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The Doom of Sodom

19 It was evening when the two angels came to Sodom. Lot was sitting at Sodom’s [[a]city] gate. Seeing them, Lot got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “See here, my lords, please turn aside and come into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may get up early and go on your way.” But they said, “No, we shall spend the night in the open plaza [of the city].” However, Lot strongly urged them, so they turned aside and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them [with wine], and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. But before they lay down [to sleep], the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded the house, [b]all the men from every quarter; and they called out to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them [intimately].” But Lot went out of the doorway to the men, and shut the door after him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not do something so wicked. See here, I have two daughters who have not known a man [intimately]; please let me bring them out to you [instead], and you can do as you please with them; only do nothing to these men, because they have in fact come under the shelter of my roof [for protection].” But they said, “Get out of the way!” And they said, “This man (Lot) came [as an outsider] to live here temporarily, and now he is acting like a judge. Now we will treat you worse than your visitors!” So they rushed forward and pressed violently against [c]Lot and came close to breaking down the door [of his house]. 10 But the men (angels) reached out with their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door [after him]. 11 They struck (punished) the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, from the young men to the old men, so that they exhausted themselves trying to find the doorway.

12 And the [two] men (angels) asked Lot, “Have you any others here [in Sodom]—a son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters? Whomever you have in the city, take them out of here; 13 for we are destroying this place, because the outcry [for judgment] against them has grown so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy and ruin it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were [betrothed, and legally promised] to marry his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he appeared to be joking.

15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot [to hurry], saying, “Get up! Take your wife and two daughters who are here [and go], or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But Lot hesitated and lingered. The men took hold of his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, because the Lord was merciful to him [for Abraham’s sake]; and they brought him out, and left him outside the city [with his family]. 17 When they had brought them outside, one [of the angels] said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, or stop anywhere in the entire valley; escape to the mountains [of Moab], or you will be consumed and swept away.” 18 But Lot said to them, “Oh no, [not that place] my lords! 19 Please listen, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness (mercy) to me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, because the disaster will overtake me and I will be killed. 20 Now look, this town [in the distance] is near enough for us to flee to, and it is small [with only a few people]. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) so that my life will be saved.” 21 And the angel said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also; I will not destroy this town of which you have spoken. 22 Hurry and take refuge there, for I cannot do anything [to punish Sodom] until you arrive there.” For this reason the town was named Zoar (few, small).

23 The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained down brimstone (flaming sulfur) and fire on Sodom and on Gomorrah from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew (demolished, ended) those cities, and the entire valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, from behind him, [foolishly, longingly] looked [back toward Sodom in an act of disobedience], and she [d]became a pillar of salt.(A)

27 Abraham started out early the next morning to the place where he [only the day before] had stood before the Lord; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley [of the Dead Sea]; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of [e]the land went up like the smoke of a kiln (pottery furnace).

29 Now when God ravaged and destroyed the cities of the plain [of Siddim], He remembered Abraham [and for that reason], and He sent [Abraham’s nephew] Lot out of the midst of the destruction, when He destroyed the cities in which Lot had lived.

Lot Is Debased

30 Now Lot went up from Zoar, and lived in the mountain together with his two daughters, for he was afraid to stay [any longer] in Zoar; and he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is aging, and there is not a man on earth [available] to be intimate with us in the customary way [so that we may have children]. 32 Come, let us make our father drunk with wine, and we will lie with him so that we may preserve our family through our father.” 33 So they gave their father 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 got up [because he was completely intoxicated]. 34 Then the next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay with my father last night; let us make him drunk with wine tonight also, and then you go in and lie with him, so that we may preserve our family through our father.” 35 So they gave their father wine that night also, and the younger got up and lay with him; and again he did not know when she lay down or when she got up. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot conceived by their father. 37 The firstborn gave birth to a son, and named him Moab (from father); he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-ammi (son of my people); he is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

Abraham’s Deception

20 Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the Negev (the South country), and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he lived temporarily in Gerar. Abraham [f]said [again] of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So [g]Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took [h]Sarah [into his harem]. But God came to Abimelech in a dream during the night, and said, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken [as your wife], for she is another man’s wife.” Now Abimelech had not yet come near her; so he said, “Lord, will you kill a people who are righteous and innocent and blameless [regarding Sarah]? Did Abraham not tell me, ‘She is my sister?’ And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your heart, for it was I who kept you back and spared you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not give you an opportunity to touch her. So now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her [to him], know that you shall die, you and all who are yours (your household).”

