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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Genesis 19

 

 

Verse 1

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;

Ver. 1. Lot sat in the gate.] Not as a judge (as the Hebrews will have it), nor as a merchant; much less as a noveller; but as a good householder, looking for his herds, and as a good housekeeper, looking for guests.


Verse 2

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.

Ver. 2. Nay, but we will abide in the street.] They would have done so, but for Lot’s importunity. So our Saviour would have gone farther, but that the two disciples constrained him to stay. [Luke 24:29] This was no simulation; or if so, yet it was only exploratory, without deceit or hypocrisy. And if Solomon sinned not in making believe he would do that which was unlawful to be done, [1 Kings 3:24] it can be no sin to do the like in things indifferent.


Verse 3

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.

Ver. 3. And they did eat.] They made as if they did eat and drink, saith the Hierosolymi-Targum, but not well. {See Trapp on "Genesis 18:8"}


Verse 4

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:

Ver. 4. Both old and young.] Nulla aetas erat culpae immunis, ideo nec exitii . - Ambrose. Sin spreads as leaven, and is as catching as the plague; like the Jerusalem artichoke, plant it where you will, it overruns the ground, and chokes the heart.


Verse 5

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.

Ver. 5. That we may know them.] O faces hatched with impudency! They shroud not their sin in a mantle of secrecy, but hang out these sour grapes to the sun to ripen.


Verse 6

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

Ver. 6. Lot went out.] So he exposed himself, to save his strangers, hoping to save them from that abominable violence. The right of strangers is so holy, that there was scarce ever any nation so barbarous that would violate the same. When Stephen Gardiner had in his power the renowned clerk Peter Martyr, then teaching at Oxford, he would not keep him to punish him; but when he should go his way, as it is reported, gave him wherewith to bear his charges. But these Sodomites had not so much humanity left in them. They had put off the man, and were become dogs and worse. [Deuteronomy 23:18] Am I a dog? saith Abner; [2 Samuel 3:8] that is, so given as dogs be to lust. Lot was the world’s miracle, who kept himself fresh in Sodom’s salt waters.


Verse 7

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

Ver. 7. Do not so wickedly.] They were the first that fell into this foul sin, and were therefore worthily hanged up in gibbets by God for a terror to others; and besides, they "suffer the vengeance of eternal fire". [ 1:7] The Pope pretends to be Christ’s vicar, and presumes to assume the title of Holiness. But how far he is from expressing God to the world appears by his, if not committing, yet conniving at, this detestable sin of sodomy … God hath delivered up these Papagans (as he did those Pagans, Romans 1:24) to reprobate sense, to vile affections, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves, for that they have worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator. [Romans 1:24-26] Hence it is that Rome is called Sodom in the Revelation. [Revelation 11:8]


Verse 8

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.

Ver. 8. Behold now, I have two daughters.] This was an inconsiderate motion, such as the best minds easily yield, when once troubled, it was proper to the Lord Christ to be subject to natural passions and perturbations, "yet without sin"; as a crystal glass full of clear water remains still pure, howsoever it be shaken. The Hebrews think that for this sinful offering to prostitute his daughters, he was given up by God to commit incest with his daughters.


Verse 9

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 man, [even] Lot, and came near to break the door.

Ver. 9. Stand back, &c.] They set up the bristles at Lot’s admonition; a sure forerunner of destruction, as in Eli’s sons.


Verse 10

Genesis 19:10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

Ver. 10. But the men.] Thus Lot is rescued at a dead lift; that is God’s opportunity, who "knows how to deliver the godly". [2 Peter 2:9]


Verse 11

Genesis 19:11 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.

Ver. 11. With blindness.] Subito scotomate , saith Junius: With blindness both of body and mind, saith Aben Ezra: such as tormented their eyes, as if they had been pricked with thorns, as the Hebrew word signifies. And yet they continue groping for the door, as if they were ambitious of destruction, which now was at next door by. Deus quem destruit dementat . So Pharaoh, when under that palpable three days’ darkness, rageth against God, and threateneth Moses with death. Though doomsday should be tomorrow next, wicked men must and will serve their lusts. Vale lumen amicum , said Theotimus in St Ambrose, who chose rather to lose his sight than his sin.


