Genesis 19 Commentary

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cChart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Summary Chart of
The Book of Genesis
Focus Foundation Events
(Four Events)
(Events Predominant)
Foundation People
(Four People)
(People Predominant)
Divisions Creation
(Ge 1-2)
(Ge 3-5)
(Ge 6-9)
(Ge 10-12)
(Ge 12-24)
(Ge 25-26)
Jacob's Conflicts
(Ge 27-36)
(Ge 37-50)
Topics Beginning of the Human Race
(Race As A Whole)
Beginning of the Hebrew Race
(Family of Abraham)
Faithfulness of Mankind
Faithfulness of One Man's Family
Historical Biographical
Place Eastward
From Eden to Ur
From Canaan to Egypt
Time ~2000+ Years
(20% of Genesis)
About 300 Years
193 Yr in Canaan, 93 Yr in Egypt
(80% of Genesis)
Primeval History
of Humanity
Patriarchal History
of Israel
Author Moses


  • Ge 1:1-25 - The Universe (Everything)
  • Ge 1:26-2:25 - The Human Race
  • Ge 3:1-7 - Sin Enters the World
  • Ge 3:8-24- God Promises Redemption from Bondage to Sin
  • Ge 4:1-15 - Family Life
  • Ge 4:16ff - Civilization
  • Ge 10:1-11:32 - The Nations of the World
  • Ge 12:1ff - The Story of Israel and the Jews

Abraham believed God (Gal 3:6+, Ge 15:5,6+)

John Phillips - Exploring Genesis (borrow)
               A. The Unholy Morality of Sodom (Ge 19:1–11)
                   1. A Prevalent Thing (Ge 19:1–3)
                   2.  A Polluted Thing (Ge 19:4–5)
                   3. A Persistent Thing (Ge 19:6–9a)
                   4.  A Pugnacious Thing (Ge 19:9b)
                   5.  A Punishable Thing (Ge 19:10–11)
               B.  The Unholy Mentality of Sodom (Ge 19:12–38)
                   1.  Lot’s Faith Corroded (Ge 19:12–26)
                        a. Lot’s Worthless Witness (Ge 19:12–14)
                        b. Lot’s Weak Will (Ge 19:15–23)
                            i. His Reluctance to Start (Ge 19:15–17)
                            ii. His Readiness to Stop (Ge 19:18–23)
                        3. Lot’s Wayward Wife (Ge 19:24–26)
                   2. Lot’s Family Corrupted (Ge 19:27–38)
                        a. What He Might Have Become (Ge 19:27–29)
                        b. What He Had Become (Ge 19:30–38)
                            i. Sodom’s Unbelieving Perspective (Ge 19:30–32)
                            ii. Sodom’s Unblushing Practices (Ge 19:33–36)
                            iii. Sodom’s Unblessed Progeny (Ge 19:37–38)

Paul Apple titles Genesis 19 -  BE IN THE WORLD . . . BUT DON’T LET THE WORLD BE IN YOU


Genesis 19:1 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

  • the two angels Ge 18:1-3,22 
  • rose: Ge 18:1-5 Job 31:32 Heb 13:2 
  • bowed: Ge 18:2 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages: 

2 Peter 2:4-7 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men  8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,


If you doubt the doctrine of the total depravity of mankind, then you have not read Genesis 19 or you read it and simply refused to believe it. It presents a graphic picture of how low unregenerate men living in disobedience to the will of God can stoop in their conduct.

John Phillips has a frightening word of warning that "if God does not punish America and the world, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah." Woe! (Exploring Genesis - page 158) Jesus' made a similar statement in his warning to cities where He was known “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city." (Mt 10:15+) Could His warning apply to America, the world today? However, recall Ge 18:32  when Abraham said “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” America clearly has more than 10 righteous people. Just wondering.

Now the two angels (malak)This surely refers to those mentioned in the preceding chapter, who were called "men." (Ge 18:2+Sailhamer (page 170) makes the point that "The definite article on the word "angels" (hammal'akim or "messengers") suggests that the two men have already been identified and thus must have been the men (ha'anashim) who visited Abraham in the previous chapter (Ge 18:3). So from Ge 18:22+ it seems that these two angels were sent to Sodom, while the third Man, Who was the Lord or Jehovah, remained with Abraham while he interceded for the righteous inhabitants of the cities. Moses identifies them as two angels, but we are not certain that Lot had yet discovered their supernatural nature. The fact that he bows might suggest he saw something about them that spoke of authority. 

Worldliness is not a matter of physical geography but of heart attitude.
-- Warren Wiersbe

Came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate (see gates) of Sodom (Sedom) - This chapter appears to be a continuation of Genesis 18, for there the three men met Abraham in the heat of the day (Ge 18:1-2+), but now it is in the evening. While Abraham was in his tent, Lot is at the city gate which in ancient times was where official business was conducted (Ru 4:1ff), suggesting he was either conducting business here and/or that he had attained some degree of authority (See 2Sa 19:8; Jer 26:10; Jer 38:7; Jer 39:3). Note again the contrast between Abraham and Lot -- Abraham was "an alien in the land" (Heb 11:9+), while Lot had settled down in Sodom (the world) (See Table below). Abraham had set his mind "on the things above, not on the things that are on earth," which is where Lot was focused (Col 3:2+)

THOUGHT - How would you describe your mindset dear follower of Christ? Is your mind set on the things above or on the things of this world? Are you focused on the eternal or the temporal? Is your vision vertical or horizontal? (See Vertical Vision)







Heavenly minded

Earthly minded

Witness: Abundant
Influence global & eternal

Witness: Almost None
No Spiritual Influence

Ran to meet visitors

Did not run to meet visitors

Recognized the supernatural nature of the visitors

Did not recognize the men as angels (? spiritual dullness)

Visitors accepted offer of hospitality immediately

Visitors did not accept offer of hospitality immediately

Offer his son to God as a sacrifice

Offered his daughters to Sodomites to satisfy their sensual appetites

God's message in Ge 18 was joyful - God would give them a son 

God's message to Lot was frightening - God would bring judgment

Visitors declare future

Visitors declare of impending doom

Genesis chronicles the downward spiral of Lot's spiritual life - (1) Ge 13:12+ Lot walked by sight not faith (2Co 5:7) and “moved his tents as far as Sodom” and then (2) we see him “living in Sodom” (Ge 14:12+) and finally (3) Lot was “sitting in the gate of Sodom!" I would add one other step, that Sodom had moved into Lot, so to speak. Warren Wiersbe adds "Had Lot gone to Sodom because God directed him, his being there would have fulfilled divine purposes. After all, God put Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, and Esther in Persia, and their presence turned out to be a blessing. Worldliness is not a matter of physical geography but of heart attitude (1Jn 2:15–17+). Lot’ s heart was in Sodom long before his body arrived there. No doubt he got his first love for the world when he went to Egypt with Abraham (Gen. 13:1, 10+), and he never overcame it."

THOUGHT - I am reminded of Jesus' words "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Mt 6:21+) Lot's treasure was in Sodom, not heaven! And in Mt 6:24+ Jesus warned “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." Lot would soon be living proof of the truth of Jesus' words! 

James would have warned Lot of the danger of friendship with the world writing "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4+).

Wenstrom picks up on the comment by Wiersbe writing that "Lot is out of the “geographical” will of God meaning he is not in the geographical location that God has designed for him to be. Lot should have been with Abraham and not in Sodom and because of this, he is in great danger."

Lot reminds me a lot of verse 1 in Psalm 1+ where it says "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!" Lot started by walking toward Sodom, the way of the ungodly then pitching his tent toward Sodom and finally sitting as an leader in the gate of Sodom! Do not imitate Lot, for although he ended up with his life, he lost a lot! 

Bruce K. Waltke makes the following comment regarding Lot sitting in the gate of Sodom, “A city gate was usually made of monumental edifices shading the narrow passageway and side chambers of the city entrance. Here the elders and officials sat on stone benches to adjudicate legal matters and discuss local affairs. The gate was the physical symbol of collective authority and power. Lot’s presence here suggests that politically he has become one of the Sodomites, if not a leader among them. Curiously, Lot is alone at the focal point of communal life, suggesting that he alone is concerned about the community’s interests and well-being. The events that follow substantiate this. Though politically one with them, theologically Lot remains distinct” (Borrow Genesis, A Commentary page 275).

I love Bob Deffinbaugh's title for his sermon on Genesis 19 -  "From City Councilman to Caveman

Wenstrom has an interesting comment - We must remember that Lot came to Sodom as a wealthy man. It seems that he had not lost anything in the war between the Eastern Mesopotamian Coalition and the Dead Sea Coalition since Abraham recovered all the loot that was taken. This deliverance by his uncle would have given Lot a position of influence in the city. Therefore, Lot’s popularity and power was derived from his relationship to Abraham.

Bob Utley has a suppositional statement - "the two angels came to Sodom in the evening" They had left Abraham and YHWH on the mount overlooking the Dead Sea in the evening and arrived some 40 miles distance in just a few minutes (ED: SUPPOSITION)—they are Angels!!! (ED: FACT) They are human in form, speech, and dress, as is evident from Gen. 18:2,22; 19:10,12,16. They always appear as males except possibly Zech. 5:9. 

When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down (shachah; Lxxproskuneo) with his face to the ground Bowed (shachah) is translated in the Septuagint with the verb proskuneo (pros = before + kuneo = kiss or adore) which means to prostrate oneself in homage before another often in the sense of worship or reverence. In either case it is surprising that the angels let him fall down before them, because when the apostle John fell down to worship at the feet of the angels in Revelation, each of the angels told him "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours." (Rev 19:10+, Rev 22:8-9+) Perhaps they did not say anything because they had not yet revealed themselves as angels and this not so much a sign of worship as it was an act of reverence to 2 men that impressed Lot as having significant authority. 

Henry Morris commenting Lot’s downward spiral, writes, “Here is a man who had participated in one of the highest callings ever given by God to men, one who had been at hand to experience with Abraham marvelous revelations and deliverances from God, and yet who now was right at home in the midst of the life of one of the most wicked cities that ever disgraced the earth” (Borrow The Genesis Record page 344)

Bob Utley "as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom" We can see something of the progression of Lot's wickedness by the fact that

  1. in Gen. 13:11 he is said to have moved to the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah
  2. the nomadic shepherd has moved into the city. He has apparently become one of the elders of the city which is implied in the phrase "in the gate of"
  3. in Gen. 19:3 he is obviously aware of the homosexual activities of the inhabitants, which he had probably observed several times
  4. in Gen. 19:7 he goes so far as to call them "brothers"
  5. later on he is reluctant to leave the city and his material possessions

God help us—Lot seems to have tried to change them (Gen. 19:9) but, as so often happens, their evil influence affected him, his wife, and his daughters!

As Abraham had done, Lot also arose to greet them and bowed down. Whether these are common cultural gestures (which is probable) or a recognition of their origin is uncertain.

Sodom (05467)(Sedom) was a Canaanite city, usually paired with Gomorrah, located in the area of the Dead Sea and the Jordan river; both cities destroyed by God in judgment 

R D Patterson - (See TWOT page 618) A city on the southern end of the Dead Sea, it marked the southeastern geographical limits of the Canaanites on a boundary which started from Gaza on the southwest. Sodom was apparently located in a fertile area, as evidenced by Lot's choice of it as his dwelling place (Genesis 13:10ff.). It no doubt became an important commercial center and therefore the coveted object of powerful kings, a factor which may lie behind the famous battle described in Genesis 14. Its precise location is quite uncertain. Some have held that it is covered by the shallow waters in the southern embayment of the Dead Sea (J. P. Harland, "Sodom and Gomorrah," BA VI, 1943, pp. 41-52). The view that the hill site Bab ed Dhra' was a shrine of the cities of the plain is defended by Paul Lapp ("Bab ed Dhra' Tomb A 76," BASOR 189: p. 14). See Smick, Archaeology of the Jordan Valley, pp. 48-51. For Sodom in the Ebla Tablets, see Freedman, D. N., BA 41:149-159. (ED: See also Sodom and Gomorrah Revisited - David Howard JETS, 1984)

Sodom is best remembered, however (together with Gomorrah), as a standing example of God's judgment against unbridled sin (Genesis 18-19; cf. 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7). Accordingly, Moses warned Israel that apostasy can bring on destructions of a like intensity (Deut. 29:22; cf. Deut. 32:32). The prophets repeatedly compared Israel's wanton sin and apostasy to the sin of Sodom (Isaiah 1:19ff.; Isaiah 3:9; Jeremiah 23:14; Lament. 4:6; Ezekiel 16:46ff.; Amos 4:11). Had not the Lord left a remnant in Israel, they would have utterly perished as Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:9). But only in two places is the destruction of Admah and Zeboim the smaller cities of the plain mentioned—Deut. 29:23 and Hosea 11:8. It would seem that Hosea was referring to the book of Deuteronomy!

Jesus similarly characterized his hearers (Luke 10:12) and predicted that at his return the world would be as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:29f.).

Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in the recently found Ebla tablets according to preliminary reports. Apparently they were at various times in alliance with the great kingdom to the north. This may give a logical reason for the raid of the eastern kings against the southern cities in the somewhat later times of Abraham.

Bibliography:  Smick, E. B., Archaeology of the Jordan Valley, (perform a search for "Sodom" for all the hits in this book) Baker, 1973

Sedom - 39x/38v - Sodom - Gen. 10:19; Gen. 13:10; Gen. 13:12; Gen. 13:13; Gen. 14:2; Gen. 14:8; Gen. 14:10; Gen. 14:11; Gen. 14:12; Gen. 14:17; Gen. 14:21; Gen. 14:22; Gen. 18:16; Gen. 18:20; Gen. 18:22; Gen. 18:26; Gen. 19:1; Gen. 19:4; Gen. 19:24; Gen. 19:28; Deut. 29:23; Deut. 32:32; Isa. 1:9; Isa. 1:10; Isa. 3:9; Isa. 13:19; Jer. 23:14; Jer. 49:18; Jer. 50:40; Lam. 4:6; Ezek. 16:46; Ezek. 16:48; Ezek. 16:49; Ezek. 16:53; Ezek. 16:55; Ezek. 16:56; Amos 4:11; Zeph. 2:9

NOTE: Clearly Jesus and other writers in the NT believed in the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as described in Genesis 19.

Matthew 10:15  “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

Matthew 11:23   “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24 “Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”

Luke 10:12  “I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. 

Luke 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.


2 Peter 2:6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;

Jude 1:7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. 

Revelation 11:8  And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

Related Resources:

Bowed (prostrated himself) (07812shachah means to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to crouch, to fall down, to humbly beseech, to do reverence, to worship. The idea is to assume a prostrate position as one would in paying homage to royalty (Ge 43:28) or to God (Ge 24:26, Ps 95:6). To bow down (Qal) to bow down; (Hiphil) to depress (fig); (Hithpael) to bow down, prostrate oneself, before superior in homage, before God in worship, before false gods, before angel.  It describeS Joseph's brother's sheaves which "bowed down to my sheaf.” (Ge 37:7) When God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, he told his men to remain for they would go to "worship (bow down) and return to you." (Ge 22:5) Joshua bowed down to the "Captain of the host of the LORD," (Joshua 5:14) a preincarnate appearance of Messiah. In Josh 23:7, 16 Joshua warned Israel NOT to bow down to the idols of the land, but in Jdg 2:12, 17, 19 but tragically that is exactly what they did when Joshua died! The English word prostrate is defined as being stretched out with one's face on the ground in adoration or submission. It is not just that the person has fallen down but pictures them lying at length or with their body extended on the ground and so lying in a posture which is reflective of genuine humility and/or adoration.

Septuagint of Genesis 18:2 is proskuneo (from pros = before + kuneo = kiss or adore) means to prostrate oneself in homage before another in the full sense of worship, not mere reverence or courtesy. When Jesus Christ was born into this world, He was attended and worshipped by angels. (Lu 2:13f). Proskuneo represents the most common Near Eastern act of adoration and reverence and also carries the idea of profound awe and respect. Some believe that the root word kuneo may be related to kuon which is the Greek word for dog and which then could be picturing a dog licking his master's hand.

The word proskuneo literally means to kiss toward someone, to throw a kiss in token of respect or homage, to prostrate oneself in homage, to do reverence to, to adore and so to worship and show respect. In the ancient Oriental (especially Persia) the mode of salutation between persons of equal rank was to kiss each other on the lips. When the difference of rank was slight, they kissed each other on the cheek. When one was much inferior, he fell upon his knees touched his forehead to the ground or prostrated himself, and as he was bowing down he would be throwing kisses toward the superior. It is this latter mode of salutation that is intended by the Greek writers in the use of the verb proskuneo .

Vine says "This word is found in modern Hebrew in the sense of "to bow or stoop," but not in the general sense of "to worship." The fact that it is found more than 170 times in the Hebrew Bible shows something of its cultural significance. It is found for the first time in Gen. 18:2. The act of bowing down in homage is generally done before a superior or a ruler. Thus, David "bowed" himself before Saul (1Sa 24:8). Sometimes it is a social or economic superior to whom one bows, as when Ruth "bowed" to the ground before Boaz (Ru 2:10). In a dream, Joseph saw the sheaves of his brothers "bowing down" before his sheaf (Ge 37:5, 9-10). Shāḥâ is used as the common term for coming before God in worship, as in 1Sa 15:25 and Jer. 7:2. Sometimes it is in conjunction with another Hebrew verb for bowing down physically, followed by "worship," as in Exod. 34:8: "And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped." Other gods and idols are also the object of such worship by one's prostrating oneself before them (Isa. 2:20; Isa. 44:15, 17).(Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words)

''There is a dangerous absence of awe and worship in our assemblies today. We are boasting about standing on our own feet, instead of being broken and falling at His feet. For years Evan Roberts prayed:''Bend me! Bend me!'''God answered finally in the form of the GREAT WELSH REVIVAL!!!

Shachah in the Pentateuch - Gen. 18:2; Gen. 19:1; Gen. 22:5; Gen. 23:7; Gen. 23:12; Gen. 24:26; Gen. 24:48; Gen. 24:52; Gen. 27:29; Gen. 33:3; Gen. 33:6; Gen. 33:7; Gen. 37:7; Gen. 37:9; Gen. 37:10; Gen. 42:6; Gen. 43:26; Gen. 43:28; Gen. 47:31; Gen. 48:12; Gen. 49:8; Exod. 4:31; Exod. 11:8; Exod. 12:27; Exod. 18:7; Exod. 20:5; Exod. 23:24; Exod. 24:1; Exod. 32:8; Exod. 33:10; Exod. 34:8; Exod. 34:14; Lev. 26:1; Num. 25:2; Deut. 4:19; Deut. 5:9; Deut. 8:19; Deut. 11:16; Deut. 17:3; Deut. 26:10; Deut. 29:26; Deut. 30:17;

James Freeman - Borrow Manners & customs of the Bible page 26 - GATE - The gateways of walled cities, as well as the open spaces near them, were popular places for meeting or gathering, and often the elders of the city met there to judge the affairs of the city (see Genesis 29:18 Dowry), as shown in Genesis 34:20, “So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city to speak to their fellow townsmen.”

Some gates had arched structures that provided shade, and often open tents for shade were placed around the outside area. Seats were also provided to sit upon, most especially for the elders and judges. Eli the prophet was sitting at the gate to Shiloh when he learned that his sons Hophni and Phinehas had been killed by the Philistines and the ark of God taken. “When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had led Israel forty years” (1 Samuel 4:18).

Anyone at the gate of a city could easily see all who came in and went out, and could easily spot strangers to a small city, and so Lot readily saw the two angels when they came to Sodom. In a similar sense, when the Jews in Damascus were trying to capture the newly converted Saul, they set watch at the city gates: “After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him” (Acts 9:23–24).

By command of God, courts of justice were established at the gates of every city: “Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly” (Deuteronomy 16:18). The courts were usually presided over by elders of the city, as shown in Deuteronomy 21:18–19: “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town,” and in Deuteronomy 25:6–7: “The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel. However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.’ ” Lot sitting at the gate may have meant that he was an elder or judge in the city.

See also Double Gates (2Sa 18:24) page 228, Market at the Gate (2Ki 7:1) page 262, 

When believers live in conformity to this corrupt world,
tragic consequences result.

-- Steven Cole

Illustration: W. H. Griffith Thomas: Like Lot, much of the American church has moved into downtown Sodom. We’re so surrounded by its stench that we don’t notice it any more. A ship in the water is perfectly right, but water in the ship would be perfectly wrong. The Christian in the world is right and necessary, but the world in the Christian is wrong and disastrous. Not arguing for a separate class of “carnal believers” (ED: THERE ARE ONLY 2 CLASSES - BELIEVERS AND NON-BELIEVERS! SEE DISCUSSION OF THE DANGEROUS TEACHING OF "CARNAL CHRISTIAN"); yet in this story we see a man – Lot - whom the Scriptures characterize as “righteous” involved in a life of compromise with moral depravity. The bad life choices that Lot has made are now going to come home to roost. Earlier we saw some of the consequences as Abraham had to rescue Lot and the inhabitants of Sodom from the attack by the coalition of kings in Genesis 14. Now we see more of the tragic consequences of his conformity to the world.

THOUGHT: The takeaway is clear, dear disciple of Christ - And ("kai" - This Greek conjunction clearly links the two commands in verse 2 to the important exhortation in Ro 12:1+do not be conformed (suschematizo in the present imperative with a negative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo in the present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:2+) Phillips paraphrase is a classic - “don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within." 

Saints are to be like boats in the water. That is our design. But when water (world) gets into the boat, that is disaster (as indicated by Genesis 19)! This truth is illustrated by a submarine which is fully functional in water but is ruined if water comes within. A submarine on the ground (out of the water) is useless and is not accomplishing its mission. When it is in the water it must be insulated (not isolated) from the water. If the water ever gets into the submarine then there is cause to sound the alarm. Believers are to be insulated from the world (like Daniel in the midst of idol infested Babylon) but not isolated from the world (cf Jn 17:15). Are you in a holy huddle or are you actively pursuing your calling to be salt and light in the world (Mt 5:13+) among those who are dead in its trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1+) and need to be thrown a "life preserver," the life saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, which they may grab hold of or sadly refuse and drown forever in the eternal abyss. We cannot save them but we can throw them a life preserver! How many "life preservers" have you thrown out this past year? Thousands are dying daily and headed for a Christless eternity. Play this adaptation of Fanny Crosby's great old hymn Rescue the Perishing and be sure and watch all of the video, especially if you need a little motivation to throw out a "life preserver" this week! 

ILLUSTRATION - There's an old story about a farmer who was an atheist and he was a proud atheist and he would flaunt his atheism and in one particularly good harvest season he wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper. The letter went something like this: I plowed my fields on Sunday. I planted on Sunday. I cultivated my crops on Sunday and I hauled in my crops on Sunday but I never went to church on Sunday. And yet I have brought in more bushels per acre than any God-fearing Christian farmer in this area, even those who never miss a single Sunday. A very boastful, proud letter. The editor put it in the newspaper but then underneath he wrote his own comment that said: God doesn't always settle His accounts in October. In the nineteenth chapter of the book of Genesis, God is going to settle His accounts with the city of Sodom. Sodom and Gomorrah. A city that has become a by-word. By the very speaking of the name Sodom, it has come to mean a highly wicked group of people. The Bible tells us that God is slow to anger. Aren't we happy for that? God has a long fuse. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But we have also seen that, though God is merciful and kind and loving, there reaches a point where God in justice, in righteousness, must act in judgment. And He does so here in the nineteenth chapter. (Skip Heitzig)

ILLUSTRATION -  Lot would be like the person who says or wants to say, I'm a Christian, I believe in God, these things are important to me, but you never really see it in his day-to-day life. In the late 1800s there was an interesting political group, the Mugwumps. The Mugwumps were a New York state group of Republicans who voted for, he became President Madison at the time, voted for Madison who was a Democrat because they saw political and financial corruption in the Republican party with James Blain as their candidate. They just decided, let's swing the entire state toward Madison and they became known as the Mugwumps. They're fence-sitters. They say they're one thing but they act a very different way come election time. And so Lot was like a Mugwump. His mug was on one side of the fence, his wump was on the other, you never knew where he stood spiritually, teetering back and forth. But we see him sitting at the gate.  (Skip Heitzig)

James Smith -  THE HISTORY OF LOT Genesis 19:1-22

The history of Lot is the history of a backslider. When he turned away from Abraham he turned aside from faith. When he sought the well-watered plains he was seeking his own glory. While seeking his own interest his testimony as a believer in the Lord was despised. Then came failure and flight, but being the Lord’s he himself was saved as by fire, though all his works were burnt (1 Cor. 3:14, 15). Look at the—

I. Choice He Made. “He chose the plain of Jordan, and pitched toward Sodom” (Gen. 13:10–12). Those who walk by sight and not by faith will always be influenced by appearances. The choice of Moses was the choice of faith (Heb. 11:24, 25). If we follow the dictates of our own hearts we will be sure to pitch toward Sodom.

II. Position He Occupied. “Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.” Having become a companion of the Sodomites, he now becomes a partner with them. When a Christian can find pleasure in the fellowship of the ungodly he will soon become a sharer of their iniquity. Worldly advancement is no evidence of growth in grace. Mixing with the world often means helping the ungodly (1 Chron. 19:12).

III. Message He Received. “The Lord hath sent us to destroy this place” (Ge 19:13). Wicked places and wicked things must all be destroyed. If all your wicked things were destroyed would you lose anything? How would it affect your plans and purposes? If our heart interests are entangled with the wickedness of this world we will suffer loss. Set your affections on things above, then, when every wicked place is destroyed your inheritance will remain untouched.

IV. Testimony He Bore. “Lot went out and spake unto his sons-in-law; … but he seemed as one that mocked” (Ge 19:14). Our testimony for God will always be a mockery if we are living the selfish life. Who will believe that sin is bitter if we roll it under our tongue as a sweet morsel? Neither earnestness nor eloquence will make up for inconsistency. It is the life that is the light.

V. Reluctance He Showed. “While he lingered the men laid hold upon his hand” (Ge 19:16). We are always slow to obey the call of God when our lives are entangled with the affairs of the world. The young man went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Matt. 19:22). Many perish in the full light of knowledge for lack of decision. Escape for thy life—tarry not.

