Genesis Chapter 19 Continued
Genesis 19:30 “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.”
“Feared to dwell in Zoar”: Perhaps because the people there felt he was responsible for all the devastation, or he feared more judgment on the region might hit the city (verses 17-23).
There are several things we must be reminded of here. The angels of God had told Lot, from the beginning, to go up to the mountains, but Lot wanted to go to this town. Lot had a stubborn nature wanting to do his own thing, rather than obey God’s command.
In verse 29 of the last lesson, we saw that God remembered Abraham and saved Lot. It was not Lot’s doing that he was saved, but rather because he was Abraham’s nephew. “Zoar” means littleness or smallness, and was one of the five cities which were in the Jordan valley. Zoar was a very close distance to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Verses 31-36: the immoral philosophy of Sodom and Gomorrah had so corrupted the thinking of Lot’s daughters that they unhesitatingly contrived to be impregnated by their own father! They were virgins (verse 8), the married daughters were dead (verse 14), and there were no men left for husbands (verse 25). In fearing they would have not children, they conceived the gross iniquity.
Genesis 19:31 “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:”
No excuse can be made for the daughters, or for Lot. Scarcely any account can be given of the affair but this; the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? From the silence of the Scripture concerning Lot henceforward, we learn that drunkenness, as it makes men forgetful, so it makes them to be forgotten.
“And there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth”: to marry them, cohabit with them, and procreate children of them. Which was the common way of the propagation of mankind in the earth; they thought the whole world was destroyed by fire, as it had been by a flood.
They understood it would be no more consumed by water, but they had been told it would be by fire, and they imagined the time was now come, and this was the case. That not only Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire, and that by this time the fire had reached to Zoar, and had consumed that, but that the whole earth was destroyed, and not a man left but their father.
And therefore, thought it could be excusable in them, and lawful for them to take the following method to repopulate the world; or else they supposed there were none in the land, the land of Canaan, not of any of their kindred and relations, for they might be ignorant of Abraham and his family, or however of any good man that they knew of, that they could be joined to in marriage.
For as for the inhabitants of Zoar, they had just left, they were as wicked as any, and therefore could not think of living with them in such a near relation. But all this is not a sufficient excuse for contriving and executing what is after related; for they should have inquired of their father, who could have informed them better.
Genesis 19:32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.”
Bewildered by the narrowness of his escape, and the awful death of his wife, Lot seems to have left Zoar, and taken to the mountain west of the Salt Sea, in terror of impending ruin. It is not improbable that all the inhabitants of Zoar, panic-struck, may have fled from the region of danger, and dispersed themselves for a time through the adjacent mountains.
“Come, let us make our father drink wine”: On their flight from Zoar it is probable they had brought with them certain provisions to serve them for the time being, and the wine here mentioned among the rest.
After considering all that has been said to criminate both Lot and his daughters in this business, I cannot help thinking that the transaction itself will bear a more favorable construction than that which has been generally put on it.
(1) It does not appear that it was through any base or sensual desires that the daughters of Lot wished to deceive their father. Lot’s daughters might seem to have been led to this unnatural project, because they thought the human race extinct with the exception of themselves, in which case their conduct may have seemed a work of justifiable necessity.
(2) They might have thought that it would have been criminal to have married into any other family, and they knew that their husbands elect, who were probably of the same kindred, had perished in the overthrow of Sodom.
(3) They might have supposed that there was no other way left to preserve the family, and consequently that righteousness for which it had been remarkable, but the way which they now took.
(4) They appear to have supposed that their father would not come into the measure, because he would have considered it as profane; yet, judging the measure to be expedient and necessary, they endeavored to sanctify the improper means used, by the goodness of the end at which they aimed. A doctrine which, though resorted to by many, should be reprobated by all.
Acting on this bad principle they caused their father to drink wine (see note on Genesis 19:38).
This plan these girls had figured out to do was a very evil sin in the sight of God. Incest, such as this, is prevalent in our society today. Most incest is started by the father. This was even worse, because it was initiated by the girls. At any rate, this was a very evil plot.
Genesis 19:33 “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.”
“And they made their father drink wine that night”: They persuaded him to drink liberally, urged him to it again, in order to make him drunk, and so complete their design; and Lot might be the more prevailed upon to drink freely, in order to remove his sorrow, and refresh his spirits over the loss of his wife.
