Genesis 19: Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed


Synopsis:

Two angels arrive in Sodom. They meet Lot at the gate. Lot encourages them to come into his house to eat and sleep, which they do.  For some reason, the men of Sodom come to the house demanding the angels be brought forth so they can be raped.  Lot refuses and offers up his two virgin daughters instead.  The men of Sodom refuse the offer of the virgin girls and again demanded the two angels.  They start  to advance on Lot but the two angels pull him back into the house and blind the men outside.  The angels then tell Lot to take his sons and daughters and to leave because they plan to destroy the city of Sodom.  Lot tries to tell his son in laws to take his daughters away, but they think he is crazy. In the morning Lot takes his wife and his two daughters with him and the angels transport them all outside of the city and tell them to go to the mountain as there they will be safe. Lot asks if he can go to the city of Zoar instead, the angels agree. But as the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are being destroyed with brimstone and fire, Lot’s wife looks back at the carnage and becomes a pillar of salt. Lot left Zoar and went up to the mountains to live in a cave. His daughters, despairing of ever having a man, get their father drunk and have sex with him so that they can get pregnant and carry on his seed. One child is Moab and becomes the father of the Moabites. The other is Benammi and is the father of the Ammonites.

In other words:

Two angels head to Sodom and if it weren’t for the good will of Lot, they would have been raped. The angels transport Lot and his daughter and wife away, but his wife is turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at the destruction of the cities of Sodom and  His daughters get him drunk and have babies with him.

The big unanswered question:

The story of the men of Sodom wanting to rape the angels is really strange. I mean, who looks at an angel and thinks – yup – I want to rape that? Perhaps angel is a metaphor for an effeminate person?  Could they perhaps be gay men? That would make a lot more sense.

Also – is it possible that Lot was  crazy? After all, his son in laws certainly thought he was and didn’t heed his warning to take his daughters away to safety. On the other hand, the “angels” certainly destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.  Perhaps they set fire to the place? 

Favorite bit:

Genesis 19:16 – it appears that the “angels” teleport Lot and his wife and his daughters outside of the city simply by laying hands on them. So perhaps, something supernatural happens after all. Or, the ancient alien theorists are right and these are aliens with advanced teleporting technology.

What I think really happened:


Lot has schizophrenia and the angels were hallucinations as was the mob - this would explain why his sons, living in his house witnessed none of this and thought the old man was crazy. I think he went on a rampage, set fire to the town, somehow his wife was killed and he took his daughters away and didn't come to his senses until he was on the road out of town, which is why it seemed he was teleported by the angels.

Moral Lesson learned:

The moral lessons learned in this chapter are really not all that great.
1)      Raping men is bad  (Genesis 19:7)
It’s unfortunate that this is very specific to men and that raping women is apparently ok. As a woman, I’m not entirely happy with this lesson.

2)      A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do (Genesis 19:31)

Again – not happy with this because of the incestuous way they have their children. But then, the Lot family line is clearly not of concern to God so I suppose it doesn’t matter.  (still – ugh)