VI. Request He Offered. “Behold this city is near; let me escape hither” (Ge 19:20). He thought the appointed mountain of refuge too far away. Why should he wish to be saved as near the city of doom as possible? Why should we wish to be saved, and nothing more? Is there not a lurking unwillingness in the minds of many of God’s people to flee to the distant mountain of entire separation? Lot was saved, but he was still near enough the place of death to fill him with fear (v. 30).

VII. Favour He Enjoyed. “I cannot do anything till thou be come thither” (Ge 19:22). How precious even a poor backslider is to God! Judgment cannot fall on Sodom till he is outside. But think further how the presence of this worldly-minded believer among the ungodly was hindering God from carrying out His own purposes. Until he came out from among them the work of God was at a standstill.

QUESTION - Total depravity - is it biblical?

ANSWER - Total depravity is a phrase or name that is used to summarize what the Bible teaches about the spiritual condition of fallen man. It is the “T” in the acronym TULIP, which is commonly used to enumerate what are known as the five points of Calvinism or the doctrines of grace. Because the name “total depravity” can cause people to have wrong ideas about what is meant, some people prefer to use terms like “total inability,” “righteous incapability,” “radical corruption” or even “moral inability.” Yet what is important is not the name assigned to the doctrine but how accurately the doctrine summarizes what the Bible teaches about the spiritual condition of fallen man. No matter which name you use to refer to “total depravity,” the fact remains that when properly understood it is an accurate description of what the Bible does teach on this important subject.

While often misunderstood, the doctrine of total depravity is an acknowledgement that the Bible teaches that as a result of the fall of man (Genesis 3:6) every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin. In other words, sin affects all areas of our being including who we are and what we do. It penetrates to the very core of our being so that everything is tainted by sin and “…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). It acknowledges that the Bible teaches that we sin because we are sinners by nature. Or, as Jesus says, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” (Matthew 7:17-18).

The total depravity of man is seen throughout the Bible. Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible also teaches us that man is born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ephesians 2:1-5). The Bible teaches that because unregenerate man is “dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:5), he is held captive by a love for sin (John 3:19; John 8:34) so that he will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11) because he loves the darkness (John 3:19) and does not understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Therefore, men suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and continue to willfully live in sin. Because they are totally depraved, this sinful lifestyle seems right to men (Proverbs 14:12) so they reject the gospel of Christ as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18) and their mind is “hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is unable to do so” (Romans 8:7).

The Apostle Paul summarizes the total depravity of man in Romans 3:9-18. He begins this passage by saying that “both Jews and Greeks are all under sin.” Simply put, this means that man is under the control of sin or is controlled by his sin nature (his natural tendency to sin). The fact that unregenerate people are controlled by their selfish, sinful tendencies should not come as a surprise to any parent. What parent has to teach his or her child to be selfish, to covet what someone else has or to lie? Those actions come naturally from the child’s sin nature. Instead, the parent must devote much time to teaching the child the importance of telling the truth, of sharing instead of being selfish, of obeying instead of rebelling, etc.

Then in the rest of this passage Paul quotes extensively from the Old Testament in explaining how sinful man really is. For example, we see that 1—no one is without sin, 2—no one seeks after God, 3—there is no one who is good, 4—their speech is corrupted by sin, 5—their actions are corrupted by sin, and 6—above all, they have no fear of God. So, when one considers even these few verses, it becomes abundantly clear the Bible does indeed teach that fallen man is “totally depraved,” because sin affects all of him including his mind, will and emotions so that “there is none who does good, no not one” (Romans 3:12).

There is a common misconception regarding total depravity. Total depravity does not mean that man is as wicked or sinful as he could be, nor does it mean that man is without a conscience or any sense of right or wrong. Neither does it mean that man does not or cannot do things that seem to be good when viewed from a human perspective or measured against a human standard. It does not even mean that man cannot do things that seem to conform outwardly to the law of God. What the Bible does teach and what total depravity does recognize is that even the “good” things man does are tainted by sin because they are not done for the glory of God and out of faith in Him (Romans 14:23; Hebrews 11:6). While man looks upon the outward acts and judges them to be good, God looks upon not only the outward acts but also the inward motives that lie behind them, and because they proceed from a heart that is in rebellion against Him and they are not done for His glory, even these good deeds are like “filthy rags” in His sight. In other words, fallen man’s good deeds are motivated not by a desire to please God but by our own self-interest and are thus corrupted to the point where God declares that there is “no one who does good, no not one!”

Since Scripture is very clear that all of man is affected by sin and so much so that “no one seeks after God,” then how can anyone possibly become a Christian? The answer is that God must overcome man’s depravity in such a way that man is able to recognize his spiritual state and his hopeless condition apart from the grace of God. Man’s spiritually blind eyes must be open and the bondage of sin that renders him hopelessly enslaved must be broken so that he can respond in faith to the gospel message and the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Some Christians believe that God accomplishes this through some type of universal grace whereby God brings man to a condition where he has the ability to choose or reject Him. Others believe that for a man who is “dead in trespasses and sins” to be able to understand and respond to the gospel in faith, he must first be born again or regenerated by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3). It is only after God infuses spiritual life into a dead sinner that he can “see the kingdom of God.” Those that hold this view see this as being a sovereign act of God, whereby men are born again “not of the blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

However, even when the doctrine of total depravity is properly understood, many people will reject the doctrine, but that fact should not surprise us, since the world generally thinks of man as being basically good. Therefore, the idea that man by nature is a depraved sinner runs contrary to most modern religious, psychological and philosophical views of the basic nature of man. But the fact is that the Bible does teach the depravity of the human heart, and the root cause of man’s problem is not the environment he is raised in but his wicked and selfish heart. Properly understood, the doctrine of total depravity will destroy the hopes of those who place their faith in any type of works-based system of salvation and will recognize that God’s sovereign grace is man’s only hope. While the doctrine of total depravity destroys man’s self-righteousness and any misconceptions about man’s ability to be saved through his own free will, it leaves one asking the same question the disciples asked of Jesus in Matthew 19:25-26: “Then who can be saved?” Of course the answer remains the same: “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:25-26).

As the first of the five doctrines of what is called “Calvinism,” the doctrine of total depravity correctly focuses man’s attention on the rest of these “doctrines of grace” which declare the wondrous work of God in the salvation of sinners.

QUESTION - What is the significance of a city gate in the Bible?

ANSWER - Besides being part of a city’s protection against invaders, city gates were places of central activity in biblical times. It was at the city gates that important business transactions were made, court was convened, and public announcements were heralded. Accordingly, it is natural that the Bible frequently speaks of “sitting in the gate” or of the activities that took place at the gate. In Proverbs 1, wisdom is personified: “At the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech” (Pr 1:21). To spread her words to the maximum number of people, Wisdom took to the gates.

The first mention of a city gate is found in Genesis 19:1. It was at the gate of Sodom that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, greeted the angelic visitors to his city. Lot was there with other leading men of the city, either discussing the day’s issues or engaging in important civic business.

In the Law of Moses, parents of a rebellious son were told to bring him to the city gate, where the elders would examine the evidence and pass judgment (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). This affirms that the city gate was central to community action.

Another important example is found in the book of Ruth. In Ruth 4:1-11, Boaz officially claimed the position of kinsman-redeemer by meeting with the city elders at the gate of Bethlehem. There, the legal matters related to his marriage to Ruth were settled.

As Israel combatted the Philistines, the priest Eli waited at the city gate for news regarding the ark and to hear how his sons fared in the battle (1 Samuel 4:18).

When King David ruled Israel, he stood before his troops to give instructions from the city gate (2 Samuel 18:1-5). After his son Absalom died, David mourned but eventually returned to the city gate along with his people (2 Samuel 19:1-8). The king’s appearance at the gate signaled that the mourning was over, and the king was once again attending to the business of governing.

The city gate was important in other ancient cultures, as well. Esther 2:5-8 records that some of the king’s servants plotted at the king’s gate to murder him. Mordecai, a leading Jew in Persia, heard the plot and reported it to Esther, who gave the news to the king (Esther 2:19-23). The Persian court officials were identified as being “at the king’s gate” (Esther 3:3).

To control the gates of one’s enemies was to conquer their city. Part of Abraham’s blessing from the Lord was the promise that “your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies” (Genesis 22:17).

When Jesus promised to build His Church, He said, “The gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). An understanding of the biblical implications of “gates” helps us interpret Jesus’ words. Since a gate was a place where rulers met and counsel was given, Jesus was saying that all the evil plans of Satan himself would never defeat the Church.

Steven Cole - Signs of conformity to the world (from The Tragedy Of Worldly Believers) (ED: I WOULD ADD THESE COULD ALSO BE SEEN AS SIGNS OF BACKSLIDING).

(1) You’re living for the same goals as the world.

Lot moved to Sodom for the same reason other people moved to Sodom: to get ahead financially. He didn’t go there to reach Sodom for God. He went there to get rich just like everyone else. But Paul warned: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction (1 Tim. 6:9+). Wrong goals!

Tom Sine has observed that often the only difference between Christians and their pagan neighbors is that we hang around church buildings a little more. We’ve reduced Christianityto little more than a spiritual crutch to help us through the minefields of the upwardly mobile life. God is there to help us get our promotions, our house in the suburbs, and our bills paid. Somehow God has become a co-conspirator in our agendas instead of our becoming a co-conspirator in His” (Christianity Today [3/17/89], p. 52). Each of us needs to ask, “How are my goals in life different than those of the guy next door who doesn’t know Jesus Christ?” The Lord said that unbelievers eagerly seek for material prosperity, but His followers are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt 6:31–33+).

So check out your goals. If, like everybody else in the world, you’re just living to become financially secure, to make a comfortable living, you’re being conformed to the world. If you’re living for the world’s goals, sooner or later you’ll be tainted by the world’s moral corruption.

(2) You’re expedient in morals.

At first, it looks as if Lot has avoided the moral pollution of Sodom. When the men of the city try to force the two visitors outside, Lot goes out and says, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly” (Ge 19:7). But what he says next is unbelievable: He offers them his two virgin daughters to rape as they please (Ge 19:8)! He was trying to prevent one awful sin by suggesting another! He was setting aside morality because of a pressing emergency. He wouldn’t normally sacrifice his daughters, but what else could he do? His daughters learned from him (Ge 19:31–38); once they saw their situation in the cave as an emergency, then getting their father drunk and getting pregnant by him was not a moral problem. What else could they do in such a predicament?

It’s easy to have moral standards when the pressure is off. But what about when the pressure is on? Then it’s easy to make up excuses for why what formerly was wrong is now O.K. What is wrong for everyone else is all right for you, because of your unique situation. Look out! If you change your morals to adapt to the situation, you’re blending in with the world!

(3) You’re more concerned for your status than for your family.

Lot was willing to sacrifice his daughters to save his guests because there was a strong social custom which said that you had to protect those who came under your roof as guests. But in Sodom, there wasn’t much social stigma connected with sexual immorality. So to protect his status in the community, Lot tried to protect his guests at the expense of his daughters.

I’m sure none of us would do what Lot did, but we often do other things to protect our status at the expense of our families. We work long hours to try to succeed financially, even though it means neglecting the family. Why do we do that? We want the status that comes from success. What do you think of when you hear that someone is successful? That he raised his family to fear the Lord or that he made it financially? Success with your family just doesn’t carry the same weight in our culture as financial success. When we buy into that view of status, we’re being conformed to the world.

(4) You’re not respected by the world for your beliefs.

In all these years that Lot had lived in Sodom, there may have been a few times when he had tried to tell them about God. But now when he weakly tries to tell the Sodomites they’re wrong, they don’t respect him (19:9). He doesn’t even have any credibility with his future sons-in-law, who think he’s joking about God judging Sodom (19:14). The reason they didn’t believe him was that it was so out of character for him to get alarmed about spiritual matters. For years he had lived quietly in Sodom, pursuing the same goals as everyone else. So when he “gets religion,” nobody believes him.

Of course, there always will be mockers in the world. No committed Christian will win a popularity contest on the job. But there’s a difference between being liked and being respected. When the world doesn’t respect you for your Christian stand, it may be because you’ve lived like them for so long that it seems out of character for you to suddenly be so concerned about God and morality. The world may not like your viewpoint, but if you live consistently before them, usually they will respect you.

(5) You’re not sure you want to give up the world, even when it’s going to cost you your life.

Lot had to flee so that he wouldn’t be destroyed with that wicked city. And yet he hesitated (Ge 19:15–16)! He couldn’t have saved anything if he had remained behind. He would have lost even his own life; and yet he hesitated. It reminds me of the gag Jack Benny used to do, where a robber sticks a gun in his face and says, “Your money or your life!” Jack hesitates. The gunman snarls, “Well?” Jack says, “Don’t rush me! I’m thinking about it.”

Why did Lot hesitate? Because, as Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21+). Your heart always follows your treasure. If your treasure is in your things, then you won’t want to give them up, even if it costs you your life to hang on to them. The doctor may tell you that if you keep working at the pace you’re going at now, you’ll have a heart attack. But you’re not sure you want to slow down, even though it will cost you your life, because you want all the things you can get with your money. That’s a sign of conformity to the world.

(6) You attempt to keep a little bit of sin in your life, even when God is dealing severely with you.

The Lord will let you hang onto your sinful way if you insist on it.

Lot and his wife and two daughters reluctantly leave Sodom, dragged out by the two angels. The angels urgently tell him to flee for his life, and incredibly, Lot wants to barter with them to keep a bit of his old way of life intact. He thanks them for their mercy in saving him, but then he protests that he can’t flee to the mountains as they tell him to do. That would be just a bit too much. Instead, he wants permission to go to a small town nearby, the implication being that since the town was small (Zoar means “small”), its sins won’t be too bad. Derek Kidner observes, “Not even brimstone will make a pilgrim of him: he must have his little Sodom again if life is to be supportable” (Borrow Genesis p. 135). Note that God didn’t prevent him. The Lord will let you hang onto your sinful way if you insist on it.

It’s easy to do as Lot did. You become a Christian, and God begins to confront you with things in your life that have to go if you want to follow Him. You can find yourself scrambling to preserve as much of the old life as possible, even while God is in the process of stripping you of it:

“Lord, I’ll go to church on Sunday morning; just let me spend the rest of my week as I choose. I’ll even give 10 percent, just so I can spend 90 percent as I please. I’ll be outwardly moral; just let me indulge in my mental sins. I’ll give up Sodom; just let me move to Zoar.”

Genesis 19:2 And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.”

  • please turn aside into your servant’s house: Heb 13:2 
  • wash your feet: Ge 18:4 
  • No, but we shall spend the night in the square Knowing the disposition of the inhabitants, and appearing in the character of mere travellers, they preferred the open street to any house; but not yet willing to make themselves known, as Lot pressed them vehemently, and as they knew him to be a righteous man, they consented to take shelter under his hospitable roof. Judges 19:17-21 Lu 24:28,29 Ac 16:15 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passage:

Genesis 18:4 “Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree;


If you doubt that Sodom deserved the outpouring of God's wrath, you need to carefully read Ge 19:2-11 which give you a sense of the cesspool Lot was living in! 

And he said, “Now behold, (hinneh: Lxx - idou) my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet - This is the first mention of a house in the Bible. Lot knew a lot about Sodom and he knew 2 men staying in the city square would be "mincemeat" in the hands of the sordid Sodomites! Or at least so he thought, because clearly he does not understand that these men are not mere men but "super men!" and they had come to make "mincemeat" of Sodom and Gomorrah! But as a righteous man, Lot was literally fulfilling the command in Hebrews 13:2+ "Do not neglect (present imperative with a negative) to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

Paul Apple Godly Virtues (Like Hospitality) Cannot Protect Against Compromise with Moral Depravity.   

John Walton - When a host offered a guest the opportunity to spend the night, he was also accepting responsibility for the safety and well-being of his guest. The offer generally extended for a total of three days.

Then you may rise early and go on your way.” - Clearly he had no clue as to the nature of their mission. He did not sense any need of being rescued from this horrible city! 

Wenstrom - Although Lot fails miserably in dealing with the situation to follow, his hospitality at least demonstrates his desire to do righteousness and manifested him as a believer in the midst of unbelievers (cf. 2 Pet. 2:6-8).

They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” - A city square would have been a large open space near the main city gate (see 2Ch 32:6) where public gatherings were held. Important cities like Jerusalem could have two or more squares (see Ne 8:16). This clearly gets Lot's attention for he knows what their fate potentially would have been -- gang rape! 

Behold (02009hinneh  is an interjection meaning behold, look, now; if. "It is used often and expresses strong feelings, surprise, hope, expectation, certainty, thus giving vividness depending on its surrounding context." (Baker) Hinneh generally directs our mind to the text, imploring the reader to give it special attention. In short, the Spirit is trying to arrest our attention! And so hinneh is used as an exclamation of vivid immediacy (e.g., read Ge 6:13)! Hinneh is a marker used to enliven a narrative, to express a change a scene, to emphasize an idea, to call attention to a detail or an important fact or action that follows (Isa 65:17, Ge 17:20, 41:17). The first use of hinneh in Ge 1:29 and second in Ge 1:31 - "And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." Hinneh is oftn used in the idiom "Here I am" in Ge 22:1, 7,11 Ge 27:1,18, Ge 31:11, Ge 46:2 Ex 3:4 1Sa 3:4, 3:16, 12:3, 2Sa 1:7, Isa 52:6, Isa 58:9. Hinneh is used most often to point out people but also to point out things (Ge 31:41, 17:4). God uses hinneh to grab man's attention before He brings destruction (Ge 6:13, 17). God uses hinneh when He establishes covenants (Ge 9:9, 15:12, 17 [when Jehovah cut the Abrahamic covenant], Ge 17:4, cp Ge 28:13, 15), when He provided a sacrificial substitute for Isaac (foreshadowing His giving us His only Son!) (Ge 22:13). Hinneh marks the "chance (The Providence of God)" arrival of Boaz at the field where Ruth was gleaning (Ru 2:4-read about this "chance romance" - Indeed, "Behold!"). Hinneh is used to announce the Lord’s sending of a child as a sign and a prophecy of Immanuel-Emmanuel, the Messiah (Isa. 7:14+). In fact W E Vine says that it is notable that when behold (hinneh) is used in Isaiah, it always introduces something relating to future circumstances.

Hinneh is translated in the Septuagint with the interjection idou (strictly speaking a command in the second person aorist imperativemiddle voice) a demonstrative particle (used 1377 times in the Septuagint and NT) which is found especially in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke "and giving a peculiar vivacity to the style by bidding the reader or hearer to attend to what is said

Genesis 19:3 Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

  • Yet he urged them strongly: 2Ki 4:8 Lu 11:8 14:23 24:28,29 2Co 5:14 
  • a feast: Ge 18:6-8 21:8 Lu 5:29 Joh 12:2 Heb 13:2 
  • unleavened: Ge 18:6 Ex 12:15,39 Judges 6:19 1Sa 28:24 1Co 5:8 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Yet (term of contrast) he urged (patsar; Lxx - katabiazo) them strongly Urged is the same verb Moses uses in Ge 19:9 describing the Sodomites as "they pressed hard (patsarLxx - parabiazomai use force, urge strongly) against Lot. This indicates that Lot still did not yet recognize the two were angelic, supernatural beings with supernatural power. It also indicates he knew the danger of two attractive men staying in the square all night. Lot knew and yet he tolerated the sin of Sodom. He could have moved his family but he was too comfortable with his affluent life in Sodom and so he compromised even though the lifestyle of Sodom oppressed and tormented him (2Pe 2:7-8+). As we learn later, he is even hesitant to leave after hearing the angel's warn of Sodom's doom! That's when you know you have become tethered to the world and not heaven! 

THOUGHT - Dear saint beloved by Your Father (1Jn 3:1+, 1Th 1:4+), would you describe yourself as tethered to heaven or earth? John gives this command to all followers of Jesus -  "Do not love (present imperative with a negative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does (present tense - speaks of direction, not perfection) the will of God lives forever. ." (1John 2:15-17+)

So (term of conclusion) they turned aside (surLxx - ekklino) to him and entered his house - CSB = "he urged them so strongly that they followed him and went into his house." Note that Lot was living in a house, while Abraham was still living in a tent. Are we surprised? 

and he prepared a feast (mishteh) for them, and baked unleavened (matsah; Lxxazumos) bread, and they ate ('akal) - Interesting that Lot seems to be the primary preparer whereas Abraham had his wife bake bread. At least Lot exhibits hospitality and the angels now eat their second meal of the day. It makes one wonder if the angels felt full after eating two feasts? That's a question for heaven!

This is first mention of unleavened (matsah; Lxxazumos) bread in Scripture and Bob Utley shows how the Jewish sages misinterpreted this verse - baked unleavened bread" The Rabbinical Midrash say this shows that this was the Passover, therefore, Isaac was born on the Passover (the next year). However, this is reading too much into the phrase, "unleavened bread." Earlier in the day Abraham had cooked bread that was not unleavened. Apparently Lot's servants or family prepared the meal quickly (cf. Jdg. 6:19).

Urged (pressed) (06484patsar means to push, to press, to peck at. It can describe a literal pushing (Ge 19:9). Figuratively it means to urge someone to do something (Ge 33:11, Jdg 19:7). Negatively it means to rebel against someone - defiance to authority, refusal to obey orders (it is like "spiritual mutiny"). 

Urged in the Septuagint of Ge 19:3 is translated with katabiazo (imperfect tense = pictures Lot urging again and again) means to constrain, to subdue by for, to contend. Only in Ge 19:3 and Ex 12:33. 

Gilbrant - Pātsar occurs in relation to one person or group urging on another to a particular action. For example, Lot urged the two angels to stay with him instead of spending the night in downtown Sodom (Gen. 19:3); the homosexual men of Sodom then urged Lot to bring out his guests so they could have sexual relations with them (v. 9); Jacob urged Esau to accept his gift and make peace between them (33:11); the company of prophets persisted in urging Elisha to search for Elijah, who had been taken away (2 Ki. 2:17). Finally, Elisha rejected Naaman's gift of money after he was healed of leprosy (2Ki 5:16). Brown-Driver-Briggs maintains that the only instance of pātsar in the Hiphil stem, found in 1 Sam. 15:23, gives the sense of arrogance and presumption, or literally, "to display pushing." The context of this passage is that because Saul rejected the commands of the Lord, the Lord, in turn, would reject Saul as king. Samuel stated that the offerings and sacrifices of Saul were in vain, because his heart was full of rebellion and arrogance (vv. 22f). (Complete Biblical Library)

Patsar - 7v - Gen. 19:3; Gen. 19:9; Gen. 33:11; Jdg. 19:7; 1 Sam. 15:23; 2 Ki. 2:17; 2 Ki. 5:16

Unleavened (04682massa/matsah from matsats = to drain out) not raised by leaven (yeast). Bread made without yeast, bread quickly made, without waiting for the dough to rise. The Lxx translates matstsah with the adjective azumos which means without fermentation and thus describes bread which is made without yeast. The phrase "ta azuma" represents unleavened bread made into flat cakes (Hebrew matzoth) eaten by Jews at Passover season; metaphorically in 1Cor 5:7-8, referring to a life free from sinful corruption. These were eaten by Israel at the Passover when they had to leave Egypt quickly, not having time for their bread to rise (Ex 12:8, 15, 17-18 - Lxx = azumos). Matsot is used in the phrase "Feast of Unleavened Bread" (Ex 12:17), which followed Passover and lasted for 7 or 8 days (Lev 23:6). The first use in Ge 19:3 refers to the meal Lot shared with the 2 angels before the fire and brimstone fell. This Hebrew word is familiar to most of us because of the unleavened crackers (matzo) used by Jews at Passover.

NIDOTTE - Unleavened bread was a basic food that could be prepared quickly. When a person received important visitors, he immediately prepared a festive meal by slaughtering an animal and baking unleavened bread. Lot prepared such a meal for the two heavenly messengers who visited him at Sodom (Ge 19:3; cf. 1Sa 28:24–25). Similarly Gideon prepared such a meal along with some broth for the Angel of the LORD (Jdg 6:19). That Angel instructed Gideon to place these materials on a rock. The angel touched them, and a fire sprang forth and consumed them (Jdg 6:20). Clearly it was appropriate to serve unleavened bread at any function.

NET Note - The etymology of מַצּוֹת (matsot, “unleavened bread,” i.e., “bread made without yeast”) is uncertain. Suggested connections to known verbs include “to squeeze, press,” “to depart, go out,” “to ransom,” or to an Egyptian word “food, cake, evening meal.”

NET Note - Bread made without yeast could be baked quickly, not requiring time for the use of a leavening ingredient to make the dough rise. In Deut 16:3 the unleavened cakes are called "the bread of affliction," which alludes to the alarm and haste of the Israelites. In later Judaism and in the writings of Paul, leaven came to be a symbol of evil or corruption, and so "unleavened bread" – bread made without yeast – was interpreted to be a picture of purity or freedom from corruption or defilement (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 90–91).

Genesis 19:4 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter;

CEB Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom—everyone from the youngest to the oldest—surrounded the house

CJB But before they could go to bed, the men of the city surrounded the house — young and old, everyone from every neighborhood of S’dom.

CEV Before Lot and his guests could go to bed, every man in Sodom, young and old, came and stood outside his house

HCSB Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house.

TLB as they were preparing to retire for the night, the men of the city—yes, Sodomites, young and old from all over the city—surrounded the house

MSG Before they went to bed, men from all over the city of Sodom, young and old, descended on the house from all sides and boxed them in. 

  • Before they lay down: Pr 4:16 6:18 Mic 7:3 Ro 3:15 
  • all the people: Ge 13:13 18:20 Ex 16:2 23:2 Jer 5:1-6,31 Mt 27:20-25 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Ezekiel 16:48-50 (NOTE: The sins of Israel compared to Sodom) “As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 “Behold (hinneh),  this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: (DESCRIPTION OF SODOM WHICH IS WHY LOT WAS SEDUCED) she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. 50 “Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it (ANOTHER PASSAGE AUTHENTICATING THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM IN GENESIS 19!)