And also, his daughters, if he had any married in Sodom, as some suppose. Including his sons-in-law. And of all his goods and substance; though this will not excuse his drinking to excess, nor can ignorance of the strength of wine be pleaded. Since he must know it as well as his daughters, who, it is plain, did, and therefore plied him with it.
“And the firstborn went in and lay with her father”: Went to his bed, and lay down by him, which she would not have dared to have done, but that she knew he was drunk and insensible.
“And he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose”: Never heard her come to bed nor get up, so dead drunk and fast asleep was he; but finding a woman in bed with him, lay with her, taking her to be his wife, forgetting, through the force of liquor, that she was dead.
Genesis 19:34 “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.”
“And it came to pass on the morrow”: The day following the night, in which the above was transacted.
“That the firstborn said to the younger, behold, I lay yesternight with my father” informed her, that what they had contrived succeeded according to their wish, and therefore, for her encouragement to go on, proposes to take the same method again. And again, he perceived not when she lay down, or when, or know who it was that had lain with him.
“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”: May have children by him, and so our family be kept up, from whence it may be hoped the Messiah will spring.
In this transaction, Lot appears to me to be in many respects excusable. A small portion would be sufficient to overcome him; sound sleep would soon, at his time of life, be the effect of taking the liquor to which he was unaccustomed, and cause him to forget the effects of his intoxication.
The one thing that is so evident, here, is that their dad got drunk. He had to be willing to drink this wine. Drunkenness is the cause of so many other sins; a person who is drunk (whether on drugs, or alcohol) is not in control of his own will. Alcohol causes many child abuse cases, wife beatings, and even unintended homicide.
A person needs to stay in control of his own will at all times. God does not excuse drunkenness as an excuse to sin.
Genesis 19:35 “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.”
“And they made their father drink wine that night also”: Until he was drunk; which is an aggravation of his sin, that he should be overtaken a second time, and that so soon as the next night, when he ought to have been upon his guard, knowing how he had fallen into it the night before. And again “he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose”.
Genesis 19:36 “Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.”
“Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father”: We learn from hence what the best of men are when left to themselves; a good man, a righteous Lot, is guilty of crimes the most shocking; he exposed the chastity of his daughters to the men of Sodom, and now his daughters attacked him, and succeeded, being both with child by him.
And this brought about by excessive drinking, a sin which often leads on to the foulest crimes, and therefore to be carefully avoided. These sins Lot fell into when as it were alone, on a mountain, in a cave, none but his family with him, and these only his two daughters.
He that had stood his ground in the midst of Sodom, notwithstanding all the excesses of that place, the impurities in it, and the temptations that every day offered, now falls when seemingly out of the way of all.
These sins and failings of good men are recorded for our admonition and caution, that we may shun all appearance of evil, and be careful lest we fall, and neither be presumptuous not self-confident (see 1 Corinthians 10:12).
These daughters had committed a terrible sin. Not only is this sin such a spiritual disgrace, but close relatives having children can cause birth defects when they’re born. Many times, children of this type relation can be born with other problems as well. God considers this type of behavior as an abomination. Nothing good could come of this.
The word “Lot” means pebble. Surely, he was an earthly man. This type of sin goes along with the sin prevalent in Sodom and Gomorrah. All those sins are spoken of as an abomination to God.
Verses 37-38: The two sons born of incest became the progenitors of Moab and Ammon, Israel’s longstanding enemies.
Genesis 19:37 “And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same [is] the father of the Moabites unto this day.”
“And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab”: As if it was “Meab”, (from the father, alluding to his incestuous origin), as Aben Ezra, and so Josephus, that is, which she had by her father. And she was so far from being ashamed that it might be known in time to come, she gave him this name.
Hillerus makes it to be a compound of “and” to signify “going into”, or “lying with a father”, which still more notoriously points to her own action. Drusius has another derivation of the word, at least proposes it, and renders it “aqua patris”. “Mo” in the Egyptian language signifying “water”, which is sometimes used for seed (see Isaiah 48:1).
“The same is the father of the Moabites unto this day”: A people that lived on the borders of the land of Canaan, often troublesome to the Israelites, and frequently spoken of in the Old Testament. This phrase, indicating a variable period from a few years to a few centuries.
