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B. G. 1897.
B. C. 1807.
Wicked conduct of
the men of Sodom. A. M. 2107 tarry all niglit, and d wash your feet, bring them out unto you, and do A. M. 2107,
ye shall rise up early, and go ye to them as is good on your ways. And - they said, • Nay; but eyes : only unto these men do nothing; - for we will abide in the street all night.
therefore came they under the shadow of
4 But before they lay down, the men of the will we deal worse with thee than with them.
10 But the men put forth their hand, and
the door of the house with blindness, both 6 And Lot went out, at the door unto them, small and great; so that they wearied themand shut the door after him,
selves to find the door. 7. And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so ‘12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou wickedly :
here any besides ? son-in-law, and thy sons, 8. Behold now, I have two daughters which and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast have not known man; let me, I pray you, in the city, 4 bring them out of this place :
Chap. xviii. 4. - See Luke xxiv, 28. Chap. xviii. 8; m See chap. xviii. 5.-12 Pet. ij. 7, 8.- Lo Exod. ii. 14. & Isa. ill. 9. h Judg. xix. 22. —i Chap. iv.l ; Rom. i. 24, 27; ' P Wisd. xix. 17; see 2 Kings vi. 18; Acts xii. 11.-4 Chap. Jude 7. Judg. xix. 23.-See Judg. xix. 24.
vii. 1; 2 Pet. ii. 7, 9.
where, nevertheless, the negation is understood. Know- not only the language of anxious solicitude, but of un-
Verse 5. Where are the men which came in to thee, guish objects; or, 2. They caused such a deep dark-
Here there appears to be but one meant, as the word Verse 8. Behold now, I have two daughters] No-linn chathan is in the singular number ; but in ver. 14 thing but that sacred light in which the rights of hos- the word is plural, r3nn chathanaiv, his sons-in-law. pitality were regarded among the eastern nations, could There were only two in number'; as we do not hear either justify or palliate this proposal of Lot. A man that Lot had more than two daughters : and these seem who had taken a stranger under his care and protection, not to have been actually married to those daughters, was bound to defend him even at the expense of his but only betrothed, as is evident from what Lot says, own life. In this light the rights of hospitality are ver. 8; for they had not known man, but were the still regarded in Asiatic countries ; and on these high spouses elect of those who are here called his sonsnotions only, the influence of which an Asiatic mind in-law. But though these might be reputed as a part alone can properly appreciate, Lot's conduct on this of Lot's family, and entitled on this account to God's occasion can be at all. excused: but even then, it was protection, yet it is sufficiently plain that they did not
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Lot and his family commanded GENESIS.
to make their escape. 13 For we will destroy this place, fcape for thy life; d look not behind A. M. 2107. B. C. 1897.
because the cry of them is waxen thee, neither stay thou in all the great before the face of the LORD; and the plain ; escape to the mountain, lest thou be LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
consumed. 14 And Lot went out and spake unto his 18 And Lot said unto them, O, sons-in-law, which married his daughters, my Lord : and said, u Up, get you out of this place; for i9 Behold now, thy servant hath found the Lord will destroy this city. But he grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-thy mercy, which thou hast showed unto me law.
in saving my life ; and I cannot escape to the 15 And when ihe morning arose, then the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die. angels hastened Lot, saying, " Arise, take thy 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; unto, and it is a little one : 0, let me escape lest thou be consumed in the y iniquity of the thither, (is it not a little one ?) and my soul city.
shall live. 16 And ? while he lingered, the men laid 21 And he said unto him, See, ' I have achold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his cepted thee concerning this thing also, that wife, and upon the hand of his two daugh- I will not overthrow this city, for the which ters; the LORD being. merciful unto him : thou hast spoken. 6 and they brought him forth, and set him 22 Haste thee, escape thither ; for ^ I canwithout the city.
not do any thing till thou become thither. 17 And it came to pass, when they had. Therefore the name of the city was called brought them forth abroad, that he said, Es- Zoar.