Luke 17:28-30+ “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; 29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 “It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. (IN OTHER WORDS THE SINS OF SODOM WILL BE ON FULL PARADE IN THE LAST 7 YEARS OF THIS AGE. NOTE THAT THE WORD "IMMORALITY" IS A KEY WORD IN THE DESCRIPTION OF BEHAVIOR ON EARTH DURING THIS TIME. Rev. 2:14; Rev. 2:20; Rev. 2:21; Rev. 9:21; Rev. 14:8; Rev. 17:2; Rev. 17:4; Rev. 18:3; Rev. 18:9; Rev. 19:2)


Before they lay down - The angels don't even have time to get into bed. 

The men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house ("and boxed them in"), both young and old, all the people from every quarter (from all parts of town) - Notice that twice it says men, clearly emphasizing the homosexual orientation (because they desire the 2 men in Lot's house) of the men of Sodom. It is surprising that the men of Sodom did not send a messenger to Gomorrah to invite them to their take part in their perverted party! This is an amazing description of the mob and is very specific (1) of Sodom, (2) surrounded (3) young and old (4) from every quarter. Note the word traveled fast in this sin-filled city so that the whole city knew about these two men (and surely Sodom's population was in the 1000's, although we do not know for certain). Thus we see this not just one or two homosexual men, but was essentially a mob of all ages which is a picture of the widespread nature of Sodom’s moral perversion.  

James Strahan said: “The revelers of Sodom beset his house like a swarm of demons let loose from hell” (Hebrew Ideals In Genesis, p. 128).

Wenstrom - The fact that both the old and young were involved in this attempted homosexual gang rape indicates that the lifestyle of homosexuality was promoted and practiced up to the third and fourth generation. This illustrates the principle taught many times in Scripture that God visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. (Nu 14:18+).

Bob Utley - This implies that every single man in the town, both young and old, had become homosexuals, or at least, bisexuals. As God told Abraham to train up his children, Gen. 18:19, we see the negative aspect of that as the people of Sodom have trained their children in evil. Here is a good example of the sins of the fathers being passed on to their sons (cf. Deut. 5:9-10). The last phrase translated "from every quarter"  is literally "to the last man". The term is used for things in between (e.g., Gen. 47:21). The evil of Sodom that the angel (i.e., YHWH) had mentioned in Gen. 18:20-21 was true. There were not even ten righteous men (cf. Gen. 18:32).

John MacArthur - Both the size of the lustful mob of men boisterously milling around Lot's house and the widespread nature of Sodom's moral perversion received emphasis both from the additional qualifiers used ("all the people from every quarter" and "both young and old") and the request made (v. 5, "have relations with them"). Even acknowledging legitimate exaggeration in this use of "all" would not detract from this emphasis—this was indeed a wicked city! (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible page 40)

Paul Apple  Good Intentions Cannot Protect Against Compromise with Moral Depravity. Compromise with the World Puts One in Dangerous Situations. 

Steven Cole - Sodom shows us the world without God. On one level, it is an ugly, repulsive picture. It was a city where it wasn’t safe to be on the streets after dark, where not only the young men, but even the old (19:4) were living to satisfy their lusts, even if it meant homosexually raping two visitors. But on another level, Sodom, like our society, had its attractive side. It was sophisticated and prosperous. (The Tragedy Of Worldly Believers)

James Freeman - Borrow Manners & customs of the Bible page 29 - HOUSES - In Mesopotamia, Abraham lived in houses made of mud brick (see Genesis 11:3), but then became a tent dweller because God gave him no permanent place of his own to live. “By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise” (Hebrews 11:9+). Tents were normally made of goat hair, which shed water and could be easily bundled and carried to the next camp site. They were quite suitable for a wandering life.

Except for individuals like Lot who joined themselves with a people other than those of Abraham, it wasn’t until the Israelites went to Egypt in Joseph’s time that they lived in houses, and at some point during the 400 years there probably had to build the houses they lived in. At the time of the Exodus we can see that they lived in houses, “Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs” (Exodus 12:7). When they left Egypt, however, and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years they once more lived in tents. “Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to show you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day” (Deuteronomy 1:33, KJV).

It wasn’t until the time of Joshua, however, when they captured Canaan, that they began to build houses like the Canaanites. In those areas where stone was plentiful, they built stone houses, and where there were no stones, they built mud-brick houses, and where trees were plentiful, they built wood houses. They used whatever building materials were plentiful or available where they lived. “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars” (Isaiah 9:10).

Genesis 19:5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.”

  • Lev 18:22 Lev 20:13 Judges 19:22 Isa 1:9 3:9 Jer 3:3 6:15 Eze 16:49,51 Mt 11:23,24 Ro 1:23,24,26,27 1Co 6:9 1Ti 1:10 2Ti 3:13 Jude 1:7
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Leviticus 18:22+  You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13+ If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

1 Corinthians 6:9+  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals


and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? - The word had spread throughout all quarters of Sodom that two attractive men are on the scene. 

Bring them out to us that we may have relations (yada) with them - This description is tantamount of the Sodomite's desire for gang rape! The Sodomites command Lot to bring them out. While the description have relations is somewhat euphemistic, it leaves no doubt in the mind of the intelligent reader what the nature of the relations were! These men did not just want to shake hands and have a congenial conversation! Their willingness to carry out their sodomy publicly indicates that they were no longer ashamed of their sin, theirs consciences having become seared to the heinous nature of their abominable practice. They had long ago exchanged the truth of God for the lie "and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." (Ro 1:25+) God had given them over to the sexual lusts (Ro 1:26-27+). 

THOUGHT - Someone who would like to defend their premise that homosexuality is not described in this passage might use this verse to support their argument. Why? Because the Hebrew word yada is translated in the KJV "that we may know them." They would say yada is used over 900 times in the OT and usually means to know someone or something and that is all that was transpiring in these verses! The problem with that interpretation is that it removes yada from the context and context is always king in interpretation. The context clearly indicates that yada has a sexual meaning. (See Heitizg's logic)

Have relations is the common (872 verses) Hebrew verb yada which is used in Ge 4:1+ where "the man (Adam) had relations (yada; Lxx - ginosko - experiential knowing) with his wife Eve and she conceived." The Lxx translates have relations (yada) using the verb suggignomai which means to come together, to have sexual intercourse as shown by its use in Ge 39:10 where Potiphar's wife "spoke to Joseph day after day," BUT "he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with (suggignomai) her.

The behavior of the Sodomites would have confirmed to the angels that they were justified in destroying all in the city (recall the detail "ALL the people from every quarter" so that the sin of homosexuality was present throughout the city). 

Bob Utley - Josephus, in his book Antiquities of the Jews 1:11:3, says that these angels were beautiful creatures and excited the lust of the men of Sodom. The Bible often speaks of the sin of homosexuality, which was apparently common in Canaan (cf. Lev. 18:22; 20:13). It was also common in the Roman Empire of Paul's day (cf. Rom. 1:26, 27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10).

Genesis 19:6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him,


But - Term of contrast. Change of direction, in this case Lot trying to change the minds of the men outside. 

Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him - One has to commend Lot here. Think about it. A mob of lusting men clamoring at his door. Lot could have easily been mobbed and cast aside.  Two words are here used for door, the first (pethach) which is the opening  or entrance at which Lot went out, while the second (deleth) is the actual door proper, which Lot promptly closed.

Genesis 19:7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly.

  • Ge 19:4 Lev 18:22 20:13 De 23:17 Judges 19:23 1Sa 30:23,24 Ac 17:26 Ro 1:24 1Co 6:9-11 Jude 1:7 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly - This is so sad! Lot calls the Sodomites brothers, which is another clue to how much of Sodom had gotten into Lot! Do not act wickedly (ra'a - be bad, evil) is translated in the Septuagint with ponereuomai which means to commit sin where the related noun poneros describes evil with intent to harm.  

Bob Utley comments that "Lot is accusing the men of an immoral intent (cf. Gen. 19:9). He is acting as an ethical mirror to the intended sexual violence which encompassed two evils - (1) violation of hospitality (ED: THAT'S AN UNDERSTATEMENT!) (2) sexual perversion

Genesis 19:8 “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

  • I have two daughters: Ex 32:22 
  • please let me bring them out: Ge 19:31-38 42:37 Judges 19:24 Mk 9:6 Ro 3:8 
  • therefore: Ge 18:5 Judges 9:15 Isa 58:7
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries 


Now behold (hinneh), I have two daughters who have not had relations (yada; Lxx - ginosko - experiential knowing) with man - See related comments in Ge 19:5. We can give Lot a little credit in that the two daughters were still virgins in this depraved city! That's the good news, but the bad news is he know is willing to sacrifice their virginity. 

From Compromise to Confusion! 

Please let me bring them out to you, and do (command) to them whatever you like; only do (jussive sense ~ like a command) nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof - You have got to be kidding! What did Lot just say to the men? "do not act wickedly" And yet what is Lot doing with this perverted offer? That's rhetorical. Clearly Lot is acting wickedly! Read that phrase again (I am a father with 2 daughters and can barely believe my eyes!) - "do to them whatever you like." 

Conflict with Wickedness Cannot Be Resolved by Alternative Wickedness
-- Paul Apple 

This passage demonstrates the "power" of depravity to take you down spiritually, for here we see Lot, a believer, offer his engaged virgin daughters to a mob of gay men in order to spare the two men (who he does not know to be angels) from the mob’s desire to rape them!

John MacArthur - Lot's response betrayed tension in his ethics; his offer to gratify their sexual lust contradicted his plea not to act "wickedly." Such contradiction made clear also the vexation of spirit under which he lived in wicked Sodom (cf. 2Pe 2:6, 7) The constraints of Eastern hospitality and the very purpose for which Lot had invited the visitors in (Ge 19:2, 3), compelled Lot to offer his daughters for a less deviant (see Ro 1:24-27 [notes]) kind of wickedness, so as to protect his guests. This foolish effort shows that while Lot was right with God (2Pe 2:7, 8), he had contented himself with some sins and weak faith rather than leaving Sodom. But God was gracious to him because he was righteous, by faith, before God. (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible page 40)

Calvin said the trade-off is evil for evil , trying to “remedy one evil by means of another.”

Wenstrom has an interesting note - In Mosaic Law, the violator of a betrothed or engaged woman’s sanctity was subject to death by stoning (Deut. 22:23-27). Therefore, by handing over his daughters to this mob of gay men would have implicated Lot in this crime and made him guilty and worthy of death in the eyes of God. On the other hand, if Lot hands over his guests, who he at this time, believes are merely mortal men, he would be guilty of a crime as well. If Lot hands himself over to the mob, there would be no one to protect his guests or his family. Therefore, Lot is caught between a rock and a hard place from the human perspective. But from the divine perspective, he should have cried out to the Lord in prayer to deliver him from this mob. The Lord would have delivered him since this was one of the reasons why the angels were sent to Sodom. So we see that Lot attempts to avoid the sin of the mob by committing sin and handing his daughters over to them. This compromise is another manifestation that Lot is under the influence of Satan’s cosmic system of evil.

Bob Deffinbaugh: Lot’s response is typical of his spiritual state; it is a strange blend of courage and compromise, of strength of character and situationalism. The crowd demanded that Lot turn over his guests, an unthinkable violation of the protection guaranteed one who comes under the roof of your house. Lot stepped outside, closing the door behind him, hoping to defuse the situation. He pleaded with them not to act wickedly, and, just as we are about to applaud his courage, he offers to surrender his two daughters to the appetites of these depraved degenerates. How unthinkable! Lot’s virtue (his concern for his guests) has become a vice (a willingness to substitute his own daughters for strangers). (From City Councilman to Caveman)

H Van Dyke Parunak: But sacrificing his daughters isn’t right! We see here the dilemma of those who try to enjoy the friendship of the world: they are caught in moral dilemmas in which there is no way to live godly. Consider once again 2 Pet 2:7, which says that he was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” Vexation will be our lot as well if we allow ourselves to sympathize with the world.

inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof - This is Lot's logic to save the two men is to seek to to uphold his honor by protecting his guests! Lot is taking his oriental hospitality obligated a host to protect his guests at all cost a bit too far. He is saying hospitality to strangers trumps protection of his family! This cost is not justified under any circumstance, which shows that Lot is not thinking like a righteous father who was to protect his daughters! He is willing to sacrifice his two daughters so that his "hospitality" to the two men would not be dishonored! 

NET NOTE - 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.

Bob Utley on Now behold, I have two daughters - These strangers had come under the "shelter of my roof" (literally, "shadow," BDB 853). This same term is used for "under the shadow of God's wing," which is a metaphor for protection and care (cf. Num. 14:9; Ps. 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 63:7; see SPECIAL TOPIC: SHADOW AS A METAPHOR FOR PROTECTION AND CARE). Lot was obliged to protect his guests at any cost!

This has been explained in various ways, but it remains an enigma concerning the motives of Lot.

  1. it was his ultimate desire to protect his guests (Oriental hospitality)
  2. he knew this mob did not desire women
  3. he was hoping his potential sons-in-law, who could have been in the crowd, would stop the mob at this point.

This account is very similar to Jdg. 19:24.

Norman Geisler - from When Cultists Ask -  GENESIS 19:8—Was the sin of Sodom homosexuality or inhospitality?

MISINTERPRETATION: Some have argued that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality, not homosexuality. They base this on the Canaanite custom that guarantees protection of those coming under one’s roof. Lot is alleged to have referred to it when he said, “Don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof” (Gen. 19:8b). So Lot offered his daughter to satisfy the angry crowd in order to protect the lives of the visitors who had come under his roof. And the request of the men of the city to “know” simply means “to get acquainted” (Gen. 19:7), since the Hebrew word know (yada) generally has no sexual connotations whatsoever (cf. Ps. 139:1). It is important to understand what Scripture says on this because certain New Agers such as Matthew Fox believe homosexuality is just as acceptable to the “cosmic Christ” as heterosexuality (see his book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ).

CORRECTING THE MISINTERPRETATION: (See comments on Ezekiel 16:49.) While it is true that the Hebrew word know (yada) does not necessarily mean “to have sex with,” nonetheless in the context of the text on Sodom and Gomorrah it clearly has this meaning. This is evident for several reasons.

  1. First of all, ten of the twelve times this word yada is used in Genesis it refers to sexual intercourse (for example, Gen. 4:1, 25).
  2. Second, it is used to refer to sexual intercourse in this very chapter. For Lot refers to his two virgin daughters as not having “known (yada) a man” (Ge 19:8) which is an obvious sexual use of the word.
  3. Third, the meaning of a word yada is discovered by the context in which it is used. And the context here is definitely sexual, as is indicated by the reference to the wickedness of the city (Ge 18:20) and the virgins offered to appease their passions (Ge 19:8).
  4. Fourth, “know” (yada)  cannot mean simply “get acquainted with,” because it is equated with a “wicked thing” (Ge 19:7).
  5. Fifth, why offer the virgin daughters to appease them if their intent was not sexual? If the men had asked to “know” (yada) the virgin daughters no one would have mistaken their sexual intentions.

QUESTIONWhy did Lot offer up his daughters to be gang raped? Why did God allow Lot’s daughters to later have sex with their father? | WATCH THE VIDEO

ANSWER - The first incident involving Lot’s daughters appears in Genesis 19:1–11. Two men who were really angels appeared in Sodom where Lot lived with his family. The wicked men of the city surrounded Lot’s house seeking to have homosexual relations with the angels. Lot begged the men of the city not to do this evil thing, and he offered up his two virgin daughters to them instead. 

The second incident (Genesis 19:30–38) occurs after Lot and his daughters had fled Sodom just before its destruction. Lot’s wife was destroyed for her disobedience during the journey, and Lot and his two daughters fled to live in a cave in a mountain. Afraid they would never have husbands or children in their hideout, Lot’s daughters plotted to make their father drunk so they could sleep with him and thereby assure that they would have children.

To our modern sensibilities, it’s hard to understand why God would allow these two terrible incidents to occur. We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the record of the Old Testament is meant as an “example” to us. In other words, God gives us the whole truth about biblical characters, their sin, their failures, their victories and good deeds, and we are to learn from their example, what to do and what not to do. In fact, this is one of the ways God teaches us what we need to know in order to make good choices as believers. We can learn the easy way by knowing and obeying God’s Word, we can learn the hard way by suffering the consequences of our mistakes, or we can learn by watching others and “taking heed” from their experiences.

Scripture does not reveal Lot’s reasoning for offering up his daughters. Whatever his thought process was, it was wrong and indefensible. Based on what is revealed about Lot’s life, one might wonder if he was righteous. However, there is no doubt that God had declared him to be positionally righteous, even during his time in Sodom. “And if God rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds)” (2 Peter 2:7–8). At some point Lot had believed in the coming Messiah, and that faith resulted in a righteous standing before God. It is likely that Lot’s uncle, Abraham, had passed this truth down to him.

What we have in the story of Lot is an illustration of a man who once lived close to his godly relatives and had backslidden and was living according to his sin nature. Lot had moved to Sodom, even though he knew what it was, and he “sat in the gate” (Genesis 19:1). That sounds quite simple, but, in fact, sitting in the gate meant that Lot had so entered into the society of Sodom that he was a judge there (Genesis 19:9). In spite of his position, the men of Sodom had no respect for him because they knew he was a hypocrite.

We may sit in judgment of the culture of that day, but protecting one’s guests required great sacrifice. Was Lot right to offer his own daughters in place of the men the Sodomites wanted? No. We can see in the story that the Lord’s messengers protected Lot and his daughters in spite of Lot’s lack of character and worldly viewpoint. Lot meant to appease the men of Sodom so that the hospitality of his house would not be damaged, but he makes the wrong choice in offering his own daughters, and God’s messengers overruled him.

Genesis 19:31–32 tells us that Lot’s daughters believed there would be no man for them and no children. This may be because they saw the destruction of Sodom and believed they were the only people left on earth. They were trying to preserve the family line. Why did Lot have sex with his own daughters? He got drunk. Yes, his daughters conspired to get him drunk, but Lot willingly drank and, when he was drunk, he lost what little control and common sense he had (Genesis 19:30–38), and this is the final step in Lot’s backsliding.

The lesson we can learn from this is, when a person has too much to drink, he does not make good choices and loses control of his morals and operates out of the sinful, carnal nature. As a result of the incest, two children were born, and those two children are the fathers of two nations that have been at odds with and the source of much suffering to Israel down through history.

Why did God allow Lot to offer his daughters, and why did He allow them to commit incest? Sometimes God gives us His reasons for doing something but not very often. The more we get to know God, the more we understand Him and His reasons for doing things. But, again, this doesn’t always happen. We must be very careful when we ask why God does something and be sure we are not calling into question God Himself, His judgment, His character, and His very nature.

The psalmist tells us, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and the reason for whatever He allows—is also perfect. This may not seem possible to us, but our minds are not God’s mind. It is true that we can’t expect to understand His mind perfectly, as He reminds us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9). Nevertheless, our responsibility to God is to obey Him, to trust Him, and to submit to His will, whether we understand it or not.

we need to make choices that do not conform to the world
and to submit to the Word of God

Lot did the things he did because he chose to live in his old sin nature and do what was easy, and he made choices to flirt with evil instead of living to honor God. As a result, there was suffering for Lot, his wife and daughters, and, by association, the nation of Israel for years to come. The lesson for us is that we need to make choices that do not conform to the world and to submit to the Word of God, which will guide us into living lives that are pleasing to God.

Genesis 19:9 But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.

  • Stand aside: 1Sa 17:44 25:17 Pr 9:7,8 Isa 65:5 Jer 3:3 6:15 8:12 Mt 7:6 
  • This one came in as an alien: Ge 13:12 Ex 2:14 Ac 7:26-28 2Pe 2:7,8 
  • So they pressed hard against Lot: Ge 11:6 1Sa 2:16 Pr 14:16 17:12 27:3 Ec 9:3 10:13 Da 3:19-22 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passage: 

Hebrews 11:9+ (ABRAHAM WAS THE TRUE "ALIEN"!) By faith he lived as an alien (paroikeo = living in a place without holding citizenship; living as a stranger, dwelling temporarily) in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;


But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien (gur), and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” Stand aside means basically "Get out of our way!" There is some irony in their saying he is acting like a judge because their Judge was in fact standing at the door about to pass sentence on the people of these two cities. Now they are ready to rape Lot and his family.  For twenty years Lot had lived in Sodom, yet he was still seen as an alien to the men of the city.

Paul Apple  Community Relationships Can Go South in a Hurry When the Wicked are Consumed with Carnal Lusts!

Thompson - This culture was so depraved that any talk of doing right led the majority to riot. As Mr. Phillips said, these people of Sodom did not view their behavior as criminal, but constitutional

So they pressed hard (patsaragainst Lot - Hebrew = “and they pressed against the man, against Lot, exceedingly.”  Pressed hard (patsar) is the same verb used in Ge 19:3+ but here in translated with a different word in the Lxx, the verb parabiazomai, which means to use force or urge strongly. Liddell-Scott says it means to use violence against one. The tense of parabiazomai is imperfect indicating that the Sodomites were carrying out this action over and over! They wanted what they wanted and nothing (they thought!) could keep them from satisfying their perverted craving.

THOUGHT - Learn from this that lustful cravings are powerful and will do most anything to be satisfied (cf Ro 6:12+). Have you ever experienced this strong power (albeit not necessarily in the way these men did), feeling that overwhelming urge to fulfill your desire whatever it was and even knowing that it was sin? The only power that can counter and defeat this strong natural power is the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit (see Ro 8:13+). O Lord, may Your sons and daughters in America (and around the world) be continually filled with Your Spirit (Eph 5:18+) and Your Word (Col 3:16+), so that they might be enabled to walk by the Spirit and not carry out the desire (epithumia) of their flesh (Gal 5:16, 17+). For Your glory and honor and through Your Son Christ Jesus. Amen. 

This picture of them pressing hard to get into Lot's house and at these two men (they probably were very attractive "men") is depicted in Romans 1:27+ which says "and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." Notice the two vivid verbs - (1) burned (ekkaio) which means literally to be set aflame (what a clear picture of these men in Ge 19:9!) and (2) desire (orexis) used only the entire Bible in this description of homosexual men literally describing them as reaching out for something (how apropos this is to Ge 19:9) and figuratively describing a strong desire, especially sexual desire! This is "desire on steroids" so to speak! 

And came near to break (shabar) the door - The Lxx translates shabar with suntribo which means to cause destruction of something by making it come apart (by shattering, smashing or crushing) which emphasizes they were dominated by their fallen fleshly desires. 

It is worth noting that not only were the Sodomites not ashamed (probable seared consciences - 1Ti 4:2), they did not  know how to blush (Jer 6:15, 8:12), and instead they actually flaunted their sins in public (does this sound familiar America) as described by Isaiah

For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, Because their speech and their actions are against the LORD, To rebel against His glorious presence.  The expression of their faces bears witness against them, And they display their sin like Sodom; They do not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves (JUST AS SODOM HAD DONE!). (Isaiah 3:8-9+)

Steven Cole - When a society openly flaunts sin, it has become thoroughly corrupt. When it openly accepts and practices homosexuality, it is a sign that God has given that society over to degrading passions (Rom. 1:26–27). It is in the final stages of corruption.  (The Tragedy Of Worldly Believers Genesis 19:1-29)

Alien(01481) gur means a temporary stay, to reside temporarily, to dwell as a foreigner; a short stay somewhere. In the reflexive sense, to seek hospitality with. The first use of gur is Ge 12:10 of the Abram (cp use with other patriarchs - Ge 20:1, 21:23, 34, 26:3, 32:4, 25:27, 47:4). The term is commonly used of the patriarchs who sojourned in Canaan (Gen. 26:3; 35:27); places outside Canaan (Gen. 12:10; 20:1; 21:23; 32:4[5]; 47:4); Naomi and her family in Moab (Ruth 1:1); the exiles in Babylonia (Jer. 42:15).

Break (07665shabar means to break in pieces, to shatter, to smash. The first biblical occurrence of shabar is in Ge 19:9, where the men of Sodom "pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door." In another use, God says "I will also break down your pride of power" (Lev 26:19). In Ezekiel 6:9 God describes how He has "been hurt (broken) by their adulterous hearts which turned away from" Him "and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols" (describing faithless Judah now in captivity in Babylon). The Lxxtranslates shabar with suntribo which means to cause destruction of something by making it come apart (by shattering, smashing or crushing) and figuratively to be severely damaged psychologically and thus to be broken (as used in Lxx to describe the "brokenhearted" in Isa 61:1Ps 34:18Ps 147:3)

Genesis 19:10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.


But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door - The two angels come to the rescue of Lot who was probably in danger of being trampled to death! The one attempting to rescue the angels is himself rescued by the angels! 

Wenstrom has an interesting comment - The wickedness of the Sodomites has been confirmed by two credible witnesses as required by divine jurisprudence as recorded in the Mosaic Law, namely, the two elect angels (Deut. 17:6+). The angels have confirmed that the inhabitants of Sodom are indeed wicked and unrepentant and have therefore been ordered by the Lord to destroy the place.

Genesis 19:11 They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.  

  • blindness: 2Ki 6:18 Ac 13:11 
  • So that they: Ec 10:15 Isa 57:10 Jer 2:36 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


If you do not think that Sin is powerful, then you either have not read this verse or do not understand it!

They struck (nāḵāh; Lxx = patasso) the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness (sanverim; Lxx - aorasia - inability to see), both small and great, so that they wearied (laah; Lxxparaluo )  themselves trying to find the doorway - The door was shut in Ge 19:10 but that did not prevent the angels from striking the men. Struck...with blindness is in the perfect tense which suggest more than just simple, temporary blindness. In any event their blindness was temporary in the sense that Sodom would soon be obliterated by God. Their next sight in fact would be the hot side of Hades! 

One might consider the blindness as a "warning shot over the bow" so to speak, this sudden blindness giving them pause to ponder their perversion and even repent. But that clearly was not to be! And recall that God had used His man Abraham to save them from the  Four Eastern Mesopotamian Kings who had defeated them. Surely they had noticed that Abraham accomplished this feat with only 318 men! And they also saw Melchizedek! So they had no excuse to continue unrepentant and in their sins! The LORD was patient with them as Peter describes "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2Pe 3:9+). Their cup of iniquity was now full and their time was up! 

