The two angels reached Sodom in the evening, as Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he got up to greet them; and bowing down with his face to the ground,
2 he said, “Please, gentlemen, come aside into your servant’s house for the night, and bathe your feet; you can get up early to continue your journey.” But they replied, “No, we shall pass the night in the town square.”
He urged them so strongly, however, that they turned aside to his place and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking cakes without leaven, and they dined.
4 Before they went to bed, all the townsmen of Sodom, both young and old - all the people to the last man - closed in on the house. 5 They called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have intimacies with them.” 6 Lot went out to meet them at the entrance. When he had shut the door behind him, 7 he said, “I beg you, my brothers, not to do this wicked thing. 8 I have two daughters who have never had intercourse with men. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please. But don’t do anything to these men, for you know they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 They replied, “Stand back! This fellow,” they sneered, “came here as an immigrant, and now he dares to give orders! We’ll treat you worse than them!” With that, they pressed hard against Lot, moving in closer to break down the door. 10 But his guests put out their hands, pulled Lot inside with them, and closed the door; 11 at the same time they struck the men at the entrance of the house, one and all, with such a blinding light that they were utterly unable to reach the doorway.
12 Then the angels said to Lot: “Who else belongs to you here? Your sons (sons-in-law) and your daughters and all who belong to you in the city - take them away from it! 13 We are about to destroy this place, for the outcry reaching the LORD against those in the city is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had contracted marriage with his daughters. “Get up and leave this place,” he told them; “the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, “On your way! Take with you your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.”
When he hesitated, the men, by the LORD’S mercy, seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters and led them to safety outside the city.
17 As soon as they had been brought outside, he was told: “Flee for your life! Don’t look back or stop anywhere on the Plain. Get off to the hills at once, or you will be swept away.”
18 “Oh, no, my lord!” replied Lot. 19 “You have already thought enough of your servant to do me the great kindness of intervening to save my life. But I cannot flee to the hills to keep the disaster from overtaking me, and so I shall die. 20 Look, this town ahead is near enough to escape to. It’s only a small place. Let me flee there - it’s a small place, isn’t it? - that my life may be saved.”
21 “Well, then,” he replied, “I will also grant you the favor you now ask. I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 Hurry, escape there! I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” That is why the town is called Zoar.
23 The sun was just rising over the earth as Lot arrived in Zoar; 24 at the same time the LORD rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah (from the LORD out of heaven). 25 He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood in the LORD’S presence. 28 As he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region of the Plain, he saw dense smoke over the land rising like fumes from a furnace.
29 Thus it came to pass: when God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, he was mindful of Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval by which God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living. 1
As I live, says the Lord GOD, I swear that your sister Sodom, with her daughters, has not done as you and your daughters have done!
And look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in their prosperity, and they gave no help to the poor and needy.
50 Rather, they became haughty and committed abominable crimes in my presence; then, as you have seen, I removed them. 2
13 And the punishments came upon the sinners only after forewarnings from the violence of the thunderbolts. For they justly suffered for their own misdeeds, since indeed they treated their guests with the more grievous hatred. 3The New American Bible gives the following explanatory note for this verse:
More grievous: than that of the people of Sodom; cf Genesis 19. 4Matthew 10:5-15
5 Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, make this proclamation: ’The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. 9 Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; 10 no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter a house, wish it peace. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. 14 Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words - go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. 15 Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” 5In this passage, Jesus makes no reference to any sexual sin - the issue is rejection of God’s messengers.
7 Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 6The New American Bible gives the following explanatory note for this verse:
Practiced unnatural vice: literally, “went after alien flesh.” This example derives from Genesis 19:1-25, especially Jude 1:4-11, when the townsmen of Sodom violated both hospitality and morality by demanding that Lot’s two visitors (really messengers of Yahweh) be handed over to them so that they could abuse them sexually. Unnatural vice: this refers to the desire for intimacies by human beings with angels (the reverse of the example in Jude 1:6). Sodom (whence “sodomy”) and Gomorrah became proverbial as object lessons for God’s punishment on sin (Isaiah 1:9; Jeremiah 50:40; Amos 4:11; Matthew 10:15; 2 Peter 2:6). 7
1 The New American Bible Genesis 19:1-29 www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PL.HTM
2 The New American Bible Ezekiel 16:48-49 www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PRO.HTM
3 The New American Bible Wisdom 19:13 www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PM0.HTM
4 The New American Bible Wisdom Explanatory Note 19, 13 www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PM0.HTM#$1XB (superscript 5)
5 The New American Bible Matthew 10:5-15 www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PVJ.HTM
6 The New American Bible Jude 1:7 www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__P12I.HTM
7 The New American Bible Jude Explanatory Note 7 www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__P12I.HTM#$50S (superscript 6)
©2007 Informed Conscience