Haran had a specific son named in the Bible, called Lot. Though he was Abraham’s nephew, Lot was born only seven years after Abraham in 1970 BCE – when Haran was thirty-nine. They had a close relationship and instead of being as an uncle and nephew that they were, acted more like brothers, due to the closeness of their ages. With the premature death of Haran, Abraham was also protective of his nephew in more than one instance. The fact that Abraham did not have his own son for many years, meant Lot was logically in line to be Abraham’s heir. This is telling and may have significant bearing in how circumstances eventuated between the descendants of Lot and of Abraham.
Abarim Publications – emphasis & bold mine:
‘The name Lot mean[s] Covering From the verb (lut), to wrap closely, to envelop
Noun (lat) or (la’t) means secrecy. The verb (malat) means to deliver from confinement or dangerous predicament. For a meaning of the name Lot, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Covering. Jones adds Veil.’
In Genesis chapter eleven we read of Terah’s departure from Ur to Haran, with Abraham and Lot’s families in 1927 BCE. Twenty-five years later when Abraham was seventy-five, the Creator told him to leave Haran for Canaan further south.
English Standard Version
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem [future location of Simeon and Levi’s revenge for their sister Dinah], to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites [dark skinned sons of Canaan] were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.”
So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.
English Standard Version
So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb. 2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. 5 And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6 so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, 7 and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.
8 Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord [Eden], like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. 12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
Recall in Chapter XXII Alpha & Omega, the location of physical Eden was investigated. We learned that the garden area of Eden encompassed the area of southern Lebanon and the Sea of Galilee stretching southwards to Jerusalem. We will discover soon that Zoar was situated north of the Dead or Salt Sea and so the fertile Jordan River valley was a corridor running from Galilee through the Dead Sea – which wasn’t ‘dead’ yet – and all the way south to where the river exits into the Red Sea. Lot saw that this land between Galilee and Zoar was ‘like the garden of the Lord’ or Eden and understandably chose it for his family. Thus he lived to the east of Abraham who dwelt westwards towards the Mediterranean Sea in the land of Canaan. It also explains how Lot ended up living in Sodom – where he was prominent in the City’s governance – as it was one of the five main cities with Zoar in the plains north of the Salt Sea.
13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord. 14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.
16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18 So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.
Lot chose the fertile lower ground, the plains in the valley bordered between the hills towards the west and the River Jordan to the east. We read a parallel account in the Book of Jasher 15:35-47:
35 And Lot the son of Haran, Abram’s brother, had a heavy stock of cattle, flocks and herds and tents, for the Lord was bountiful to them on account of Abram. 36 And when Abram was dwelling in the land the herdsmen of Lot quarrelled with the herdsmen of Abram, for their property was too great for them to remain together in the land, and the land could not bear them on account of their cattle. 37 And when Abram’s herdsmen went to feed their flock they would not go into the fields of the people of the land, but the cattle of Lot’s herdsmen did otherwise, for they were suffered to feed in the fields of the people of the land. 38 And the people of the land saw this occurrence daily, and they came to Abram and quarrelled with him on account of Lot’s herdsmen. 39 And Abram said to Lot, What is this thou art doing to me, to make me despicable to the inhabitants of the land, that thou orderest thy herdsman to feed thy cattle in the fields of other people? Dost thou not know that I am a stranger in this land amongst the children of Canaan, and why wilt thou do this unto me? 40 And Abram quarrelled daily with Lot on account of this, but Lot would not listen to Abram, and he continued to do the same and the inhabitants of the land came and told Abram.
This display of mercurial stubbornness is indicative of Lot’s descendants.
41 And Abram said unto Lot, How long wilt thou be to me for a stumbling block with the inhabitants of the land? Now I beseech thee let there be no more quarrelling between us, for we are kinsmen. 42 But I pray thee separate from me, go and choose a place where thou mayest dwell with thy cattle and all belonging to thee, but Keep thyself at a distance from me, thou and thy household. 43 And be not afraid in going from me, for if any one do an injury to thee, let me know and I will avenge thy cause from him,only remove from me. 44 And when Abram had spoken all these words to Lot, then Lot arose and lifted up his eyes toward the plain of Jordan. 45 And he saw that the whole of this place was well watered, and good for man as well as affording pasture for the cattle. 46 And Lot went from Abram to that place, and he there pitched his tent and he dwelt in Sodom, and they were separated from each other. 47 And Abram dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and he pitched his tent there, and Abram remained in that place many years.
