flare, it sputters and all. But all of the potassium nitrate in the area, potassium permanganate in the area, and of course, the area did have great asphalt deposits.
Josephus calls the area rather than the Dead Sea, he called it the Asphalt Sea because of the tremendous asphalt deposits. So all it needed was just a spark from heaven to set things off. And so the whole valley turned into a furnace, a cauldron, and the judgment of God came upon these cities and they were destroyed.
But his wife looked back from behind him ( Genesis 19:26 ),
Now notice, she was behind him. She was still lagging back. The word "look back" can be translated "lag back" or "turn back." And the "turn back" is the preferable translation. Lot's wife actually began to turn back towards Sodom and in turning back, she was caught in this great conflagration and the bubbling, boiling spewing salts covered her.
and she became a pillar of salt ( Genesis 19:26 ).
Now there are many pillars of salt in that particular area that in different times have received the name Lot's wife. And there are some even today that the guide will point out as Lot's wife. Pillars of salt there in the southern end of the Dead Sea region.
Now the southernmost part of the Dead Sea, the southern ten miles is only about ten to twenty feet deep. In fact, it's less than that. Now it's extremely shallow, and many Bible scholars believe that the city of Sodom actually lies under the southern end of the Dead Sea. The northern end of the Dead Sea is thirty miles long and ten miles wide and has a depth of up to fourteen hundred feet.
But as the result of the silt that has settled through the Jordan entering into the Dead Sea for so many years, the silt has filled up the bottom and has thus raised the level of the sea until the sea extended southward over this plain area of ten miles square covering it. And that is more recent in time. So that they believe that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah probably lie under the southern end of the Dead Sea.
We know of the silting process that is taking place where the Colorado enters into the area of Lake Mead. In fact, we are now quite concerned about this silting up of Lake Mead, how that the volume of water that it contains is less because of all of the silt that is building up, and the silt is actually forming a dam of its own in the upper end of Lake Mead. Already it is creating quite a problem in the Aswan Dam which, is a relatively new dam, and thus, the silting process. Of course the Jordan is a very muddy river and the silting process of the Jordan, filling up the Dead Sea and causing it to overflow in the southern end covering the plains and thus covering perhaps the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
However, in the last ten years they have discovered five cities on the eastern bank of the Dead Sea in the southern end. And they now believe that maybe these were the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and Zoar there on the eastern side. But we, of course, are not certain on that. It doesn't really make that much difference to the scriptural record, except that there is evidence of volcanic action. There is evidence of this great destruction of God as He rained fire and brimstone and salt upon this area.
And Abraham gat up early in the morning from the place where he stood before the LORD in his intercession: he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and he beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace ( Genesis 19:27-28 ).
Now Abraham was living in Hebron, which is just about due west from the Dead Sea. And so in looking down it isn't that many miles, maybe ten, fifteen miles from Hebron. As the crow flies to the Dead Sea, he saw the smoke coming up from the area of the plain like a great furnace.
And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham by sending Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt ( Genesis 19:29 ).
So the indication here is that it was because of Abraham that God spared Lot more than for Lot's sake himself.
Now again, turning to the New Testament Jesus takes this incident and declares of His second coming, "As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man" ( Luke 17:28 , Luke 17:30 ), when God overthrew the cities of the plain. And then Jesus said "Remember Lot's wife. For he who will seek to save his life shall lose it" ( Luke 17:32 , Luke 17:33 ). Now she was seeking to hold on to the old life of the world. She was turning back to the old life of the world, seeking to save it she lost her life.
And so the warning of Jesus, "Remember Lot's wife." turning back to the world, seeking to save the old life of the world will only destroy you. "But he who will lose his life", Jesus said, "the same will save it. Lose his life for my sake". And so the reference of Jesus. Peter again refers to this and it is also referred to in the book of Jude, how that God destroyed the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, them suffering the vengeance of everlasting fire.
So Lot went up out of Zoar ( Genesis 19:30 ),
He asked permission to stay in Zoar but when he saw this judgment of God destroying the other cities, he became frightened and he left Zoar.
and he went ( Genesis 19:30 )
Where the Lord told him to go in the first place.
up into the mountains ( Genesis 19:30 ).
He fled on up then into the mountains.
and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, with his two daughters ( Genesis 19:30 ).
Now we see the moral corruption of the two daughters that were saved.
