Bereisheet (Genesis): Vayeira > Ch 19

Angels come to Sodom to save Lot

  • Two angels came to Sodom in the evening. Lot prostrated himself on his face to the ground and invited them to stay at his house. The angels said, "No, but we will stay overnight in the street", but Lot urged them strongly, so they did come into his house, and Lot made them a feast, baked unleavened cakes, and they ate.
  • The people of Sodom surrounded the house, both young and old, the entire populace from every end of the city. They asked Lot to give them both visitors for intimacy. Lot tried to talk Sodomites out of it, even offering his two daughters instead, who have not been with a man.
  • But they said, "Back away. This one came to sojourn, and he is judging! Now, we will deal even worse with you than with them." The sodomites were about to break the door, but angels brought Lot into the house and struck everyone at the entrance with blindness, so they could not find the entrance.
  • Angels told Lot to save his family. Lot asked his sons-in-laws to flee the city, but he seemed like a comedian in their eyes. As the dawn rose, the angels pressed Lot to hurry, but he tarried. And the men took hold of his hand and his wife's hand, and the hand of his two daughters, out of the Lord's pity for him, and they took him out and placed him outside the city.
  • Angels told him to flee to the mountain to avoid perishing, but Lot said that he could not go there, as the evil could overtake him and he would die. He asked to flee to a small town nearby. Lot’s request was granted and that city was named Zoar. The sun came out upon the earth, and Lot came to Zoar.

G-d destroys Sodom & Gomorrah

  • And the Lord caused to rain down upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire, from the Lord, from heaven. And He turned over these cities and the entire plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and the vegetation of the ground.
  • Lot’s wife looked from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
  • Abraham arose early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. And he looked over the face of Sodom and Gomorrah and over the entire face of the land of the plain, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the earth had risen like the smoke of a furnace.

Lot’s daughters commit incest, and give birth to Moab and Ammon

  • Lot was afraid to live in Zoar, so with his two daughters Lot went up to the mountain and dwelt in a cave. As Lot was getting old, the elder daughter proposed to the younger that they would get their father drunk and take advantage of him, since they had no other men. In the first night the elder daughter did so, and the next night the younger daughter followed. Lot was unaware of anything.
  • Lot's two daughters conceived. The elder daughter named her son Moab, he is the father of Moab And the younger named her son Ben-ami; he is the father of the children of Ammon.

Rashi Commentary

  • Therefore, he named the city Zoar Because of [the words]“and it is small” (מִצְעָר)
  • Flee to the mountain Flee to Abraham, who dwells on the mountain
  • the entire populace from every end From one end of the city to the other, for not one of them protested, because there was not even one righteous man among them. — [from Gen. Rabbah 50:5]
  • and he baked unleavened cakes It was Passover
  • Moab The daughter, who was immodest, publicized that her son was from her father (מוֹאָב-מֵאָב), but the younger one named her son euphemistically (עַמִי בֶן the son of my people)

Research & Analysis
  • that G-d remembered Abraham G-d saved Lot for Abraham’s sake
  • Scientists believe that the location of Sodom & Gomorrah is under the Dead Sea. Brimstone, sulfur (burned brimstone), and unusual rock formations are abundant in the area.