Genesis 19 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Genesis 19 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

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;

(19:1-5) "Bring them out unto us, that we may know them."
The two angels that visit Lot wash their feet, eat, and are sexually irresistible to Sodomites.
Do angels have sex?
The author of the SAB scoffs, but this is a reliable account of what the inhabitants of Sodom were.

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.

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:

(19:4-5) "Bring them out unto us, that we may know them."
Two angels are staying at Lot's house when all the men of Sodom come to visit. They ask Lot to bring the angels out so that they can have sex with them.
What was the sin of Sodom?
The Sodomites did not stop at a single sin. See also chapter 13:13.

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.

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.

(19:8) "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."
Lot refuses to give up his angels to the perverted mob, offering his two "virgin daughters" instead. He tells the bunch of angel rapers to "do unto them [his daughters] as is good in your eyes." This is the same man that is called "just" and "righteous" in 2 Peter 2:7-8.
Was Lot a righteous man?
(Carm says that the reason 2 Peter calls Lot just and righteous is that the author just forgot about all the stuff about Lot in Genesis 19.)
What the Bible says about parenting, family values and fathers

I'm not really sure if there is a good response when thugs want to rape your guests. Giving up your guests or your daughters seems both repugnant. But faced with impossible choices, the one thing Lot should have done is praying to God. From this text it does not appear he did.
On the question if Lot was a righteous man, yes, the Bible says so (2 Pet. 2:8).

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.

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.

(19:13) "We will destroy this place."
Who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?
God commanded his angels to do these things. And we use exactly the same language today. There are many things the president of the US is said to have done, while in reality he personally has done none of them, but only commanded them to be done.

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.

(19:14) "His sons in law, which married his daughters"
Lot lied about his daughters being "virgins" in v. 8. His daughters were married, and therefore not likely to be virgins. But, hey, it was a "just and righteous" lie, intended to make them more attractive to the sex-crazed mob.
The marriage that is spoken of here, was the promise to marry. I.e. his daughters were espoused, which was considered as binding as marriage, although the marriage itself had not yet been consumed.
The author of the SAB also claims that Lot, by mentioning his daughters were virgins, made them more attractive. But nothing of that sort can be found in the text, because the response was: “And they said, Stand back.” instead of a clamor for his daughters.

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.

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;

(19:24) "The LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire."
God kills everyone (men, women, children, infants, newborns) in Sodom and Gomorrah by raining "fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven." Well, almost everyone -- he spares the "just and righteous" Lot and his family. Although many Christians consider this story to be a condemnation of homosexuality, others disagree. See The story of Sodom at for an excellent discussion of this topic.
Who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?
God's 3rd Killing
The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because of their sins, plural. They did not stop at a single sin. Also note that this story of attempted homosexual rape only comes after God had already decided to destroy the city because of its sins, see chapter 18:20. Their behaviour just confirmed how wicked they were.
One remark on the discussion: it claims the number of homosexual man is about 5%. But I question how much of homosexuality is genetics. It's mostly learnt behaviour I would say. Also it is quite easy for men to commit homosexual acts, even when not being a "genetic" homosexual.

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.

(19:26) "She became a pillar of salt."
Lot's nameless wife looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt.
God's 4th Killing
Lot's wife looked back, because she desired what was going to be destroyed. And as Sodom and Gomorrah, so will this world be judged and destroyed. She therefore serves as a warning for those who look back and desire that which will not last.

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.

(19:30-38) "Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father."
Lot and his daughters camp out in a cave for a while. The daughters get their "just and righteous" father drunk, have sexual intercourse with him, and each conceives and bears a son (wouldn't you know it!). Neither Lot nor his daughters are criticized here or anywhere else in the Bible. It's just another wholesome family values Bible story.
Was Lot a righteous man?
I'm really unsure why the author of the SAB expects the Bible to criticise something so gross. Does he criticise every newspaper if they report something abhorrent and omit a paragraph of disapproval? Is it really necessary to have a verse of disapproval in a case like this, which is so clearly disprovable that there is no need to say it?

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:

(19:20-21, 30) "I will not overthrow this city."
Did Lot's daughters think God had killed every man except Lot?
Lot's daughters did not think that God had killed every man except Lot, because they knew that wasn't true as Lot had gone to Zoar first, and Zoar was spared. But later he left Zoar (verse 30) and dwelt in a cave.
His daughters just used hyperbole to excuse the deed they wanted to commit.

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.

What the Bible says about incest, family values, and fathers
The Bible gives this historical account. If one assumes this account is somehow akin to advice in morals, I suggest to such persons not to read newspapers.

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.