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Sodom and Gomorrah

written by Moses* in Genesis 18:16-19:29
written by Moses* in Genesis 18:16-19:29
written by Moses* in Genesis 18:16-19:29
written by Moses* in Genesis 18:16-19:29

Genesis 18:16-19:29

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

19:1 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 bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

Abraham Prays for Sodom

16 When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked part of the way with them.

17 The Lord said to himself, “I should tell Abraham what I am going to do, 18 since his family will become a great and powerful nation that will be a blessing to all the other nations on earth. 19 I have chosen him to teach his family to obey me forever and to do what is right and fair. If they do, I will give Abraham many descendants, just as I promised.”

20 The Lord said, “Abraham, I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are doing all kinds of evil things. 21 Now I am going down to see for myself if those people really are that bad. If they aren't, I would like to know.”

22 The men turned and started toward Sodom. But the Lord stayed with Abraham. 23 And Abraham asked him, “Lord, when you destroy the evil people, are you also going to destroy those who are good? 24 Wouldn't you spare the city if there are only 50 good people in it? 25 You surely wouldn't let them be killed when you destroy the evil ones. You are the judge of all the earth, and you do what is right.”

26 The Lord replied, “If I find 50 good people in Sodom, I will save the city to keep them from being killed.”

27 Abraham answered, “I am nothing more than the dust of the earth. Please forgive me, Lord, for daring to speak to you like this. 28 But suppose there are only 45 good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?”

“If I find 45 good people,” the Lord replied, “I won't destroy the city.”

29 “Suppose there are just 40 good people?” Abraham asked.

“Even for them,” the Lord replied, “I won't destroy the city.”

30 Abraham said, “Please don't be angry, Lord, if I ask you what you will do if there are only 30 good people in the city.”

“If I find 30,” the Lord replied, “I still won't destroy it.”

31 Then Abraham said, “I don't have any right to ask you, Lord, but what would you do if you find only 20?”

“Because of them, I won't destroy the city,” was the Lord's answer.

32 Finally, Abraham said, “Please don't get angry, Lord, if I speak just once more. Suppose you find only 10 good people there.”

“For the sake of 10 good people,” the Lord told him, “I still won't destroy the city.”

33 After speaking with Abraham, the Lord left, and Abraham went back home.

The Evil City of Sodom

1 That evening, while Lot was sitting near the city gate, the two angels arrived in Sodom. When Lot saw them, he got up, bowed down low, 2 and said, “Gentlemen, I am your servant. Please come to my home. You can wash your feet, spend the night, and be on your way in the morning.”

They told him, “No, we'll spend the night in the city square.” 3 But Lot kept insisting, until they finally agreed and went home with him. He quickly baked some bread, cooked a meal, and they ate.

4 Before Lot and his guests could go to bed, every man in Sodom, young and old, came and stood outside his house 5 and started shouting, “Where are your visitors? Send them out, so we can have sex with them!”

6 Lot went outside and shut the door behind him. 7 Then he said, “Friends, please don't do such a terrible thing! 8 I have two daughters who have never had sex. I'll bring them out, and you can do what you want with them. But don't harm these men. They are guests in my home.”

9 “Don't get in our way,” the crowd answered. “You're a foreigner. What right do you have to order us around? We'll do worse things to you than we're going to do to them.”

The crowd kept arguing with Lot. Finally, they rushed toward the door to break it down. 10 But the two angels in the house reached out and pulled Lot safely inside. 11 Then they struck blind everyone in the crowd, and none of them could even find the door.

12-13 The two angels said to Lot, “The Lord has heard many terrible things about the people of Sodom, and he has sent us here to destroy the city. Take your family and leave. Take every relative you have in the city, as well as the men your daughters are going to marry.”

14 Lot went to the men who were engaged to his daughters and said, “Hurry up and get out of here! The Lord is going to destroy this city.” But they thought he was joking, and they laughed at him.