Chapter xviii. 20.- 1 Chron. xxi. 15. * Matt. i. 18. cl Kings xix. 3. La Ver. 26; Matt. xxiv. 16, 17, 18; Luke Num. xvi. 21, 45. - Exod. ix. 21; Luke xvii. 28; xxiv. 11. ix. 62 ; Phil. iji. 13, 24.-e Acts x. 14.- Job xlii. 8,9; Psa. w Num. xvi. 24, 26; Rev. xviü. 4.- - Heb. are found. -y Or, cxlv. 19.- -% Heb. thy face. See chap. xxxii. 25, 26; Exod. punishment. — 2 Wisd. x. 6. ——a Luke xviii. 13; Rom. ix. 15, xxxii. 10; Deut. ix. 14; Mark vi. 5.- -i Chap. xiii. 10; xiv. 2. 16.—Psa. xxxiv. 22.
k That is, little ; ver. 20.
escape the perdition of these wicked men; and the of this exhortation are addressed to his personal feel. reason is given, ver. 14, they received the solemn ings. “ Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will warning as a ridiculous tale, the creature of Lot's he give for his life;" and self-preservation is the first invention, or the offspring of his fear. Therefore they law of nature, to which every other consideration is made no provision for their escape, and doubtless minor and unimportant." perished, notwithstanding the sincerely offered grace, Verse 19. I cannot escape to the mountain) He in the perdition that fell on this ungodly city.
saw the destruction so near, that he imagined he Verse 16. While he lingered). Probably in affec- should not have time sufficient to reach the mountain tionate though useless entreaties to prevail on the re- before it arrived. He did not consider that God could maining parts of his family to escape from the destruc- give no command to his creatures that it would be imtion that was now descending ; laid hold upon his possible for them to fulfil ; but the hurry and perturhand-pulled them away by mere force, the Lord being bation of his mind will at once account for and excuse merciful; else they had been left to perish in their this gross oversight. lingering, as the others were in their gainsaying. Verse 20. It is a lillle one] Probably Lot wished
Verse 17. When they had brought them forth, fc.) to have it for an inheritance, and therefore pleaded its Every word here is emphatic, Escape-for thy lifÉ; being a little one, that his request might be the more thou art in the most imminent danger of perishing; readily granted. Or he might suppose, that being a thy life and thy soul are both at stake. Look not little city, it was less depraved than Sodom and Gobehind thee-thou hast but barely time enough to morrah, and therefore not so ripe for punishment ; escape from the judgment that is now descending ; no which was probably the case. lingering, or thou art lost! one look back may prove Verse 21. See, I have accepted thee) How prevafatal to thee, and God commands thee to avoid it. lent is prayer with God! Far from refusing to grant Neither stay thou in all the plain, because God will a reasonable petition, he shows himself as if under destroy that as well as the city. Escape to the moun- embarrassment to deny any. tain, on which these judgments shall not light, and Verse 22. I cannot do any thing till thou be come which God has appointed thee for a place of refuge ; thither.) So these heavenly messengers had the strictlest thou be CONSUMED.
It is not an ordinary judg- est commission to take care of Lot and his family : ment that is coming ; a fire from heaven shall burn and even the purposes of Divine justice could not be up the cities, the plain, and all that remain in the accomplished on the rebellious, till this righteous man cities and in the plain. Both the beginning and end and his family had escaped from the place. A proof
Lot escapes to Zoar.
CHAP. XIX. Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed. 23 The sun was ' risen upon the and upon Gomorrah brimstone and A. M. 2107.
earth when Lot entered into Zoar. fire from the LORD out of heaven ; 24 Then m the LORD rained upon Sodom 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all
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1 Heb. gone forth.
m Deuteronomy xxix. 23; Isaiah mni. Amos iv. 11; Zephaniah i. 9; Luke xvi. 29; 2 Pet. ii. 6; 19; Jeremiah xx. 16; 1. 40; Ezekiel xvi. 49, 50 ; Hos. XI. 8; Jude 7.
of Abraham's assertion, The Judge of all the earth ruin of these cities, and all the circumjacent plain : will do right.
