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Genesis  ◦   Chapter 19

1The two angels in the appearance of men who had visited Abraham arrived at Sodom later that evening. Lot was sitting at the city gate, and when he saw them, he got up to welcome them. As they approached, he bowed with his face to the ground and said, 2“Good sirs, please do me the honor of staying at my home and allow me to serve you. You can wash your feet, spend the night there and be on your way early in the morning.” They answered, “We appreciate your offer, but we’ll spend the night downtown.”

3With great concern for them, Lot insisted that they go with him. So they went to his house. He prepared a feast for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4Before they had gone to bed, men from all over the entire city, men of all ages – young and old alike – surrounded the house. 5They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came home with you tonight? Bring them out now! We want to have our way with them; we are going to have a sex-party with them as the main entertainment!”

6Lot stepped outside to talk with them, shutting the door behind him. 7He said to the mob, “Neighbors, friends, don’t do this evil – don’t force these men to be your entertainment. 8Instead, I have two virgin daughters, who love and value what I do, and they will sacrifice themselves to protect these innocent visitors. Let me bring them to you and let them be your entertainment. But don’t seek to abuse these men, for they are my guests and under my protection.”

9“Get out of our way!” they yelled. Enraged, they shouted, “This man is a foreigner in our city and now he wants to act like he is better than us and judge us! We’ll do much worse to you than them!” The mob pressed in upon Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

10But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back inside the house and shut the door. 11Then they struck the men who were mobbing the door of the house, young and old alike, with blindness. But rather than being convicted of their wrong and repenting, the mob revealed they were incurable, as they exhausted themselves searching for the door (but they couldn’t find it).

12The two men turned to Lot and said, “Do you have any other loved ones here in the city – sons, daughters, sons-in-law, anyone at all? If so, get them out of the city, 13because we are going to destroy this corruption. The wail of suffering and cry of turmoil coming from the selfish malignancy in these people has come before the Lord and he has diagnosed them as incurable and sent us to eradicate this necrosis.”

14So Lot went out and found his daughters’ fiancés, and said to them, “Quickly, get your things, for we must flee Sodom immediately, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But the men engaged to his daughters didn’t believe him; they thought he said this as a way to condemn them and their city.

15At dawn, the angels insisted that Lot hurry up, saying, “Quickly now, it’s time to go! Take your wife and your two daughters and leave immediately, lest you be caught up in the destruction of the city.”

16Lot was willing to go, but when his affections for all he was leaving behind caused him to hesitate, the Lord’s compassion came through – the angels, in the appearance of men, grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and pulled them to safety outside of the city. 17As soon as the angels had them outside the city, one of them said to Lot, “Run for your lives! Don’t look back, don’t stop for anything anywhere out in the open! Run to the mountains or you will be caught up in the destructions!”

18But Lot answered, “Oh, please sirs, don’t make us do that! 19We don’t know how to live off the land. If we run into the mountains, we’ll die. Please, if we have found favor in your eyes, do us the kindness of sparing our lives and don’t force us into the wilderness or else we’ll die. 20Look, there is a small town, close enough for us to run to; it’s really just a village. Let us run to it – it’s small enough, isn’t it? Then we will survive.”

21One of the angels said to him, “Very well, I will grant you this request also; I will not remove this town you speak of. 22But get there quickly, because we cannot do anything until you are safe.” (Because that town was small, it was called Zoar.)

23The sun had just risen over the horizon when Lot reached Zoar. 24Then the Lord rained down fiery burning streams of magma out of the sky upon Sodom and Gomorrah. 25Thus the Lord cauterized this lesion of incurable selfishness and turned those festering centers of corruption back to dirt, including all living things in those cities and the vegetation growing from the ground. 26But Lot’s wife refused to let go of Sodom, as her heart clung to that vile city, and as she looked back in longing, she received what her heart wanted – to be part of Sodom – and so she became a lifeless pillar of salt.

27Early the next morning, Abraham got up and went back to the place where he had talked with the Lord. 28When he looked out toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the land of the plain, he saw a dense smoke rising from the land, like the smoke of a furnace.

29But when God destroyed those cities, he honored his friend Abraham’s confidence in him by leading Lot to safety and keeping him out of the disaster that overturned the cities where Lot had lived.

30But Zoar was corrupt and not a safe-haven for Lot, so he and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, and lived in a cave. 31One day, the older daughter made plans with the younger, saying, “Our family is almost gone – just you, me and dad. There are no men for us to marry, have children with, and continue the family line like everyone else; and our father is almost too old to have more children. 32So if we want to preserve our father’s line, we need to act. Let’s get our father drunk on wine and then have sex with him. In that way we can save our father’s line.”

33So that night they got their father drunk, and the older daughter had sex with him. He was so intoxicated that he didn’t know she had had sex with him.

34The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with our father. Let’s get him drunk again tonight, and you go in and have sex with him, so we can preserve our father’s line.” 35So they got their father drunk that night also, and the younger daughter went in and had sex with him. Again, he was so intoxicated that he didn’t know that she had had sex with him.

36So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the nation known today as the Moabites. 38The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the nation known today as the Ammonites.