Verse 12

Genesis 19:12 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:

Ver. 12. Hast thou here any, &c.] It is something for safety, to be Lot’s kinsman. So the Kenites in Saul’s time, receive life from Jethro’s dust, many ages after his death, and favour from his hospitality. [1 Samuel 15:6]


Verse 13

Genesis 19:13 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.

Ver. 13. For we will destroy this place.] Even the good angels are God’s executioners. And the first execution they did in the world, that we read of, was upon these filthy Sodomites. So will it be, likely, at the last day. And St Peter seems to say as much. [2 Peter 2:9] The Lord reserves the unjust to the day of judgment, to be punished, "but chiefly them that walk after the flesh, in the lust of uncleanness." Mark that chiefly.


Verse 14

Genesis 19:14 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.

Ver. 14. But he seemed as one that mocked.] Sed fuit habitus tanquam iocabundus . Graceless hearts jeer, when they should fear, and are senseless and secure, as if they were out of the reach of God’s rod, and needed not to fear his wrath. Lot here is counted but a Lob, of his own sons-in-law. (a) Wonder not, if we meet with the same measure.


Verse 15

Genesis 19:15 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.

Ver. 15. Lest thou be consumed.] So Revelation 18:4. "Come out of her, that ye receive not of her plagues." Musculi ruinis imminentibus praemigrant, et aranei cum telis primi eadunt , saith Pliny. (a) Swine flee home before a storm. Let men hasten out of their natural estate, as Lot was bidden to do out of Sodom: there is the smell of the fire and brimstone upon them.


Verse 16

Genesis 19:16 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.

Ver. 16. And while he lingered.] Or distracted himself with much business, (a) which David did not. [Psalms 119:60]

The Lord being merciful unto him.] What is he then to us, in "delivering us from the wrath to come?" [1 Thessalonians 1:10] Why save we not ourselves from this untoward generation? [Acts 2:40] Why see we not his mercy to us in our losses and crosses; his hand laying hold on us, when he takes away that which may hinder us from heaven?


Verse 17

Genesis 19:17 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.

Ver. 17. Look not behind thee.] As loath to depart. Non minus difficulter a deliciis Sodomorum abstrahimur, quam canis ab uncto corio .


Verse 18

Genesis 19:18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

Ver. 18. Oh! not so, my Lord.] But who shall prescribe to the Almighty? Or limit the Holy One of Israel? Are we wiser than he? Have we a trick beyond him? He lets us sometimes have our way, but to our woe at last.


Verse 19

Genesis 19:19 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:

Ver. 19. Behold now, thy servant, &c.] We can receive and commend God’s favours, but be backward enough to obey him.


Verse 20

Genesis 19:20 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.

Ver. 20. Is it not a little one?] Let no man use this plea for his sin. Even the philosopher (a) tells us, that the smallest errors prove many times most dangerous. It is as much treason to coin pence, as bigger pieces.


Verse 21

Genesis 19:21 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.

Ver. 21. I will not overthrow this city.] Zoar, of all the five cites, was preserved by Lot’s prayer, saith Jerome. See Deuteronomy 29:23, Isaiah 15:5.


Verse 22

Genesis 19:22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

Ver. 22. For I cannot do anything.] Not that the execution of the divine decree depended simply upon Lot’s removal to Zoar; but upon another decree, for Lot’s removal ere Sodom were destroyed.


Verse 23

Genesis 19:23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

Ver. 23. The sun was risen upon Sodom.] But ere night there was a dismal change. Nescis quid serus vesper vehat .


Verse 24

Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Ver. 24. Then the Lord rained, &c.] Lot was no sooner taken out of Sodom, but Sodom was soon taken out of the world. The wicked are reprieved for the sake of the godly, and, but for them would suddenly be ruined. [Isaiah 30:33]

Rained upon Sodom, &c.] Rained, not sprinkled; and not fire only, but brimstone and fire for increase of torment, and for a hell above ground, and aforehand. [ 1:7] Hot fire they had for their burning lusts; and stinking brimstone for their stinking brutishness. Charles II, king of Navarre, was much given to sensual pleasures, which so wasted his spirits, that in his old age, he fell into a kind of lethargy. To comfort his benumbed joints, he was bound and sewed up naked in a sheet, steeped in boiling aqua vitae :the surgeon, having made an end of sewing him, and wanting a knife to cut off the thread, took a wax candle that stood lighted by him. But the flame, running down by the thread, caught hold on the sheet; which, according to the nature of the aqua vitae , burned with that vehemency, that the miserable king ended his days in the fire. (a)


Verse 25

Genesis 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Ver. 25. And he overthrew, &c.] Some footsteps of this overthrow are to be read of in Solinus and Tacitus. Josephus (a) tells us of the mock-apples of Sodom, and saith, that an ox, having all his legs bound, will not sink into the lake of Sodom, the water is so dense.