The firstborn said to the younger, Our father is old, and there is no more men left upon the eaRuth ( Genesis 19:31 )
They thought that the whole earth was destroyed and thus man is going to be civilization, man is going to be wiped out. So,
Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the seed of our father. And so they made their father drunk that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the next day, that the firstborn said to the younger, I was with my father last night: let's make him drink wine again tonight; that you might lie with him, that we may preserve life, the life of our father, the seed of our father. And so 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 thus were both of the daughters pregnant from their father Lot. The firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: and he became the head of the nation of Moab or of the people known as the Moabites. And the other daughter bare a son, and called him Benammi: and the same is the father of the children of Ammon ( Genesis 19:32-38 ).
And so two nations, the Ammonites and the Moabites came from Lot and this relationship with his two daughters, of which he was unaware. But again, it shows the moral corruption had its effect upon Lot's family and we see its effects all the way through, the effect of a polluted society. It's awfully hard to live in it and not be touched somewhere or another.
Now we leave Lot, that's the end of him. We see that he has-he does father a couple of nations, Moab and Ammon. It is interesting that Moab inhabited this same area, the high country that he has east of the Dead Sea that was the area of the Moabites. The Ammonites moved northward and were in the same range of mountains, only north of the Moabites. They became important nations and Ruth was a Moabite who-or she was a girl from Moab who came into the lineage of Jesus Christ later on. So they are the descendants of Lot through his two daughters.
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Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/genesis-19.html. 2014.
The men of Sodom wanted to have homosexual relations with Lot’s visitors (Genesis 19:5). The Mosaic Law later regarded all homosexual behavior as a capital offense (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; cf. Romans 1:26-27). [Note: For a refutation of denials of this view, see P. Michael Ukleja, "Homosexuality and the Old Testament," Bibliotheca Sacra 140:559 (July-September 1983):259-66. On the modern resurgence of homosexuality and its connection with ancient religious paganism, see Peter Jones, "Androgyny: The Pagan Sexual Ideal," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 43:3 (September 2000):443-69.] Their lack of hospitality contrasts with Abraham’s hospitality (Genesis 18:1-8) and reflects their respective moral states.
Hospitality was more sacred than sexual morality to Lot (Genesis 19:8; cf. Judges 19:23-25). Compromise distorts values. Lot considered his duty to his guests greater than his duty to his children.
"When a man took in a stranger, he was bound to protect him, even at the expense of the host’s life." [Note: Davis, p. 201. See Desmond Alexander, "Lot’s Hospitality: A Clue to His Righteousness," Journal of Biblical Literature 104:2 (June 1985):289-91.]
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/genesis-19.html. 2012.
Behold now, I have two daughters, which have not known man,.... Though some think they were espoused to men, but had not yet cohabited with them, see Genesis 19:14:
let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes; this was a very great evil in Lot to make such an offer of his daughters; it was contrary to parental love and affection, an exposing the chastity of his daughters, which should have been his care to preserve; nor had he a power to dispose of them in such a manner: and though fornication is a lesser evil than sodomy, yet all evil is to be avoided, and even it is not to be done that good may come: nothing can be said to excuse this good man, but the hurry of spirit, and confusion of mind that he was in, not knowing what to say or do to prevent the base designs of those men; that he might be pretty certain they would not accept of his offer, their lust burning more after men than women; that this showed his great regard to the laws of hospitality, that he had rather sacrifice his daughters to their brutal lusts, than give up the men that were in his house to them; and that he might hope that this would soften their minds, and put them off of any further attempt; but after all it must be condemned as a dangerous and imprudent action:
only unto these men do nothing; for as yet he knew them not to be angels; had he, it would not have given him the concern it did, since he must have known that they were able to defend themselves, and that the sin these men offered to commit could not be perpetrated on them: but he took them for mere men, and his request is, that no injury might be done to their persons in any respect, and especially in that way which their wicked hearts put them upon, and is so shocking to nature:
for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof; for though it was not their intention in coming, nor the design of Providence in bringing them into Lot's house, to secure them from the violence of the men of Sodom, but for the preservation of Lot and his family, which as yet he knew nothing of, yet it was what Lot had in view in giving the invitation to them: and the laws of hospitality being reckoned sacred and inviolable, a man's house was accounted an asylum for strangers when taken into it.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/genesis-19.html. 1999.
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: 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. 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. 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. 10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 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.
Now it appeared, beyond contradiction, that the cry of Sodom was no louder than there was cause for. This night's work was enough to fill the measure. For we find here,
I. That they were all wicked, Genesis 19:4; Genesis 19:4. Wickedness had become universal, and they were unanimous in any vile design. Here were old and young, and all from every quarter, engaged in this riot; the old were not past it, and the young had soon come up to it. Either they had no magistrates to keep the peace, and protect the peaceable, or their magistrates were themselves aiding and abetting. Note, When the disease of sin has become epidemical, it is fatal to any place, Isaiah 1:5-7.
