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Genesis Chapter 19 | Parsha: Va-yera'

1The two angels arrived in Sodom in the evening, as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to greet them and, bowing low with his face to the ground, 2he said, “Please, my lords, turn aside to your servant’s house to spend the night, and bathe your feet; then you may be on your way early.” But they said, “No, we will spend the night in the square.” 3But he urged them strongly, so they turned his way and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

4They had not yet lain down, when the townspeople, the men of Sodom, young and old—all the people to the last man—gathered about the house. 5And they shouted to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may be intimate with them.” 6So Lot went out to them to the entrance, shut the door behind him, 7and said, “I beg you, my friends, do not commit such a wrong. 8Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please; but do not do anything to these men, since they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9But they said, “Stand back! The fellow,” they said, “came here as an alien, and already he acts the ruler! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” And they pressed hard against the person of Lot, and moved forward to break the door. 10But the men stretched out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11And the people who were at the entrance of the house, young and old, they struck with blinding light, so that they were helpless to find the entrance.

12Then the men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? Sons-in-law, your sons and daughters, or anyone else that you have in the city—bring them out of the place. 13For we are about to destroy this place; because the outcry against them before the Lord has become so great that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law as one who jests.

15As dawn broke, the angels urged Lot on, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two remaining daughters, lest you be swept away because of the iniquity of the city.” 16Still he delayed. So the men seized his hand, and the hands of his wife and his two daughters—in the Lord‘s mercy on him—and brought him out and left him outside the city. 17When they had brought them outside, one said, “Flee for your life! Do not look behind you, nor stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lord! 19You have been so gracious to your servant, and have already shown me so much kindness in order to save my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20Look, that town there is near enough to flee to; it is such a little place! Let me flee there—it is such a little place—and let my life be saved.” 21He replied, “Very well, I will grant you this favor too, and I will not annihilate the town of which you have spoken. 22Hurry, flee there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Hence the town came to be called Zoar.

23As the sun rose upon the earth and Lot entered Zoar, 24the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulfurous fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25He annihilated those cities and the entire Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation of the ground. 26Lot’s wife looked back, and she thereupon turned into a pillar of salt.

27Next morning, Abraham hurried to the place where he had stood before the Lord, 28and, looking down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the Plain, he saw the smoke of the land rising like the smoke of a kiln.

29Thus it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain and annihilated the cities where Lot dwelt, God was mindful of Abraham and removed Lot from the midst of the upheaval.

30Lot went up from Zoar and settled in the hill country with his two daughters, for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar; and he and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31And the older one said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to consort with us in the way of all the world. 32Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, that we may maintain life through our father.” 33That night they made their father drink wine, and the older one went in and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. 34The next day the older one said to the younger, “See, I lay with Father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go and lie with him, that we may maintain life through our father.” 35That night also they made their father drink wine, and the younger one went and lay with him; he did not know when she lay down or when she rose.

36Thus the two daughters of Lot came to be with child by their father. 37The older one bore a son and named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38And the younger also bore a son, and she called him Ben-ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.

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