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Genesis 19:30-38 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Lot and His Daughters

30 Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed from our father.”[1] 33 So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve seed from our father.”[2] 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 And the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.

DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIPWe must take a moment and look at the historical setting while looking at the rest of God’s Word. Lot lost his wife in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, his daughters surviving. They fled to Zoar, but they soon felt unsafe and moved on to a cave. (Gen. 19:30) It is at this time the older daughter said to the younger: “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.”—Gen. 19:31, 32.

One indicator that Lot would have not supported incest is the fact they plotted to get him intoxicated, knowing if he were sober, he would have rejected such an idea. We must realize the mindset of the daughters, knowing that there was no way to continue the family line. Being in the land of Canaan, with no family, it meant the end of their family name. Thus, living among the Sodomites and their debased way of thinking had influenced them to the point that they so easily came up with such a scheme. Considering all of this, we must ask, ‘what the value of adding this account?’

It certainly was not added for its sexual content, or to justify incest. The sons that would be born to the daughters, and therefore, related to Abraham, would become the Moabites and Ammonites (Gen. 11:27), who would have historical dealings with the Israelites centuries later. As you know, the Israelites are the sons of Israel (Jacob), Abraham’s grandson. This helps us to understand later accounts, like why the Israelites never trespassed on the land of Moab and Ammon, when they were taking over the land east of the Jordan.—Deuteronomy 2:9, 18, 19, 37.

how-to-study-your-bible1What we have in Genesis, chapter 19 is the historical facts, for laying a foundation for events that would span about 3,000 years of Israelite history. Thus, there was no reason to include an approval or disapproval; it was simply a historical account. However, the Bible is not silent on drunkenness or incest. (Pro. 20:1; 23:20, 21, 29-35; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Lev. 18:6, 7, 29) The Bible critic will argue that the daughters lived hundreds of years before the Mosaic Law, so they were not under it. While this is true, Paul lets us know that God gave us an internal conscience that convicts us or excuses us. This must have been the case with the daughters, why else get the father intoxicated? — Romans 2:14-15.

Why did God inspire Peter to call Lot a “righteous man”? This is certainly not because he condoned getting drunk, nor because he approved of the incest. However, we know that Lot is not perfect, and he was passed out during the incest. In addition, the Bible does not give us a historical picture of Lot as a drunkard. It is God, who is the reader of heart, who judged Lot as “righteous.” Thus, we can surmise that most of his life was in walking with God. We could also see a very broken heart of a “righteous man” over the difficulty he found himself in, for the bad choices he made.

Instead of looking for contradictions, mistakes, and evidence that the Bible is not inspired, the Lot account only reinforces our belief that the Bible is a book of truth. Jehovah God does not move his authors to cover up the mistakes of his prominent people, like that of secular history. Instead, he inspires the recounting of accurate and honest historical information, as background material, helping us, so we can better understand future events in His Word.

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[1] I.e., preserve offspring from our father.

[2] i.e., preserve offspring from our father.