Genesis 19:8
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out to you, and do you to them as is good in your eyes: only to these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) I have two daughters.—It is plain from Judges 19:24 that this proposal was not viewed in old time with the horror which it seems to deserve. Granting with St. Ambrose that it was the substitution of a smaller for a greater sin, and with St. Chrysostom that Lot was bound by the laws of hospitality to do his utmost to protect his guests, yet he was also bound as a father equally to protect his daughters to the last extremity: and if men might substitute smaller for greater sins, they would have an excuse for practising every form of wickedness. The difficulty arises from the high character given of Lot by St. Peter (2Peter 2:7-8): but Lot was righteous only relatively; and though his soul was daily vexed by what he saw, it was not vexed enough to make him quit such evil surroundings, and return to the healthy and virtuous life of the mountains. And, when finally he sought refuge in them, as it was not of his own free will, but on compulsion (Genesis 19:30), he found there no peace, but shared, even if unknowingly, in deeds of horrible lust. The warning of his fall is, that men who part with religious privileges for the sake of worldly advantage are in danger of sinking into moral degradation, and of losing, with their faith and hope, not only their self-respect and happiness, but even that earthly profit for the sake of which they sacrificed their religion.

Unto these men.—The form of the pronoun is archaic, and occurs again in Genesis 19:25. It is found in a few other places in the Pentateuch, but never elsewhere.

For therefore, &c. . . . —Comp. Genesis 18:5.

Genesis 19:8. I have two daughters — This was unadvisedly and unjustifiably offered, probably through the great discomposure and perturbation which his mind was in. It is true, of two evils we must choose the less, but of two sins we must choose neither, nor ever do evil that good may come of it.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.The wicked violence of the citizens displays itself. They compass the house, and demand the men for the vilest ends. How familiar Lot had become with vice, when any necessity whatever could induce him to offer his daughters to the lust of these Sodomites! We may suppose it was spoken rashly, in the heat of the moment, and with the expectation that he would not be taken at his word. So it turned out. "Stand back." This seems to be a menace to frighten Lot out of the way of their perverse will. It is probable, indeed, that he and his family would not have been so long safe in this wicked place, had he not been the occasion of a great deliverance to the whole city when they were carried away by the four kings. The threat is followed by a taunt, when the sorely vexed host hesitated to give up the strangers. "He will needs be a judge." It is evident Lot had been in the habit of remonstrating with them. From threats and taunts they soon proceed to violence. His guests now interfere. They rescue Lot, and smite the rioters with blindness, or a wandering of the senses, so that they cannot find the door. This ebullition of the vilest passion seals the doom of the city.4. men of Sodom, compassed the house—Appalling proofs are here given of their wickedness. It is evident that evil communications had corrupted good manners; otherwise Lot would never have acted as he did. Which have not known man, to wit, carnally. See Genesis 24:16 Numbers 31:18 Judges 11:39.

Do ye to them as is good in your eyes, whatsoever your purpose or pleasure is. See the same phrase Genesis 20:15 41:37 Numbers 24:1, &c. A most imprudent and sinful motion, whereby he yielded to one sin to prevent another, contrary to Romans 3:8, and exposed his daughters’ chastity, which he was obliged to preserve, and which indeed he had no power to expose, especially seeing they were betrothed to other men, Genesis 19:14. But it is some extenuation of his sin that it proceeded from his great charity and kindness to strangers, and that he was at this time under a great perturbation and discomposure of mind.

For therefore, that they might be preserved from such outrages. This was the design of the thing, though not of those persons. See Poole on "Genesis 18:5".