One commentator said "the angels intervene and stop this mob in its tracks by striking it with blindness," but actually it did not stop them in their tracks. Apparently it did confuse them so that they were unable to find Lot's doorway, but they persisted driven by their perverted lusts. 

Skip Heitzig quips - Remember years ago that television show Touched by an Angel? You could call this Punched by an Angel. You don't want to mess with an angel! By the way, angels are mentioned in 34 books of the Bible. 34 different books, 17 books of the Old Testament, 17 of the New Testament, mention angels. About 103 times in the Old Testament, about 165 times in the New Testament angels are mentioned. Billy Graham used to call them God's secret agents. Great name for them. The book of Hebrews describes them as ministering spirits, angels are ministering spirits, Hebrews chapter one tells us, sent by God to minister to us who will inherit salvation (Heb 1:14+). You have angels that protect you; you have angels that watch over you, the Bible teaches that. (See Angels — Article Index |

Wenstrom - The Bible also records other sins committed by both Sodom and Gomorrah such as social oppression (Isa. 1:10, 17), adultery, lying and abetting criminals (Jer. 23:14), arrogance, complacency and showing no pity on the poor and needy (Ezek. 16:49). 

Bob Utley - Iben Ezra says that it means "blindness of eye and mind," which seems to fit the latter part of this verse, which says they continued to grope around looking for the doorway as if confused (e.g., Exod. 3:20). The blindness here (BDB 703) is different from Lev. 22:22; Deut. 28:28 (BDB 734). This one denotes "blinded by a bright light."

This miracle of blinding the Sodomites would now clearly identify the two "men" as supernatural messengers of God, but even so, Lot's family hesitated later when told to leave. His sons-in-law thought he was jesting and refused to follow his urgent pleas. One would have thought being struck blind would cause the Sodomites to back off, but it did not. In fact they wearied themselves (Lxxparaluo - became feeble, weakened) which is another indication of how powerful the lust of the flesh is when it given full reign (see note below)! 

THOUGHT - Believers need to be very cautious in "toying" with sins thinking that it is not such a big deal! By it's very nature, sin is deceptive and if you are deceived, you don't even know it (Heb 3:13+; See also Deceitfulness of Sin). And you may end up doing something that in your right mind (saved mind = sophron) you would never dream of doing! 

John MacArthur - Homosexual deviation carries an uncontrollable lust that defies restraint. Even when blinded, they tried to fulfill their lust. (Borrow MacArthur Study Bible page 40)

John MacArthur added that "There was a man named Helpern (Milton Helpern was the most famous Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York —"a Sherlock Holmes with a microscope.") who was the coroner for the city of New York and he did, I think, 26-28,000 autopsies in his day. He said we can look at a corpse that had been murdered and tell you whether a homosexual killed that person by the multiple wounds. He’s not a Christian, he is Jewish and he said, “There’s something about the passions of that kind of involvement that are not explicable.”) From MacArthur's sermon in 2007 - A Nation Abandoned by God.

Additional note from John MacArthur's commentary - In the United States and many other western countries it is not uncommon for homosexual males to have 300 partners a year. Even when relationships are on a friendly basis, the most bizarre acts imaginable are committed, and mutilation is common. In his biography (Where Death Delights the story of Dr. Milton Helpern and forensic medicine, by Marshall Houts) , the New York City forensic expert Dr. Milton Helpern, who makes no claim of being a Christian and avoids making moral judgments about homosexuality, nevertheless comments that, after having performed thousands of autopsies, he would warn anyone who chooses a homosexual lifestyle to be prepared for the consequences:

“When we see … brutal, multiple wound cases in a single victim … we just automatically assume that we’re dealing with a homosexual victim and a homosexual attacker.… I don’t know why it is so, but it seems that the violent explosions of jealousy among homosexuals far exceed those of the jealousy of a man for a woman, or a woman for a man. The pent-up charges and energy of the homosexual relationship simply cannot be contained. When the explosive point is reached, the result is brutally violent.… But this is the ‘normal’ pattern of these homosexual attacks, the multiple stabbings, the multiple senseless beatings that obviously must continue long after the victim dies” (Page 268-269).

William MacDonald (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary page 56) makes an important point - 

There is a difference between being a practicing homosexual and having a homosexual tendency. It is the practice that the Bible condemns, not the orientation. There are many who have an attraction to their own sex but refuse to give in to it. By the power of the Spirit, they have disciplined themselves to resist the temptation and to live in purity. Many Christian persons of homosexual orientation

  … have regarded their condition with sorrow and contrition, but, unable to change, have drawn on the Spirit for the power of forbearance and chastity, which is sanctification indeed.… In commitment to Christ, [they] have offered an enduring inner blemish for God’s use that divine power may be perfected in human weakness.(B J Sims - Sex and Homosexuality - not free)

....Christians should accept gays and lesbians as persons without approving their lifestyle. Because they are people for whom Christ died, believers should seek in every possible way to win them to a life of “holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14+).

Blindness (05575)(sanverim) sudden blindness which refers to an inability to find one's way, inability to see properly. It is found only in Ge 19:11 and 2Ki 6:18, both times associated with angels (2Ki 6:17), both times resulting in rescue and both translated in Lxx with aorasia, the inability to see. 

Gilbrant - Attested in Jewish Aramaic with the meaning "to blind," this noun is used to describe sudden miraculous blinding. In Gen. 19:11, Lot's visitors strike the offensive men of the city blind after pulling Lot back behind the door of his house. In 2 Ki 6:18, the Arameans are struck with temporary blindness just as Elisha prays. Some scholars think the blindness was achieved by a bright flash, since some cognates mean "to dazzle." This could be one explanation for what seems to have been a blindness that wore off. (Complete Biblical Library)

Wearied (03811)(laah) means to be weary, be impatient, be grieved, be offended, to be tired of something. 

Gilbrant - Occurring about twenty times in the Hebrew Bible, this verb has cognates attested in all branches of Semitic. The verb can mean "to be physically exhausted" (its exclusive semantic range in Middle Hebrew and Jewish Aramaic), but it usually refers to mental or emotional states. Physical exhaustion is nearly always expressed in contexts in which the reason for exhaustion hinges upon sin (an exception is Jer. 12:5). For example, lāʾāh is employed to describe the effort the Sodomite males made as they searched in their blindness, undeterred by this state, until they became physically exhausted in their quest to find Lot's door (Gen. 19:11). Yahweh accused the Judahites of continual slander to the point that they were too tired to repent (Jer. 5:5). This thought is found in the Targum, in a commentary on Isa. 1:14, as not only is Yahweh "tired of" (employing the same verb) the Judaeans' hypocritical worship, but He is tired of their wearing themselves out oppressing others and then falsely worshiping Yahweh. This same usage is attested as a personified Babylon wearied itself by excessive counsel from astrologers and diviners (via pagan rituals) concerning her coming fate (Isa. 47:13). Likewise, the Moabites wearied themselves in prayer to their gods to no avail (Isa. 16:12). Proverbs 26:15 presents the image of a lazy person, who is worn out by reaching into a dish to retrieve his food, to the extent that he cannot bring his hand to his mouth. An extension of the physical nuance is found in the metaphor of the land being weary from drought, though Yahweh brings rain when the people follow Him (Ps. 68:9).

The semantic extension of emotional weariness dominates the usages of this verb in the Hebrew Bible. As in the English idiom, one can "become tired of" a number of circumstances. As noted above, Yahweh becomes tired of bearing the hypocritical worship of the Israelites, coming on the heels of their oppressive acts (Isa. 1:14). Indeed, Yahweh became tired of putting off bringing the covenant curses upon Jerusalem for the continual violation of the covenant by the people (Jer. 15:6).

One can be emotionally unable to sustain particular burdens. Yahweh's condemnation of the people was something that Jeremiah, as the legal mouthpiece of Yahweh, was unable to contain (Jer. 6:11). Further, this same prophet, in the course of a complaint to Yahweh concerning the slow realization of his prophecies and the abusive treatment the prophet received at the hands of the people, stated that he had tried to keep the prophecies, the message of Yahweh, to himself. He wrote "There is a burning fire in my heart, shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in; indeed, I cannot" (Jer. 20:9). A related nuance centers upon this sense of helplessness. Job was helpless before Yahweh—hardly his equal (Job 16:7).

Laah - 19x/18v - become impatient(1), exhausted(1), find difficulty(1), impatient(1), parched(1), tired(2), try the patience(2), wearied(4), wearies(1), weary(5). Gen. 19:11; Exod. 7:18; Job 4:2; Job 4:5; Job 16:7; Ps. 68:9; Prov. 26:15; Isa. 1:14; Isa. 7:13; Isa. 16:12; Isa. 47:13; Jer. 6:11; Jer. 9:5; Jer. 12:5; Jer. 15:6; Jer. 20:9; Ezek. 24:12; Mic. 6:3

Genesis 19:12 Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place;

  • Whom else have you here: Ge 7:1 Nu 16:26 Jos 6:22,23 Jer 32:39 2Pe 2:7,9 
  • son: Ge 19:14,17,22 Rev 18:4 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? (Do you have) A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place - Angels instruct Lot to get his family together and get out of Sodom! The angels know who is going to be rescued, so this is not for them as much as it is for Lot. For example, note the phrase whomever you have in the city which is a reminder to Lot that his witness has resulted in no one in the city who could be rescued! Their question leaves open the possibility that Lot did have sons and also possibly even more daughters, but we cannot know for sure. What we can know for certain is if there were other children in Sodom, they were doomed! 

THOUGHT - Who is there in your family, your social or work circles, your city, etc, who is going to be rescued from the wrath to come (Mt 3:7+, Lk 3:7+, 1Th 1:10+) because of your testimony? Lord, let us not be such ineffective witnesses like Lot that there is no one in heaven because of our testimony down here. Father, enable us by Your Spirit to be above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we appear as lights in the world, and rescue many who see Your light shining through us. (Php 2:15+) In Jesus' Name. Amen

Genesis 19:13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”

  • their outcry: Ge 13:13 18:20 Jas 5:4 
  • LORD has sent us to destroy it: 1Ch 21:15,16 Ps 11:5,6 Isa 3:11 36:10 37:36 Eze 9:5,6 Mt 13:41,42,49,50 Ac 12:23 Ro 3:8,9 Jude 1:7 Rev 16:1-12 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


For - One of those crucial terms of explanation. Explains to Lot why he needs to leave quickly. 

We are about to destroy (shachath; Lxx = apollumi) this place - Destruction that would lay Sodom to waste was on the horizon! It is notable that God did not warn the wicked, for they had reached the limit of His patience and mercy. 

Because - This term of explanation explains why Sodom was about to be destroyed which was part of the mission of the angels. The first part was a retribution operation, the second part a rescue operation of righteous, backslidden Lot. 

Their outcry (tseaqah; Lxx - krauge) has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy (shachath) it - "Time's up!" Sodom's iniquity is "compete" or filled to the brim (and even overflowing)! (cf Ge 15:16+). The outcry was not by the Sodomites who loved their sin, nor was it likely by Lot who had "acclimated" to the sin, even though it tormented him. The idea seems to be that the sin is personified as crying out it is so evil and so prevalent (like Abel's blood personified as crying to God from the ground - Ge 4:10+). Note the LORD's judgment was destruction but it  would be these two angels who would carry it out. 

Destroy (07843shachath means to decay, to go to ruin, to corrupt, to destroy (Sodom and Gomorrah = Ge 13:10, Ge 18:28, 31-32), to lay waste (Egypt from swarms of flies -Ex 8:24). Shachath is used of Israelites who worshiped the golden calf (Ex 32:7; Dt 9:12; 32:5, Hos 9:9). God warned He would destroy Israel if they were turned away from following Him (Nu 32:15). Shachath describes Israel's behavior as more corrupt after a judge died (Jdg 2:19). Shāchath is used to describe the action of annihilation, for example, the action associated with the flood (Gen. 6:17), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (19:13), the extermination of the Ammonites (2 Sam. 11:1), the devastation of Zion (Lam. 2:8) and the end of Babylon (Jer. 51:11). Buildings (48:18), land (Judg. 6:5), walls (2 Sam. 20:15), a spring (Prov. 25:26) and plants (Nah. 2:2) are among objects which are destroyed by actions expressed by this verb.

Shachath in Pentateuch - The flood in Genesis 6 & 9  = Gen. 6:11; Gen. 6:12; Gen. 6:13; Gen. 6:17; Gen. 9:11; Gen. 9:15; Gen. 13:10; Gen. 18:28; Gen. 18:31; Gen. 18:32; Gen. 19:13; Gen. 19:14; Gen. 19:29; Gen. 38:9; Exod. 8:24; Exod. 12:13; Exod. 12:23; Exod. 21:26; Exod. 32:7; Lev. 19:27; Num. 32:15; Deut. 4:16; Deut. 4:25; Deut. 4:31; Deut. 9:12; Deut. 9:26; Deut. 10:10; Deut. 20:19; Deut. 20:20; Deut. 31:29; Deut. 32:5

Outcry (06818) tseaqah refers to a cry, an outcry, a call for help, a cry of wailing and despair. E.g., tseaqah described the cries of outrage regarding sin that went up against Sodom and Gomorrah (Ge 18:21; Ge 19:13).  As a leader, Moses faced numerous difficult situations which caused him to cry out in desperation to Yahweh for direction (cf. Ex 17:4). 

John Butler - Destruction of Sodom. God destroyed Sodom where Lot and his family were living. Ten righteous souls could have spared Sodom from destruction; but ten righteous souls were not found in Sodom.

  • Debauchery causing the destruction: the chief sin was homosexuality which demonstrated its awful vileness in trying to sodomize Lot’s heavenly visitors.
  • Declaration about the destruction: an urgent warning to Lot to leave Sodom because of its impending doom.
  • Deliverance from destruction: Lot, his wife, and two daughters were practically dragged out of Sodom by the heavenly guests.
  • Details of the destruction: a horrible but quick destruction of everything by fire and brimstone.
  • Disobedience during the destruction: Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.
  • Defilement after the destruction: the two daughters of Lot became pregnant through incest with Lot.

Genesis 19:14 Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting.  

  • who were to marry his daughters: Mt 1:18 
  • Up, get out : Ge 19:17,22 Nu 16:21,26,45 Jer 51:6 Lu 9:42 Rev 18:4-8 
  • he appeared: Ex 9:21 12:31 2Ch 30:10 36:16 Pr 29:1 Isa 28:22 Jer 5:12-14 Jer 20:7 Eze 20:49 Mt 9:24 Lu 17:28-30 24:11 Ac 17:32 1Th 5:3 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

2 Corinthians 5:20+ (WHAT LOT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN SODOM)  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

1 Peter 2:12+  Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation (THIS WAS NOT LOT'S EFFECT ON THE PAGANS WHO HAD THE VISITATION OF 2 OF GOD'S MESSENGERS AND HAD SEEN THEIR POWER!).


Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry (literally the takers of) his daughters His sons-in-law were pledged to marry his daughters this would signify a formal marriage contract which was binding (this assumes there is still some ethical standard in Sodom) and thus the husbands-to-be could already be called his sons-in-law.

Bob Utley - Some assume that Lot's daughters were already married (BDB 542, KB 534, Qal ACTIVE PARTICIPLE, cf. the Septuagint and the Targums), but others believe they were only betrothed (cf. Josephus, the Vulgate, Rashi, and TEV).

NET NOTE - 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.

And said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy (shachaththe city.” - Clearly Lot believed the angels and gave these two urgent commands to his sons-in-law in a vain attempt to convince and motivate his future sons-in-law. 

(Lot's) backslidden life nullified his testimony when the crisis came.
-- William MacDonald

But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting - NET = "But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them." In the Piel stem it can also mean mocking. It seems Lot did not have a lot of influence on these two men, for his salt had become tasteless (Mt 5:13+)! Compromise with the world system had destroyed the effectiveness of his witness. The marriage contract of the sons-in-law would soon be broken by fire and brimstone! 

NET NOTE - These men mistakenly thought Lot was ridiculing them and their lifestyle. Their response illustrates how morally insensitive they had become.

S Lewis Johnson makes a good point - You see, the Christian man because of his worldliness has lost his testimony in the midst of the unsaved. It’s always that way. If you want to reach the lost, you have to be different, not the same, different. It is Abraham who is able to reach those who are outside of Christ, not Lot. 

Thompson adds "In the end, Lot lost much - his reputation, his wife, his family, his money and his home, Everything he once deemed as important was wiped out at the = judgment of God. 

Thompson  Lot’s message of God’s pending judgment had no credibility because his testimony had no credibility. Now he is talking about God’s judgment and those closest to him think it is funny.

Wenstrom - Lot’s sons-in-law were unbelievers indicating that Lot had violated a spiritual principle taught in the Word of God that no believer was to marry an unbeliever. (2Co 6:14-15+)

Jesting (06711)(tsachaq) means to laugh, toy with, make sport (Ge 39:14,17). To laugh outright in merriment or scorn, mockery or derision (Ge 21:9). Tsacaq conveys the idea of laughter, whether in joy or incredulity. The stronger Piel stem connotes positively, play and sport, or negatively, mockery and derision. Tsachaq expresses an attitude toward something promised (a son in their old age) that seemed impossible - Abraham laughed in faith (Ge 17:17), but Sarah laughed in unbelier (Ge 18:12, 13, 17). In Ex 32:6 tsachaq may have sexual or immoral overtones (cf Ge 26:8). 

There is an interesting play on the Hebrew word jesting (or laughed) (tsachaq) in Genesis 17-19 for it is used of 3 different individuals and gives rise to the name of a fourth individual - first of Abraham laughing (I think in joy) (Ge 17:17), next of Sarah laughing in disbelief (Ge 18:12, 13, 15) and finally of Lot's potential Sodomite son-in-laws "laughing" in mockery (Ge 19:14). And in light of all this laughing we see the name Isaac (Yitschaq - "he laughs") derives from (tsachaq) (Ge 17:19)! 

Gilbrant -A primary root, the verb tsāchaq, which means "to laugh," is used thirteen times in the Qal or Piel stems. All uses are in Genesis and Exodus, except for one use in Judges. An alternate form with similar meanings, sāchaq, occurs thirty-six times in later portions of Scripture. The Qal stem of tsāchaq denotes the action of laughter, and all six occurrences are in the account of events surrounding the birth of Isaac. When God announced to Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son, the ninety-nine-year-old fell to his face and laughed, thinking that it was impossible (Gen. 17:17). Sarah had the same reaction some weeks later when she overheard the Lord (in human form) announcing the same incredible promise (Gen. 18:12). Her laugh, like her husband's, was one of disbelief, and God pointed out her lack of faith (Gen. 18:13ff). A year later, however, the promised son was born, and Sarah's incredulous laugh turned to a laugh of joy (Gen. 21:6). Even the name of her newborn son Isaac meant "laughter."

In the Piel stem, tsāchaq can mean "to play," "to make sport," "to mock." The word often has a negative connotation. When Lot tried to warn his sons-in-law of the impending destruction of Sodom, they refused to take him seriously, assuming that he was simply jesting with them (Gen. 19:14). On the day Isaac was weaned, Ishmael was observed mocking him—an offense which ultimately led to the expulsion of him and his mother from Abraham's household (Gen. 21:9). The same spirit of mockery can be seen in the episode where the blind Samson was brought to the Philistine festival so that he could entertain and amuse the crowd, giving them an opportunity to taunt their old enemy (Judg. 16:25).

The Piel usage sometimes has strong sexual overtones. By claiming Joseph tried to seduce her, Potiphar's wife accused him of toying with the whole household and with her (Gen. 39:14, 17). When Isaac had claimed that Rebekah was merely his sister, the deception was uncovered when the Philistine king observed him "sporting" with her, obviously in the manner of a marriage relationship (Gen. 26:8). This gives a broad hint at the activities of Israel in the account of the golden calf, where Exo. 32:6 says that the people "rose up to play." (Complete Biblical Library)

Tsachaq - 13x/12v - caressing(1), entertained*(1), jesting(1), laugh(4), laughed(2), make sport(2), mocking(1), play(1). Gen. 17:17; Gen. 18:12; Gen. 18:13; Gen. 18:15; Gen. 19:14; Gen. 21:6; Gen. 21:9; Gen. 26:8; Gen. 39:14; Gen. 39:17; Exod. 32:6; Jdg. 16:25


"Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!" But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. —Genesis 19:14

If a person sees a house on fire and does everything he can to rescue the occupants, he is heralded as a hero. And that’s the way it should be. Why is it, then, that a Christian who accepts what God says in the Bible about hell and tries to warn people is ridiculed as an alarmist?

We read about a similar situation in Genesis 19, which tells of the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham’s nephew Lot was warned by God that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed. He urged his sons-in-law to leave the city, but his plea fell on deaf ears because they thought he was joking (v.14). But Lot was right. Judgment did come.

One of these days God’s wrath will again be poured out on the wicked of this earth. As believers, we’ll be delivered from His wrath because our sins have been forgiven. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to do for others what someone did for us—sound the warning and give the alarm! Unbelievers must be told of the only way to escape punishment. They may ridicule our message and make fun of us, but that doesn’t change the facts.

Let’s keep working to lead people to the safety that can be found in Christ alone. This world needs more “alarmists”! by Richard De Haan (Reprinted by permission from Our Daily Bread Ministries. Please do not repost the full devotional without their permission.)

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it—
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them,
Tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died.

The Gospel includes both a welcome and a warning

Genesis 19:15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.”

  • Urged Lt: Ge 19:17,22 Nu 16:24-27 Pr 6:4,5 Lu 13:24,25 2Co 6:2 Heb 3:7,8 Rev 18:4 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passage:

Genesis 18:25 “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”


When morning dawned - This is the next morning after the sad Sodomite scenario of the previous evening. One wonder how Lot slept that night! 

The angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away (saphah) in the punishment ('avon) of the city - Note that the entire city is guilty and awaiting dispensation of their punishment. The first for uses of swept away (saphah; Lxx - sunapollumi) refer to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah giving us an interesting picture of Jehovah "sweeping away" sinners and in effect "cleaning house!" (cf Samuel's warning to Israel - 1Sa 12:25+). 

It is notable that we see the same verb saphah here as we saw in Abraham's intercession in chapter 18, a finding which would seem to link his intercession causally with Lot's rescue

Genesis 18:23-24+   Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away (saphah; Lxx - sunapollumi) the righteous with the wicked? 24 “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away (saphah; Lxx - apollumi) and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?

Swept away (destroyed) (05595saphah means to scrape or sweep away, to snatch away, to catch up, to destroy, to perish, to be captured. The basic image of the root seems to be that of sweeping—both the process of heaping things together and of sweeping them away. The root is usually used in a hostile sense, particularly in contexts of judgment. David spent much of his life being swept away before his enemies, later, facing God's judgment for sin, he avoids the choice of being swept away before his enemies (1 Chron. 21:12-13). The judgment of God against sin is the subject of several contexts. Saphah described the fate of those in the rebellion of Korah when Moses "spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or you will be swept away in all their sin.”(Nu 16:26+)

Sunapollumi - from sun/syn = with, speaks of an intimate association + apollumi = from apo = away from or wholly + olethros = state of utter ruin <> ollumi = to destroy <> root of apollyon [Re 9:11] = destroyer) means to destroy together. The destruction in this context is one of losing their lives but not to causing them to cease to exist. Apollumi as it relates to men, speaks not of the loss of being per se, but is more descriptive of the loss of well-being. Apollumi then has the basic meaning of describing that which is ruined and is no longer usable for its intended purpose. The failure of the rest of the inhabitants of Jericho to possess eternal life by faith resulted in utter ruin in this life and the life to come, a life of eternal uselessness. Apollumi in no way speaks of cessation of existence (cp, annihilation) as some "scholars" falsely teach! See Eternal Punishment.

Saphah - 18x/18v -  add(2), captured(1), destroy(2), heap(1), perish(2), remove(1), snatched away(1), sweep away(2), swept away(6). Gen. 18:23; Gen. 18:24; Gen. 19:15; Gen. 19:17; Num. 16:26; Num. 32:14; Deut. 29:19; Deut. 32:23; 1 Sam. 12:25; 1 Sam. 26:10; 1 Sam. 27:1; 1 Chr. 21:12; Ps. 40:14; Prov. 13:23; Isa. 7:20; Isa. 13:15; Isa. 30:1; Jer. 12:4

Genesis 19:16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.

  • hesitated: Ps 119:60 Joh 6:44 
  • the LORD : Ex 34:6 Nu 14:18 De 4:31 1Ch 16:34 Ps 34:12 86:5,15 103:8-10 Ps 103:13 106:1,8 107:1 111:4 118:1 136:1 Isa 63:9 La 3:22 Mic 7:18,19 Lu 6:35,36 18:13 Ro 9:15,16,18 2Co 1:3 Eph 2:4,5 Tit 3:5 
  • brought: Jos 6:22 2Pe 2:9 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passage:

Psalm 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 


But - Term of contrast which is a change of direction. Lot should have been exiting, but instead he was procrastinating, forcing the angels to grab him and carry out a second rescue (cf Ge 19:10)! 

He hesitated (mahah) is translated in the Septuagint ih the verb tarasso which literally means shaken and figuratively refers to mental and/or spiritual agitation so that the person is disturbed, unsettled, agitated. Lot was a combination of all these emotions and become immobilized. He clearly seemed to believe the warning as he passed it on quickly to his future sons-in-law. One reasonable interpretation is that Lot had moved into Sodom and Sodom (the love of the world) had moved into his heart creating a reluctance to leave his lifestyle and all he had accumulated. He was not willing to sing This World (Sodom) is Not My Home! Lot had a treasure issue, as Jesus alludes to in Mt 6:21+ explaining "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Even a secular song knows better than Lot, as in the song "The Gambler" the lyrics go "Know when to hold them; know when to fold them;  know when to walk away and know when to run.” Lot's about to lose the "Lotto" of life!

Delayed obedience is complete disobedience
and could have resulted in Lot's death had not God mercifully intervened. 