The selfishness of Lot in using other peoples property and not caring how that made Abraham look was the beginning of a rift circa 1902 and 1894 BCE between both families, that ultimately led to hatred and a rivalry, based on jealousy between their peoples lasting to the present day. The seeds of the fissure between them, even after Lot had been continually at Abraham’s side were undoubtedly the same that causes nearly all parting of the ways between people – the same reason Asherah left the Ancient of Day’s side – envy or disdain, leading to pride. In the section on Chedorlaomer of Elam [refer Chapter XIX], we touched on Lot being taken hostage in 1894 BCE after the Battle of the Kings at Siddim. We will return to this battle when we study Abraham.
English Standard Version
11 So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way. 13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus [capital of Gether from Aram]. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.
6 And they plundered all the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and they also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, and his property, and they seized all the goods of the cities of Sodom, and they went away; and Unic, Abram’s servant, who was in the battle, saw this, and told Abram all that the kings had done to the cities of Sodom, and that Lot was taken captive by them.
7 And Abram heard this, and he rose up with about three hundred and eighteen men that were with him, and he that night pursued these kings and smote them, and they all fell before Abram and his men, and there was none remaining but the four kings who fled, and they went each his own road. 8 And Abram recovered all the property of Sodom, and he also recovered Lot and his property, his wives and little ones and all belonging to him, so that Lot lacked nothing.
Abraham risked his life to rescue Lot – who had somewhat deserved what had befallen him, after treating Abraham with disrespect – ensuring he had all his belongings returned to him. Proverbs 25:21-22 CJB: “If someone who hates you is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For you will heap fiery coals (of shame) on his head, and Adonai [the Lord] will reward you.”
Abraham was offered a reward by the King of Sodom, but refused to take anything for what he had done. We next read of Lot in Genesis chapter Nineteen.
English Standard Version
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread [possibly March-April and the time of the Passover and Feast of unleavened Bread], and they ate.
Complete Jewish Bible
… but don’t forget to be friendly to outsiders; for in so doing, some people, without knowing it, have entertained angels.
Lot had gained a position of responsibility in Sodom when he had moved to the city circa 1900 BCE. Lot was rescued by Abraham in 1894 BCE in the aftermath of the Battle of Siddim. The destruction of Sodom took place in Abraham’s 99th year, 1878 BCE. Approximately twenty years Lot and his family had resided in Sodom. Sitting in the gate, means Lot was a member of Sodom’s ruling council and involved in the discussion and prosecution of legal matters. Lot may have been an actual Judge.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know [H3045 – yada: ‘to know a person carnally] them.” 6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Behold,I have two daughterswho have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please.
Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they [the Angels created a blinding light] struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
Judging by the name of the city of Sodom and the fact the crowd of men were wanting the two men who were angels; homo-sexuality is clearly what was intended. In a broader sense, the city was involved in adult activity with Nephil and Eliouds, who lived there; for as stated earlier in the Book of Genesis, a second irruption of Angelic infiltration with humans had occurred. Hence the requirement for the judgement of utter destruction to be decreed. It may have involved more than sexual relations. A continuation of the ante-diluvian and post-flood Tower of Babel scientific and technological drive to completely tamper with mankind’s genetic code and seek profane immortality, would certainly attract punishment. For it has been reserved for the time of the end for these events to reoccur; thus requiring the Creator to intervene at that time. Jude connects the activities before the flood with those taking place in the five cities of the Plain. The Greek word heteros translated as ‘strange’ flesh, is referring to sexual congress with Nephilim or perverted sex with angels notstrictly just homo-sexuality.
Jude 6-7 ESV: 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling… 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural [G2087 – heteros: another, ‘one not of the same nature, form, kind’] desire [G4561 – sarx: ‘carnal cravings that incite sin’], serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Lot offered his two youngest daughters who were around 15-20 years old, to the mob, rather than the Angels. What the rationale behind this is conjecture. Maybe Lot was buying time, for he knew the Angels could and would resolve the issue without his daughters having to go out – a bluff. Or possibly, he weighed their lives versus those of the messengers sent by the Creator and made a judgement call.