Under the shadow of my roof, i.e. under the protection of my house. Shadow is oft put for protection or defence, as Judges 9:15 Psalm 36:7 Jeremiah 48:45. Behold now, I have two daughters, which have not known man,.... Though some think they were espoused to men, but had not yet cohabited with them, see Genesis 19:14,

let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes; this was a very great evil in Lot to make such an offer of his daughters; it was contrary to parental love and affection, an exposing the chastity of his daughters, which should have been his care to preserve; nor had he a power to dispose of them in such a manner: and though fornication is a lesser evil than sodomy, yet all evil is to be avoided, and even it is not to be done that good may come: nothing can be said to excuse this good man, but the hurry of spirit, and confusion of mind that he was in, not knowing what to say or do to prevent the base designs of those men; that he might be pretty certain they would not accept of his offer, their lust burning more after men than women; that this showed his great regard to the laws of hospitality, that he had rather sacrifice his daughters to their brutal lusts, than give up the men that were in his house to them; and that he might hope that this would soften their minds, and put them off of any further attempt; but after all it must be condemned as a dangerous and imprudent action:

only unto these men do nothing; for as yet he knew them not to be angels; had he, it would not have given him the concern it did, since he must have known that they were able to defend themselves, and that the sin these men offered to commit could not be perpetrated on them: but he took them for mere men, and his request is, that no injury might be done to their persons in any respect, and especially in that way which their wicked hearts put them upon, and is so shocking to nature:

for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof; for though it was not their intention in coming, nor the design of Providence in bringing them into Lot's house, to secure them from the violence of the men of Sodom, but for the preservation of Lot and his family, which as yet he knew nothing of, yet it was what Lot had in view in giving the invitation to them: and the laws of hospitality being reckoned sacred and inviolable, a man's house was accounted an asylum for strangers when taken into it.

Behold now, I have two {e} daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; {f} for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

(e) He deserves praise for defending his guests, but he is to be blamed for seeking unlawful means.

(f) That I should preserve them from all injury.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. forasmuch as] R.V. marg. for therefore: cf. Genesis 18:5. Lot’s proposal, so atrocious in our ears, may have been deemed meritorious in an Eastern country, where no sacrifice was considered too great to maintain inviolate the safety of a stranger who had been received in hospitality. That Lot should have thought of imperilling the honour of his family, and not have rather hazarded his own life, is due not so much to the weakness of the man as to the terribly low estimate of womanhood which prevailed at that time. A parallel is afforded by the story in Jdg 1:19. The three regulations of modern Arab law as to the protection of the stranger are recorded by Robertson Smith in his Kinship, p. 259, “(1) the man whose tent rope has touched thine is thy stranger; (2) so also is he who journeys with thee by day and sleeps by thy side at night; (3) the guest who eats with thee is under thy protection, until he has eaten with another.”The messengers (angels) sent by Jehovah to Sodom, arrived there in the evening, when Lot, who was sitting at the gate, pressed them to pass the night in his house. The gate, generally an arched entrance with deep recesses and seats on either side, was a place of meeting in the ancient towns of the East, where the inhabitants assembled either for social intercourse or to transact public business (vid., Genesis 34:20; Deuteronomy 21:19; Deuteronomy 22:15, etc.). The two travellers, however (for such Lot supposed them to be, and only recognised them as angels when they had smitten the Sodomites miraculously with blindness), said that they would spend the night in the street - בּרחוב the broad open space within the gate - as they had been sent to inquire into the state of the town. But they yielded to Lot's entreaty to enter his house; for the deliverance of Lot, after having ascertained his state of mind, formed part of their commission, and entering into his house might only serve to manifest the sin of Sodom in all its heinousness. While Lot was entertaining his guests with the greatest hospitality, the people of Sodom gathered round his house, "both old and young, all people from every quarter" (of the town, as in Jeremiah 51:31), and demanded, with the basest violation of the sacred rite of hospitality and the most shameless proclamation of their sin (Isaiah 3:9), that the strangers should be brought out, that they might know them. ידע is applied, as in Judges 19:22, to the carnal sin of paederastia, a crime very prevalent among the Canaanites (Leviticus 18:22., Leviticus 20:23), and according to Romans 1:27, a curse of heathenism generally.
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