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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Genesis 19



Verses 1-38

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - Genesis 19:1-38 gives us the famous story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We see in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah how careful Abraham and Lot were in their lives to entertain strangers. The Scriptures tell us to be careful to entertain strangers, because they may be angels ( Hebrews 13:2).

Hebrews 13:2, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Extra-biblical References to Sodom and Gomorrah- I find it amazing in the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah how Abraham would find it within himself to intercede for such a wicked people. Yet somehow, Abraham found enough compassion to pray for them. Perhaps he was able to do this because he understood the eternal aspects of a man's soul.

Homosexuality - We read in Romans 1:18-32 about the three-fold progression of man's depravity. Mankind start out in idolatry, he moves into fornication and finally into homosexuality. Thus, there was no more remedy for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They had become utterly depraved and the only remedy left was their destruction.

Lot - Since the time that Lot parted from Abraham, he does not seem to walk in the blessings of Abraham. He is taken captive by the kings of the East and rescued by Abraham ( Genesis 14:1-24). He now lives in the midst of a wicked city, gives his daughters in marriage to the men of that city ( Genesis 19:14), and his soul is grieved day by day ( 2 Peter 2:7-9). He eventually lives in a cave and impregnates his two daughters. The point is that a man is blessed while dwelling in the household of a man of faith like Abraham. In like manner, when a young minister leaves the covering of his spiritual father prematurely, and is now out of God's will, the anointing will cease and this young minister will become like any other man.

Genesis 19:1 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;

Genesis 19:1"And there came two angels to Sodom at even" - Comments- Genesis 19:1 mentions that two angels visit the city of Sodom. In Genesis 18:2 there were three individuals mentioned, with one was the Lord. God cannot dwell in the midst of sin, so that is perhaps He sent the angels to the wicked city.

Genesis 19:1 — "and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom" - Comments- The fact that Lot sat in the gate is an indication that Lot was a man of influence in the city of Sodom, for it was here that judgment was made by the city elders ( 2 Samuel 19:8, 1 Kings 22:10, Proverbs 31:23, Daniel 2:49). It is very possible that they respected him after his uncle Abraham delivered them from the hands of kings of the East.

2 Samuel 19:8, "Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent."

1 Kings 22:10, "And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them."

Proverbs 31:23, "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land."

Daniel 2:49, "Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king."

Genesis 19:1 — "and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground" - Comments- The Mosaic Law later requires the Jews to treat the stranger with love ( Deuteronomy 10:18-19).

Deuteronomy 10:18-19, "He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

Genesis 19:2 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.

Genesis 19:3 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.

Genesis 19:3Comments- The unleavened bread indicates that the meal was prepared in haste, with no time to work the yeast into the bread.

Genesis 19:4 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:

Genesis 19:4"But before they lay down" - Comments- Sinners are children of darkness, thus the people led an active nightlife, as homosexuals still do today.

Genesis 19:4 — "the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter" - Comments- God will judge all homosexuality.

Leviticus 20:13, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

Ezekiel 16:49-50, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."

Jude 1:7, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

A similar story is found in Judges 19:22.

Judges 19:22, "Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old Prayer of Manasseh , saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him."

Genesis 19:5 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.

Genesis 19:6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

Genesis 19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

Genesis 19:8 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.

Genesis 19:9 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 Prayer of Manasseh , even Lot, and came near to break the door.

Genesis 19:9Comments- The world accuses Christians of judging them, but God's Word is doing the judging. This is how the world reacts when they are reproved by God's Word.

Genesis 19:14Comments- In the phrase "sons in law," Genesis 19:14 may imply that Lot had several other married daughters beside his virgin daughters. However, it is also possible that they were married to the two daughters he brought with him out of the city and by whom he eventually fathered two sons.

Verses 18-22

God Spares Zoar- In Genesis 19:18-22 we see how the city of Zoar was spared from God's wrath in order to give Lot a place to dwell. Why would God allow one of the five cities of this region to escape the judgment of God? We know that Lot requested the deliverance of Zoar so that he could dwell there. But perhaps there was more to the history of this city than we have read.

Genesis 19:22Word Study on "Zoar" - Gesenius says the Hebrew name "Zoar" ( צֹעַר) (H 6820) means, "smallness." Strong says it means "little." PTW says it means, "small."