15 Early the next morning the two angels tried to make Lot hurry and leave. They said, “Take your wife and your two daughters and get away from here as fast as you can! If you don't, every one of you will be killed when the Lord destroys the city.” 16 At first, Lot just stood there. But the Lord wanted to save him. So the angels took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city. 17 When they were outside, one of the angels said, “Run for your lives! Don't even look back. And don't stop in the valley. Run to the hills, where you'll be safe.”

18-19 Lot answered, “You have done us a great favor, sir. You have saved our lives, but please don't make us go to the hills. That's too far away. The city will be destroyed before we can get there, and we will be killed when it happens. 20 There's a town near here. It's only a small place, but my family and I will be safe, if you let us go there.”

21 “All right, go there,” he answered. “I won't destroy that town. 22 Hurry! Run! I can't do anything until you are safely there.”

The town was later called Zoar because Lot had said it was small.

Sodom and Gomorrah Are Destroyed

23 The sun was coming up as Lot reached the town of Zoar, 24 and the Lord sent burning sulfur down like rain on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25 He destroyed those cities and everyone who lived in them, as well as their land and the trees and grass that grew there.

26 On the way, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a block of salt.

27 That same morning Abraham got up and went to the place where he had stood and spoken with the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and saw smoke rising from all over the land—it was like a flaming furnace.

29 When God destroyed the cities of the valley where Lot lived, he remembered his promise to Abraham and saved Lot from the terrible destruction.

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

16 Then the men left and went to a place where they could look down at Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on their way. 17 And the Lord said to himself, “I will not hide from Abraham what I am going to do. 18 His descendants will become a great and mighty nation, and through him I will bless all the nations. 19 I have chosen him in order that he may command his sons and his descendants to obey me and to do what is right and just. If they do, I will do everything for him that I have promised.”

20 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “There are terrible accusations against Sodom and Gomorrah, and their sin is very great. 21 I must go down to find out whether or not the accusations which I have heard are true.”

22 Then the two men left and went on toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham. 23 Abraham approached the Lord and asked, “Are you really going to destroy the innocent with the guilty? 24 If there are fifty innocent people in the city, will you destroy the whole city? Won't you spare it in order to save the fifty? 25 Surely you won't kill the innocent with the guilty. That's impossible! You can't do that. If you did, the innocent would be punished along with the guilty. That is impossible. The judge of all the earth has to act justly.”

26 The Lord answered, “If I find fifty innocent people in Sodom, I will spare the whole city for their sake.”

27 Abraham spoke again: “Please forgive my boldness in continuing to speak to you, Lord. I am only a man and have no right to say anything. 28 But perhaps there will be only forty-five innocent people instead of fifty. Will you destroy the whole city because there are five too few?”

The Lord answered, “I will not destroy the city if I find forty-five innocent people.”

29 Abraham spoke again: “Perhaps there will be only forty.”

He replied, “I will not destroy it if there are forty.”

30 Abraham said, “Please don't be angry, Lord, but I must speak again. What if there are only thirty?”

He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty.”

31 Abraham said, “Please forgive my boldness in continuing to speak to you, Lord. Suppose that only twenty are found?”

He said, “I will not destroy the city if I find twenty.”

32 Abraham said, “Please don't be angry, Lord, and I will speak only once more. What if only ten are found?”

He said, “I will not destroy it if there are ten.” 33 After he had finished speaking with Abraham, the Lord went away, and Abraham returned home.

The Sinfulness of Sodom

1 When the two angels came to Sodom that evening, Lot was sitting at the city gate. As soon as he saw them, he got up and went to meet them. He bowed down before them 2 and said, “Sirs, I am here to serve you. Please come to my house. You can wash your feet and spend the night. In the morning you can get up early and go on your way.”

But they answered, “No, we will spend the night here in the city square.”

3 He kept on urging them, and finally they went with him to his house. Lot ordered his servants to bake some bread and prepare a fine meal for the guests. When it was ready, they ate it.

4 Before the guests went to bed, the men of Sodom surrounded the house. All the men of the city, both young and old, were there. 5 They called out to Lot and asked, “Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out to us!” The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with them.

