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.
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(30) He feared to dwell in Zoar.—Though this little place had been granted him for an asylum, yet, terrified at the sight of the smoking valley, and remembering that he had been originally commanded to go to the mountains, he summons up his courage and proceeds thither. The limestone regions of Palestine are full of caverns; and the patriarch, whose wealth had been so great that he and Abraham could not dwell together, is now content to seek in one of these caverns a miserable home.

Genesis 19:30. He feared to dwell in Zoar — Probably he found it as wicked as Sodom; and therefore concluded it could not long survive it; or perhaps he observed the rise and increase of those waters, which, after the conflagration, began to overflow the plain, and which, mixing with the ruins, by degrees, made the Dead sea. In those waters he concluded Zoar must needs perish, (though it had escaped the fire,) because it stood upon the same flat. He was now glad to go to the mountain, the place which God had appointed for his shelter. See in Lot what those bring themselves to at last that forsake the communion of saints for secular advantages! He has lost all his substance, and the greater part of his family. His wife is made a monument of the divine wrath against those that prefer the world to God, and the principles of his remaining daughters are so corrupted, and their moral feelings so stupified, through their intercourse with the depraved inhabitants of Sodom, that they are prepared for the greatest crimes; they even lay snares to entangle their own father in the dreadful one of committing incest with themselves. He dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters — It seems strange when he was thus reduced, that he did not think of returning to Abraham, from whom he was at no great distance, and who, no doubt, would have kindly received him. But probably he was ashamed to return, being conscious that he had not treated that venerable servant of God with due respect; or, being now stripped of all, and a wretched outcast, he could not brook appearing so degraded among those that had known him in his more prosperous days.

19:30-38 See the peril of security. Lot, who kept chaste in Sodom, and was a mourner for the wickedness of the place, and a witness against it, when in the mountain, alone, and, as he thought, out of the way of temptation, is shamefully overtaken. Let him that thinks he stands high, and stands firm, take heed lest he fall. See the peril of drunkenness; it is not only a great sin itself, but lets in many sins, which bring a lasting wound and dishonour. Many a man does that, when he is drunk, which, when he is sober, he could not think of without horror. See also the peril of temptation, even from relations and friends, whom we love and esteem, and expect kindness from. We must dread a snare, wherever we are, and be always upon our guard. No excuse can be made for the daughters, nor 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, learn that drunkenness, as it makes men forgetful, so it makes them to be forgotten.The descendants of Lot. 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. He was now far from the habitations of people, with his two daughters as his only companions. The manners of Sodom here obtrude themselves upon our view. Lot's daughters might seem to have been led to this unnatural project, first, 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; and next, because the degrees of kindred within which it was unlawful to marry had not been determined by an express law. But they must have seen some of the inhabitants of Zoar after the destruction of the cities; and carnal intercourse between parent and offspring must have been always repugnant to nature. "Unto this day." This phrase indicates a variable period, from a few years to a few centuries: a few years; not more than seven, as Joshua 22:3; part of a lifetime, as Numbers 22:30; Joshua 6:25; Genesis 48:15; and some centuries, as Exodus 10:6. This passage may therefore have been written by one much earlier than Moses. Moab afterward occupied the district south of the Arnon, and east of the Salt Sea. Ammon dwelt to the northeast of Moab, where they had a capital called Rabbah. They both ultimately merged into the more general class of the Arabs, as a second Palgite element.

- Abraham in Gerar

2. אבימלך .2 'ǎbı̂ymelek, Abimelekh, "father of the king."

7. נביא nābı̂y' "prophet," he who speaks by God, of God, and to God, who declares to people not merely things future, but also things past and present, that are not obvious to the sense or the reason; related: "flow, go forth."

13. התעוּ hı̂t‛û is plural in punctuation, agreeing grammatically with אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym. ו(w), however, may be regarded as the third radical, and the verb may thus really be singular.

16. נכהת nokachat an unusual form, either for נכחת nokaḥat the second person singular feminine perfect or נכחה nokeḥâh the third person singular feminine perfect, from a verb signifying in hiphil, "make straight, right."

17. אמה 'āmâh "hand-maid," free or bond. שׁפחה shı̂pchâh "bond-maid" 1 Samuel 25:41.

The concealment of his relation to Sarah calls to our mind a similar act of Abraham recorded not many pages back. We are to remember, however, that an interval of twenty-four years has elapsed since that event. From the present passage we learn that this was an old agreement between him and his wife, while they were wandering among strangers. It appears that Abraham was not yet conscious of anything wrong or even imprudent in this piece of policy. He therefore practises it without any hesitation. On this occasion he appears for the first time as a prophet. He is the first of this order introduced to our notice in the Old Testament, though Henok had prophesied at an earlier period Jde 1:14, and Noah's benediction was, at the same time, a prediction.

29. when God destroyed the cities, &c.—This is most welcome and instructive after so painful a narrative. It shows if God is a "consuming fire" to the wicked [De 4:24; Heb 12:29], He is the friend of the righteous. He "remembered" the intercessions of Abraham, and what confidence should not this give us that He will remember the intercessions of a greater than Abraham in our behalf. He feared to dwell in Zoar, lest he should either suffer from them or with them; perceiving now that though it was a little city, yet there was more wickedness in it than he imagined.