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone [friends] you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. 15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.”
Verse 14 is misleading, as it appears the two younger daughters were bequeathed but not yet married. The interlinear reads: And Lot went out, spake unto his sons law, which married his daughters. From the account, we learn that Lot has at least two other daughters, aside from the two virgins already mentioned. The Book of Jasher introduces a fifth daughter.
Book of Jasher 19:11, 23-35
And in the course of time Sarah sent Eliezer to Sodom, to see Lot and inquire after his welfare. 23 … and when it was told to Abraham he went and made war with the kings of Elam, and he recovered from their hands all the property of Lot as well as the property of Sodom. 24 At that time the wife of Lot bare him a daughter[1894 BCE],and he called her name Paltith, saying, Because God had delivered him and his whole household from the kings of Elam; and Paltith daughter of Lot grew up, and one of the men of Sodom took her for a wife [circa 1879-1878 BCE]. 25 And a poor man came into the city to seek a maintenance, and he remained in the city some days, and all the people of Sodom caused a proclamation of their custom not to give this man a morsel of bread to eat, until he dropped dead upon the earth, and they did so. 26 And Paltith the daughter of Lot saw this man lying in the streets starved with hunger, and no one would give him any thing to keep him alive, and he was just upon the point of death. 27 And her soul was filled with pity on account of the man, and she fed him secretly with bread for many days… and three men concealed themselves in a place where the poor man was stationed, to know who it was that brought him bread to eat… 32 And the three men saw what Paltith did to the poor man… 34 And they took Paltith and brought her before their judges… now therefore declare to us the punishment due to this woman for having transgressed our law. 35 And the people of Sodom and Gomorrah assembled and kindled a fire in the street of the city, and they took the woman and cast her into the fire and she was burned to ashes.
If is difficult to believe this account is accurate by today’s standards as Paltith would have been fifteen or sixteen, when she was married and then shortly after was put to death, which was not long before Sodom was destroyed. Anciently, daughters were given in marriage as soon as they were deemed women and able to serve a husband and bear his children.
16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
Lot’s angelic visitors and protectors had already taken an aerial reconnoissance. According to the Haggadah, they were then able to fly him and his family inside their craft out of Sodom’s boundaries. It was then that they instructed Lot to flee to further safety.
17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there – is it not a little one? – and my life will be saved!”
21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
Contrary Lot, might be a fitting name and at a moment when time was of the essence. We will find that his descendants are in fact a contrary and mercurial people. Granted, Lot was ninety-two years old – just ten years older than when his father, Haran died. It is ironic as Lot did not stay in Zoar, but rather fled from Zoar and retreated to a cave. Lot’s entreating was in fact a far bigger favour than sparing his life even, for when asking to be able to go to Zoar, he was actually asking for one of the five cities marked for destruction to be spared. The five cities in question were Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zebo[im] and Bela – also known as Zoar. According to Lot, it would seem it was the smallest of the five cites on the plain.
In contrast to what is commonly taught, the condemnation of Sodom and the other cities was not just because of sexual transgressions. Another reason is given in Ezekiel 16:49-50 ESV: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.”
23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Book of Jasher 19:52-54
And he overthrew these cities, all the plain and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground; and Ado the wife of Lot looked back to see the destruction of the cities, for her compassion was moved on account of her daughters who remained in Sodom, for they did not go with her. 53 And when she looked back she became a pillar of salt, and it is yet in that place unto this day. 54 And the oxen which stood in that place daily licked up the salt to the extremities of their feet, and in the morning it would spring forth afresh, and they again licked it up unto this day.
The Book of Jasher gives Lot’s wife’s name as Ado. Certain Rabbis refer to her as Idit. The Midrash calls her Edith, which may have derived from Idit. The Book of Jasher supports other married daughters still in Sodom, when Lot, his wife and two unmarried daughters fled for their lives. It helps to explain, why Idit disobeyed the Angel’s instruction. It may have been more than the intensity of the detonation and Idit doing more than just looking back. She must have lingered too close to the blast zone. The interlinear infers this: But his wife looked back from behind him, she became pillar salt.