Genesis 19:24Comments- The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is likened to the second coming of Jesus in Luke 17:28-33.

Genesis 19:25Comments- Genesis 19:25 provides an illustration of Psalm 107:33-34.

Psalm 107:33-34, "He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein."

Genesis 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Genesis 19:26Comments- Lot's Wife Looking Back- Why would Lot's wife look back. In the New Testament references to this passage of Scripture, Lot's wife's turning back is compared to a person seeking to save his life ( Luke 9:62; Luke 17:32, John 12:25):

Luke 9:62, "And Jesus said unto him, No Prayer of Manasseh , having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Luke 17:32, "Remember Lot"s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it."

John 12:25, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."

We see Jeremiah prophesying about how the Egyptian army will flee from the Babylonians. He notes that they will flee with such fear that they will not consider "looking back," which means that will not even consider returning to take part in the battle.

Jeremiah 46:5, "Wherefore have I seen them dismayed and turned away back? and their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back: for fear was round about, saith the LORD."

Thus, we can better understand that Lot's wife looked back because she had considered returning. This may have been because she had to leave behind some of her beloved children and perhaps grandchildren in the city.

Genesis 19:26Comments- Lot's Wife Turned to Salt- Why was Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt? There are several suggestions by evaluating the figurative meaning of salt in the Scriptures.

(1) The Righteous are the Salt of the Earth- Perhaps the answer is found in Matthew 5:13, which states that the child of God is the salt of the earth. Lot and his wife had served as the salt of that wicked city. Thus, Lot's wife served as an example of how the righteous are the salt of the earth.

Matthew 5:13, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."

(2) Salt Symbolizes Cleansing, or Judgment- More likely, the answer in found in Mark 9:49, which states that a person will be "salted with fire." Salt represents fire, and fire represents judgment ( Deuteronomy 29:23, Judges 9:45, Jeremiah 17:6, Ezekiel 47:11).

Mark 9:49, "For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt."

Deuteronomy 29:23, "And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:"

Judges 9:45, "And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt."

Jeremiah 17:6, "For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited."

Ezekiel 47:11, "But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt."

Genesis 19:27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

Genesis 19:27Comments- Genesis 18:22 could be a reference to the same place where Abraham often stood before the Lord in prayer.

Genesis 18:22, "And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD."

Genesis 19:28 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.

Genesis 19:29 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.

Genesis 19:29Comments- Genesis 19:29 shows us an example of intercession, where God remembered Lot because of the prayers of Abraham.

Genesis 19:29Comments- In Rick Joyner"s book The Call the author meets Lot in a heavenly vision. Lot then explains that many perished in Sodom and Gomorrah because of Lot"s silence. Lot goes on to explain that he thought that he would be able to just live a godly life in front of these people, thus being enough of a warning of God"s judgment. It is the power of the spoken word that the Holy Spirit uses to convict man of sin. It is not enough just to live different in the midst of an ungodly world. 209]

209] Rick Joyner, The Call (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1999), 42-3.

In contrast to Lot, Jonah did lift up his voice and witness to the people of Nineveh. They repented at the preaching of Jonah and God spared their city.

Did not our Lord Jesus Christ say that He would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah if they had heard the preaching of the judgment of God?

Matthew 11:23-24, "And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."

Genesis 19:30 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.

Genesis 19:31 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:

Genesis 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

Genesis 19:33 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.

Genesis 19:34 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.

Genesis 19:35 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.

Genesis 19:36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

Genesis 19:37 And the firstborn bare a Song of Solomon , and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.

Genesis 19:37Word Study on "Moab" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Moab" ( מוֹאָב) (H 4124) is a compound word of the Hebrew preposition (or prefix) ( מ), meaning, "from," and the Hebrew word ( אָב) (H 1) meaning, "father," so that the name "Moab" literally means, "from father," or "from [her mother's] father." This child was fathered from his mother's father.

Comments- Both names Moab and Ben-Ammi derive their meaning from the idea of being fathered through incest.

Genesis 19:38 And the younger, she also bare a Song of Solomon , and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

Genesis 19:38Word Study on "Ben-Ammi" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Ben-Ammi" ( בֶּן־עַמִּי) (H 1151) means, "son of my people."

Comments- Both names Moab and Ben-Ammi derive their meaning from the idea of being fathered through incest.


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Genesis 19:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

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