Genesis 19

Two angels came to Sodom and Lot persuaded them to stay at his house  1
Men of Sodom demanded to have the angels and were struck with blindness  4
Call to the sons-in-law 12
Angels escorted the family out of the city and permitted them to stop at Zoar  15
At sunrise they entered Zoar; fire and brimstone came; Lot's wife looked back 23
Abraham saw smoke going up; God had remembered his request  27
The daughters made Lot drunk and had children by him  30
For a discussion of how this chapter relates to fire and brimstone in Revelation go to re1410.
.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;
 2  And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
.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.
  1 - Two angels They came from visiting Abraham earlier in the day ge1822. The journey by foot was about 25 rough miles (16 km.). Angels have a faster way to travel.
  1 - Lot ... gate He had pitched his tent "toward Sodom" ge1312. Now his home was there. He was sitting at the gate apparently by divine providence.
  2 - Abide in the streets It was warm enough but unsafe.
  3 - [Lot] Pressed upon them Bringing out this commitment may have strengthened Lot's later acceptance to leave the city.
.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:
 5  And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
 6  And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
 7  And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
  5 - Know them They were seeking a sexual experience ge0401. Other texts also condemn the practice of homosexuality ro0124.
.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.
.9  And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
 10  But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
 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.
  8 - Daughters This offer was an error. We cannot substitute one sin for another. 
  9 - Worse with thee I'll let you think of what they implied.
.12 ¶ And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
 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.
.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.
  12 - Hast thou here any... "Apostolic authority has declared Lot was "a righteous man" 2pe0208), at bottom good, though he contented himself with lamenting the sins that he saw, instead of acting on his own convictions, and withdrawing himself and family from such a sink of corruption. But favor was shown him: and even his bad relatives had, for his sake, an offer of deliverance, which was ridiculed and spurned 2pe0304." (JFB).
.15 ¶ And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
 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.
.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.
 18  And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:
 19  Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
.20  Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.
 21  And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.
.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.
   A sad picture of compromise.

  17 - Escape ... look not behind But Lot's wife loved the city and was likely fearful about her daughters. Her fate is seen in verse 26. At the end of time there will be a terrible temptation to accept the way of the beast. Our only hope is complete trust in Christ. As the three Hebrew men before the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, we must allow nothing to separate us from Christ ro083,9, re1307,8, re1814-17. If we excuse our little sins and our bad habits now, we will not be able to stand then 1sa0620, re0616,7.

.23  The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
.24 ¶ Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
 25  And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
.26 ¶ But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
  24 - Possibly a volcanic eruption. That God may use natural means does not mean He is not in control. Here the angels, or one of them, was in control which was ultimately God's control. See the note below.
  25 - More than the two cities were destroyed.
  26 - The location of Sodom is thought to be at what is now the Dead Sea or near it. The text doesn't say that Mrs. Lot may not have been instantly made a pillar (although God could have done that). Her body may have become encrusted with salt if she was struck while crossing an edge of the "sea." See v17.
.27 ¶ And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
 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.
 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.
.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.
 31  And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto 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 seed of our father.
 33  And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
 34  And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
 35  And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
.36  Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
 37  And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
.38  And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
  38 - Ammon See on ez2510.
Genesis home
Commentary home
How could a loving God send fire to burn people up?
Dear M, 
    Even some Christians share your idea that a loving God wouldn't hurt people and that the wicked destroy themselves somehow. A careful study of the Bible will clarify God's love. Let's go back to Genesis. Why did God include the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden? Gen. 2:9. (Please look up the verses that you are not totally familiar with, because we are interested in what God says not what Ted Says.) Because He wanted Adam and Eve's loyalty to be their own choice. True human love between people comes from choice. If you are loyal to a person because she will kill you if you don't obey, can you love her? Hardly. God gives us the right to say, No. 
    The verses you cited would seem to make God like the evil girlfriend. So hang on. We'll begin
to understand better soon. First, back to Eden. Our Eden parents had been told that on the day
that they ate the forbidden fruit, their death would be certain (Gen. 2:17). They chose to
believe Satan who had promised immortality using the snake as a spirit medium (Rev. 12:9). Adam
died at age 930 (Gen. 5:4,5). Right after sin, came the promise of a Redeemer in Gen. 3:15! It
must have surprised Satan. Now we, as children of Adam and Eve, are mortal -- subject to death
(1 Cor 15:53) as Adam and Eve were. But we have a choice to be raised and live forever, as they
    In the process of Redemption, God draws us from being natural sinners (Jer. 13:23) to
become natural righteous persons (2 Peter 3:18). When we choose to say Yes to God, he gives us
a chance to change our minds! As we keep saying Yes, our motives are transformed (2 Cor. 5:17;
2 Cor. 3:18) until we actually hate evil and love righteousness. Even before this, however, as we
are committed to Christ while struggling with sin, we are living in a saved condition. In the same
way, those who love evil and continue to practice it are given opportunity to turn to God. When
they persist the Holy Spirit quits impressing their hearts (Matt. 12:31). To continue when their
minds are firmly made up would be harassment (2 Thess. 2:9, 10). 
    What about heaven? Sinners will want to be there but they would be unhappy in its pure
atmosphere and will not be permitted to change it for the sake of the righteous. So, while God is
proactive in sending fire from heaven to destroy them (Rev. 20:9), they hate Him and flee from
His face as at His coming (Rev. 6:16). Eternal death is their choice and, in mercy and justice, He
grants it. 
    I must add here that Satan's first lie is still promoted: 
 Gen. 3:1 ¶ Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God
had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the
 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 
 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat
of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 
 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 
    Instead of death, we are taught that we will live forever no matter what, either in heaven or
in hell. Notice the two choices: 
 John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
    "Perish" does not mean live forever in hell. The idea is pagan and was slipping into Judaism even in Christ's time. Certainly, fire will come down and the wicked will burn. but when the price is paid (Luke 12:47, 48), sinners die. (Ezek. 18:4; 1 Tim. 6:16). They will be as if they had not been (Obadiah 16; Ezek. 28:19). As natural sinners, we deserve that final death. Jesus Christ tasted it on the cross for you and me (Matt. 27:46). It's up to us to say Yes. I believe He will even help us to be willing, if we just ask. Prayer isn't some fancy way of talking, it's just opening our hearts to God as we would to a friend, telling Him that we want eternal life. He will hear us (John 6:37). 
    And what about Sodom and Gomorrah? If you read beginning with Gen. 19, you can see that
they had made their decision final. In other cases, good people die with the with the wicked or at
the hands of the wicked. During the dark ages many gave their lives rather than compromise. God
will certainly reward them. This world is not our real home. I want to meet you in heaven.