19 1The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening. Lot was sitting at the city gate. He saw them and got up to welcome them, bowing before them 2and said, “Please, my friends, come to my house and stay the night. Wash up. You can rise early and be on your way refreshed.” They said, “No, we’ll sleep in the street.” 3But he insisted, wouldn’t take no for an answer; and they relented and went home with him. Lot fixed a hot meal for them and they ate. 4Before they went to bed men from all over the city of Sodom, young and old, descended on the house from all sides and boxed them in. 5They yelled to Lot, “Where are the men who are staying with you for the night? Bring them out so we can have our sport with them!” 6Lot went out, barring the door behind him, 7and said, “Brothers, please, don’t be vile! 8Look, I have two daughters, virgins; let me bring them out; you can take your pleasure with them, but don’t touch these men—they’re my guests.” 9They said, “Get lost! You drop in from nowhere and now you’re going to tell us how to run our lives. We’ll treat you worse than them!” And they charged past Lot to break down the door. 10But the two men reached out and pulled Lot inside the house, locking the door. 11Then they struck blind the men who were trying to break down the door, both leaders and followers, leaving them groping in the dark. 12The two men said to Lot, “Do you have any other family here? Sons, daughters—anybody in the city? Get them out of here, and now! 13We’re going to destroy this place. The outcries of victims here to God are deafening; we’ve been sent to blast this place into oblivion.” 14Lot went out and warned the fiancés of his daughters, “Evacuate this place; God is about to destroy this city!” But his daughters’ would–be husbands treated it as a joke. 15At break of day, the angels pushed Lot to get going, “Hurry. Get your wife and two daughters out of here before it’s too late and you’re caught in the punishment of the city.” 16Lot was dragging his feet. The men grabbed Lot’s arm, and the arms of his wife and daughters—God was so merciful to them!—and dragged them to safety outside the city. 17When they had them outside, Lot was told, “Now run for your life! Don’t look back! Don’t stop anywhere on the plain—run for the hills or you’ll be swept away.” 18But Lot protested, “No, masters, you can’t mean it! 19I know that you’ve taken a liking to me and have done me an immense favor in saving my life, but I can’t run for the mountains—who knows what terrible thing might happen to me in the mountains and leave me for dead. 20Look over there—that town is close enough to get to. It’s a small town, hardly anything to it. Let me escape there and save my life—it’s a mere wide place in the road.” 21“All right, Lot. If you insist. I’ll let you have your way. And I won’t stamp out the town you’ve spotted. 22But hurry up. Run for it! I can’t do anything until you get there.” That’s why the town was called Zoar, that is, Smalltown. 23The sun was high in the sky when Lot arrived at Zoar. 24Then God rained brimstone and fire down on Sodom and Gomorrah—a river of lava from God out of the sky!—25and destroyed these cities and the entire plain and everyone who lived in the cities and everything that grew from the ground. 26But Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. 27Abraham got up early the next morning and went to the place he had so recently stood with God. 28He looked out over Sodom and Gomorrah, surveying the whole plain. All he could see was smoke belching from the Earth, like smoke from a furnace. 29And that’s the story: When God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, he was mindful of Abraham and first got Lot out of there before he blasted those cities off the face of the Earth. 30Lot left Zoar and went into the mountains to live with his two daughters; he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He lived in a cave with his daughters. 31One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is getting old and there’s not a man left in the country by whom we can get pregnant. 32Let’s get our father drunk with wine and lie with him. We’ll get children through our father—it’s our only chance to keep our family alive.” 33They got their father drunk with wine that very night. The older daughter went and lay with him. He was oblivious, knowing nothing of what she did. 34The next morning the older said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Tonight, it’s your turn. We’ll get him drunk again and then you sleep with him. We’ll both get a child through our father and keep our family alive.” 35So that night they got their father drunk again and the younger went in and slept with him. Again he was oblivious, knowing nothing of what she did. 36Both daughters became pregnant by their father, Lot. 37The older daughter had a son and named him Moab, the ancestor of the present–day Moabites. 38The younger daughter had a son and named him Ben–Ammi, the ancestor of the present–day Ammonites.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About