Bruce K. Waltke writes, “Lot felt more secure inside an evil city that outside of it with God” (Borrow Genesis: A Commentary - page 278)

Warren Wiersbe - First, Lot lingered; then he argued; then he begged to be allowed to go his own way. Instead of being grateful for God’s mercy and obeying his rescuers, Lot resisted them and created trouble for them. In contrast, Abraham obeyed God’s will even to the point of offering up his own son.

So the men seized (chazaq - exerted strength; Lxx - krateo  - to grasp) his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters - Seized (chazaq - exerted strength) in the Lxx with krateo  which means they hands on them in order to hold them fast and/or get them into their power. The angels performed a "divine kidnapping" of the 4 deemed worthy of extraction. Each angel has two in tow, one in each hand, like little children who must be led across the street lest they scamper away. Notice that they did not seize the hands of the sons-in-law. 

For - Term of explanation. This explains the angelic rescue of Lot's family. 

The compassion (chemlah) of the LORD was upon him - The reason for rescue was not the righteousness of Lot, but because of the compassion of the LORD. Notice on whom the LORD showed passion? "Him" not them. The others experienced the benefit bestowed on Lot. Compassion is chemlah (from chamal - to spare), a rare Hebrew word for compassion (only here and Isa 63:9), and describes God's mercy in delivering from danger in both instances. The Septuagint translates chemlah here with the verb pheidomai which means to spare someone (cf use in Ro 8:32). This sense of sparing would apply to Lot for he was in grave danger by hesitating and in great need of angelic sparing! The point is that the reason Lot was spared was not because he was righteous, but because the LORD was compassionate, bestowing mercy, where mercy is not giving one what they deserve! 

There is likely another reason that the compassion of the LORD was upon Lot. Recall that Abraham had been interceding for Sodom and in Ge 19:29 it says "God remembered Abraham," undoubtedly alluding to his intercession in Genesis 18. 

The Lord often forces us into righteous choices even when we are unwilling.
-- Kenneth Gangel

And they brought him out, and put him outside the city - NLT says "rushed them to safety outside the city." They carried a forced separation from the sin of Sodom. I am reminded of the words in Rev 18:4 where John writes "I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her (BABYLON), my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues."   This reason, elsewhere described as God having remembered Abraham (Ge 19:29), is why, in the face of Lot’s seeming reluctance to leave (“lingered”), the angels personally and forcefully escorted him and his family beyond the city’s precincts.

Hesitated (04102)(mahah) means to linger, tarry, wait, delay, hesitate as Lot did in Ge 19:16. In Psalm 119:60 the Psalmist affirms that he has not delayed, but rather hastened to observe God's commandments. Habakkuk 2:3 encourages the prophet to wait for the fulfillment of the prophetic vision, since it had an appointed time and would be fulfilled. It may seem to delay, nevertheless it will not tarry, it will come.

Mahah - 9v -  delay(2), delayed(2), delaying(1), hesitated(1), tarries(1), wait(2). Gen. 19:16; Gen. 43:10; Exod. 12:39; Jdg. 3:26; Jdg. 19:8; 2 Sam. 15:28; Ps. 119:60; Isa. 29:9; Hab. 2:3

Genesis 19:17 When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”

  • one said: Ge 18:22 
  • Escape: Ge 19:14,15,22 1Sa 19:11 1Ki 19:3 Ps 121:1 Mt 3:7 24:16-18 Heb 2:3 
  • Do not look behind you: Ge 19:26 Lu 9:62 Lk 17:31,32 Php 3:13,14 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages: 

1 Corinthians 3:10-15+  (LOT IS A LOT LIKE BELIEVERS WHO WILL BE SAVED BUT "AS THROUGH FIRE" - PUN INTENDED!) According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 

Luke 9:62+ But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

2 Peter 2:9+ the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,


When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape (command) for your life! - Escape (malat) is a keyword in this last section (4x - Ge 19:17, 19, 20, 22) In all 4 uses of malat the Septuagint translates it with the verb sozo (Ge 19:19 - diasozo) which means to save, preserve from harm or rescue, all of these meaning applying to Lot's lot! The idea is to bring one safely out of a dangerous, threatening situation, in this case the imminent pouring down of fire and brimstone on Sodom. 

Do not look (jussive sense ~ command) behind you, and do not stay (jussive sense ~ command) anywhere in the valley; escape (command) to the mountains, or you will be swept away (saphah) - Note these are basically 3 more clear instruction conveying the sense of commands that must be obey or else they would be swept away. As described in Ge 19:26 Lot's wife (never specifically named) failed to obey and paid the ultimate price! 

NET NOTE on look - The Hebrew verb translated “look” signifies an intense gaze, not a passing glance. This same verb is used later in v. 26 to describe Lot’s wife’s self-destructive look back at the city.

Jesus used this OT example of the angel's clear warning in His warning in Luke 17:32-33+  “Remember (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve (zoogoneo) it." Jesus was warning His hearers not to look back to the world or the things in the world, for they would all perish and all who loved the world likewise would perish eternally

Bob Utley - "Anywhere in the valley" literally means "five cities." This referred to five major cities in the Jordan plain: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar, which is also called Bela (cf. Gen. 14:2).

Escape (be saved)(04422malat means primarily to escape, to flee and then to save, deliver or rescue. Malat is used within the context of fleeing for one's life as Lot was urged to do (Ge 19:17, 19, 20, 22). The usual emphasis is on the role of Yahweh in deliverance (Ps. 22:5, Ps. 107:20; Ps. 116:4;) God's salvation is for the righteous (Pr 28:26; Job 22:30) but his judgment on sin cannot be escaped (1Ki 19:17; Amos 2:14-15). Deliverance is possible only for those who call on him (Joel 2:32) as the protecting, delivering God. By contrast, escape is not found in the strength of a horse (Ps 33:17), the might of another nation (Isa 21:6), riches (Job 20:20), or in one's own understanding.

Malat - 85v - ertainly rescue(1), deliver(7), delivered(9), escape(26), escaped(25), escapes(3), gave birth(1), get away(1), lay(1), leap forth(1), left undisturbed(1), rescue(2), rescued(4), retain(1), save(8), saved(2). Gen. 19:17; Gen. 19:19; Gen. 19:20; Gen. 19:22; Jdg. 3:26; Jdg. 3:29; 1 Sam. 19:10; 1 Sam. 19:11; 1 Sam. 19:12; 1 Sam. 19:17; 1 Sam. 19:18; 1 Sam. 20:29; 1 Sam. 22:1; 1 Sam. 22:20; 1 Sam. 23:13; 1 Sam. 27:1; 1 Sam. 30:17; 2 Sam. 1:3; 2 Sam. 4:6; 2 Sam. 19:5; 2 Sam. 19:9; 1 Ki. 1:12; 1 Ki. 18:40; 1 Ki. 19:17; 1 Ki. 20:20; 2 Ki. 10:24; 2 Ki. 19:37; 2 Ki. 23:18; 2 Chr. 16:7; Est. 4:13; Job 1:15; Job 1:16; Job 1:17; Job 1:19; Job 6:23; Job 19:20; Job 20:20; Job 22:30; Job 29:12; Job 41:19; Ps. 22:5; Ps. 33:17; Ps. 41:1; Ps. 89:48; Ps. 107:20; Ps. 116:4; Ps. 124:7; Prov. 11:21; Prov. 19:5; Prov. 28:26; Eccl. 7:26; Eccl. 8:8; Eccl. 9:15; Isa. 20:6; Isa. 31:5; Isa. 34:15; Isa. 37:38; Isa. 46:2; Isa. 46:4; Isa. 49:24; Isa. 49:25; Isa. 66:7; Jer. 32:4; Jer. 34:3; Jer. 38:18; Jer. 38:23; Jer. 39:18; Jer. 41:15; Jer. 46:6; Jer. 48:6; Jer. 48:8; Jer. 48:19; Jer. 51:6; Jer. 51:45; Ezek. 17:15; Ezek. 17:18; Ezek. 33:5; Dan. 11:41; Dan. 12:1; Joel 2:32; Amos 2:14; Amos 2:15; Amos 9:1; Zech. 2:7; Mal. 3:15

Jon Courson (See Jon Courson's Application Commentary: Volume 1) - Throughout Scripture, the Lord continually calls His people to the mountains…

  • With Abraham, who was ready to sacrifice his son in obedience to the Lord’s command, He calls us to Mt. Moriah, the Mount of Devotion.
  • With the Israelites, who gathered to receive His commandments, the Lord calls us to Mt. Sinai, the Mount of Instruction.
  • With Moses, who viewed the Promised Land, He calls us to Mt. Pisgah, the Mount of Vision.
  • With Elijah, whose prayer brought down fire from heaven, He calls us to Mt. Carmel, the Mount of Passion.
  • With Peter, James, and John, who beheld the glory of the Lord, He calls us to Mt. Hermon, the Mount of Transfiguration.
  • The most important mountain to which God calls us is to Mt. Calvary, the Mount of Crucifixion, of death to self. As is our tendency, Lot was fearful to make such a journey.

Genesis 19:18 But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords!

  • Ge 32:26 2Ki 5:11,12 Isa 45:11  Joh 13:6-8 Ac 9:13 10:14 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords! - This speaks of Lot's failure to trust the Lord's protection and provision in the mountains. And so much for Lot's gratefulness for being rescued! One would have thought surely now he will obey without hesitation! That was not to be! 

NET NOTE on my lords - 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.

Steven Cole: Lot wants to barter with them to keep a bit of his old way of life intact. He thanks them for their mercy in saving him, but then he protests that he can’t flee to the mountains as they tell him to do. That would be just a bit too much. Instead, he wants permission to go to a small town nearby, the implication being that since the town was small (Zoar means “small ”), its sins won’t be too bad....Note that God didn’t prevent him. The Lord will let you hang onto your sinful way if you insist on it. (The Tragedy Of Worldly Believers)

Derek Kidner observes, “Not even brimstone will make a pilgrim of him: he must have his little Sodom again if life is to be supportable” (Borrow Genesis page 135)

Genesis 19:19 “Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die;

  • and you: Ps 18:1-50 40:1-17 103:1-22 106:1-107:43 116:1-19 1Ti 1:14-16 
  • for the disaster will overtake me: Ge 12:13 De 31:17 1Sa 27:1 1Ki 9:9 Ps 77:7-11 116:11 Mt 8:25,26 Mk 9:19 Ro 8:31 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Now behold, your servant ('ebed) has found favor (chen/hen; Lxx = eleos) in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness (hesed), which you have shown me by saving my life - This part of his speech is an appropriate response to God's salvation. He had indeed found favor (chen/hen), which in the Septuagint is the word eleos, which describes the outward manifestation of pity and assumes (1) a need on the part of the recipient (certainly true in Lot's case) and (2) the One bestowing mercy had sufficient resources to meet that need.

But - Term of contrast. Marks a significant change of direction in Lot's speech! 

I cannot escape (malat; diasozo - be saved thoroughly) to the mountains - Remember that the angels had told him to escape to the mountains in Ge 19:17 but here he says he cannot. He is blatantly disobeying their instruction. We would be justified in changing his "I cannot" to "I will not!" His statement is a "smoke screen," because in the context he wants to go to a small town, not to the mountains. He has become accustomed to life in the city, so is willing to settle for even a small city.

For (term of explanation) the disaster will overtake me and I will die - This rationalization indicates Lot doubts God's ability to save him from destruction. 

Not even brimstone will make a pilgrim of him:
he must have his little Sodom again if life is to be supportable.”
-- Derek Kidner

R Kent Hughes - Lot’s whimpering speech astounds us because he first acknowledged that he had found favor (grace) in God’s eyes and that God had kindly spared his life. And then Lot went on to state that he doubted God’s ability to preserve his life in the flight to the mountains! Unbelievably he had the nerve to ask God to send him to Zoar (Hebrew, “small”), which was a mini-Sodom itself. As Kidner well says, “Not even brimstone will make a pilgrim of him: he must have his little Sodom again if life is to be supportable.” We might think, Come on, God, strike this simpering, whimpering, wheedling weasel dead! But God astonished again by granting Lot his request. Such mercy and grace—even to people who fall so short of Noah and Abraham. Divine grace, not human righteousness, is the ultimate basis of salvation. One more astonishment: God spared Zoar because of righteous Lot—the one righteous man in town. Abraham’s intercession was answered in the preservation of Zoar. (Borrow Genesis: Beginning and Blessing page 274)

NET NOTE on overtake - The Hebrew verb דָּבַק (dabaq) normally means “to stick to, to cleave, to join.” Lot is afraid he cannot outrun the coming calamity.

Genesis 19:20 now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved.”

  • this: Ge 19:30 Pr 3:5-7 Am 3:6 
  • and my: Ge 12:13 Ps 119:175 Isa 55:3 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape (malat; Lxxsozo - be kept from harm)  there (is it not small?) that my life (nephesh - soul; Lxxpsuche) may be saved (chayah; Lxxzao - will live). - What is sad is his life had already been saved once by the angels pulling him out of Sodom. The second sad aspect is that the angels had already told him to escape to the mountains (Ge 19:17), but he was not willing to accept God's will for his life but wanted to maintain his city lifestyle (and look where that has gotten him so far)! He is using the nearness of the town Zoar (like a "suburb of Sodom" or a "satellite sin city") as a reason to justify going to there instead of to the mountains. He wants to maintain a little taste of "little Sodom" even though that taste has already been "bitter" in "big Sodom!" Lot in his vain attempts to keep his life (and lifestyle) will lose everything he had worked so hard for in a moment of time! By the grace and mercy of God and by the skin of his teeth, Lot was saved from death (John mentions there is "a sin unto death" 1 John 5:16+ and here). Yes, his life was saved, but his life and his family’s lives were wasted from an eternal point of view and worst of all there is absolutely no evidence that any of Lot's family members will join us in heaven! 

Urban life had its icy fingers around his throat. 
-- Kenneth Gangel

Derek Kidner observes, “Not even brimstone will make a pilgrim of him: he must have his little Sodom again if life is to be supportable” (Borrow Genesis p. 135).

Jon Courson (See Jon Courson's Application Commentary: Volume 1) - “No thanks, Lord,” we say. “I know You’re calling me to a new elevation and a greater revelation, but, Lord, I’ve got clients to meet, a quiche in the oven, a dripping faucet to fix. Going to the mountain just doesn’t fit in my schedule right now.” “The winter has passed; the rain is gone; the flowers appear on the earth. Come away, my beloved,” said the bridegroom to His bride. “You go ahead,” answers the bride, “I’m going to snooze” (see Song of Solomon 2). That’s what the bride said. That’s what Lot said. That’s all too often what we say.

H C Leupold calls this “a somewhat presumptuous plea by a weak and timid man. He does not seem to realize his extremity, nor to value sufficiently the undeserved favor bestowed upon him” (Borrow Exposition of Genesis - page 566)

Bruce K. Waltke writes, “Lot is pleading that God spare Bela (ED: ANOTHER NAME FOR ZOAR - Ge 14:2+), one of the cities of the plain otherwise under God’s judgment (Ge 19:25). He argues that, since the walled village is small, its quantity of sin is less and/or it is not worth bothering with. His argument betrays a lack of faith, a jaded spiritual evaluation of justice, and an effete taste for depraved urbanity (see note on Ge 19:18). His selfish plea that God spare Zoar as a place for him to live without regard to righteousness functions as a foil to Abraham’s plea for Sodom on the basis of God’s compassion and righteousness” (Borrow Genesis: A Commentary - page 278)

Genesis 19:21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken.

  • I grant you this request also Ge 4:7 Job 42:8,9 Ps 34:15 102:17 145:19 Jer 14:10 Mt 12:20 Lu 11:8 Heb 2:17 4:15,16 
  • which you have spoken: Ge 12:2 Ge 18:24 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


He said to him, “Behold (hinneh: Lxx - idou) I grant you this request also, not to overthrow (haphak; Lxx - katastrepho) the town of which you have spoken - The implication is that the town of Zoar which Lot alluded to was in the line of fire of the Lord's judgment. 

NET NOTE - 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 LORD here. Most English translations leave the referent of the pronoun unspecified and maintain the ambiguity.

Sailhamer - A reminder of the importance of Abraham's prayer in chapter 18 can be seen in the fact that with Lot's request the actual circumstances envisioned in Abraham's prayer are realized when God saved the city on account of the righteous ones in it. God had promised not to destroy the city "on behalf of" the righteous in it (Ge18:26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32). So now, though Sodom was destroyed, Zoar was saved from the destruction on account of Lot (v.21). (Borrow The Pentateuch As Narrative page 172)

Bob Utley "Behold, I grant you this" This is literally the Hebrew idiom "lift the face" (VERB, BDB 669, KB 724, Qal PERFECT plus "face," BDB 815). It comes from the judicial realm. If a judge "lifted the face" of an accused to see who he/she was, then his impartiality was jeopardized (cf. Lev. 19:15; Ps. 82:2; Pro. 18:5). The judge must be no respecter of persons. Lot, afraid that he could not make it to the mountains, asked for Bela (Zoar, BDB 858, the root means "to be insignificant"), which means "small" (BDB 859 I), "to be spared." The angels, surprisingly, approved his request (it seems in a sense all three angels represented YHWH's personal presence). This city was large enough to have a king, as is recorded in Gen. 14:2. This may theologically be another way to show the power of intercession (i.e., Abraham in Gen. 18:22-33).

Overthrow (02015) haphak is found in association with the expression of God's anger and wrath upon unrepentant Sodom and Gomorrah: Genesis 19:21, 25, 29; Deut. 29:23; Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 20:16; Jeremiah 49:18; Jeremiah 50:40; Amos 4:11; Lament. 4:6. Perhaps the use of this verb will shed light on the exact nature of the catastrophe. That it was a volcanic eruption seems unlikely. On the other hand, to translate hāpak in these instances as "annihilate" would suggest the disastrous effects of an earthquake, accompanied by lightning which ignited the natural gases of the Jordan Valley area, producing the terrible inferno (and cf. Job 28:5). By extension, God promises the same treatment to Jerusalem (2 Kings 21:13); Nineveh (Jonah 3:4); the unbelieving nations (Haggai 2:22, parallel with shāmad) and generally "the wicked" (Proverbs 12:7). Man is also capable of "overthrowing" (i.e. reducing to vassalage) another city (1 Chron. 19:3; 2 Samuel 10:3) or even mountains (Job 28:9, something God does too, Job 9:5).

Katastrepho (kata = down + strepho = turn) in classical Greek katastrephō means “to upset or overturn” something, “to destroy or ruin” something or someone, or “to turn away or mislead” someone (cf. Liddell-Scott). The Septuagint uses katastrephō to describe destruction brought as a result of God’s displeasure and judgment (Genesis 13:10; 19:21,25,29; Deuteronomy 29:23). Usually, then, katastrephō has a negative sense. In the NT Katastrephō pictures the “overturning” of the tables by Jesus of the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15).

Haphak in the Pentateuch - Gen. 3:24; Gen. 19:21; Gen. 19:25; Gen. 19:29; Exod. 7:15; Exod. 7:17; Exod. 7:20; Exod. 10:19; Exod. 14:5; Lev. 13:3; Lev. 13:4; Lev. 13:10; Lev. 13:13; Lev. 13:16; Lev. 13:17; Lev. 13:20; Lev. 13:25; Lev. 13:55; Deut. 23:5; Deut. 29:23;

Genesis 19:22 “Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar.  

  • for: Ge 32:25-28 Ex 32:10 De 9:14 Ps 91:1-10 Isa 65:8 Mk 6:5 2Ti 2:13 Tit 1:2 
  • called: Ge 13:10 14:2 Isa 15:5 Jer 48:34 
  • Zoar: i.e. little, Ge 19:20 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there - Notice the sovereign God makes absolutely sure that Lot is preserved and will not let His angels do anything until he arrived at Zoar! One can imagine the angels adding "And don't leave a forwarding address Lot!" This passage is reflective of God's absolutely amazing grace that He would withhold judgment until righteous Lot was extracted and safe.

THOUGHT - One possible consideration from this passage is that the church will be extracted before the tribulation begins. In other words God was destroying Sodom, but would safely remove Lot (he had to be seized - which reminds me of the Greek word harpazo which describes seizing of believers at the rapture). When God unleashes His righteous wrath in the Revelation 6-19, it would seem reasonable to believe that He would safely remove the Bride of Christ. What is the rapture of the church? |

Skip Heitzig adds - God Differentiates in Judgment Between the Godly and the Ungodly (1) Flood - saved the 8 (2) Hailstones on the Amorites (Joshua 10), (3) Those marked are spared (Ezekiel 9:4, 6), (4) 144,000 believing Jews (Revelation 7:3), (5) Rapture of the church (6) God doesn't destroy the righteous (2 Peter 2)

Bob Utley on "I cannot do anything until" The destroying angels are under orders to spare Lot and his family. This reflects either (1) the grace of YHWH or (2) the power of intercessory prayer (i.e., Ge 18:22ff) INTERCESSORY PRAYER

Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar - What is so significant about Zoar? If we compare Genesis 14:2,8+, we see that Zoar is clearly linked with the four cities which God overthrew (see Dt 29:23+). It therefore likely that Zoar was not exactly a mecca of godliness, but in fact was probably a lot like Sodom, just a much smaller version and was to be destroyed along with the other 4 cities, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim. This would explain why Lot desired to go to Zoar. It would therefore appear that this one righteous man resulted in sparing of Zoar which ultimately was related to Abraham's intercessory prayers in Genesis 18 (e.g., “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?...So the LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.”" - Ge 18:24,26+). The LORD now found one righteous man in Zoar and so he spared it!

The upshot is that Lot got out of the heart of Sodom,
but he could not get Sodom out of his heart! 

NET NOTE - 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 (Ge 19:20).

G Campbell Morgan - Gen. 19.22.
In these words we find the carrying out to the uttermost of the principle for which Abraham had contended in his communing with God. They reveal to us the fact that it is impossible for God to be untrue to His own character of righteousness. His judgments can never be inconsistent with His justice. All this is emphasized when, reading this whole story, we see the reluctance of Lot. He was a righteous man, vexed with the lawless deeds of the men of Sodom (2 Peter 2.7-8) ; but his associations with the city, and doubtless his possessions therein, were such that he lingered, and could hardly be persuaded to leave. While he was there God could not do anything, because to do so would have been to destroy that man, righteous, though reluctant to leave; and that would have been to deny Himself, and to undermine the very foundations upon which His throne is built. That is the truth which gives us confidence at all times. However terrible the judgments of God are, they are always discriminative; and even when to our limited vision it may appear that the righteous are involved with the wicked, we know it is not so. Amos had that conviction when he said: "I will sift the house of Israel among all the nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth" (Amos 9.9). This does not mean that the righteous never suffer as the result of the sin of others. They may suffer, and even die; it does mean that such suffering and death have another meaning.

Genesis 19:23 The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar.


The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Suns up and Lot's safe. As the angel had just said he could not do anything until Lot was safe in Zoar (Ge 19:22). This is a sad commentary on Lot for Zoar was apparently no better morally than Sodom, just on a smaller scale. Lot forgot the basic principle that which is found throughout the Bible -

"Do not be bound (present imperative with a negative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.  17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.  18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty." (2Co 6:14-18+)

THOUGHT - How's your "separation status" on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most separated from this sinful world system controlled by Satan)? Are you in the world but letting a little (or a "lot" - pun intended) of the world into your heart, into your family and your household (if so you need to ponder Lot's lot!) ? Or are you "in" the world but not "of" the world? Your choice to be "in" or "of" will make all the difference in this world and the world to come! 

Henry Morris -  Lot had been instructed to go to the mountain (Genesis 19:17), but he prevailed upon the angels to let him live in Zoar. He soon became unwelcome in Zoar, however, and went to the mountain after all (Genesis 19:30). It is always better to follow God's instructions directly.

Warren Wiersbe - The inhabitants of the cities of the plain had no idea that they were awakening that morning to the last day of their lives (Gen. 19:23). Life was going on as usual, and then the fire fell (Luke 17:26–30). When the judgment comes, will you be like Abraham and not have to worry about the wrath of God? Or, like Lot, will you be saved “as by fire’’? Or, like the people of Sodom, will you be lost forever?

Sailhamer has an interesting thought on the sun had risen - The mention of the sun ties this section together with Lot's early morning rescue (Ge 19:15) as well as with the larger biblical picture of the "sunrise" as an image of divine salvation for the righteous and divine judgment on the wicked (Isa 9:2+; Mal 4:1-2+). (Borrow The Pentateuch as Narrative page 172).

Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven,

  • the Lord: De 29:23 Job 18:15 Ps 11:6 Isa 1:9 13:19 Jer 20:16 49:18 50:40 La 4:6 Eze 16:49,50 Ho 11:8 Am 4:11 Zep 2:9 Mt 11:23,24 Lu 17:28,29 2Pe 2:6 Jude 1:7 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages: 

Luke 17:29-32+ but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 “It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 “On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32 “Remember Lot’s wife.

Malachi 4:1-2+  (SODOM'S FIRE WAS JUST A PREVIEW OF "COMING ATTRACTIONS!") “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” 2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness (MESSIAH) will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.

Jude 1:7  just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. 


Then - When is then? Don't miss this! Once Lot was safely out of the "line of fire" in little Zoar. We see a similar sequence with Noah. The destroying flood of God's holy wrath did not occur until AFTER Noah and family were IN the Ark.

THOUGHT TO PONDER - In the last days of this present evil age (Gal 1:4+), God's wrath will be finally and fully unleashed against a Christ rejecting, God hating world in the 7 year period often called the Tribulation, but more accurately name "The Seventieth Week of Daniel." I believe that the Bride of Christ, His church, will be removed to safety prior to the pouring out of God's righteous wrath (Revelation 6-18). I believe God will treat His children just the same in the time of the impending wrath in the Revelation as He did for His children in the book of Genesis! (SEE THE RAPTURE)

 Our God is a consuming fire.
-- Hebrews 12:29

The LORD rained on Sodom (sedomand Gomorrah (Amorahbrimstone (gophrithand fire from the LORD out of heaven - Here we have a "microcosm" of hell or at least a preview of "coming attractions"! Note this is the LORD's firestorm out of heaven, not some volcanic eruption, or other naturalistic explanation that a number of commentators try to invoke. The text is clear -- (1) from the LORD and (2) out of heaven! Case closed! I generally like Dr Morris, but his naturalistic explanation seems to take away from the sovereign power of God to supernaturally destroy Sodom. God did it, so that settles it!