English Standard Version
28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot – they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all – 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife.
27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward [the east] all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.
Wisdom of Solomon 10.7 GNT:
You can still see the evidence of their wickedness. The land there is barren and smoking. The plants bear fruit that never ripens, and a pillar of salt stands as a monument to one who did not believe.
Evidence found supporting the Biblical description of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction? Dean Smith, 2018 – emphasis & bold mine:
‘In an article published in Science News, archaeologists working at Tall el-Hammam located in Jordan… have found evidence corroborating its massive destruction recorded in the Bible that spoke of brimstone and fire falling from the sky… Archaeologists have found evidence of the area being hit with a massive explosion that turned glaze on potsherds into glass. They also found stone fragments stuck in the glaze that supports the idea that something poured down upon cities from the sky. According to lead archaeologist Philip J. Silvia, the heat was “perhaps as hot as the surface of the sun.” They also discovered that the bricks used in the buildings were totally obliterated leaving only the stone foundations.
The Bible records that not only were the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah [destroyed] but much of the valley as well and Silva confirmed this adding they found evidence the blast covered an area of 15.5 miles and killing upwards of 65,000 people. The site on the north end of the Dead Sea was so devastated that it took 600 years for the soil to recover sufficiently to allow crops…
Writing on behalf of the Tall el-Hamman Excavation Project, co-director Dr. Steven Collins said: “The violent conflagration that ended occupation at Tall el-Hammam produced melted potters, scorched foundation stones and several feet of ash and destruction debris churned into a dark gray matrix ‘as if in a Cuisinart’” [food processor].’
Archaeological evidence confirms that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by intense fire, Dean Smith, 2020- emphasis & bold mine:
‘According to archaeologists working on the site believed to include the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, they found evidence confirming the Biblical record that the two cities were destroyed by sulphur and fire… The archaeologists, who have been working on the site for 13 years, reported discovering evidence of intense heat. This included clay and rock that had been turned into glass. This would require a brief burst of heat of between 8,000 to 12,000 degree Celsius. The archaeologists also noted that the destruction took place “in an instant,” and resulted in the stripping of the topsoil. The archaeologists added that “a super-heated brine of Dead Sea anhydride salts pushed over the landscaped by the Event’s frontal shock wave.”’
‘It is interesting that even the Biblical account noted the appearance of salt as it described Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt and as well, noted the destruction of vegetation. They wrote, “the physical evidence from Tall el-Hamman and neighboring sites exhibit signs of a highly destructive concussive and thermal event that one might expect from what is described in Genesis 19.”’
Secular history is silent concerning Lot, ‘save for the fact that the Dead Sea has always been called by the Arabs, the Sea of Lot.’ The Battle of Siddim, including the Plain with the five cities – four of them destroyed – is located in the area of the Dead Sea or Sea of Death. The Dead Sea and its composition is an anomaly that can be explained only by the Biblical destruction of the region as recorded in Genesis chapter nineteen. Archaeological digs have confirmed the northern end – southeast of Jericho – of the Dead Sea rather than the traditional southern end, as the original site of the Valley of Siddim.
Flying Serpents and Dragons, R A Boulay, 1990, Page 195, 197-198, 206-207 – emphasis & bold mine:
‘There is no scriptural or other evidence to support… Sodom and Gormorrah [being]… located… in the shallow or southern part of the Dead Sea, the body of water the Jews call… the Salt Sea…To the contrary, all indications are that the [five] cities were located in the northern part of the Dead Sea… [nor] the age of the Dead Sea [being] hundreds of thousands of years old… this sea dates… [according to Velikovsky to] less than 5000 years [ago]… [or] no further back than the days of Abraham [1878 BCE]. In the Biblical story… it specifically states that the area now occupied by the Dead Sea used to be called the Valley or vale of Siddim [Genesis 14:3]…
Some catastrophic event must have caused the [rupture of the] geological fault (which runs through and underlies the area) to displace, the ground sinking in the process, and forming a seal to allow the accumulation of water [creating a large inland sea] from the inflow of the Jordan River. Josephus adds… that the Lord “cast a thunderbolt upon the city and set it on fire with its inhabitants.” In the Haggadah, this thunderbolt comes from the Shekinah, the aerial chariot of the Lord: “When the angels had brought forth Lot and his family and set them outside the city, he bade them run for their lives, and not look behind, lest they behold the Shekinah, which had descended to work the destruction of the cities…”’
The Dead Sea contains twenty-one minerals including Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium, Bromine, Bitumen and Potassium. Twelve of these are found in no other sea or ocean. The Dead Sea contains ten times more salts and minerals than the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea has a 33% concentration of salt compared to only 3% in the world’s oceans. There are other bodies of water in the world with similar salt content ratios – one wonders if they are victims of a similar fate as the Dead Sea?
30Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to 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 offspring [seed] from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did [not?] know when she lay down or when she arose.
The incident with an intoxicated Noah and his grandson Canaan did not end well [refer Chapter XI Ham]. This is another situation of being taken advantage of while inebriated, perhaps. The cave location was very remote and the eldest daughter – the only sister recorded speaking – was concerned that their father Lot is old and may die and that any chance of a man visiting wasn’t presenting itself anytime soon. Their sisters and brothers-in-law in Sodom were dead and would not be having children. This is more likely, than thinking the world had ended and there were no men left to continue humankind. The three of them had left Zoar and knew their were other survivors. Either way, the daughters do not take their father into their confidence.
The Biblical account presents the daughters as the ‘initiators and perpetrators of the incestuous rape’ of Lot over two nights, according to Esther Fuchs. The verb used by the older daughter about eighteen to twenty years old for giving Lot wine also means to irrigate the ground. Thus, the daughters intentions are not to just give their father a glass or two, but to fully saturate him and get Lot very drunk; before having sexual intercourse with him. The next night, the younger sister about fifteen to seventeen years old, repeats the course of action. The fact that the sisters got their father very drunk, may mean their actions were more altruistic than driven by desire.
The word used for offspring is zera, meaning seed or offspring in a general sense, rather than for a specific ‘son,’ since the intent is ultimately related to the eventual Messiah and fulfilment of Genesis 3:15. From a historical perspective, these acts were essential for the future birth of the Son of Man. The Creator would judge the daughters by their thoughts and not necessarily their deeds; as this is a recurrent theme in the Bible for those the Creator is working with. The daughters’ true intent was not to lay with their father for sexual gratification, but rather to ensure their family line continued.
Support that Lot’s daughters were vindicated rather than Lot himself is the fact that the prohibition in Deuteronomy 23:2-4, 6 ESV, applies to males not females: “No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord. No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever, because they did not meet you – the sons of Jacob – with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.”
The Angels that rescued Lot would have been cognisant of the fact that Ruth the Moabite would trace her lineage to the eldest sister, and her marriage to Boaz from the tribe of Judah would result in descendants, including King David and the Messianic Saviour. They would also have known that Naamah the Ammonite, would trace her lineage to the youngest sister and her marriage to King Solomon – the only wife of Solomon stated by name in the Bible – would result in King Rehoboam, King of Judah after Solomon.
The good of Lot’s daughters’ intentions displayed, in that they lay with their father only once and like Ruth – acted for an ideal – when she lay at the foot of Boaz’s bed in the threshing floor.
34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did [not?] know when she lay down or when she arose.
Scholars, such as Robert Alter have said that Lot’s daughters in sleeping with their father “suggests measure-for-measure justice meted out for his rash offer” to the mob outside their home. ‘Rabbis have observed that a man usually allows himself to be killed in order to save his wife and children… Lot was willing to allow the townspeople to abuse his daughters.’ In Sodom, Lot was ready to offer his daughters – possibly against their will – to engage in sexual relations with the people outside. Later, Lot’s daughters have relations with their unwitting father. These acts of incest are Lot’s punishment for his indecorous behaviour, according to some scholars.
There are two Rabbinic views issued against the patriarch Lot. Firstly, that Lot ‘from the outset, decided to dwell in Sodom because he wanted to engage in the licentious [behaviour] of its inhabitants.’ Lot thought he could engage secretly in depravity. He is then later, humiliated through his daughters seducing him. R Nahman bar Hanan said to the effect: “Whoever is driven by his lust for fornication, will eventually be fed from his own flesh.” Lot was so eager to engage in promiscuity, that in the end, his daughters played the harlot with him.