6 Lot went outside and closed the door behind him. 7 He said to them, “Friends, I beg you, don't do such a wicked thing! 8 Look, I have two daughters who are still virgins. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want with them. But don't do anything to these men; they are guests in my house, and I must protect them.”

9 But they said, “Get out of our way, you foreigner! Who are you to tell us what to do? Out of our way, or we will treat you worse than them.” They pushed Lot back and moved up to break down the door. 10 But the two men inside reached out, pulled Lot back into the house, and shut the door. 11 Then they struck all the men outside with blindness, so that they couldn't find the door.

Lot Leaves Sodom

12 The two men said to Lot, “If you have anyone else here—sons, daughters, sons-in-law, or any other relatives living in the city—get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The Lord has heard the terrible accusations against these people and has sent us to destroy Sodom.”

14 Then Lot went to the men that his daughters were going to marry, and said, “Hurry up and get out of here; the Lord is going to destroy this place.” But they thought he was joking.

15 At dawn the angels tried to make Lot hurry. “Quick!” they said. “Take your wife and your two daughters and get out, so that you will not lose your lives when the city is destroyed.” 16 Lot hesitated. The Lord, however, had pity on him; so the men took him, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city. 17 Then one of the angels said, “Run for your lives! Don't look back and don't stop in the valley. Run to the hills, so that you won't be killed.”

18 But Lot answered, “No, please don't make us do that, sir. 19 You have done me a great favor and saved my life. But the hills are too far away; the disaster will overtake me, and I will die before I get there. 20 Do you see that little town? It is near enough. Let me go over there—you can see it is just a small place—and I will be safe.”

21 He answered, “All right, I agree. I won't destroy that town. 22 Hurry! Run! I can't do anything until you get there.”

Because Lot called it small, the town was named Zoar.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

23 The sun was rising when Lot reached Zoar. 24 Suddenly the Lord rained burning sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah 25 and destroyed them and the whole valley, along with all the people there and everything that grew on the land. 26 But Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.

27 Early the next morning Abraham hurried to the place where he had stood in the presence of the Lord. 28 He looked down at Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole valley and saw smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a huge furnace. 29 But when God destroyed the cities of the valley where Lot was living, he kept Abraham in mind and allowed Lot to escape to safety.

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

18:16 When the men got up to leave, they looked out over Sodom. (Now Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 After all, Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using his name. 19 I have chosen him so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then the Lord will give to Abraham what he promised him.”

20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 21 that I must go down and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. If not, I want to know.”

22 The two men turned and headed toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge of the whole earth do what is right?”

26 So the Lord replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord (although I am but dust and ashes), 28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy the whole city because five are lacking?” He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

29 Abraham spoke to him again, “What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”

30 Then Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak! What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

32 Finally Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”

33 The Lord went on his way when he had finished speaking to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening while Lot was sitting in the city’s gateway. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face toward the ground.

2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.”

3 But he urged them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they could lie down to sleep, all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

9 “Out of our way!” they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, and now he dares to judge us! We’ll do more harm to you than to them!” They kept pressing in on Lot until they were close enough to break down the door.

10 So the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house as they shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest, with blindness. The men outside wore themselves out trying to find the door. 12 Then the two visitors said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? Do you have any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? Get them out of this place 13 because we are about to destroy it. The outcry against this place is so great before the Lord that he has sent us to destroy it.”

14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters. He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them.

15 At dawn the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!” 16 When Lot hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them. They led them away and placed them outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, they said, “Run for your lives! Don’t look behind you or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!”

18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 19 Your servant has found favor with you, and you have shown me great kindness by sparing my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because this disaster will overtake me and I’ll die. 20 Look, this town over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. Let me go there. It’s just a little place, isn’t it? Then I’ll survive.”

21 “Very well,” he replied, “I will grant this request too and will not overthrow the town you mentioned. 22 Run there quickly, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.)

23 The sun had just risen over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained down sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord. 25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region, including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew from the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back longingly and was turned into a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked out toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region. As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace.

29 So when God destroyed the cities of the region, God honored Abraham’s request. He removed Lot from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed the cities Lot had lived in.

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome