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The Evil City of Sodom

19 That evening the two angels[a] arrived in Sodom, while Lot was sitting near the city gate.[b] When Lot saw them, he got up, bowed down low, and said, “Gentlemen, I am your servant. Please come to my home. You can wash your feet, spend the night, and be on your way in the morning.”

They told him, “No, we’ll spend the night in the city square.” But Lot kept insisting, until they finally agreed and went home with him. He baked some bread,[c] cooked a meal, and they ate.

Before Lot and his guests could go to bed, every man in Sodom, young and old, came and stood outside his house and started shouting, “Where are your visitors? Send them out, so we can have sex with them!”

Lot went outside and shut the door behind him. Then he said, “Friends, please don’t do such a terrible thing! I have two daughters who have never been married. I’ll bring them out, and you can do what you want with them. But don’t harm these men. They are guests in my home.”

“Don’t get in our way,” the crowd answered. “You’re an outsider. What right do you have to order us around? We’ll do worse things to you than we’re going to do to them.”

The crowd kept arguing with Lot. Finally, they rushed toward the door to break it down. 10 But the two angels in the house reached out and pulled Lot safely inside. 11 Then they struck everyone in the crowd blind, and none of them could even find the door.

12-13 The two angels said to Lot, “The Lord has heard many terrible things about the people of Sodom, and he has sent us here to destroy the city. Take your family and leave. Take every relative you have in the city, as well as the men your daughters are going to marry.”

14 Lot went to the men who were engaged to his daughters and said, “Hurry and get out of here! The Lord is going to destroy this city.” But they thought he was joking, and they laughed at him.

15 Early the next morning the two angels tried to make Lot hurry and leave. They said, “Take your wife and your two daughters and get out of here as fast as you can! If you don’t, every one of you will be killed when the Lord destroys the city.” 16 At first, Lot just stood there. But the Lord wanted to save him. So the angels took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city. 17 When they were outside, one of the angels said, “Run for your lives! Don’t even look back. And don’t stop in the valley. Run to the hills, where you will be safe.”

18-19 Lot answered, “You have done us a great favor, sir. You have saved our lives, but please don’t make us go to the hills. That’s too far away. The city will be destroyed before we can get there, and we will be killed when it happens. 20 There’s a town near here. It’s only a small place, but my family and I will be safe, if you let us go there.”

21 “All right, go there,” he answered. “I won’t destroy that town. 22 Hurry! Run! I can’t do anything until you are safely there.”

The town was later called Zoar[d] because Lot had said it was small.

Sodom and Gomorrah Are Destroyed

23 The sun was coming up as Lot reached the town of Zoar, 24 and the Lord sent burning sulfur down like rain on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25 He destroyed those cities and everyone who lived in them, as well as their land and the trees and grass that grew there.

26 On the way, Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a block of salt.

27 That same morning Abraham got up and went to the place where he had stood and spoken with the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and saw smoke rising from all over the land—it was like a flaming furnace.

29 When God destroyed the cities of the valley where Lot lived, he remembered his promise to Abraham and saved Lot from the terrible destruction.

Moab and Ammon

30 Lot was afraid to stay on in Zoar. So he took his two daughters and moved to a cave in the hill country. 31 One day his older daughter said to her sister, “Our father is old, and there are no men anywhere for us to marry. 32 Let’s get our father drunk! Then we can sleep with him and have children.” 33 That night they got their father drunk, and the older daughter got in bed with him, but he was too drunk even to know she was there.

34 The next day the older daughter said to her sister, “I slept with my father last night. We’ll get him drunk again tonight, so you can go to bed with him, and we can each have a child.” 35 That night they got their father drunk, and this time the younger sister slept with him. But once again he was too drunk even to know she was there.

36 That’s how Lot’s two daughters had their children. 37 The older daughter named her son Moab,[e] and he is the ancestor of the Moabites. 38 The younger daughter named her son Benammi,[f] and he is the ancestor of the Ammonites.

Footnotes

  1. 19.1 two angels: The two men of 18.22.
  2. 19.1 near the city gate: In a large area where the people would gather for community business and for meeting with friends.
  3. 19.3 bread: The Hebrew text has “bread without yeast,” which could be fixed quickly when guests came without warning.
  4. 19.22 Zoar: In Hebrew “Zoar” sounds like “small.”
  5. 19.37 Moab: In Hebrew “Moab” sounds like “from (my) father.”
  6. 19.38 Benammi: In Hebrew “Benammi” means “son of my relative.”

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