Who originally inhabited the country northeast of the Dead Sea, between the Jabbok and the Arnon (Deuteronomy 2:20), but were afterwards driven by the Amorites south of the Arnon.
The word “Moab” means from father. Of course, he would be looked down on, because of his manner of birth. He became the father of the Moabites. The Moabites ancestry goes back to Terah, Father of Abraham, but it seemed they fell from grace and actually warred against their Hebrew relatives from time to time.
They got into idolatry and worshipped the false god Chemosh. The Moabites became known as children of Chemosh. They actually sacrificed their children to this false god. You see just how far perversion and evil sex sin can carry a person who is caught up in it. This sin carried on for generations, and just got worse and worse.
In Deuteronomy, these Moabites were excluded from the congregation for ten generations, because of their sins. We will see much more of the Moabites. One good thing happened in Ruth. She was a Moabite. She was, also, in the physical ancestry of Jesus.
Genesis 19:38 “And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same [is] the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.”
“And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi”: That is, “the son of my people”, being the son of her father; which though it does not so manifestly appear in this name, as in the other, yet there is some trace of it; and she would have it be known by this, that he was not the son of a stranger, but of a relation of her own.
Some attribute this to her being more modest than her elder sister; but it looks as if neither of them were sensible of any crime they had been guilty of, but rather thought it a commendable action, at least that it was excusable.
“The same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day”: A people that lived near their brethren the Moabites, and were both enemies to the people of God; they quickly falling into idolatry, and whose names we often meet with in the sacred writings; and of these two sons, Josephus says the one begat the Moabites, being still a great nation, and the other the Ammonites, and both inhabit Coelesyria.
They are both called the children of Lot (Psalm 83:8). After this we hear no more of Lot in this history. It is remarkable, that there never was, as we know of, any town or city that had in it any, trace of his name; but we are not from hence to conclude that he was a wicked man, whose memory perished with him; for mention is made of him in the New Testament, where he has a very honorable character, and is called “just Lot” (2 Peter 2:7).
Here again, this son named Ben-ammi, had very little to be proud of. His mother had conceived him of his grandfather. The Hebrews, as Christians today, considered this a grave sin. “Ben-ammi” means son of my kindred. This Ben-ammi was the beginning of the Ammonites.
These people were nomads. They were so intertwined with the Moabites that they were both called by both names from time to time. The Israelites were forbidden to molest these Ammonites, even though the Ammonites sometimes sided against Israel. Their false god was Molech. They made their children walk through the fire.
Cruelty was very much of their worship. God completely destroyed these people, and there is no known connection with them today. None of their cities exist today.
Genesis Chapter 19 Continued Questions
1. What city did Lot leave to go to the mountains?
2. Why did he leave there?
3. What had Lot’s rebellious spirit caused him to do?
4. Who did God remember when he saved Lot?
5. What does “Zoar” mean?
6. What evil scheme did Lot’s daughters come up with?
7. What is the name of the sin they committed?
8. What does the Bible call this?
9. What did they make their father do, so that he would not know what he was doing?
10. What reason did they give for committing this awful sin?
11. What was the father guilty of knowingly?
12. What do we lose control of when we are drunk?
13. Name three things alcohol causes in homes today?
14. What was produced by the sins of these two daughters?
15. Besides being a disgrace, what in the physical can be caused by this sin?
16. What does “Lot” mean?
17. What was the name of the son of the 1st born daughter?
18. What race started from him?
19. What does his name mean?
20. What type relation did they have to their Israelite brothers?
21. What was the name of their false god?
22. What did they practice?
23. How many generations were the Moabites not able to worship in the temple?
24. Who was the Moabite woman in the ancestry of Jesus?
25. What was the name of the 2nd daughter’s son?
26. What were his ancestors called?
27. What does “Ben-ammi” mean?
28. What lifestyle did they have?
29. What was the name of their false god?
30. What did they cause their children to do for this false god?
31. Who visited Lot to warn him?
32. What happened to the men of the city who attacked them?
33. Who escaped the city?
34. Who were left behind?
35. What was Lot’s sin?
36. What was Lot’s wife’s sin?
37. Whose pleading savd Lot?