NET NOTE - Or “burning sulfur” (the traditional “fire and brimstone”). The text explicitly states that the sulfur and fire that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah was sent down from the sky by the LORD. What exactly this was, and how it happened, can only be left to intelligent speculation (ED: See also Sodom and Gomorrah Revisited - David Howard JETS, 1984) (ED: I DON'T THINK WE NEED TO SPECULATE - GOD CREATED THIS FIERY "RAIN" AND IT CAME FROM HEAVEN!)

Bob Utley - "the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven" It seems rather unusual that the term "YHWH" is used twice here. Jewish commentators call the term the plural of majesty, while Christian commentators see something of the Trinity here (see SPECIAL TOPIC: THE TRINITY. As a matter of fact, the Council of Sirmium commented on this verse as follows, "God the Son brought down the rain from God the Father." We learn from Gen. 14:10 of the presence of tar pits in this region and apparently, somehow, through lightening or raining fire (cf. Ezek. 38:22; Luke 17:29; Rev. 14:10; 19:20; 20:10), God caused this entire region to ignite and explode (cf. Jude 7). Again note the supernatural preservation of Zoar. This is similar to Goshen being protected from the ten plagues. Fire is always associated with the cleansing judgment of YHWH. See SPECIAL TOPIC: FIRE

Henry Morris - brimstone and fire (ED: I DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS "SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION" BUT MENTION IT TO ILLUSTRATE HOW SOME INTERPRET THE FIRE FROM HEAVEN).  The precise nature of the physical agents used by God in the destruction of the five cities of the plain is uncertain. "Brimstone" is usually associated with sulfur, but the word may be used for any inflammable substance. The word "fire" is also used here for the first time in the Bible and could be understood either as a divine fire (Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38) or as gases and other combustibles ignited in a volcanic explosion falling to earth after their eruption. The entire region gives abundant evidence of tremendous volcanic activity in the past, although most of this probably antedated Abraham, occurring in the later stages of the Flood and in the early decades following the Flood. The area is still very active tectonically, lying astride the Great Rift Valley, extending all the way from the Jordan River Valley into southern Africa. Unless the judgment was entirely miraculous, (ED: WHICH I THINK IT WAS!) in its physical nature as well as its timing, the most likely explanation seems to be the sudden release by an earthquake and volcanic explosion of great quantities of gas, sulfur and bituminous materials that had accumulated from materials trapped beneath the valley floor during the Flood. These were ignited by a simultaneous electrical storm, so that it appeared to Abraham, watching from afar, that "the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace" (Genesis 19:28).

Brimstone (01614)(gophrith) sulfur, brimstone. Literally of what God used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Figuratively it speaks of God's judgment on the wicked (Ps 11:6, Ezek 38:22) In Isa 30:33 it describes Topheth where the "breath of the LORD, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire." It is used of any inflammable substance since the word comes from the noun gopher, which would refer to pitch and then later came to represent other combustibles such as sulfur. To this day, the Dead Sea area reeks of sulphurous fumes and asphalt deposits are found.

Gilbrant - This noun occurs in a number of other Semitic languages, often with a kaph instead of a gimmel as the initial consonant. It occurs seven times in the Hebrew Bible. Gophrîth is a noun meaning "sulphur." It is sometimes called "brimstone." It probably comes from gōpher which would refer to pitch, and then later came to stand for other combustibles such as sulphur. It is used in contexts which allude to the absolute destruction of a locale. It is first used in Gen. 19:24 when God rains sulfur and fire from heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah. The mention of sulfur is meant to bring to the reader's remembrance the destruction of these cities for their immorality, with an overt simile appearing in the next verse (Deut. 29:23). Further, sulfur rains upon Gog (Ezek. 38:22) and the wicked (Ps. 11:6), a meteorological event based upon the Sodom and Gomorrah experience. Sulfur is the ultimate expression of desolation, again echoing the perpetual destruction of these cities. The land of the wicked shall be sulfur (Job 18:15), and Ezekiel asserts "the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch and her soil into sulfur..." (Job 34:9). Yahweh's breath, "like a stream of sulfur," will kindle the pyre of the king of Assyria (Isa. 30:33). This imagery is a metaphorical allusion to the destructive power of Yahweh. The end of the king is permanent, as any destruction involving sulfur.

Gophrith - 7v - Gen. 19:24; Deut. 29:23; Job 18:15; Ps. 11:6; Isa. 30:33; Isa. 34:9; Ezek. 38:22

Gomorrah (06017)(Amorah) is said to mean "submersion" in several sources and is the literal city filled with iniquity which God destroyed. The name is also used figuratively of iniquity (Isa 1:10 Je 23:14) Gilbrant - "The cities of Sidon, Gerar, Gaza, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Lasha were listed as border cities of Canaan (Gen. 10:19). Gomorrah was likely located along the east or southeast of the Dead Sea in the fertile Jordan plain. The richness of the region lured Lot to settle there when given the choice by Abraham (cf. Gen. 13:10). Later, the king of Gomorrah joined a coalition of other cities to rebel against Kedorlaomer, king of Elam (Gen. 14:1ff). The armies of Sodom and Gomorrah were routed, and many fleeing soldiers fell into the tar pits strewn about the valley. As a result, Lot and his possessions were seized (Gen. 14:8-12). Sodom and Gomorrah are permanently remembered for their legendary wickedness, being the most famous of the five cities of the plain. The Lord warned Abraham that He would destroy those cities because of their apostasy. Then Abraham negotiated for divine mercy upon them if the Lord could find as few as ten righteous individuals in those cities (Gen. 18:20-33). Unfortunately, there were not even ten. The Lord then rained down burning sulfur upon Gomorrah and the other towns of the plain, thus destroying all living things, including the vegetation. The rising smoke of the annihilation could be seen from a great distance away (Gen. 19:24-30). This destruction was recollected on several occasions for the purpose of prophetic warning against those engaging in wickedness (Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9f; 13:19). For example, lying prophets (Jer. 23:14), Edom (Jer 49:18), the Babylonians (jer 50:40), obstinate Israel (Amos 4:11) and Moab and Ammon (Zeph. 2:9) were forewarned that they would suffer a similar fate as Sodom and Gomorrah. (Complete Biblical Library)

Amorah - 19v - Gen. 10:19; Gen. 13:10; Gen. 14:2; Gen. 14:8; Gen. 14:10; Gen. 14:11; Gen. 18:20; Gen. 19:24; Gen. 19:28; Deut. 29:23; Deut. 32:32; Isa. 1:9; Isa. 1:10; Isa. 13:19; Jer. 23:14; Jer. 49:18; Jer. 50:40; Amos 4:11; Zeph. 2:9

James Freeman - Borrow Manners & customs of the Bible page 30 - SODOM AND GOMORRAH - Sodom and Gomorrah were filled with evilness and sexual perversion: “Then the LORD said [to Abraham], ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know’ ” (Genesis 18:20–21).

God sent two angels in the form of men to advise all good men to leave the evil towns, but they found only one good man, Lot, Abraham’s nephew, and so God destroyed the cities. Before the destruction, the angels guided Lot and his wife and two daughters out from Sodom into the countryside, and warned them not to look back. When Lot’s wife failed to heed the warning and looked back, perhaps to see what was going to happen to the cities or perhaps in longing, she was turned into a pillar of salt. The sexual perversion of sodomy that male homosexuals practice derives its name from the city of Sodom.

Genesis 19:25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 

Related Passages:

Ps 107:33-34+ He changes rivers into a wilderness And springs of water into a thirsty ground;  34 A fruitful land into a salt waste, Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it. 

Jude 1:7  just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. 

Genesis 13:10+  Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere–this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah–like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar.

and He overthrew (haphak; Lxx - katastrephothose cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground - Notice the Septuagint translation of overthrew (haphak) is katastrepho is the root source of the English word catastrophe which is defined as ""reversal of what is expected" (especially a fatal turning point in a drama, the winding up of the plot)." Indeed, Jesus says that in the last days, the days of the Son of Man (Lk 17:26+), it will be just "the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building, but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all." (Lk 17:28-29+). In other words, to use the English definition above, Sodom was a "reversal of what is expected" and it will be the same at the end of this age when the angels pour out the last 7 Bowl Judgments filled with the wrath of God (Revelation 16:1-21+). As an aside, given the fact that God utterly destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, we should not be surprised that there have been no ruins found. This cities were completely obliterated! 

Wenstrom - Genesis 19:25 records that not only were all the inhabitants of the cities of the plain destroyed but also each and every thing that grew on the ground so that no vegetation could grow. This fact reveals a spiritual principle that we noted in our study of the fall of Adam recorded in Genesis 3:17-19 that the land is cursed by association with its inhabitants. Israel was taught this principle by the prophet Isaiah 24:5, 6

Bob Utley - "He overthrew those cities" This Hebrew term "overthrew" (BDB 245, KB 253, Qal IMPERFECT with waw) means to turn upside down and thereby destroy. Sodom's destruction is used throughout Scripture to denote divine judgment (cf. Deut. 29:23; Isa. 13:19; Jer. 49:18; 50:40; Amos 4:11). This destruction was the personal judgment of YHWH. He would do the same to the Canaanite cultures that Joshua would face in the conquest of Canaan.

Some have compared Sodom's lot to the fire bombing at Dresden in WWII, but clearly it is not truly comparable because their are ruins indicating Dresden was not totally obliterated. 

Note that the historicity of the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah is emphasized throughout Scripture (Deut. 29:23; Isa. 13:19; 49:18; Jer. 49:18; 50:40; Amos 4:11; Lk. 17:28 29; 2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 7).

QUESTION - Have the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah been found along with evidence they were destroyed by a meteor?

ANSWER - Genesis 19 tells the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, lived in Sodom with his family. His daughters were engaged to local men. Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom, the area where financial and judicial transactions took place, when two angels came into town. Lot invited them to stay with his family. After a rather exciting evening, the angels made sure Lot, his wife, and his two daughters left before God destroyed the city (Genesis 19:13). As they fled, the angels warned them, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away” (Genesis 19:17).

Lot ran, his daughters close behind. “But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). She lagged behind. She turned and watched the flaming sulfur fall from the sky, consuming everything she valued. Then it consumed her. The Hebrew for “looked back” means more than to glance over one’s shoulder. It means “to regard, to consider, to pay attention to.” The Scriptures don’t say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly. Either she identified too much with the city—and joined it—or she neglected to fully obey God’s warning, and she died.

We’re fortunate to receive similar warnings. Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us to take off the old self that is ruled by sin and be renewed, putting on the new self that is in the likeness of God. Similarly, 1 John 5:16 says that willful, deliberate sin can lead to death. Lot’s wife wasn’t able to accept that. What she chose to value in her heart led her to sin, which led to her death.

The Bible isn’t clear whether Lot’s wife was covered in the salt that rained down with the brimstone or if her remains were dusted with a coating of salt later. But it is interesting that she is described as a “pillar.” The Hebrew for “pillar” refers to a garrison or a deputy, that is, something set to watch over something else. The image of Lot’s wife standing watch over the Dead Sea area—where to this day no life can exist—is a poignant reminder to us not to look back or turn back from the profession of faith we have made, but to follow Christ without hesitation and abide in His love (Luke 17:32).

Genesis 19:26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.  

  • looked: This unhappy woman, says the Rev. T. Scott, "looked back," contrary to God's express command, perhaps with a hope of returning, which latter supposition is favoured by our Lord's words, "Let him not return back:  remember Lot's wife."  She was, therefore, instantaneously struck dead and petrified, and thus remained to after ages a visible monument of the Divine displeasure. Ge 19:17 Pr 14:14 Lu 17:31-32 Heb 10:38 
  • and: Nu 16:38 

Related Passages:

Luke 17:31-32+ “On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32 “Remember (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) Lot’s wife. (See note below)



Just to clarify, the picture above is not completely accurate. Why? Because Lot had to arrive in Zoar BEFORE God poured out the wrath (cf Ge 19:23,24) but the picture shows him still walking away from Sodom. 

But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt - NET - "But Lot's wife looked back longingly" NLT = "But Lot's wife looked back as she was following behind him." She let Sodom physically, but her heart remained in Sodom! Note his wife tarried and apparently fell way behind as explained by Hughes below. The verb for looked (back is added by NASB) is the verb nabat which can describe anything from a mere glance (1Sa 17:42) to a careful, sustained, and  contemplation (Isa 5:12; Ps 74:20; Ps 119:6, 15, Hab 1:5). The Septuagint translates nabat with the verb epiblepo which means to gaze at (in her case I think it was to gaze longingly), to look intently or to look with close attention! Lot's wife had earthly, horizontal vision, not heavenly, vertical vision and as a result she lost her life temporally and probably eternally (as she is never described as righteous.)  It is interesting that today in the Dead Sea region there are many pillars of salt. A number of these have from time to time been called “Lot’s wife” by the Arabs. See Wikipedia on Lot's Wife

THOUGHT- Lot's wife needed Vertical Vision! She was like those in Php 3:19+ "whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things," not like those in Php 3:20,21+ who "eagerly wait (apekdechomai in present tense = as our lifestyle! - used in a similar sense in Ro 8:23,25+, Heb 9:28+) for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself." How's your vision beloved? Is it 20/20 spiritually speaking? Is it primarily "vertically" or "horizontally" directed? Your "vision" will make all the difference in this world and the one to come! (See 1 Ti 4:8+, 2 Cor 4:18+). 

R Kent Hughes has a great observation noting that "Her backward look was far more than momentary because the destruction of the cities did not begin until Lot and his daughters were safe in Zoar. Evidently she refused all encouragements to leave and lingered far behind. There were no angels to grasp her unwilling hand as the deathly rain rushed toward her." (Borrow Genesis: Beginning and Blessing page 274)

Lot's wife should have been singing "I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back; the cross before me; the world behind me." 

It is interesting that today in the Dead Sea region there are many pillars of salt. A number of these have from time to time been called “Lot’s wife” by the Arabs.

NET NOTE - 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.

Bob Utley - Readers are not sure exactly what happened here, but it is obvious that Lot's wife's heart was still in Sodom and she reaped a just recompense (cf. Luke 17:32). She became a memorial of disobedience! Not only was Lot's wife affected by their time in Sodom, but also his daughters, which is evident from Gen. 19:30-38.

This remarkable happening is stated matter-of-factly, with no suggestion that it was a special miracle or divine judgment. Lot's wife "looked back" (phrase might even be rendered "returned back" or "lagged back") & was destroyed in the "overthrow" (Ge19:25,29) of the city. So clearly from the NT allusion by Jesus in ((note Christ's reference to this in Lu17:32,33) Lot's wife sought to keep her comfortable life in Sodom rather than to lose it with the result that she lost her life physically & almost assuredly eternally. She did not endure to the end (cp Mt24:13 cp Heb3:18,19). Interestingly there are many great deposits of rock salt in the region & one is probably Mrs. Lot!

Steven Cole (The Tragedy Of Worldly Believers) - A Presbyterian pastor reported that he was talking with a colleague about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. She said, “Well, if that’s the way God really is, then I’m not going to believe in Him!” That’s strange logic! If God is a holy God who pours out His wrath on unbelieving sinners, then we had better believe in Him!

You may not like the idea of a holy God who judges unrepentant sinners. But your not liking it doesn’t change who God is! The fact is, you cannot believe in Jesus Christ, even as merely a good teacher, and not believe in the awful terrors of hell, because Jesus spoke often and plainly about it. In fact, Jesus used this story of Sodom’s destruction, which overtook them as they went about their daily routines, to warn us of God’s final judgment. He said, “But on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.... Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:29–30, 32+).

Jonathan Edwards, in a sermon on the text, “Remember Lot’s wife,” points out the numerous descriptions of hell given in Scripture: blackness of darkness, a never-dying worm, a furnace of fire, a lake of fire and brimstone, etc. He explains that the reason so many metaphors are used is because none of them are sufficient to represent the awful misery of that place. He then states,

You have therefore much more need to make haste in your escape, and not to look behind you, than Lot and his wife had when they fled out of Sodom; for you are every day and every moment in danger of a thousand times more dreadful storm coming on your heads, than that which came on Sodom, when the Lord rained brimstone and fire ... out of heaven upon them; so that it will be vastly more sottish in you to look back than it was in Lot’s wife. (THE FOLLY OF LOOKING BACK IN FLEEING OUT OF SODOM)

There were probably many in Sodom who said, “If that hypocrite Lot is a believer, then I don’t want any part of it.” They perished in their sin. Perhaps others thought, “I’m a better person than that phony Lot,” and maybe they were better. But they perished that awful day. Others said, “I believe in a God of love, not a God of judgment.” They found out that their belief didn’t change who God is. They perished. The only ones who were saved were those who were the objects of God’s compassion (Ge 19:16), who heeded the urgent warning of the angels and fled for their lives.

I once preached a funeral service where the family had printed on the memorial bulletin John 3:16. But it was printed as follows: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.” But they left out some crucial words: “whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Either you have eternal life through faith in Jesus or you shall perish! I urge you as the angels urged Lot, “Escape for your life!” Flee to Jesus Christ and you will not perish in the day of God’s judgment!

"Lot's Wife" pillar of salt, Mount Sodom, Israel.
"Lot's Wife's" Pillar at Mt Sodom

QUESTION - Why was Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt?

ANSWER - Genesis 19 tells the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, lived in Sodom with his family. His daughters were engaged to local men. Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom, the area where financial and judicial transactions took place, when two angels came into town. Lot invited them to stay with his family. After a rather exciting evening, the angels made sure Lot, his wife, and his two daughters left before God destroyed the city (Genesis 19:13). As they fled, the angels warned them, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away” (Genesis 19:17).

Lot ran, his daughters close behind. “But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). She lagged behind. She turned and watched the flaming sulfur fall from the sky, consuming everything she valued. Then it consumed her. The Hebrew for “looked back” means more than to glance over one’s shoulder. It means “to regard, to consider, to pay attention to.” The Scriptures don’t say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly. Either she identified too much with the city—and joined it—or she neglected to fully obey God’s warning, and she died.

We’re fortunate to receive similar warnings. Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us to take off the old self that is ruled by sin and be renewed, putting on the new self that is in the likeness of God. Similarly, 1 John 5:16 says that willful, deliberate sin can lead to death. Lot’s wife wasn’t able to accept that. What she chose to value in her heart led her to sin, which led to her death.

The Bible isn’t clear whether Lot’s wife was covered in the salt that rained down with the brimstone or if her remains were dusted with a coating of salt later. But it is interesting that she is described as a “pillar.” The Hebrew for “pillar” refers to a garrison or a deputy, that is, something set to watch over something else. The image of Lot’s wife standing watch over the Dead Sea area—where to this day no life can exist—is a poignant reminder to us not to look back or turn back from the profession of faith we have made, but to follow Christ without hesitation and abide in His love (Luke 17:32).

QUESTION - What does it mean to “remember Lot’s wife” in Luke 17:32?

ANSWER - In speaking to His disciples about a coming time of great destruction, Jesus mentioned what happened to Lot’s wife and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. “Remember Lot’s wife!” He said. “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:32–33).

The story of Lot and his wife is found in Genesis 19. God had determined to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness (Genesis 18:16–33), and two angels warned Abraham’s nephew Lot to evacuate the city so he and his family would not be destroyed. In Genesis 19 we read, The two [angels in the form of] men said to Lot, ‘Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it’” (Ge 19:12–13).

At dawn the next day, the angels hurried Lot and his family out of Sodom so they would not be destroyed with the city. When Lot hesitated, “the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, ‘Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!’” (Genesis 19:16–17).

As the family fled, “the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens” (Genesis 19:24). But, then, in disobedience to the angel’s command, “Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Ge 19:26).

Lot’s wife lost her life because she “looked back.” This was more than just a glance over the shoulder; it was a look of longing that indicated reluctance to leave or a desire to return. Whatever the case, the point is she was called to desert everything to save her life, but she could not let go, and she paid for it with her life. In Judaism, Lot’s wife became a symbol for a rebellious unbeliever.

Jesus cites this story in Luke 17, as He describes a future event: “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Lk 17:28–33).

When “the Son of Man is revealed,” it will be time for people to flee. There will be no time to take anything along. If you see the sign when you are on the roof (a rooftop deck with exterior stairs was a common feature of houses at the time), you should not even take time to go into the house to gather up your possessions. You need to get out and “don’t look back.” Lot’s wife is the example of what will happen if you do. If you try to save your life (that is, your things that your life is made up of), you will lose everything. Leave it all to save your life.

The scenario is similar to a person who wakes up in the middle of the night to find the house in flames. That person might be tempted to run around and gather up valuable items, but the delay might prevent escape—all the things will be lost, as well as the person’s life. It is better to leave it all behind and get out with your life. The principle is clear, but the exact referent is more difficult to discern.

The revelation of the Son of Man is the event in view in Luke 17. Mark 13:14–16 records much the same message without the mention of Lot’s wife. There, the sign is “the abomination that causes desolation” (see also Matthew 24:15–18). Finally, Jesus mentions a similar situation in Luke 21:20–21: “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.”

The above passages are open to several different approaches to interpretation, centered on when this will take place. If we are correct that all of these passages describe roughly the same event(s), it would seem that “the day the Son of Man is revealed,” “the abomination that causes desolation,” and “Jerusalem surrounded by armies” all refer to the signal that it is time to flee.

Outside of Luke 17, the warnings to flee are found in the context of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (see Luke 21:5–7 and Mark 13:1–4). In Matthew 24:1–3, Jesus also deals with the destruction of the temple, except there the disciples also ask specifically about “the sign of your coming and the end of the age.” So, at least some of the prophecy was fulfilled in the first century with the destruction of the temple, but that does not preclude a future, fuller fulfillment at the second coming. The wording in Luke 17, in which Jesus speaks of the revelation of the Son of Man, certainly seems to suggest the second coming (see Colossians 3:4).

Jewish believers in the first century faced persecution from Rome, often at Jewish instigation. As long as Christians were considered a sect of Judaism, they enjoyed religious freedom as Jews. However, as they were denounced by Jewish leaders and no longer considered part of Judaism, the full force of Roman expectations applied to them, including the requirement to affirm the creed “Caesar is Lord” and offer sacrifices to Caesar. If Christians failed to do this, they could be punished, imprisoned, or even killed. As a result, believing Jews faced continual pressure to “go back to the temple.” The book of Hebrews encourages believing Jews to remain true to Christ and not return to the Old Covenant system of the temple, priests, and sacrifices. Hebrews explains that the Old Covenant has passed.

There may have been some believing Jews in Judea who still had some attachment to the temple. In Luke 17, Jesus warns that there will come a time when they see a symbol of impending judgment, and they will need to get out of the area as quickly as possible. Just as God rained down wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah, He will judge Jerusalem. The coming wrath is no time for divided loyalties. While many believed that God would never allow the temple to be destroyed, Jewish Christians knew that the usefulness of the temple had passed and its days were numbered. They could stay on in Jerusalem and witness of the resurrected Christ, but when they saw that judgment was about to fall, they knew to get out. Eusebius in his Church History records that they did escape. By abandoning everything and getting out of the city, the Christians not only saved their lives but also gave testimony to the fact that the Old Covenant had been replaced by the New.

A similar sentiment is expressed by Jesus in other contexts, although Lot’s wife is not mentioned. Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). In context, Jesus is talking about people who want to follow Him but are hindered by their concern for other things. It is not just that they look back, but they have divided loyalties, like Lot’s wife.

Jesus also used the statement “whoever wants to save his life shall lose it” in a number of different contexts (Matthew 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24; 17:33). Regardless of the specifics of the context, following Jesus requires turning our backs on the “life” that this world offers. Attempting to “save your life” is the same as “looking back.” Attachment to our “old life” will cause us to lose our lives, and Lot’s wife is the illustration and example that we would do well to

Genesis 19:27 Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the LORD;

  • early: Ps 5:3 
  • to the: Ge 18:22-33 Eze 16:49,50 Hab 2:1 Heb 2:1 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the LORD - Presumably this is the morning after the encounter with the 3 men in Ge 18:2ff. One wonders how Abraham slept that night knowing destruction was coming and knowing his nephew Lot was in the line of divine fire? The place where he had stood before the LORD is the place he had interceded with the LORD for the city of Sodom (Ge 18:22-33). 

Bob Utley "to the place where he had stood before the Lord" This is an idiom for being in the presence of Deity (cf. Gen. 18:22; Lev. 9:5; Deut. 10:8).

F B Meyer - Genesis 19:27 Abraham got up early to the place where he stood before the Lord, and looked. 

There was not much sleep that night for this loyal heart! With the spring of day he was where, probably, Lot, years before, had looked on the face of the country, and beheld it as a garden of the Lord. But how great the contrast! The smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace!

Have a place where you stand before God. — It may not always be to speak to Him, but to be spoken to, to be judged, to have the motives and intentions of the heart winnowed and sifted. Well is it to stand each day before the judgment-seat of Christ, and to receive his verdict on our innermost life. Oh that the grass of that trysting-place may be well worn through our frequent intercourse with our beloved Lord!

Follow up your prayers. — Abraham was not content with shooting arrows into the air; he followed them to see how they sped, and where they fell. We do not need to reiterate our petitions with unbelieving monotony, as though they were not safe in God’s keeping; but we should remind Him by our upward look that our expectation is from Him.

View the fate of the ungodly from God’s standpoint. — We are apt to consider it from that of our own pity, or commiseration, or tolerance of shortcoming. We judge lightly, because we dread too searching a judgment on ourselves. But we need sometimes to see sin as God sees it. Stand on Calvary and learn what sin is, and how much it has cost the Savior. There, too, you will learn that God goes further than his servants’ prayers. Though He may not be able to discover the ten, yet He will deliver the one righteous man. “His countenance doth behold the upright.”

