Genesis 19:1-11

19 Now 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 he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.

And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house.

And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!

See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.

10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.

11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

[Lot] first “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (Genesis 13:12), then “dwelt in Sodom” (Genesis 14:12), and finally “sat in the gate of Sodom.” The “gate” of the city was the place where the business and commercial activities centered, and also where the judicial councils took place. Evidently Lot himself was now some kind of magistrate of the place, for this seems to be the meaning of the term “sitting in the gate.” It is possible, however, that it refers simply to the apparent fact that he liked to sit at the city gate, where he could participate easily in the trade and conversation that thrived there.

He was well aware of its wickedness, even before he went there. The New Testament tells us, in fact, that “that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” (2 Peter 2:8). — Morris, page 345.


As Lot was sitting in the gate, the two angels that had left Abraham neared the city at dusk. Lot immediately greeted them and invited them to his home. Probably … since he was aware of the treatment generally received by strangers in this vile city, he would try to shield them from such abuse by taking them quickly into his own home. … When the men entered his home, Lot prepared them a feast. It is significant, however, that the only ingredient of this feast which is specifically mentioned is “unleavened bread.” … This is the first mention of leaven in the Bible, and is in accord with all of its later usages.  In Scripture, leaven is generally symbolic of evil doctrine or practice corrupting God’s people. The next time it is mentioned is in connection with the institution of the Passover feast, when God’s people were told to observe the feast without leaven, and in fact to put away all leaven out of their houses (Exodus 12:15). It is noteworthy that, when it is first mentioned, its absence is symbolically associated with the spiritual fellowship between a remnant of believers and their God, in the midst of an utterly corrupt society. Leaven, of course, being involved with the fermentation process, is a perfect symbol of decay and corruption, and it is important that spiritual fellowship not be contaminated with it. — Morris, pages 346-347


Here we have a case in which all “the men of the city … both old and young, all the people, from every quarter” surrounded Lot’s house with the intention to commit crime against his guests. … This descent into degeneracy, both ancient and modern, is caused first of all by a rejection of God as Creator and Sovereign, equating ultimate reality and responsibility with the natural world (Romans 1:21-25). In whatever specific form this type of philosophy may appear in a given generation, it is fundamentally nothing but evolutionary naturalism and humanism. — Morris, page 348


It is hard to understand, even with all allowance for the exaggerated customs of hospitality which presumably were practiced at the time, how Lot could offer to sacrifice his daughters … There is a possibility that Lot had come to recognize, or at least to suspect, the real identity of his visitors. This is intimated perhaps by his preparation of unleavened bread. If he did suspect, perhaps this might explain why he felt he must go to any lengths to protect them, even the sacrifice of his own children. … Lot had for some time thought he was at home among the people of the city, even “sitting in the gate.” Now, however, he quickly learned that they had never really accepted him. He had no influence over them whatever under these present conditions, and they resented even the very fact that he had judged their intended action to be morally wrong. This is almost inevitably the ultimate outcome of a compromising relation between carnal Christians and the world.

As it finally became apparent that no possible stratagem would solve the problem for Lot, the angels themselves intervened. … Then they struck the men outside with blindness—a particular type of blindness mentioned elsewhere in the Bible only in 2 Kings 6:18, when God smote the vast Syrian army with blindness in order to save Elisha. Evidently, this blindness did not leave its victims sightless, but rather was a blindness of confusion, so that they could see but could not identify where they were. Somehow they were unable to find the door to break it in. — Morris, page 349


How different is all this from the scene with which the preceding chapter opens! But, ah! my reader, the reason is obvious. “By faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in [tents].” We have no such statement in reference to Lot. It could not be said, By faith Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.

There was a most material difference between these two men, who, though they started together on their course, reached a very different goal, so far as their public testimony was concerned. No doubt Lot was saved, yet it was “so as by fire,” for, truly, “his work was burned up.” …

The Lord remained to commune with Abraham, and merely sent His angels to Sodom; and these angels could with difficulty be induced to enter Lot’s house, or partake of his hospitality: “they said, ‘nay, but we will abide in the street all night.'” What a rebuke! How different from the willing acceptance of Abraham’s invitation, as expressed in the words, “So do as thou hast said.” … Indeed, their only object in coming to Sodom seems to have been to deliver Lot, and that, too, because of Abraham; as we read,— “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 which Lot dwelt.” — Mackintosh, page 203.


All the more astonishing in light of [Lot’s offer of his daughters to the mob] is Peter’s reference in 2 Peter 2:7-8 to “righteous Lot … who felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their [i.e., the Sodomites’] lawless deeds.” Nonetheless, when one considers the Abrahamic context of this episode and the manner in which righteousness has been previously presented within that context, the reason for this seemingly paradoxical description emerges—to wit: as with Abraham in Genesis 15:6, the emphasis is on Lot’s reckoned righteousness—that is, the righteousness that God credited to him by virtue of his faith, imperfect though that faith and his consequent behavior may have been. In this respect it should also be borne in mind that Abraham’s “reckoned”—or, as theologians also refer to it, “imputed”—righteousness is both preceded (in Genesis 12) and followed (in Genesis 20) by his own intentional “handing over” of a female family member (i.e., his wife Sarai/Sarah) for what will inevitably result in the commission of sexual sin. — Wechsler, page 201.

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