Verse 26

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

Ver. 26. But his wife looked back.] Whether out of curiosity, or foolish pity, or as loath to leave so sweet a country, she turned her about, and she was turned. Some think she was a Sodomite, and some tell us her name was Tytea. (a) Her sin, seem it never so light, was a compound of many sins. And her punishment was part of the plague of Sodom, which was "brimstone and salt," [Deuteronomy 29:23] so that it became a sea of salt. And all this to season us, saith Augustine; to caution us, saith our Saviour, that we look not back. The fable of Eurydice, lost by her husband’s looking back upon her, was devised by the devil to elude this holy history. The "pillar of salt," into which Lot’s wife was turned, stands yet, saith Benjamin in his "Itinerary," about two miles from the Dead Sea; and if, by the rubbing or licking of cattle, it be any whit diminished, it groweth again forthwith, to its former size.


Verse 27

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

Ver. 27. And Abraham gat up.] So solicitous he was for Sodom, that, as Luther thinks, he could not sleep all night. Lot was delivered by his prayers, though Abraham knew it not.


Verse 28

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.

Ver. 28. And he looked.] Abraham might look upon the smoke of Sodom; Lot might not; because it would work more on Lot’s heart, than on Abraham’s, who had more grace.

The smoke of the country.] Nothing else was now to be seen of that fair and fruitful plain. Sic transit gloria mundi . When we most greedily grasp earthly things, we embrace nothing but smoke, which wrings tears from our eyes, and soon vanisheth into nothing.


Verse 29

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.

Ver. 29. God remembered Abraham, &c.] And shall he forget us, who have Christ to intercede for us?


Verse 30

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.

Ver. 30. Lot went up out of Zoar, &c.] So he should have done at first; and so he had obeyed God, saved his wife, and prevented that sin of incest with his daughters.


Verse 31

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:

Ver. 31. And the firstborn, &c.] It is dangerous to live in a wicked place: yea, for though thyself mayest escape infection, thy children may be tainted, as Lot’s were.


Verse 32

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.

Ver. 32. Come, let us make our father drink.] (a) She knew too well, that Venus in vinis, ignis in igne furit . It is like they had wine from Zoar. They sinned against conscience; and therefore intoxicated their father, who now forgets that he is a father, and does that, in a drunken pang, that which heaven and earth were afterwards ashamed of.


Verse 33

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.

Ver. 33. Nor when she arose.] There is a tittle extraordinary in the Hebrew, to note that this is a thing incredible, (a) Coire quempiam nescientem . Cajetan and Pererius conclude it possible, and give reasons for it. Calvin saith best, that it was not so much his wine, as a spirit of slumber sent upon him from God, for a scourge of his intemperance. Luther adds, Ne nos abeamus in securitatem , that we may watch against security.


Verse 34

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.

Ver. 34. The firstborn said unto the younger.] Lot offended against both their chastities, in offering them up to the Sodomites: and they both now conspire against his chastity.


Verse 35

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.

Ver. 35. And they made, &c.] Decepit ebrietas Lotum, quem Sodoma non decepit , saith Origen. Well might Athenaeus call drunkenness the metropolis of mischief, (a)


Verse 36

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

Ver. 36. With child by their father.] God suffers, oft, such unlawful commixions to take effect; for a just punishment of the same. But as a fair and perfect child born, doth not make anything better the adultery or incest in which it was begotten, so neither doth God’s purpose the sins of graceless persons.


Verse 37

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

Ver. 37. Called his name Moab.] That is, the begotten of my father: so, Benammi; that is, begotten of one of my near kindred, viz., her father. Thus "they declared their sin as Sodom, they hid it not," [Isaiah 3:9] but gloried in their shame. It is as hard to come from Sodom, and not taste of the sap of such a soil, as to walk barefaced in the hot sun, and not be tanned.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/genesis-19.html. 1865-1868.

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