James Smith -  A SOLEMN REFLECTION Genesis 19:27, 28

“Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord; and he looked toward Sodom; … and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” This was a sacred spot to him. Here the Lord met him, and here he made intercession for the righteous in Sodom. Now from this holy place he beholds the judgment of God. Those flame-girt columns of smoke declare the fulfilment of His word, and reveal His awful character when dealing in righteousness with sin and guilt. “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). It is when we stand like Abraham in these high and heavenly places, walking by faith in fellowship with the Lord, and in the spirit of intercession, that we see and understand what a holy, sin-hating God we worship. As we in imagination stand with Abraham gazing on the fiery doom of Sodom, let us reflect on the—

I. Awfulness of Sin. It constrained the Lord to come down from Heaven to deal with it (Ge 18:20, 21). The cry of Israel in Egypt brought the Lord down to deliver. The cry of Sodom brought Him down to destroy. The cry of the world’s need brought Jesus our Lord from Heaven that He might deal with it. When God comes in grace He deals with sin, putting it away by the sacrifice of Himself. When He comes in judgment He deals with the sinner, putting him away. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).

II. Certainty of Judgment. “We will destroy this place; … the smoke went up” (Ge 19:13–28). A man might as well hope to escape from his own shadow as from guilt and punishment so long as his sins are unforgiven. The judgment of God may slumber, and guilt may lift up its haughty and defiant head; but (1) it is certain; (2) it may be sudden; (3) it will be complete.

III. Sovereignty of Grace. As Abraham looked with tear-filled eyes upon the smoke of perishing Sodom he might have asked himself, “Why am I not there? How have I been saved from it? Why was I called out of Ur? What better was I than many left in their sins?” The answer is, “By grace are ye saved” (Eph. 2:8).

IV. Security of Believers. “I can do nothing till thou be come hither.” “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” God will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. All who belong to Him are under a special providence. God said to Moses, “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them” (Num. 16:21). Before the flood came the righteous were shut up in the ark. Before the judgments are poured out on the earth the Church will be translated to Heaven. “Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:28).

V. Importance of Witness-Bearing. The Sodomites, like the men of this world, were under condemnation, but believed it not. God has not left us in ignorance of our doom if we reject His Son. “He that believeth not is condemned already” (John 3:18)

VI. Value of Present Opportunity. Soon our day of testimony will be over. Soon those among whom we live will be clothed in white robes before God, or rapt up in the smoke of torment. Lot’s twenty years in Sodom were fruitless to God. Now the day of his privilege is gone and his very companions perish in their sins. Behold, now is the accepted time both for salvation and service (see Jude 20–23).

Genesis 19:28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace.  

  • Ps 107:34 2Pe 2:7 Jude 1:7 Rev 14:10,11 18:9,18 19:3 21:8 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passage:

Psalm 91:8 You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. 


and he looked down (saqap) toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold (hinneh), the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace - When Abraham saw Sodom burning, he knew that God had not found even 10 righteous men in the city! It is fascinating that the verb looked down (saqap) is translated in the Septuagint with the verb epiblepo which means literally to "look upon" and so to gaze at, to look intently or to look at with close attention! Epiblepo is the same verb used to describe Lot's wife look back at Sodom in Ge 19:26! What a difference in these two looks! One person was warned not to look and disobeyed with  salty consequences. The other person had no warning not to look and suffered no consequenes

Recall that Genesis 18:1 records this high elevation as being the “oaks of Mamre,” located in Hebron, nineteen miles southwest of Jerusalem, and was 3,040 feet above sea level.

NET NOTE - 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?”

Looked down (08259saqap It means "to look down on, to overlook. It has the sense of God looking down, observing from above. The basic idea is "to look down at a sharp angle from a great height" as one would look down from a pinnacle or onto the street from a high housetop. In Ex 14:24 this verb presents us with is a bold anthropomorphism that "Yahweh looked down." This verb is always with some demonstration of either mercy or wrath.

Saqap - 22v - Gen. 18:16; Gen. 19:28; Gen. 26:8; Exod. 14:24; Num. 21:20; Num. 23:28; Deut. 26:15; Jdg. 5:28; 1 Sam. 13:18; 2 Sam. 6:16; 2 Sam. 24:20; 2 Ki. 9:30; 2 Ki. 9:32; 1 Chr. 15:29; Ps. 14:2; Ps. 53:2; Ps. 85:11; Ps. 102:19; Prov. 7:6; Cant. 6:10; Jer. 6:1; Lam. 3:50

Genesis 19:29 Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

  • that God: Ge 8:1 12:2 18:23-33 30:22 De 9:5 Ne 13:14,22 Ps 25:7 105:8,42 Ps 106:4 136:23 145:20 Eze 36:31,32 Ho 11:8 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew (haphak; Lxx - katastrephothe cities in which Lot lived. - Remembered speaks of God's faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham and His responding to Abraham's intercession in Genesis 18. This verse illustrates the truth of James 5:16+ that the "fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." In short, God delivered Lot because of Abraham's intercession! 

Bob Deffinbaugh adds that "these verses underscore the real reason Lot was spared. While a just God would not destroy the righteous with the wicked (18:25), the stress here is that ‘the prayers of a righteous man availeth much’ (James 5:16+). It was Abraham’s faithfulness and not Lot’s which resulted in Lot’s deliverance. Humanly speaking, there was little reason for sparing Lot other than the character of God and the concern of Abraham over his fate. From City Councilman to Caveman)

NET NOTE - Heb “remembered,” but this means more than mental recollection here. Abraham’s request (Gen 18:23–32) was that the LORD not destroy the righteous with the wicked. While the requisite minimum number of righteous people (ten, v. 32) needed for God to spare the cities was not found, God nevertheless rescued the righteous before destroying the wicked. 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. God’s removal of Lot before the judgment is paradigmatic. He typically delivers the godly before destroying their world.

Bob Utley - Notice that Lot was spared because of the intercession of Abraham, the possessor of the covenant promise (cf. Ex. 2:24). This verse accentuates the preeminence of Abraham.

Warren Wiersbe - Lot was conformed to the world (Rom. 12:2). All that he lived for went up in smoke and was buried under ruins somewhere in the area around the Dead Sea. Lot is a warning to all believers not to love the world, become friendly with the world, or be stained by the world (James 1:27), because the day of reckoning finally comes.

Genesis 19:30 Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters.

  • Lot: Ge 19:17-23 
  • for he: Ge 49:4 Jer 2:36,37 Jas 1:8 
  • Zoar: Ge 13:10 14:22 De 34:3 Isa 15:5 Jer 48:34 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Paul Apple entitles Ge 19:30-38 "A Life of Worldliness Won't End Well." Apple goes on to say "Today’s sordid text paints the last chapter in the life of worldly Lot and his dysfunctional family. This is how Lot ended up. This is the legacy of a loser. All of the small compromises he made with worldliness have compounded and ended up in this ultimate end game of degradation and shame. We know from the NT that Lot was actually a believer – in a covenantal relationship through faith in a God who had provided him with every opportunity to enjoy God’s blessings. But time after time Lot made sinful choices that led to tragic consequences. This text has been avoided by many well-known commentators because of its lurid content: the old set of Calvin's commentaries translated by the old Calvin Translation Society last century, when they get to Genesis 19:31 they stop translating. They say now this passage just shouldn't be in Calvin's commentaries, just shouldn't be read. They don't even give you the Latin text. They leave it out and they move on to Genesis 20. H.C. Leupold in his commentary on Genesis (after making his few observations) says, "This is a text that should never be preached." What a warning to believers today. Are we truly seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness or are we pursuing a life of pleasure and possessions and worldly praise and worldly lusts? Look at how Jesus described the type of culture that will exist in the last days right before His final revelation and return to Judge the world – Luke 17:20-37." 

Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters - Note the irony here - Lot sought to come to Zoar because he feared he would die in the mountains (at least that is his story to the angels), but now is afraid of living in Zoar. Note his downward spiral, first forced from a house (in Sodom), then forced (by fear) from a town and finally ending up in a cave. He stayed just long enough in Zoar to save that little town from God's judgment! 

Jon Courson quips - At last Lot is on the mountain—but he’s in a cave—and now things are really going to cave in on top of him.

Duncan: Lot is clearly controlled here by fear and not by faith. He had initially refused God's call and command to leave Sodom and flee to the mountains. He had begged the Lord. If you look back in verses 17 through 22 of Genesis 19, he had begged the Lord to stay in this little town. But once again we are told that he was afraid to stay in Zoar. And so now he goes to the mountains as the Lord had originally commanded him. So fear was the driving motivation on both occasions. He fears to go to the mountains first. He wants to stay in Zoar. Now he fears to stay in Zoar and he wants to go to the mountains. Even though God has assured him, and you’ll see that assurance in verse 21 that he will be safe in the city, he still fears. (SEE How To Handle Fear-Pt 1 FIRST OF 3 PARTS)

Henry Morris - There have been "cave-dwellers" all through history, not primitive ape-men, but true cultured humans forced by circumstances into such habitations. This home was quite a comedown for a family accustomed to material luxuries. The caves of the Dead Sea region have been inhabited by many people over the centuries. In fact, the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found in such caves, left by communities of the Essene sect (Job 30:3-6).

James Freeman - Borrow Manners & customs of the Bible page 31 - CAVES - There are numerous natural caves in many of the geographical areas identified in the Bible. Some were used for dwellings, some for burial places, and some for storing or hiding provisions or other goods. The first mention of a cave in the Bible is in the story of Lot after he fled from Sodom. “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” (Genesis 19:30).

Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah as a tomb for Sarah: “And he [Abraham] communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a burying place amongst you” (Genesis 23:11–16, 19).
In the time of Gideon the Israelites took refuge from the Midianites in dens and caves, such as those in the mountain regions of Manasseh: “And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds” (Judges 6:2). David used the cave of Adullam for refuge: “David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him” (1 Samuel 22:1). And so did the five Canaanite kings at Makkedah: “But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah” (Joshua 10:16), which did them no good at all.

Genesis 19:31 Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth.

  • not: Ge 19:28 Mk 9:6 
  • to come: Ge 4:1 6:4 16:2,4 38:8,9,14-30 De 25:5 Isa 4:1 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


We might subtitle this section, Lot's Daughter's Broken Moral Compass! And if we did not know Lot was a believer (2Pe 2:7-8), we would have serious doubts because he failed miserably with God and as a father as the following narrative reveals. One thing is remarkable in this next sordid tale and that is that both daughters were still virgins. 

Here is Steven Cole's analysis of why Lot failed - The reason Lot failed is illustrated by an event that happened on June 5, 1976 (ED: Look at these incredible pictures). On that day, under clear skies, without warning, the massive Teton Dam in southeastern Idaho collapsed, sending a torrent of water surging into the Snake River basin. There was extensive property damage and loss of life. It seemed to happen so quickly. Some workers on the dam barely had time to run for their lives. But it really didn’t happen suddenly. Beneath the water line, a hidden fault had been gradually weakening the entire structure. It started with just a tiny bit of erosion. But by the time it was detected, it was too late. No one had seen the little flaw; no one got hurt by it. But everyone saw the big collapse, and many were hurt (adapted from Luis Palau, Heart After God - READ PALAU'S VERSION ON PAGE 72 - BORROW HIS BOOK). That’s what happened to Lot. He allowed little sins in his life to go unchecked. They weren’t major, shocking kinds of sins--just “little” sins. But they were steadily eroding his moral character, until finally the sordid incident recorded here burst the dam. It teaches us that, A father fails his family when he allows little sins to go unchecked until they result in big sins. I’m using the words “little” and “big” from the human perspective. By little sins I mean sins that people don’t consider serious, sins that we all tend to tolerate. By big sins, I mean sins like murder, adultery, homosexuality, rape, incest, child abuse, etc., sins that raise eyebrows and make us recoil in shock, sins that destroy families and reputations, leaving a trail of destruction. By the way, the problem of incest (which occurs in our text in a reverse way, with the daughters initiating it) is a major hidden, but devastating problem, in many professing Christian homes. How do such big sins ever happen? (A Father Who Failed - Genesis 19:30-38)

Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth - Here we seem to see the type of logic that results from living in a sinful cesspool like Sodom. The older offers to reasons (1) their father is old and would soon not be able to impregnate them and (2) there is no other man on earth (clearly an exaggeration as there were undoubtedly men in Zoar). Come in to us is the euphemistic way of referring to sexual intercourse. After the manner of the earth in essence means there was no one to marry as was the custom all over the earth.

What does this passage teach about Lot's daughter's? Probably several things, but one is that they did not trust Jehovah to provide husbands for them. Perhaps Lot had not taught them about the faithfulness of Jehovah. But even if Lot had not taught them about Jehovah, they had seen (depending on their age) their father's amazing delivery from the 4 kings and they had just witnessed 2 angels delivering them from destruction in Sodom. In any event, they will not trust the LORD's ways, but their conniving, fleshly, sinful ways to meet their need for a man. 

There is a bitter irony here - Lot had offered his daughters to the Sodomites, but now would himself carry out his horrible proposal by lying with his own daughters. What does around, often comes around! 

Steven Cole - Big sins always begin with little compromises. Lot’s downward path began with the choice to take the best land for himself (Gen. 13:1–13). It was a choice based on selfishness and greed, with no regard for Abraham or for the will of God. It resulted in Lot moving his tents near the wicked city of Sodom. In making this move, Lot was acting on the same goals as those in the world: he was trying to get ahead financially, with no concern for furthering God’s purpose.About this time, the Lord gave Lot a warning which should have jarred him into re-thinking his priorities. Four kings from the east swept into Sodom and captured everyone, including Lot, his family, and all his possessions. He should have gotten the message, that to pursue the things of this world is to chase a soap bubble. But he didn’t listen. As soon as Abraham rescued him and (to Lot’s shock) refused all the spoils of Sodom, Lot moved back to Sodom.

We next find him sitting in the gate and living in a house in Sodom (Gen. 19:1, 2). Things have gone well for Lot; he’s achieving his financial goals. He has provided a comfortable lifestyle for his family. But we also find that his moral standards have become blurred, as he offers his two daughters to the perverted men of the city, in an attempt to protect his two angelic visitors. Because he had invested in Sodom, Lot was hesitant to leave, even when the angels warned that he would be swept away in the judgment of the city.

But the angels dragged him and his family out of the city and urged him to flee to the mountains. Even then Lot wanted to preserve as much of the old life as he could, bartering with the angels about fleeing to a small city nearby, even as the brimstone was about to fall from heaven. His wife, who could not quite pull herself away from the things she left behind, perished. Lot and his two daughters fled, first to Zoar, then to a cave in the mountains. Everything he had lived for in Sodom was gone.

So Lot’s final degradation with his daughters was really just the cumulative result of many little compromises with the world that he had been making for years. Greed had led him to Sodom and kept him there in spite of God’s warning. In the Bible, greed is often mentioned next to sexual immorality, because it’s a sin of desiring the things of the flesh. So Lot’s children readily learned the greed and sexual sins of Sodom. (A Father Who Failed - Genesis 19:30-38)

Worldliness Contrasted to Godliness

  1. Materialistic Orientation – need to seek first God’s Kingdom
  2. Pleasure-seeking Obsession – need to live to please our Lord Jesus Christ
  3. Entertainment Driven – our food is to do the work of the Father who sent us
  4. Conformity to the Ungodly Culture – be transformed by the renewing of our mind
  5. Addicted to the Lusts of the Flesh – controlled by the Spirit of God

Genesis 19:32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.”

  • Come: Ge 11:3 
  • drink: Ge 9:21 Pr 23:31-33 Hab 2:15,16 
  • that we may preserve our family: Lev 18:6,7 Mk 12:19 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Genesis 11:3+ They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.

Genesis 9:21  He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent.

Proverbs 23:31-33  Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly;  32 At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper.  33 Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things. 


Come, let us make our father drink wine - For the second time in Genesis we see the danger of too much alcohol. First Noah slipped resulting in his son's sin. Now they seek to make Lot slip up by numbing his senses and his self-control. Note the fleshly rationalization proceeds from bad (drunkenness) to worse (incest)!

THOUGHT- Don't be deceived beloved. Sin unconfessed and unkilled (Ro 8:13+) always gravitates toward more sin. 

and let us lie with him that (term of purpose = their ungodly goal) we may preserve our family through our father - Lie with him is another euphemistic description of intercourse. And then they toss in their version of "situational ethics" that the end (preserve our family) justified the means (incest with Lot). The situation called for their version of "ethics."  

One writer has quipped "Is this a family worth preserving?" 

Related Resources:

Genesis 19:33 So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 

  • drink: Lev 18:6,7 Pr 20:1 23:29-35 Hab 2:15,16 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


So - Therefore is a term of conclusion. Their need is sensed. Their plot is planned. Now it is to be "hatched" so to speak. 

They made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father - First they got Lot drunk, very, very drunk. Then the oldest has relations with him. 

and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose - NLT = "He was unaware of her lying down or getting up again." This is a sad description of Lot as basically so drunk he had no knowledge of what was transpiring! 

William MacDonald sums up the "lot" of Lot's life - Because of his worldliness he lost his testimony (Ge 19:14), his wife (Ge 19:26), his sons-in-law, his friends, his communion (there was none in Sodom), his property (he went in rich but came out poor), his character (Ge 19:35), his life’s work, and nearly his life (Ge 19:22). The depraved behavior of his daughters shows that they had been influenced by Sodom’s vile standards.  (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary page 56)

Steven Cole offers an interesting analysis of Lot's moves after the destruction of Sodom - 

First, note the connection between alcohol and sexual immorality. If Lot had refused the wine, he probably would have refused the immorality. Isn’t it interesting that even though the family had just lost everything, they managed to have plenty of wine! People enslaved to alcohol may not have rent money, but they manage to buy their booze! If you choose to drink, you need to know that you’re playing with a dangerous weapon, which Satan has used repeatedly to destroy people. Nobody chooses up front to become addicted to alcohol. They begin by drinking a little; it helps them relax. They would never have a problem if they didn’t start in the first place.

Second, note that when a father is passive, his family members often get frustrated and move in to take the leadership he should have been exercising. Often they go in a wrong direction. Lot’s daughters were frustrated because, due to their father’s passivity and sin, they found themselves sitting in a cave with no prospects for marriage in sight. So they decided on this shameful method of having children. If you are a passive father, just letting your own and your family’s spiritual life drift, you are creating frustration in them that is likely to result in them taking charge of the situation and moving in the wrong direction. So big sins always begin with little compromises.

Big sins always follow previously unconfessed sins.

At first glance, when Lot moves from Zoar to the mountains, you might think he was obeying God. The angels had first told him to flee to the mountains, but he got them to agree not to destroy Zoar, where he fled. But here we read that he moved to the mountains. Was he now obeying God? I don’t think so. (ED: I AGREE BECAUSE ZOAR WAS NUMBERED WITH THE DOOMED 4 CITIES [Ge 14:2-3+] AND THUS VERY LIKELY WAS JUST A SMALLER VERSION OF SODOM, SO THAT LOT COULD CONTINUE COMPROMISING WITH THE WORLD).  While I cannot be dogmatic, it seems that Lot was continuing his pattern of disobedience and refusal to confess his sins. In fact, it is likely that by going to the mountains at this point, Lot was deliberately refusing to confess his sins. 

You have to ask, Why didn’t Lot return to Abraham? He no longer had too many livestock to live near Abraham; all his possessions had been wiped out in the destruction of Sodom. When the angels told him to flee to the mountains, it is likely that they would have pointed in the direction of the mountains to the west, where they had just come from their visit with Abraham. That was the land God had promised to give to Abraham. Lot had lived there before. Abraham would be a good spiritual influence on Lot.

But we read that Lot’s daughters named their sons Moab and Ben-Ammi, because they were the fathers of the Moabites and Ammonites (Ge 19:37, 38). If we assume that Lot was living in a cave in the mountains of the region that later would be the territory of Moab and Ammon, then it means that he had gone to the east of Zoar, not to the west. He had moved deliberately in the opposite direction from which the angels had told him to go, in the opposite direction from where Abraham lived.

Why did Lot do that? Because if he returned to Abraham, he would have to confess his sin and face up to the wrong choices he had made over the last 15 or 20 years. He would have to humble his pride and receive help from Abraham. Lot would rather live destitute in a cave, without admitting his sin, than to confess his sin and dwell with Abraham’s abundance.

A lot of people refuse to come to God for salvation for the same reason. They don’t want to humble themselves and confess their sin. If they would do that, they could enjoy all the abundance Christ offers, just as Lot could have feasted at Abraham’s table. But like Lot, they go in the opposite direction and live in a cave, destitute and fearful, but clinging to their pride.

When you keep a little bit of sin in your life and refuse to obey God, fear results. There is no security or peace or rest, when your trust is in this world. Lot probably was afraid that Zoar would be destroyed for its sins, just as Sodom had been. He didn’t have to fear that, because he had the angels’ promise that he would be safe there. But when you don’t confess your sins, you can’t trust God, so you are hounded by fears of your own making. As Isaiah 57:21 says, “‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’”

If Lot had just confessed his sins, he would have been safe in Abraham’s company, not cowering in fear in a cave in the mountains of Moab. His refusal to confess his sins led directly to the gross sins which culminate his sordid story. It’s so much better to confess your sins. Proverbs 28:13 states, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”
Big sins always begin with little compromises and they always follow previously unconfessed sins.

Big sins are often rationalized away.

Lot’s daughters dishonor their father by making him drunk and then add the sin of immorality through incest. It wasn’t accidental; they carefully planned their strategy. And it wasn’t enough that one would sin in this manner; they collaborated together and both committed this terrible sin. But note how they not only justify their sin (Ge 19:31–32), but they repeat their reason before the second sister commits her sin (Ge 19:34), to convince themselves that it’s okay.

First they create a false crisis, a worst case scenario: “There aren’t any men on earth we can marry!” It shouldn’t have been all that difficult to match the caliber of the men in Sodom! But they’re pushing the panic button. Then they add a noble reason to make it sound spiritual: “We need to preserve our family line.” But they’re just rationalizing gross sin.

Lot had a pattern of rationalizing his sin.
His daughters had learned well.

Of course they had learned that trick from their father. He had engaged his daughters to men of Sodom. “Where else will I find husbands for them?” he probably asked. He was ready to give his daughters to be raped by the evil Sodomites to spare his guests from the same fate. It was a noble cause, and besides, what else could he do? He disobeyed God by bartering with the angels to stay in Zoar with the excuse that he would die if he fled to the mountains. Never mind that God said he would be safe there. And besides, Zoar was just a little town; its sins wouldn’t be too bad. Lot had a pattern of rationalizing his sin. His daughters had learned well.

It never occurred to them that they could pray and wait on God to provide them the husbands they desired. They never mention the Lord. They had never seen their father seek the Lord for anything. They had never seen him wait on God in prayer. (ED: WE HAVE TO CAREFUL WITH STATEMENTS LIKE THIS WHEN SCRIPTURE IS SILENT. WHILE IT MAY BE TRUE, IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE A RIGHTEOUS MAN NEVER CONVERSING WITH THE RIGHTEOUS ONE). He hadn’t sought the Lord about the decision to move to Sodom or, more recently, to the mountains. He never sought the Lord for any decisions in his life (ED: THIS CERTAINLY WAS TRUE). So his daughters learned from him how to make up excuses for doing what you want to do, and to make it sound spiritual in the process.

A few years ago a well-known author and Bible teacher left his wife and moved in with a younger woman, whom he subsequently married. A speaker at our men’s retreat said that he had seen this man, whom he knew, at a taping of a television show. When he spoke to the man about his sin, the man said that everyone has an area of weakness, and his just happened to be women. And, the other man shouldn’t judge him, since he had his own areas of weakness, too! He was rationalizing his sin!

Big sins begin with little compromises; they follow previous unconfessed sins; they are often rationalized away.

Big sins always spread and persist.

Lot’s sin spread to his daughters. So did his fears. He feared staying in Zoar; they feared that they wouldn’t find husbands. But isn’t it interesting that nobody feared the Lord, in spite of what they had just witnessed with regard to Sodom! The older daughter, who should have been an example, instead led her younger sister into sin (Ge 19:31). The result was Moab and Ammon, two perpetual enemies of Israel. Moab’s king would later hire Balaam who counseled them to seduce Israelite men with their women (Numbers 25+). The Ammonites worshiped a god named “Molech.” Part of their religious devotion involved sacrificing their children to their god by throwing them into a raging fire. Israel itself was judged by God for following this detestable practice. Unconfessed sins spread and persist, sometimes for generations.

If you’re not continually confronting your life, beginning with your thoughts, by the holy standard of God’s Word (ED: 2Co 10:5+, Phil 4:8+), you begin to evaluate your behavior as Lot’s daughters did, “after the manner of the earth” (Ge 19:31). Compared to what they were used to seeing in Sodom, drunkenness and incest were no big deal, especially if it served a noble purpose! By degrees, a culture that is living after “the manner of the earth” degenerates into increasingly abhorrent corruption, but it doesn’t regard it as bad!

When I grew up, my parents would not allow me to attend movies or go to school dances, because they thought these activities were opposed to Christian standards. If you know anything about the movies from the 1950’s and early ‘60’s, you know that now you can find far worse language, sexual perversion, nudity, violence, and evil plots on network TV any night of the week than those movies contained. Hollywood keeps pushing the limits of corruption. Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, they introduce something “new,” like cannibalism or incest or child molestation.
Three years ago, it was reported that a San Francisco State psychology professor serves as an advisor to a Dutch journal that advocates pedophilia. He told Newsweek [11/1/93] that pedophilia is “not intrinsically” wrong and that U.S. views are skewed by cases of adults preying on children: “Are we going to let the sickos run society? Are we going to deny children, and adults, freedom to enjoy in life what could benefit them?” He said that his interest in the journal is “purely academic.” If you throw out God’s standards, who is to say that the man is wrong?

Little sins that are not dealt with spread into big sins. Big sins spread to others and persist for years. Lot’s daughters succeeded all too well in “preserving their family” through their father. They not only preserved their father’s family, but also their father’s sins!


Repair the cracks beneath the surface before the dam bursts!

