Sodom and Gamorrah

Genesis 13:5-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. And the land could not support them while dwelling together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.

Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. This was before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 11 So Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other.

IS THE WORD THE WORD OF GODWe can see from this event and others in the life of Abraham that he certainly reflected the image of God. He would not allow a quarrel to continue between his herders and those of his nephew Lot. It was Abraham, who was the patriarch, who had the right to simply make a decision, who allowed Lot the first choice of the land he wanted. This was a selfless act on the part of Abraham.—Genesis 13:5-13.

Abraham and Lot stood up in the hill country of Bethel and Ai, which allowed them to see down into the Jordan Valley, as well as the area around Jericho. Even though the Dead Sea is nearby, the south end of the valley is described as “well watered everywhere like the garden of [Jehovah], like the land of Egypt.” (13:10) This was the choice of Lot. Many commentators have said this was a selfish act of Lot. However, some factors need to be considered first, before we jump to that conclusion. (1) Why was Abraham or Lot never drawn to this area before now? If it is actually the preferred place, why were they not already occupying it? (2) This area was very hot and humid throughout the summer, which would have been very uncomfortable for Abraham. (3) The hill country that they were in was more desirable all year-round. (4) Lot is the one that would have to pick up and move to the new area, adjusting to the new surroundings. (5) This allowed the elderly Abraham to stay where they had already chosen as being the best suited for human occupancy, avoiding the sweltering heat and humidity of the summer in the Jordan Valley. In other words, it is far more likely that Abraham was selfless in his gesture to let Lot go first, and Lot was just as selfless in taking the less desirable option. How did God view Lot? Well, he inspired Peter to pen,

2 Peter 2:7-8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the irreverent[1] men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),

[1] Gr athesmos; pertaining to refusing to be subjected to legal requirements—‘lawless, unruly, not complying with law.’ … ‘who was troubled by the licentious conduct of lawless people’ 2 Pet 2:7.