So Abimelech got up early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were terrified. Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I offended you that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me what ought not to be done [to anyone].” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What have you encountered or seen [in us or our customs], that you have done this [unjust] thing?” 11 Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely there is no fear or reverence of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she actually is my [half] sister; she is the daughter of my father [Terah], but not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 When God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This kindness and loyalty you can show me: at every place we stop, say of me, “He is my brother.”’” 14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him [as God commanded]. 15 So Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” 16 Then to Sarah he said, “Look, I have given this brother of yours a [i]thousand pieces of silver; it is to compensate you [for all that has happened] and to vindicate your honor before all who are with you; before all men you are cleared and compensated.” 17 So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, and they again gave birth to children, 18 for the Lord had securely closed the wombs of all [the women] in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.(B)

Isaac Is Born

21 The Lord graciously remembered and visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for her as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham named his son Isaac (laughter), the son to whom Sarah gave birth. So Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, just as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. Sarah said, “God has made me laugh; all who hear [about our good news] will laugh with me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have given birth to a son by him in his old age.”(C)

The child [Isaac] grew and was [j]weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

Sarah Turns against Hagar

Now [as time went on] Sarah saw [Ishmael] the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, [k]mocking [Isaac].(D) 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.”(E) 11 The situation [l]distressed Abraham greatly because of his son [Ishmael]. 12 God said to Abraham, “Do not let it distress you because of Ishmael and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her and do what she asks, for your descendants will be named through Isaac.(F) 13 And I will also make a nation of [Ishmael] the son of the maid, because he is your descendant.” 14 So Abraham got up early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her [m]away. And she left [but lost her way] and wandered [aimlessly] in the Wilderness of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was all gone, Hagar abandoned the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, “Do not let me see the boy die.” And as she sat down opposite him, she raised her voice and wept. 17 God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from where he is [resting]. 18 Get up, help the boy up, and hold him by the hand, for I will make him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the [empty] skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with Ishmael, and he grew and developed; and he lived in the wilderness and became an [expert] archer. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Covenant with Abimelech

22 Now at that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do; 23 so now, swear to me here by God that you will not deal unfairly with me [by breaking any agreements we have] or with my son or with my descendants, but as I have treated you with kindness, you shall do the same to me and to the land in which you have sojourned (temporarily lived).” 24 And Abraham said, “I will swear.” 25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water which the servants of Abimelech had [violently] seized [from him], 26 Abimelech said, “I do not know who did this thing. Indeed, you did not tell me, and I did not hear of it until today.”

27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant (binding agreement). 28 Then Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs of the flock, 29 and Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set apart?” 30 Abraham said, “You are to accept these seven ewe lambs from me as a witness for me, that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place was called Beersheba (Well of the Oath or Well of the Seven), because there the two of them swore an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba; then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, got up and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord [in prayer], [n]the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham lived [as a resident alien] in the land of the Philistines for [o]many days.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 19:1 In ancient times this was the primary place of commerce and legal business.
  2. Genesis 19:4 The emphasis in the text that all the men of Sodom came reveals the depth of their depravity.
  3. Genesis 19:9 Lit the man.
  4. Genesis 19:26 Lot’s wife not only “looked back” to where her interests were, but perhaps lingered behind and was overtaken by the fire and brimstone; her dead body likely became continually encrusted with salt since this disaster occurred in the salt-rich area around the Dead Sea.
  5. Genesis 19:28 Not only were Sodom and Gomorrah blazing ruins, but also Admah and Zeboiim (Deut 29:23; Hos 11:8), as well as all the towns in the Valley of Siddim; Zoar was the lone exception.
  6. Genesis 20:2 See 12:11-13.
  7. Genesis 20:2 The word “Abimelech” may be a royal title instead of a proper name. In either case this man is probably the father or grandfather of Abimelech king of the Philistines encountered later by Isaac (26:1).
  8. Genesis 20:2 Sarah was about ninety years old at this time.
  9. Genesis 20:16 Perhaps about three years’ or a thousand days’ wages.
  10. Genesis 21:8 This was probably when the child was about three years of age. Samuel served in the sanctuary from the time that he was weaned (1 Sam 1:22-28), and a Hebrew mother is quoted in 2 Maccabees 7:27 as saying to her son that she nursed him for three years.
  11. Genesis 21:9 Ishmael was old enough to know better than to ridicule or tease his much younger brother, and his behavior was inappropriate and thoughtless.
  12. Genesis 21:11 Lit was very displeasing in the eyes of Abraham.
  13. Genesis 21:14 Ishmael was born when Abraham was eighty-six years old (Gen 16:16), so Ishmael was about fourteen when Isaac was born, and about sixteen or seventeen years old when Isaac was weaned (Gen 21:8; 2 Chr 31:16).
  14. Genesis 21:33 Heb El Olam.
  15. Genesis 21:34 I.e. an extended period of time.

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