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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 19

 

 

Verse 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;

And there came two — Probably two of the three that had just before been with Abraham, the two created angels who were sent to execute God's purpose concerning Sodom.


Verse 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.

And he pressed upon them greatly — Partly because he would by no means have them to expose themselves to the perils of lodging in the streets of Sodom, and partly because he was desirous of their converse.


Verse 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:

Here were old and young all from every quarter - The old were not past it, and the young were soon come up to it. Either they had no magistrates to protect the peaceable, or their magistrates were themselves aiding and abetting.


Verse 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.

I have two daughters — This was unadvisedly and unjustifiably offered. It is true, of two evils we must chose the less, but of two sins we must chose neither, nor ever do evil that good may come of it.


Verse 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.

And they smote the men with blindness — This was designed to put an end to their attempt, and to be an earnest of their utter ruin the next day.


Verse 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.

We will destroy this place — The holy angels are ministers of God's wrath for the destruction of sinners, as well as of his mercy for the preservation and deliverance of his people.


Verse 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.

Up, get you out this place — The manner of expression is startling. It was not time to trifle, when the destruction was just at the door. But he seemed to them as one that mocked - They thought perhaps that the assault which the Sodomites had just now made upon his house had disturbed his head, and put him into such a fright that be knew not what he said. They that made a jest of every thing, made a jest of that, and so perished in the overthrow. Thus many who are warned of the danger they are in by sin, make a light matter of it; such will perish with their blood upon their heads.


Verse 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.

Tho' Lot did not make a jest of the warning as his sons-in-law, yet he lingered, he did not make so much haste as the case required. And it might have been fatal to him, if the angels had not laid hold on his hand, and brought him forth. Herein the Lord was merciful to him, otherwise he might justly have left him to perish, since he was loath to depart. If God had not been merciful to us, our lingering had been our ruin.


Verse 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.

Look not behind thee — He must not loiter by the way; stay not in all the plain - For it would all be made one dead sea: he must not take up short of the place of refuge appointed him; escape to the mountain - Such as these are the commands given to those who through grace are delivered out of a sinful state1. Return not to sin and Satan, for that's looking back to Sodom2. Rest not in the world, for that's staying in the plain. And, 3. Reach toward Christ and heaven, for that is escaping to the mountain, short of which we must not take up.


Verse 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.

I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither — The very presence of good men in a place helps to keep off judgments. See what care God takes for the preservation of his people!


Verse 24

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

Then the Lord rained — from the Lord - God the Son, from God the Father, for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. He that is the Saviour will be the destroyer of those that reject the salvation.


Verse 25

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

And he overthrew the cities, and all the inhabitants of them, the plain, and all that grew upon the ground - It was an utter ruin, and irreparable; that fruitful valley remains to this day a great lake, or dead sea. Travelers say it is about thirty miles long, and ten miles broad. It has no living creature in it: it is not moved by the wind: the smell of it is offensive: things do not easily sink in it. The Greeks call it Asphaltis, from a sort of pitch which it casts up. Jordan falls into it, and is lost there. It was a punishment that answered their sin. Burning lusts against nature were justly punished with this preternatural burning.


Verse 26

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

But his wife looked back from behind him — Herein she disobeyed an express command. Probably she hankered after her house and goods in Sodom, and was loath to leave them. Christ intimates this to be her sin, Luke 17:31,32, she too much regarded her stuff. And her looking back spoke an inclination to go back; and therefore our Saviour uses it as a warning against apostasy from our Christian profession.

And she became a pillar of salt — She was struck dead in the place, yet her body did not fall down, but stood fixed and erect like a pillar or monument, not liable to waste or decay, as human bodies exposed to the air are, but metamorphosed into a metallic substance, which would last perpetually. Our communion with God consists in our gracious regard to him, and his gracious regard to us. We have here therefore the communion that was between God and Abraham in the event concerning Sodom, as before in the consultation concerning It; for communion with God is to be kept up in providences as well as in ordinances.


Verse 27

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

And Abraham gat up early — And to see what was become of his prayers, he went to the very place were he had stood before the Lord.


Verse 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.

And he looked toward Sodom — Not as Lot's wife did, tacitly reflecting upon the divine severity, but humbly adoring it, and acquiescing in it. Here is God's favourable regard to Abraham, Genesis 19:29. As before when Abraham prayed for Ishmael, God heard him for Isaac, so now when he prayed for Sodom, he heard for Lot.


Verse 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.

God remembered Abraham, and for his sake sent Lot out of the overthrow - God will certainly give an answer of peace to the prayer of faith in his own way and time.


Verse 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.

He feared to dwell in Zoar — Here is the great trouble and distress that Lot was brought into after his deliverance, Genesis 19:29. He was frightened out of Zoar, durst not dwell there, either because he was conscious to himself that it was a refuge of his own chusing, and that therein he had foolishly prescribed to God, and therefore could not but distrust his safety in it. Probably he found it as wicked as Sodom; and therefore concluded it could not long survive it; or perhaps he observed the rise and increase of those waters, which, after the conflagration, began to overflow the plain, and which, mixing with the ruins, by degrees made the dead sea; in those waters he concluded Zoar must needs perish, (though it had escaped the fire) because it stood upon the same flat. He was now glad to go to the mountain, the place which God had appointed for his shelter. See in Lot what those bring themselves to at last, that forsake the communion of saints for secular advantages.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/genesis-19.html. 1765.

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