And Lot went up out of Zoar,.... Which lay in the plain, and therefore when he went from thence to the mountain, it was by an ascent:

and dwelt in the mountain; which the Lord had directed him to go to before, but was unwilling, and chose Zoar, and desired he might flee thither, and that that might be spared; but now he likes God's advice for him better than his own, and therefore betook himself to the mountain, where he might think himself safest, and where he continued; very probably this was the mountain Engaddi, under which Zoar is said to lie by Adrichomius (n):

and his two daughters with him: his wife was turned into a pillar of salt, and these two were all of his family that with him were saved from the destruction; and these are the rather mentioned for the sake of an anecdote hereafter related:

for he feared to dwell in Zoar; it being near to Sodom; and the smoke of that city and the rest might not only be terrible but troublesome to him, and the tremor of the earth might continue and reach as far as Zoar; and perceiving the waters to rise and overflow the plain, which formed the lake where the cities stood, he might fear they would reach to Zoar and swallow up that; and especially his fears were increased, when he found the inhabitants were as wicked as those of the other cities, and were unreformed by the judgment on them; and so he might fear that a like shower of fire would descend on them and destroy them, as it had the rest, though it had been spared for a while at his intercession; and, according to the Jewish writers (o), it remained but one year after Sodom:

and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters; which was in the mountain, the mountain of Engedi. Josephus (p) makes mention of the mountains of Engedi; and here was a cave, where David with six hundred men were, in the sides of it, when Saul went into it, 1 Samuel 24:1; and perhaps may be the same cave where Lot and his two daughters lived.

(n) Theatrum Terrae S. p. 54. (o) Juchasin, fol. 8. 1.((p) Antiqu. l. 6. c. 13. sect. 4.

And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he {o} feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

(o) Having felt God's mercy, he did not dare provoke him again by continuing among the wicked.

30–38 (J). The Origin of the Moabites and Ammonites

30. And Lot went up] He left the Plain, and withdrew “to the mountain,” viz. “the mountains of Moab”; see Genesis 19:17.

he feared] Why did he fear to dwell in Zoar? Not, as has been suggested, lest the people of Zoar should put him to death, as one who either had escaped just punishment, or, like Jonah, had been the cause of catastrophe; but lest Zoar, one of the cities of the Plain, should still be overtaken by catastrophe.

in a cave] The definite article in the Hebrew has been thought to mean either a well-known cavern, or a locality in which caves were numerous. But compare the idiomatic use of the def. art. in Genesis 8:7.

Verse 30. - And Lot went up out of Zoar (probably soon after), and dwelt in the mountain (i.e. of Moab, on the east of the Dead Sea), and his two daughters - step-daughters, it has been suggested, if Lot married a widow who was the mother of the two girls (Starke) - with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar - from which the panic-stricken inhabitants may have fled towards the mountains (Murphy), either because at that time it was shaken by an earthquake (Jerome, Rosenmüller); or because he dreaded the conflagration which devoured the other cities might spread thither (Peele, Kalisch, Wordsworth), or the rising waters of the Dead Sea which engulfed them might reach to it (Bush) - apprehensions which were groundless and unbelieving, since God had granted Zoar for an asylum (Lange); or because he saw the wickedness of the inhabitants, who had not been improved by Sodom's doom (Vatablus, Inglis); or simply because he was driven by "a blind anxiety of mind" (Calvin). And he dwelt in a cave, - i.e. in one of those cavernous recesses with which the Moabitish mountains abound, and which already had been converted into dwelling-places by the primitive inhabitants of the region (cf. Genesis 14:6) - he and his two daughters Genesis 19:30From Zoar Lot removed with his two daughters to the (Moabitish) mountains, for fear that Zoar might after all be destroyed, and dwelt in one of the caves (מערה with the generic article), in which the limestone rocks abound (vid., Lynch), and so became a dweller in a cave. While there, his daughters resolved to procure children through their father; and to that end on two successive evenings they made him intoxicated with wine, and then lay with him in the might, one after the other, that they might conceive seed. To this accursed crime they were impelled by the desire to preserve their family, because they thought there was no man on the earth to come in unto them, i.e., to marry them, "after the manner of all the earth." Not that they imagined the whole human race to have perished in the destruction of the valley of Siddim, but because they were afraid that no man would link himself with them, the only survivors of a country smitten by the curse of God. If it was not lust, therefore, which impelled them to this shameful deed, their conduct was worthy of Sodom, and shows quite as much as their previous betrothal to men of Sodom, that they were deeply imbued with the sinful character of that city. The words of Genesis 19:33 and Genesis 19:35, "And he knew not of her lying down and of her rising up," do not affirm that he was in an unconscious state, as the Rabbins are said by Jerome to have indicated by the point over בּקוּמה: "quasi incredibile et quod natura rerum non capiat, coire quempiam nescientem." They merely mean, that in his intoxicated state, though not entirely unconscious, yet he lay with his daughters without clearly knowing what he was doing.
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