Secondly, Lot insidiously desired his daughters; for he was inebriated when the elder sister lay with him, though he was sober enough to know when she rose. Thus is indicated in the Old Testament ‘by the supralinear dot over the word u-ve-komah (“when she rose”).’ Though Lot was not aware of what was going to happen when he drunk the wine, he was aware of having sex with his eldest daughter by the time she left his bed. Therefore, his willingness to drink wine the next night – means to some – that he was complicit in repeating incest with his younger daughter. On the basis of what is said in Proverbs 18:1 CJB: “He who separates himself indulges his desires and shows contempt for sound advice of any kind”, some Rabbis conclude that Lot did lust after his daughters. Particularly, as Lot sought out a remote cave that allowed the facilitation of the incestuous events to occur.
Even so, Rabbis have reinterpreted the incest accounts of Lot and his daughters in the bible in a more positive light due to the royal and messianic lineages it produced. Ironically, the other half of David’s lineage is similarly problematic for the Rabbis; as Tamar secures a son, by surreptitiously seducing her father-in-law Judah. They’re son Perez, in turn becomes an ancestor to Boaz and thus also, King David.
36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.
Book of Jasher 19:55-60
And Lot and two of his daughters that remained with him fled and escaped to the cave of Adullam, and they remained there for some time… 58 And they both lay with their father, and they conceived and bare sons… 60 And after this Lot and his two daughters went away from there, and he dwelt on the other side of the Jordan with his two daughters and their sons, and the sons of Lot grew up, and they went and took themselves wives from the land of Canaan, and they begat children and they were fruitful and multiplied.
The eldest daughter names her son Moab, which means ‘from my father.’ She has been rather brazen and immodest in openly naming her son as born of her father. This leaves no doubt as to the union having been an incestuous one. The younger daughter names her son Ben-Ammi, which means ‘son of my clan,’ a more veiled euphemistic reference to her son’s origin. While the names of the sons are descriptive of their conception, they serve a negative etiological function for Israel’s neighbours – and frequent enemies – as the Moabites and the Ammonites. The definitions, puzzlingly humiliate Lot – as if revengeful retribution was a motive – while at the same time demeaning also his daughters that named the babies.
Chapter XI, The Moabites and the Ammonites, Emanuel Swedenborg – emphasis & bold mine:
‘It is a remarkable fact that the children of Lot should have commemorated their infamous origin in their very names. Moab means literally “water of a father,” while Ammon or Ben-ammi means “son of my mother.” These names, so horribly suggestive, were proudly retained by two whole nations throughout their history. The Old Testament is silent as to the personal story of the two sons of Lot, but they evidently repeated the story of the founders of the other Hebrew nations, becoming chieftains… and founding royal dynasties.… The descendants of Moab within a few generations took possession of the country formerly inhabited by the Emim, (“terrible ones”), a branch of the aboriginal Nephilim, even as their cousins, the descendants of Ammon, took possession of the country formerly occupied by the Zuzim and Zamzummim. The [partial] slaughter of these ancient giant races by Chedorlaomer and his allies no doubt cleared the way for the children of Lot.
The Moabites found homes in the rich and well protected plateau to the east of the Dead Sea, extending from the land of Edom in the south to the land of Gilead in the north, while the Ammonites established themselves in the land of Gilead… and they dwelt here until they were driven into the eastern desert by the tribes of Gad and Reuben… their descendants recovered the land of Gilead after the Assyrians had carried away the tribe of Gad.’
2 Peter 2:6-8 ESV: … if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard)…
Lot is not included in Hebrews chapter eleven as one of the faithful, with Abraham and Sarah. He is called a righteous soul in the Greek Interlinear. By extension, he is included with righteous Noah, Daniel and Job mentioned in Ezekiel 14:14. Lot also has in common with Job the dramatic and sudden loss of family. Lot lost his wife, and at least two daughters and two sons-in-law. Job 1:1-2, 18-19 ESV: ‘There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters… “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind [notice similarity with the film, The Wizard of Oz] came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”’
Except from Chapter XXVI Moab & Ammon
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