II. That they had arrived at the highest pitch of wickedness; they were sinners before the Lord exceedingly (Genesis 13:13; Genesis 13:13); for, 1. It was the most unnatural and abominable wickedness that they were now set upon, a sin that still bears their name, and is called Sodomy. They were carried headlong by those vile affections (Romans 1:26; Romans 1:27), which are worse than brutish, and the eternal reproach of the human nature, and which cannot be thought of without horror by those that have the least spark of virtue and any remains of natural light and conscience. Note, Those that allow themselves in unnatural uncleanness are marked for the vengeance of eternal fire. See Jude 1:7. 2. They were not ashamed to own it, and to prosecute their design by force and arms. The practice would have been bad enough if it had been carried on by intrigue and wheedling; but they proclaimed war with virtue, and bade open defiance to it. Hence daring sinners are said to declare their sin as Sodom,Isaiah 3:9. Note, Those that have become impudent in sin generally prove impenitent in sin; and it will be their ruin. Those have hard hearts indeed that sin with a high hand, Jeremiah 6:15. 3. When Lot interposed, with all the mildness imaginable, to check the rage and fury of their lust, they were most insolently rude and abusive to him. He ventured himself among them, Genesis 19:6; Genesis 19:6. He spoke civilly to them, called them brethren (Genesis 19:7; Genesis 19:7), and begged of them not to do so wickedly; and, being greatly disturbed at their vile attempt, he unadvisedly and unjustifiably offered to prostitute his two daughters to them, Genesis 19:8; Genesis 19:8. It is true, of two evils we must choose the less; but of two sins we must choose neither, nor ever do evil that good may come of it. He reasoned with them, pleaded the laws of hospitality and the protection of his house which his guests were entitled to; but he might as well have offered reason to a roaring lion and a raging bear as to these head-strong sinners, who were governed only by lust and passion. Lot's arguing with them does but exasperate them; and, to complete their wickedness, and fill up the measure of it, they fall foul upon him. (1.) They ridicule him, charge him with the absurdity of pretending to be a magistrate, when he was not so much as a free-man of their city, Genesis 19:9; Genesis 19:9. Note, It is common for a reprover to be unjustly upbraided as a usurper; and, while offering the kindness of a friend, to be charged with assuming the authority of a judge: as if a man might not speak reason without taking too much upon him. (2.) They threaten him, and lay violent hands upon him; and the good man is in danger of being pulled in pieces by this outrageous rabble. Note, [1.] Those that hate to be reformed hate those that reprove them, though with ever so much tenderness. Presumptuous sinners do by their consciences as the Sodomites did by Lot, baffle their checks, stifle their accusations, press hard upon them, till they have seared them and quite stopped their mouths, and so made themselves ripe for ruin. [2.] Abuses offered to God's messengers and to faithful reprovers soon fill the measure of a people's wickedness, and bring destruction without remedy. See Proverbs 29:1, and 2 Chronicles 36:16. If reproofs remedy not, there is no remedy. See 2 Chronicles 25:16.
III. That nothing less than the power of an angel could save a good man out of their wicked hands. It was now past dispute what Sodom's character was and what course must be taken with it, and therefore the angels immediately give a specimen of what they further intended. 1. They rescue Lot, Genesis 19:10; Genesis 19:10. Note, He that watereth shall be watered also himself. Lot was solicitous to protect them, and now they take effectual care for his safety, in return for his kindness. Note further, Angels are employed for the special preservation of those that expose themselves to danger by well-doing. The saints, at death, are pulled like Lot into a house of perfect safety, and the door shut for ever against those that pursue them. 2. They chastise the insolence of the Sodomites: They smote them with blindness,Genesis 19:11; Genesis 19:11. This was designed, (1.) To put an end to their attempt, and disable them from pursuing it. Justly were those struck blind who had been deaf to reason. Violent persecutors are often infatuated so that they cannot push on their malicious designs against God's messengers, Job 5:14; Job 5:15. Yet these Sodomites, after they were struck blind, continued seeking the door, to break it down, till they were tired. No judgments will, of themselves, change the corrupt natures and purposes of wicked men. If their minds had not been blinded as well as their bodies, they would have said, as the magicians, This is the finger of God, and would have submitted. (2.) It was to be an earnest of their utter ruin, the next day. When God, in a way of righteous judgment, blinds men, their condition is already desperate, Romans 11:8; Romans 11:9.
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Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Genesis 19:8". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/genesis-19.html. 1706.
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30