Genesis 19

Greetings!  This is one of the stories you may have heard many references to but haven’t examined closely.  Some people think Sodom is fictional, but Jesus referred to it as being real (Matthew 10:15 and Matthew 11:23-24, among others) and there are over 20 verses outside of Genesis that mention it as well as if it were real. 

Some people try to say that the “sin of Sodom” was not homosexuality but was actually inhospitality.  Yes, hospitality was a major social concern in that culture, but it was hardly the sort of thing that prompts God to annihilate two cities and all the inhabitants except one family.  The sin of Sodom was clearly homosexual behavior.  I highly recommend “Responding to pro-gay theology” as it gives more thorough and clear responses to this than I will here.  The Stand to Reason ministry also has an excellent audio lesson called Setting the record straight: The Bible and Homosexuality that addresses this and other passages.

These are the two angels who visited Abraham and Sarah in chapter 18.  

Genesis 19 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.” But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

Why did Lot offer his daughters?  Did he know the men would refuse?  Either way, it was an awful suggestion to make.

“Get out of our way,” they replied. And they said, “This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. The two 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.” So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” When he 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.

Note that God planned to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah before He sent the angels.  It wasn’t just this one act that resulted in the destruction of the cities.

The next passage is where the references to Lot’s wife and the pillar of salt come from.  Looking back favorably on our previous sins is a bad idea. 

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!” But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.” He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.) By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.

What follows is one of those Bible stories they didn’t teach you in Sunday School.  Lot’s daughters are worried about not having children, so they get their father drunk and seduce them on consecutive nights.  The Bible is a thoroughly honest book, portraying the real actions of sinful people.   The descendants of these boys were the Moabites and Ammonites who were perpetual enemies of the Israelites (though the book of Ruth is about a Moabitess whose descendants included King David and Jesus).

So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived. Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.” That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I lay with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.

Please note any comments or questions you have.

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13 Responses

  1. you’re theories are very misleading the bible does speak out against homosexuality and to make it seem okay is sending people to hell. scriptures can be found in romans, leviticus, and many more read your bible more before you publish these things. i would not recomend this website to anyone. it is these type of things that mistrew the truth you should be ashamed

  2. oops i am very srry i misread you weren’t promoteing homosexuals i am very embarrased

  3. I take it back you are in favor o/ gays i still stand with my previous statement.

  4. Hi Ms. Taylor,

    I was surprised that you thought I implied that the Bible approved of homosexual behavior, but on re-reading the original post I realized it was a little vague. I added this line for clarity: “The sin of Sodom was clearly homosexual behavior.”

    You may also want to read what I wrote about Leviticus 18.

    100% of Bible verses referencing homosexual behavior condemn it in the strongest terms. 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman. 0% of verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way. I find that to be very compelling and I hope it makes my view clear to you.

    I am opposed to “civil rights” for sexual perversions because, among other things, they lead to public school indoctrination of these lifestyles all the way down to the kindergarten level (click here for examples of the horrible things that are already occurring in schools). They will also lead to silencing the church because passages like the one above will be considered “hate speech.”

    While I would never promote homosexual behavior, I don’t have any antagonism towards gays and I don’t think we should grandstand on behavior that isn’t a temptation for us. I’m not implying that you hold that position; I just want to clarify my views since they have been misunderstood. I think we should reach out to all unsaved people with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for expressing your thoughts and giving me a chance to clear this up. Please come back soon!

  5. Yeah, I am not gay, but I believe people have the right to love whoever they damn well please. I’m so sick of everybody following the bible word for word. We’re not even supposed to use the old testament as a guide for today’s religion… that’s what the NEW testament is for, hence the word “NEW”.

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    The OT said to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). Should we dismiss that?

    Actually, the word “New” was as in new covenant with the sacrifice of Jesus. But the moral laws didn’t go away. Jesus agreed with every last letter of them.

    The New Testament also forbids homosexual behavior. And Jesus said marriage was for one man and one woman.

    Peace,
    Neil

  7. Thank you for your clarity on this. Let me just clarify a few things too. We should invest more time in studying the word of God and meditating on it day and night so as to get the revelation of the word right by the aid of the Holy Spirit. (2 tim 3:16-17, psalm 1:1-2). Unless we seperate ourselves from the thoughts and pleasures of this world, we shall not benefit from the word of God and his promises unto eternity. (heb 4:1-2). Homosexuality is an act of the world and in its sense sin in spirit and flesh. The new testament is also clear on this (romans 1:21-27) esp vs 26&27. Men and women forgetting there natural use and burning instead in lust with those of the same sex. Shameful it is.
    Lets also be committed to Christ who has called us unto salvation. (eph 1:4-6) That we be found blameless in everyway to His glory.
    Finally the new testament signifies the new covenant not just independent parts of two books combine to make one in the sense of accumulating a large volume of the book. A better understanding of this is found in 2cor 3. Otherwise thanks and keep revealing more truth.

  8. Actually, the Bible is most likely a bunch of made up stories! Uh-oh!

    • No, it is the true word of God and is supported by archeology and history. Stop making things up as you go along. Read the apologetics links at http://www.4simpsons.wordpress.com if you are a “free thinker” and really seek the truth. Also see http://tinyurl.com/ykzpu42

      Nothing personal but I’m moderating you. This is my old blog and I don’t have time for games.

    • Hey! Don’t put “‘free thinker'” in quotes! It makes me feel like you are saying that my secular free thinking ways are only alleged and quite possibly dubious! I’m a free thinker – without quotes – thank you very much.

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