If you want to honor God and avoid the failures that ruined Lot and his family, you’ve got to confront your sin on the thought level. Concerning lust, Jesus said that if your eye “makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matt. 5:29+)! Those are extreme words! He’s saying that we must get radical in judging our sin, starting on the thought level. Unjudged sins like lust, pride, bitterness, and greed are like cracks below the water line in the dam. You can put up a good front for a long time, but you’re heading for a major disaster, both personally and with your family. As Paul put it, we must take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5+).

Luis Palau writes,

Immorality begins with tiny habits sown in your youth. Little things, little attitudes, little habits. Maybe some casual petting on a date, maybe some pornography that fell into your hands, maybe a fascination with sensual novels and stories. Little things. Yet if you don’t crucify them--if you don’t bring them to judgment--if you don’t face up to them for what they are--SIN--they can destroy you. They can blur your moral judgment at a critical, irreversible juncture in life....Nobody falls into sex sin by chance. Nobody commits fornication, adultery, or homosexuality out of one sudden blast hitting him from somewhere. It builds slowly, slowly, slowly. Falling is just the effect of the cumulative bundle of temptation and passion that has been piling up and has not been crucified. (Borrow A Heart After God, page 72)

So my word to all, but especially to fathers, is: Deal with the little sins, the ones nobody else can see, before they result in big sins which everyone sees, sins which destroy you and your family. Repair the cracks beneath the surface before the dam bursts! (A Father Who Failed - Genesis 19:30-38)

QUESTION - Why did God allow incest in the Bible? Watch the Video

ANSWER - There are numerous examples of incest in the Bible. The most commonly thought-of examples are the sons/daughters of Adam and Eve (Genesis 4), Abraham marrying his half-sister Sarah (Genesis 20:12), Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19), Moses’ father Amram who married his aunt Jochebed (Exodus 6:20), and David’s son Amnon with his half-sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13). It is important to note, however, that in two of the above instances (Tamar and Lot), one of the parties involved was an unwilling participant in the incest—better described as rape in those cases. It is important to distinguish between incestuous relationships prior to God commanding against them (Leviticus 18:6–18) and incest that occurred after God’s commands had been revealed. Until God commanded against it, it was not incest. It was just marrying a close relative. It is undeniable that God allowed “incest” in the early centuries of humanity. Since Adam and Eve were the only two human beings on earth, their sons and daughters had no choice but to marry and reproduce with their siblings and close relatives. The second generation had to marry their cousins, just as after the flood the grandchildren of Noah had to intermarry amongst their cousins. One reason that incest is so strongly discouraged in the world today is the understanding that reproduction between closely related individuals has a much higher risk of causing genetic abnormalities. In the early days of humanity, though, this was not a risk due to the fact that the human genetic code was relatively free of defects.

Another consideration is that incest today almost always involves a pre-pubescent or powerless victim, and the perpetrator is abusing his or her authority with the goal of unilateral sexual pleasure. By that standard, the “incest” of the Bible has nothing whatsoever in common with modern-day incest. There was no power difference between Cain and his wife, for example; the goal of Abraham and Sarah’s marriage was to create a family. Intermarriage among close family members was a necessity in the generations immediately following Adam and Noah and was not a sinful perversion of sex.

It seems that, by the time of Moses, the human genetic code had become polluted enough that close intermarriage was no longer safe. So, God commanded against sexual relations with siblings, half-siblings, parents, and aunts/uncles (Genesis 2:24 seems to indicate that marriage and sexual relations between parents and children were never allowed by God). It was not until many centuries later that humanity discovered the genetic reason that incest is unsafe and unwise. Genetics was not an issue in the early centuries of humanity, and the marriages that occurred between Adam and Eve’s children, Abraham and Sarah, and Amram and Jochebed were not selfish pursuits of sexual gratification or abuses of authority; accordingly, those relationships should not be viewed as incestuous. The key is that sexual relations between close relatives were viewed differently pre-Law and post-Law. It did not become “incest” until God commanded against it.

QUESTION - How should a Christian view alcoholics? What does the Bible say about drunkards?

ANSWER - Alcoholism is just one of many addictions that can take control of someone’s life. Because its effects are obvious, drunkenness can appear to be a worse sin than others. However, the Bible makes no such distinctions. It often equates the sin of drunkenness with sins we would consider “less important,” such as envy and selfish ambition (Galatians 5:19; 1 Corinthians 6:10). It is easy to pass judgment on someone who is falling-down drunk, while secretly excusing sins of the heart that God considers equally repulsive. The right response is to view people as God sees them and agree with Him that we are all sinners in need of saving.

The Bible is clear that drunkenness is sin (Isaiah 5:11; Proverbs 23:20–21; Habakkuk 2:15). Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.” Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.” It is interesting that this verse contrasts the power of alcohol with the power of the Holy Spirit. It is saying that if we want to be controlled by the Spirit of God we cannot also be controlled by alcohol. The two cannot simultaneously hold sway. When we choose one, we eliminate the influence of the other. As Christians, we are to always “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25; Romans 8:1, 14). So drunkenness for a Christian is never an option on any occasion because there is no occasion when we should not be walking in the Spirit.

Alcoholism is a form of idolatry, as is any addiction. Anything we are using besides God to meet or medicate deep heart needs is an idol. When we rely on ourselves, someone else, or something else to meet our needs for value, worth, or significance, we have erected an idol that takes the place of the real God in our lives. God views it as such and has strong words for idol worshipers (Exodus 20:3; 34:14; 1 John 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:2). Alcoholism is not a disease; it is a choice. God holds us accountable for our choices (Romans 14:12; Ecclesiastes 11:9; Hebrews 4:13).

Followers of Christ should strive to love their neighbors as themselves, regardless of the problems or addictions those neighbors may have (Matthew 22:29). But contrary to our modern idea that equates love with tolerance, real love does not tolerate or excuse the very sin that is destroying someone (James 5:20). To enable or excuse alcohol addiction in someone we love is to tacitly participate in their sin.

There are several ways Christians can respond in Christlike love to alcoholics:

1. We can encourage the alcoholics in our lives to get help. A person caught in the trap of addiction needs help and accountability. There are many Christ-centered recovery programs such as Celebrate Recovery that are helping thousands of people break free from the chains of addiction.

2. We can set boundaries in order not to in any way condone the drunkenness. Minimizing the consequences that alcohol abuse brings is not helping. Sometimes the only way addicts will seek help is when they reach the end of their options.

3. We can be careful not to cause others to stumble by limiting our own alcohol use while in the presence of those struggling with it (1 Corinthians 8:9–13). It is for this reason that many Christians choose to abstain from all alcohol consumption in order to avoid any appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV) and to not put a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Since alcohol in its many forms has such a negative association in our culture, the potential for causing offense in weaker Christians is great. We must weigh our freedom against the possibility of causing others to sin or confusing unbelievers who associate alcohol with their own sinful lifestyles.

We must show compassion to everyone, including those whose choices have led them into strong addiction. However, we do alcoholics no favors by excusing or justifying their addiction. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13). Even though the context of His statement is money, the same principle applies to anything that controls us other than God. We must do everything we can to help people break free of whatever sin stronghold binds them so that they can serve and worship God with their whole heart.

Genesis 19:34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.”


On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father - The older says the wine worked and their father had intercourse with her. There is no word from Lot so clearly he had no memory of the incestuous event. 

let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him - It worked the first time so they get our father drunk again! One would have thought Lot might have had a slight "hangover" and would have been hesitant to drink wine two days in a row. Clearly the daughters were persuasive and the thought of more wine appealed to Lot. He was oblivious to the sexual relations that accompanied the wine! 

that we may preserve our family through our father - That is a term of purpose. Here we see their purpose, or better their justification for their incest was to keep the family line intact. Sadly they would preserve Lot's line but both offspring would become continual thorns in Israel's side. It would have been better for Israel if Lot's line had not been preserved! 

Genesis 19:35 So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

  • Ps 8:4 Pr 24:16 Ec 7:26 Lu 21:34 1Co 10:11,12 1Pe 4:7
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries 


So - Term of conclusion. It worked the first time, so why not try it again? Which they did. 

They made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose - This verse is a mirror image of Ge 19:33. The added phrase the younger arose suggests they waited in the night until he was completely inebriated. The younger daughter also succeeds to seduce her probably almost "semi-comatose" father. 

Genesis 19:36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.

  • Ge 19:8 Lev 18:6,7 Judges 1:7 1Sa 15:33 Hab 2:15 Mt 7:2 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


We could subtitle this passage "How do you become a father and a grandfather at the same time?" 

Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father - Since children are a gift of the LORD, He allowed them to become pregnant. The text does not say that the first time worked for both daughters, but in the end their plan did succeed. Can you imagine Lot's surprised reaction when he saw the girth of their abdomens increasing? 

Henry Morris - 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. The people descended from them, the Moabites and Ammonites, were perpetual enemies of the Israelites.

Genesis 19:37 The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day.

  • Moabites: Nu 21:29 Nu 22:1-41 Nu 24:1-25 Dt 2:9,19 Dt 23:3 Judges 3:1-31 Ru 4:10 2Sa 8:1-18 2Ki 3:1-27 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 2:9+ “Then the LORD said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession.’

Deuteronomy 23:3-4+ “No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD, 4 because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.


The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day - Notice that Lot's daughter, not Lot, named her son. Lot had lost a lot of control! What is fascinating is that this daughter's seduction of Lot would in a sense be repeated in the Moabite women seducing the Israelite men over 400 years later (consequences of sin are long lasting!) in Numbers 25:1-2+ "While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods."

The Moabites became thorns in Israel's side in the time of the Judges. In Judges 3:12,14+ we read "Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.....The sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years." (And this hostile relationship continued - e.g., 1Sa 12:9+, etc)

Once again we see Lot's sin had far reaching consequences, as both incestous relationships gave rise to the rotten fruit of detestable idolatry which even included child sacrifice! So much for preserving Lot's line! It would have been far better had it been terminated! As discussed below the Moabites worshiped Chemosh and the Ammonites worshipped Milcom (Molech). These idolatrous gods of Moab and Ammon seduced Israel to commit spiritual harlotry, Judges 10:6+ recording "Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him."

During the time of the kings of Israel, wives who worshipped these false gods seduced King Solomon to commit abominations, the writer of First Kings recording

Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. 8 Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.  9 Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded. (1 Kings 11:7-10)

Sailhamer - Located southeast of the Israelite territory, in Transjordan area, these two kingdoms (ED: Moab and Ammon) frequently came into conflict with the Israelites (see Jdg 3:12-30; 11:4-33; 1 Sam 11:1-11; 2 Sam 8:2; 1:1-19; 2 Kings 3).

The saying is like father, likes sons and just as Lot lived on the edge of the Promised Land but never in the Promised Land, so too his two sons lived on the border of the Promised Land but not in it! What goes around, comes around! 

Moab is related to the Hebrew "ab" which means father and means something like "of his father," a fitting name for an incestous son! 

What is fascinating is that an individual from the line of Moab would enter into the line of Messiah 100's of years later through Ruth the Moabitess when she married Boaz! (Mt 1:5+) She was one of only 3 women mentioned in Messiah's lineage in Mt 1:1-17+ (Tamar and Bathsheba the other two). 

Moab in the OT - 158 verses - Gen. 19:37; Gen. 36:35; Exod. 15:15; Num. 21:11; Num. 21:13; Num. 21:15; Num. 21:20; Num. 21:26; Num. 21:28; Num. 21:29; Num. 22:1; Num. 22:3; Num. 22:4; Num. 22:7; Num. 22:8; Num. 22:10; Num. 22:14; Num. 22:21; Num. 22:36; Num. 23:6; Num. 23:7; Num. 23:17; Num. 24:17; Num. 25:1; Num. 26:3; Num. 26:63; Num. 31:12; Num. 33:44; Num. 33:48; Num. 33:49; Num. 33:50; Num. 35:1; Num. 36:13; Deut. 1:5; Deut. 2:8; Deut. 2:9; Deut. 2:18; Deut. 29:1; Deut. 32:49; Deut. 34:1; Deut. 34:5; Deut. 34:6; Deut. 34:8; Jos. 13:32; Jos. 24:9; Jdg. 3:12; Jdg. 3:14; Jdg. 3:15; Jdg. 3:17; Jdg. 3:28; Jdg. 3:29; Jdg. 3:30; Jdg. 10:6; Jdg. 11:15; Jdg. 11:17; Jdg. 11:18; Jdg. 11:25; Ruth 1:1; Ruth 1:2; Ruth 1:6; Ruth 1:22; Ruth 2:6; Ruth 4:3; 1 Sam. 12:9; 1 Sam. 14:47; 1 Sam. 22:3; 1 Sam. 22:4; 2 Sam. 8:2; 2 Sam. 8:12; 2 Sam. 23:20; 1 Ki. 11:7; 1 Ki. 11:33; 2 Ki. 1:1; 2 Ki. 3:4; 2 Ki. 3:5; 2 Ki. 3:7; 2 Ki. 3:10; 2 Ki. 3:13; 2 Ki. 3:18; 2 Ki. 3:21; 2 Ki. 3:22; 2 Ki. 3:23; 2 Ki. 3:24; 2 Ki. 3:26; 2 Ki. 13:20; 2 Ki. 23:13; 2 Ki. 24:2; 1 Chr. 1:46; 1 Chr. 4:22; 1 Chr. 8:8; 1 Chr. 11:22; 1 Chr. 18:2; 1 Chr. 18:11; 2 Chr. 20:1; 2 Chr. 20:10; 2 Chr. 20:22; 2 Chr. 20:23; Ps. 60:8; Ps. 83:6; Ps. 108:9; Isa. 11:14; Isa. 15:1; Isa. 15:2; Isa. 15:4; Isa. 15:5; Isa. 15:8; Isa. 15:9; Isa. 16:2; Isa. 16:4; Isa. 16:6; Isa. 16:7; Isa. 16:11; Isa. 16:12; Isa. 16:13; Isa. 16:14; Isa. 25:10; Jer. 9:26; Jer. 25:21; Jer. 27:3; Jer. 40:11; Jer. 48:1; Jer. 48:2; Jer. 48:4; Jer. 48:9; Jer. 48:11; Jer. 48:13; Jer. 48:15; Jer. 48:16; Jer. 48:18; Jer. 48:20; Jer. 48:24; Jer. 48:25; Jer. 48:26; Jer. 48:28; Jer. 48:29; Jer. 48:31; Jer. 48:33; Jer. 48:35; Jer. 48:36; Jer. 48:38; Jer. 48:39; Jer. 48:40; Jer. 48:41; Jer. 48:42; Jer. 48:43; Jer. 48:44; Jer. 48:45; Jer. 48:46; Jer. 48:47; Ezek. 25:8; Ezek. 25:9; Ezek. 25:11; Dan. 11:41; Amos 2:1; Amos 2:2; Mic. 6:5; Zeph. 2:8; Zeph. 2:9

QUESTION - Who were the Moabites?

ANSWER - The Moabites were a tribe descended from Moab, the son of Lot, born of an incestuous relationship with his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:37). From Zoar, the cradle of this tribe, on the southeastern border of the Dead Sea, they gradually spread over the region on the east of Jordan. Shortly before the Exodus, the warlike Amorites crossed the Jordan under Sihon their king and drove the Moabites out of the region between the Arnon River Valley and the Jabbok River, and occupied it, making Heshbon their capital. The Moabites were then confined to the territory to the south of the Arnon Valley (Numbers 21:26–30).

During the Exodus the Israelites did not pass through Moab, but through the “wilderness” to the east, eventually reaching the country to the north of Arnon. The Moabites were alarmed, and their king, Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Numbers 22:2–4). This was the occasion when the visit of Balaam to Balak took place (Numbers 22:2–6).

In the Plains of Moab, which was in the possession of the Amorites, the children of Israel had their last encampment before they entered the land of Canaan (Numbers 22:1; Joshua 13:32). If we had nothing else to interest us in the land of Moab, it was from the top of Pisgah that Moses, the mightiest of prophets, looked upon the Promised Land; it was here on Nebo that he died his solitary death; it was here in the valley over against Beth-peor where he was buried (Deuteronomy 34:5–6).

A basalt stone, bearing an inscription by King Mesha, was discovered at Dibon by Klein, a German missionary at Jerusalem, in 1868, consisting of thirty-four lines written in Hebrew-Phoenician characters. The stone was set up by Mesha about 900 BC as a record and memorial of his victories. It records Mesha’s wars with Omri, his public buildings, and his wars against Horonaim. This inscription supplements and corroborates the history of King Mesha recorded in 2 Kings 3:4–27. It is the oldest inscription written in alphabetic characters and, in addition to its value in the domain of Hebrew antiquities, is of great linguistic importance.

Perhaps the most significant Bible character to come from Moab was Ruth, who was “of the women of Moab” but was genetically linked to Israel through Lot, the nephew of Abraham (Genesis 11:31). Ruth is an example of how God can change a life and take it in a direction He has foreordained, and we see God working out His perfect plan in Ruth’s life, just as He does with all His children (Romans 8:28). Although she came from a pagan background in Moab, once she met the God of Israel, Ruth became a living testimony to Him by faith. Ruth, the Moabitess, is one of the few women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). notes that "The Moabites worshiped the idolatrous god Chemosh. Scripture calls him “the abomination of Moab” (1 Kings 11:7). Unfortunately, Chemosh-worship was introduced into Israelite culture by King Solomon, who had wives from other cultures who turned his heart to other gods (1 Kings 11:4–7). Chemosh was one of those gods worshiped by Solomon’s wives. The cult of Chemosh was eventually destroyed in Judah by King Josiah (2 Kings 23).  The meaning of the name Chemosh is not understood, though some scholars believe it may have meant “destroyer” or “subduer.” Chemosh was also seen as a fish-god. He was the national deity of the Moabites and the Ammonites, and, according to the Moabite Stone (the Mesha Stele), Chemosh was associated with the goddess Ashteroth, another false god worshiped by wayward Israelites. Chemosh is thought to have been a deity similar to Baal, and there is also evidence, both from the Moabite Stone and from Scripture, that Chemosh may have been the same deity as the Ammonite Moloch (1 Kings 11:7, 33). At least, Chemosh and Moloch were two manifestations of the same false god. King Solomon built “high places” to both gods in the same location, the mountain east of Jerusalem. The worship of Chemosh was truly an abomination. One place in Scripture records Chemosh demanding human sacrifice: in the days of Judah’s King Jehoram, the king of Moab faced military defeat, and the Moabite ruler “took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall” (2 Kings 3:27)."

Genesis 19:38 As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.

  • Ben-ammi:., Son of my people
  • sons of Ammon: Dt 2:9,19 Dt 23:3 Jdg 10:6-18 Jdg 11:1-40 1Sa 11:1-15 2Sa 10:1-19 Ne 13:1-3,23-28 Ps 83:4-8 Isa 11:14 Zep 2:9 
  • Genesis 19 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages: 

Deuteronomy 2:19+ ‘When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession.’

Judges 10:7+ The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He sold them into the hands (YAD = POWER) of the Philistines and into the hands (YAD = POWER) of the sons of Ammon. 8 They afflicted and crushed the sons of Israel that year; for eighteen years they afflicted all the sons of Israel who were beyond the Jordan in Gilead in the land of the Amorites. 9 The sons of Ammon crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah, Benjamin, and the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was greatly distressed


As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day - Again we see it is not Lot the father/grandfather, but his daughter who names her son. “Ben-Ammi” means “son of my kinsmen.” The Ammonites and the Moabites because bitter enemies of Abraham's descendants (1Sa 14:47, 2Ch 20:1-30) The Ammonites worshiped a god named “Milcom or Molech.” Part of their religious devotion involved sacrificing their children to their god by throwing them into a raging fire.

Similar to the situation with Ruth the Moabitess who was in the line of the Messiah, we find an Ammonite descendant in the line of the Messiah. Naamah was an Ammonite who became one of King Solomon’s wives (and who probably led him into worship of  Molech) who gave birth to Rehoboam who is listed in the line of Christ in Matthew's genealogy (Mt 1:7+).

QUESTION - Who were the Ammonites?

ANSWER - Throughout the early history of Israel, we find references to the Ammonite people. Who were they, where did they come from, and what happened to them? The Ammonites were a Semitic people, closely related to the Israelites. Despite that relationship, they were more often counted enemies than friends.

Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was the progenitor of the Ammonites. After Abraham and Lot separated (Genesis 13), Lot settled in the city of Sodom. When God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness, Lot and his daughters fled to the hill country on the southern end of the Dead Sea. Probably thinking they were the only people left on the earth, Lot’s daughters got him drunk and had incestuous relations with him to produce children (Genesis 19:37-38). The older daughter had a son named Moab (“from father”), and the younger gave birth to Ben-Ammi (“son of my people”). The Ammonites, descendants of Ben-Ammi, were a nomadic people who lived in the territory of modern-day Jordan, and the name of the capital city, Amman, reflects the name of those ancient inhabitants.

In the time of Moses, the fertile plains of the Jordan River valley were occupied by the Amorites, Ammonites and Moabites. When Israel left Egypt, the Ammonites refused to assist them in any way, and God punished them for their lack of support (Deuteronomy 23:3-4). Later, however, as the Israelites entered the Promised Land, God instructed them, “When you approach the territory of the people of Ammon, do not harass them or contend with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the people of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession” (Deuteronomy 2:19). The Israelite tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh claimed the Amorite territory bordering that of the Ammonites.

The Ammonites were a pagan people who worshiped the gods Milcom and Molech. God commanded the Israelites not to marry these pagans, because intermarriage would lead the Israelites to worship false gods. Solomon disobeyed and married Naamah the Ammonite (1 Kings 14:21), and, as God had warned, he was drawn into idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-8). Molech was a fire-god with the face of a calf; his images had arms outstretched to receive the babies who were sacrificed to him. Like their god, the Ammonites were cruel. When Nahash the Ammonite was asked for terms of a treaty (1 Samuel 11:2), he proposed gouging out the right eye of each Israelite man. Amos 1:13 says that the Ammonites would rip open pregnant women in the territories they conquered.

Under King Saul’s leadership, Israel defeated the Ammonites and made them vassals. David continued that sovereignty over Ammon and later besieged the capital city to solidify his control. After the split of Israel and Judah, the Ammonites began to ally themselves with the enemies of Israel. Ammon regained some sovereignty in the seventh century B.C., until Nebuchadnezzar conquered them about a hundred years later. Tobiah the Ammonite (Nehemiah 2:19) was possibly a governor of the region under Persian rule, but the inhabitants were a mix of Ammonites, Arabs, and others. By New Testament times, Jews had settled in the area, and it was known as Perea. The last mention of Ammonites as a separate people was in the second century by Justin Martyr, who said they were very numerous. Sometime during the Roman period, the Ammonites seem to have been absorbed into Arab society.

QUESTION - Who was Moloch/Molech/Molek/Milcom? 

ANSWER - As with many details in ancient history, the exact origin of Moloch/Molech/Molek worship is unclear. The term Moloch is believed to have originated with the Phoenician mlk, which referred to a type of sacrifice made to confirm or acquit a vow. Melekh is the Hebrew word for “king.” It was common for the Israelites to combine the name of pagan gods with the vowels in the Hebrew word for shame: bosheth. This is how the goddess of fertility and war, Astarte, became Ashtoreth. The combination of mlkmelekh, and bosheth results in “Moloch,” which could be interpreted as “the personified ruler of shameful sacrifice.” It has also been spelled MilcomMilkim, and Malik. Ashtoreth was his consort, and ritual prostitution was considered an important form of worship.

The Phoenicians were a loosely gathered group of people who inhabited Canaan (modern-day Lebanon, Syria, and Israel) between 1550 BC and 300 BC. In addition to sexual rituals, Moloch worship included child sacrifice, or “passing children through the fire.” It is believed that idols of Moloch were giant metal statues of a man with a bull’s head. Each image had a hole in the abdomen and possibly outstretched forearms that made a kind of ramp to the hole. A fire was lit in or around the statue. Babies were placed in the statue’s arms or in the hole. When a couple sacrificed their firstborn, they believed that Moloch would ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children.

Moloch/Molech worship wasn’t limited to Canaan. Monoliths in North Africa bear the engraving “mlk”—often written “mlk’mr” and “mlk’dm,” which may mean “sacrifice of lamb” and “sacrifice of man.” In North Africa, Moloch was renamed “Kronos.” Kronos migrated to Carthage in Greece, and his mythology grew to include his becoming a Titan and the father of Zeus. Moloch is affiliated with and sometimes equated to Ba’al, although the word ba’al was also used to designate any god or ruler.

In Genesis 12 Abraham followed God’s call to move to Canaan. Although human sacrifice was not common in Abraham’s native Ur, it was well-established in his new land. God later asked Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:2). But then God distinguished Himself from gods like Moloch. Unlike the native Canaanite gods, Abraham’s God abhorred human sacrifice. God commanded Isaac to be spared, and He provided a ram to take Isaac’s place (Genesis 22:13). God used this event as an illustration of how He would later provide His own Son to take our place.

Over five hundred years after Abraham, Joshua led the Israelites out of the desert to inherit the Promised Land. God knew that the Israelites were immature in their faith and easily distracted from worshiping the one true God (Exodus 32). Before the Israelites had even entered Canaan, God warned them not to participate in Moloch worship (Leviticus 18:21) and repeatedly told them to destroy those cultures that worshiped Moloch. The Israelites didn’t heed God’s warnings. Instead, they incorporated Moloch worship into their own traditions. Even Solomon, the wisest king, was swayed by this cult and built places of worship for Moloch and other gods (1 Kings 11:1–8). Moloch worship occurred in the “high places” (1 Kings 12:31) as well as a narrow ravine outside Jerusalem called the Valley of Hinnom (2 Kings 23:10).

Despite occasional efforts by godly kings, worship of Moloch wasn’t abolished until the Israelites’ captivity in Babylon. (Although the Babylonian religion was pantheistic and characterized by astrology and divination, it did not include human sacrifice.) Somehow, the dispersion of the Israelites into a large pagan civilization succeeded in finally purging them of their false gods. When the Jews returned to their land, they rededicated themselves to God, and the Valley of Hinnom was turned into a place for burning garbage and the bodies of executed criminals. Jesus used the imagery of this place—an eternally burning fire, consuming countless human victims—to describe hell, where those who reject God will burn for eternity (Matthew 10:28).