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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Lot

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Lot (A covering); son of Haran and nephew of Abraham, who by the early death of his father had already come into possession of his property when Abraham went into the land of Canaan (). Their united substance, consisting chiefly in cattle, was not then too large to prevent them from living together in one encampment. Eventually, however, their possessions were so greatly increased, that they were obliged to separate; and Abraham with rare generosity conceded the choice of pasture-grounds to his nephew. Lot availed himself of this liberality of his uncle, as he deemed most for his own advantage, by fixing his abode at Sodom, that his flocks might pasture in and around that fertile and well-watered neighborhood (). He had soon very great reason to regret this choice; for although his flocks fed well, his soul was starved in that vile place, the inhabitants of which were sinners before the Lord exceedingly. There 'he vexed his righteous soul from day to day with the filthy conversation of the wicked' ().

About eight years after his separation from Abraham (B.C. 1913), Lot was carried away prisoner by Chedorlaomer, along with the other inhabitants of Sodom, and was rescued and brought back by Abraham (Genesis 14), as related under other heads [ABRAHAM; CHEDORLAOMER]. This exploit procured for Abraham much celebrity in Canaan; and it ought to have procured for Lot respect and gratitude from the people of Sodom, who had been delivered from hard slavery and restored to their homes on his account. But this does not appear to have been the result.

At length the guilt of 'the cities of the plain' brought down the signal judgments of Heaven. The avenging angels, after having been entertained by Abraham, repaired to Sodom, where they were received and entertained by Lot, who was sitting in the gate of the town when they arrived. While they were at supper the house was beset by a number of men, who demanded that the strangers should be given up to them, for the unnatural purposes which have given a name of infamy to Sodom in all generations. Lot resisted this demand, and was loaded with abuse by the vile fellows outside on that account. They had nearly forced the door, when the angels smote them with instant blindness, by which their attempts were rendered abortive, and they were constrained to disperse. Towards morning the angels apprised Lot of the doom which hung over the place, and urged him to hasten thence with his family. He was allowed to extend the benefit of this deliverance to the families of his daughters who had married in Sodom; but the warning was received by those families with incredulity and insult, and he therefore left Sodom accompanied only by his wife and two daughters. As they went, being hastened by the angels, the wife, anxious for those who had been left behind, or reluctant to remove from the place which had long been her home, and where much valuable property was necessarily left behind, lingered behind the rest, and was suddenly involved in the destruction, by which—smothered and stiffened as she stood by saline incrustations—she became 'a pillar of salt.'

Lot and his daughters then hastened on to Zoar, the smallest of the five cities of the plain, which had been spared on purpose to afford him a refuge: but, being fearful, after what had passed, to remain among a people so corrupted, he soon retired to a cavern in the neighboring mountains, and there abode. After some stay in this place, the daughters of Lot became apprehensive lest the family of their father should be lost for want of descendants, than which no greater calamity was known or apprehended in those times; and in the belief that, after what had passed in Sodom, there was no hope of their obtaining suitable husbands, they, by a contrivance which has in it the taint of Sodom, where they had been brought up, made their father drunk with wine, and in that state seduced him into an act which, as they well knew, would in soberness have been most abhorrent to him. They thus became the mothers, and he the father, of two sons, named Moab and Ammon, from whom sprung the Moabites and Ammonites, so often mentioned in the Hebrew history (Genesis 19). This circumstance is the last which the Scripture records of the history of Lot; and the time and place of his death are unknown.

 

 

 

 


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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Lot'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/kbe/l/lot.html.

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