|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-29 Lot was good, but there was not one more of the same character in the city. All the people of Sodom were very wicked and vile. Care was therefore taken for saving Lot and his family. Lot lingered; he trifled. Thus many who are under convictions about their spiritual state, and the necessity of a change, defer that needful work. The salvation of the most righteous men is of God's mercy, not by their own merit. We are saved by grace. God's power also must be acknowledged in bringing souls out of a sinful state If God had not been merciful to us, our lingering had been our ruin. Lot must flee for his life. He must not hanker after Sodom. Such commands as these are given to those who, through grace, are delivered out of a sinful state and condition. Return not to sin and Satan. Rest not in self and the world. Reach toward Christ and heaven, for that is escaping to the mountain, short of which we must not stop. Concerning this destruction, observe that it is a revelation of the wrath of God against sin and sinners of all ages. Let us learn from hence the evil of sin, and its hurtful nature; it leads to ruin.
Verse 1. - And there came two angels - literally, the two angels, i.e. the two men of the preceding chapter who accompanied Jehovah to Mature; οἱ δύο ἄγγελλοι (LXX.) - to Sodom at even (having left the tent of Abraham shortly after noon); and Lot - last heard of in the narrative as captured by the Asiatic kings, and delivered by his uncle (Genesis 14:12, 16) - sat in the gate of Sodom. שַׁעַר, from the idea of opening, signified the gateway or entrance of a camp (Exodus 32:26, 27), of a palace (Esther 2:19), of a temple (Ezekiel 8:5), of a land (Jeremiah 15:7), or of a city (Joshua 2:7). Corresponding to the ancient forum of the Romans, or agora of the Greeks, the city gate among the Hebrews was the customary place of resort for the settlement of disputes, the transaction of business, or the enjoyment of ordinary social intercourse (cf. Genesis 34:20; Deuteronomy 21:19; Deuteronomy 22:15; Ruth 4:1; Proverbs 31:23). It was probably an arch with deep recesses, in which were placed chairs for the judges or city magistrates, and seats or benches for the citizens who had business to transact. So Homer describes the Trojan elders as sitting at the Scaean gate (3. 148). In what capacity Lot was sitting in the gate is not narrated. That he was on the outlook for travelers on whom to practice the hospitality he had learned from his uncle (Peele, Calvin, Willet, Lange) is perhaps to form too high an ideal of his piety (Kalisch); while the explanation that he had been pro-meted to the dignity of one of the city judges, though not perhaps justified as an inference from Ver. 9, is not at all unlikely, considering his relationship to Abraham. And Lot seeing them (and recognizing them to be strangers by their dress and looks) rose up to meet them; - having not yet abandoned the practice of hospitality, or forgotten, through mingling with the Sodomites, the respectful courtesy which was due to strangers, since the writer adds - and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground (cf. Genesis 18:2).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there came two angels to Sodom at even,.... Or "the two angels" (h), the two men who were angels in the likeness of men, that had been with Abraham in the heat of the day at Hebron, on the evening of the same day came to Sodom:
and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: not as a civil magistrate to try causes there, being appointed a judge over them, as Jarchi relates; yea, the Jews say (i): that that day five judges were appointed by the men of Sodom, and Lot was the chief of them; but this is not likely, and seems to be contradicted, Genesis 19:9; but he sat there to observe strangers that might pass by, and invite them into his house, and that they might not fall into the hands of the wicked Sodomites, who might abuse them; this being a time when not only travellers would be glad to put up and take refreshment, but his wicked neighbours lay in wait for them to satisfy their lusts on them: he had learnt this hospitality from Abraham:
and Lot seeing them, rose up to meet them: he arose from his seat and went forward to meet them, which showed his readiness and heartiness to receive them:
and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; not in a religious way, as paying worship to angels, for as yet he did not know them to be such, and if he had, would not have given them divine adoration; but in a civil way, as was the custom of the eastern countries to bow very low in their civil respects to men, especially to great personages; and such Lot took these to be by their goodly looks and by their dress, as appears by his salutation of them in Genesis 19:2.
(h) "duo illi angeli", Tigurine version, Cocceius; so Ar. "duobus illis angelis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (i) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 50. fol. 44. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ge 19:1-38. Lot's Entertainment.
1. there came two angels—most probably two of those that had been with Abraham, commissioned to execute the divine judgment against Sodom.
Lot sat in the gate of Sodom—In Eastern cities it is the market, the seat of justice, of social intercourse and amusement, especially a favorite lounge in the evenings, the arched roof affording a pleasant shade.
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