King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Genesis > Old Testament > Home

Genesis 19

The destruction of Sodom, and the deliverance of Lot. (1-29) The sin and disgrace of Lot. (30-38)

Genesis 19 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The destruction of Sodom, and the deliverance of Lot

1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:

13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my LORD:

19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

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

27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

The sin and disgrace of Lot

30 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.

31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:

32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

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

37 And the first born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.

38 And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Ground. Thus shewing himself a true relation and imitator of Abraham.

Ver. 2. My lords. He took them to be men. — No. They refuse at first, that he may have the merit of pressing them to accept the invitation. H.

Ver. 4. Together. The whole city was corrupt; even the children were taught iniquity, as soon as they came to the years of discretion. M.

Ver. 5. Know them. They boldly proclaim their infamous design.

Ver. 7. This evil, so contrary to the rights of hospitality, and the law of nature.

Ver. 8. Known man. They were neglected, while men were inflamed with desires of each other. See Rom. i. H. — Abuse. Lot tries by every means to divert them from their purpose; being well assured, that they would have nothing to do with his daughters, who were promised to some of the inhabitants. He endeavours to gain time, hoping perhaps that his guests would escape by some back way, while he is talking to the people. H. — Some allow that, under so great a perturbation of mind, he consented to an action which could never be allowed, though it was a less evil. M.

Ver. 9. Thither; from whence thou camest, or into the house. Dost thou pretend to tell us what is wrong? We will treat thee more shamefully. M. While they are beginning to offer violence.

Ver. 10. Behold, &c. the angels not only secure Lot, but strike the whole people with blindness, so that they could neither find Lot’s door nor their own homes. Indeed, if they had been able to get back into their own houses, it would have been but a small consolation to them; since in a few minutes, the whole city was buried in sulphur and flame. Wisd. xix. 16.

Ver. 14. Sons-in-law. Perhaps they also were among the crowd, (v. 4,) and therefore deserved to be abandoned to their incredulity; though, if they would have consented to follow Lot, the angels would have saved them for his sake. — In jest. So little did they suffer God’s judgments to disturb them!

Ver. 16. He lingered, intreating the Lord to save the city; and loath, perhaps to lose all his property, for the sake of which he had chosen that abode. — Spared him, and his wife and two daughters, for his sake. These four were all that were even tolerably just: for we find them all soon giving signs of their weakness, and of the danger to which even the best are exposed by evil communications. H.

Ver. 17. Look not back. Flee with all expedition; let no marks of pity for the wretched Sodomites, nor of sorrow for the lose of your property, be seen.

Ver. 18. My lord, addressing himself to the angel, who led him and his wife. M.

Ver. 19. The mountain above Segor. He is faint-hearted, and does not comply with readiness and exactitude; though, when he had obtained leave to remain in Segor, he still fears, and flees to the mountain, v. 30, (H.) on the south-east of the dead sea. C.

Ver. 22. Segor. That is, a little one. Ch. — In allusion to Lot’s words, v. 20. As it was small, fewer sinners would of course be contained in it. God had resolved to spare it, and therefore inspired Lot to pray for its preservation. M. — Hence we may learn, how great a treasure and safeguard the just man is. H.

Ver. 23. Risen. It was morning when he left Sodom; (v. 15.) so this city must not have been very distant. It was before called Bala, or swallowed up, and afterwards Salissa. Theodoret supposes it was destroyed as soon as Lot had left it; and it seems Lot’s daughters thought so, since they concluded all men, except their father, had perished.

Ver. 24. The Lord rained…from the Lord, in a miraculous manner. Sodom and the other cities did not perish by earthquakes and other natural causes only, but by the divine wrath exerting itself in a visible manner. Here is an insinuation of a plurality of persons in God, as the C. of Sirmich declares, c. 14. — And Gomorrha, and the other towns which were not so large, nor perhaps so infamous. — Brimstone and fire; to denote the bad odour and violence of their disorders. M.

Ver. 25. All the inhabitants, both the body and soul, (Jude v. 7.): even the infants would probably die in original sin, as their parents were unbelievers, and careless of applying the proper remedies. H. — The women imitated the men in pride and dissolute morals, so that all deserved to perish. M. — All things; so that even now the environs are barren, and the lake dark and smoking. T.

Ver. 26. And his wife. As a standing memorial to the servants of God to proceed in virtue, and not to look back to vice or its allurements. Ch. — His, Lot’s wife. The two last verses might be within a parenthesis. — Remember Lot’s wife, our Saviour admonishes us. Having begun a good work, let us not leave it imperfect, and lose our reward. Lu. xvii. Mat. xxiv. — A statue of durable metallic salt, petrified as it were, to be an eternal monument of an incredulous soul. Wisd. x. 7. Some say it still exists. H. — God may have inflicted this temporal punishment on her, and saved her soul. M. — She looked back, as if she distrusted the words of the angel; but her fault was venial. T.

Ver. 29. Lot. Even he owed his safety to the merits of Abraham.

Ver. 31. No man. If this had been true, Lot might have had children by them, without any fault. But they ought to have consulted him. H.

Ver. 35. Rose up; being oppressed with grief and wine, which would not excuse him from sin, particularly this second time. M.

Ver. 37. Elder. She first proposes: she is not ashamed to call her child Moab, “from father.” The younger is rather more modest, and calls her son Ammon, “my people,” not born of the Sodomites. Many reasons might be alleged to extenuate, or even to excuse the conduct of Lot and his daughters, as many of the fathers have done. But the Scripture barely leaves it upon record, without either commendation or blame. H.