1. Innumerable nitrous particles precipitated from the The name of the city was called Zoar.] wis Tsoar, atmosphere. 2. The vast quantity of asphaltus or LITTLE, its former name being Bela.
bitumen which abounded in that country: and, 3. LightVerse 24. The Lord rained—brimstone and fire ning or the electric spark, which ignited the nitre and from ihe Lord] As all judgment is committed to the bitumen, and thus consumed both the cities and the plain Son of God, many of the primitive fathers and several or champaign country in which they were situated. modern divines have supposed that the words 0710741 Verse 25. And he overthrew those cities, and all vaihovah and 1717 nxmeeth Yehovah imply, Jehovah the plain] This forms what is called the lake Asphalthe Son raining brimstone and fire from Jehovah the tites, Dead Sea, or Salt Sea, which, according to the Father; and that this place affords no mean proof of most authentic accounts, is about seventy miles in the proper Divinity of our blessed Redeemer. It may length, and eighteen in breadth. be so; but though the point is sufficiently established The most strange and incredible tales are told by elsewhere, it does not appear to me to be plainly indi- many of the ancients, and by many of the moderns, cated here. And it is always better on a subject of concerning the place where these cities stood. Comthis kind not to have recourse to proofs which require mon fame says that the waters of this sea are so thick proofs to confirm them. It must however be granted that a stone will not sink in them, so tough and clammy that two persons mentioned as Jehovah in one verse, that the most boisterous wind cannot ruffle them, so is both a strange and curious circumstance; and it will deadly that no fish can live in them, and that if á bird appear more remarkable when we consider that the happen to fly over the lake, it is killed by the poisonperson called Jehovah, who conversed with Abraham, ous effluvia proceeding from the waters; that scarcely (see chap. xviii.,) and sent those two angels to bring any verdure can grow near the place, and that in the Lot and his family out of this devoted place, and seems vicinity where there are any trees they bear a most himself after he left off talking with Abraham to have beautiful fruit, but when you come to open it
you ascended to heaven, ver. 33, does not any more appear nothing but ashes ! and that the place was burning on this occasion till we hear that Jehovah rained upon long after the apostles' times. These and all similar Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jeho- tales may be safely pronounced great exaggerations VAH out of heaven. . This certainly gives much coun- of facts, or fictions of ignorant, stupid, and superstitions tenance to the opinion referred to above, though still monks, or impositions of unprincipled travellers, who, it may fall short of positive proof. ,
knowing that the common people are delighted with Brimstone and fire.—The word ninga gophrith, the marvellous, have stuffed their narratives with such which we translate brimstone, is of very uncertain accounts merely to procure a better sale for their books. derivation. It is evidently used metaphorically, to The truth is, the waters are exceedingly salt, far point out the utmost degrees of punishment executed beyond the usual saltness of the sea, and hence it is on the most flagitiqus criminals, in Deut, xxix. 23; called the Salt Sea. In consequence of this circumJob xviii. 15; Psa. xi. 6; Isa, xxxiv. 9; Ezek. stance bodies will float in it that would sink in comxxxviii. 22. And as hell, or an everlasting separation mon salt water, and probably it is on this account that from God and the glory of his power, is the utmost few fish can live in it. But, the monks of St. Saba punishment that can be in Aicted on sinners, hence affirmed to Dr. Shaw, that they had seen fish caught brimstone and fire are used in Scripture to signify the in it; and as to the reports of any noxious quality in torments in that place of punishment. See Isa. xxx. the air, or in the evaporations from its surface, the 33; Rev. xiv. 10; xix. 20 ; xx. 10; xxi. 8. We simple fact is, lumps of bitumen often rise from the may safely suppose that it was quite possible that a bottom to its surface, and exhale a fætid odour which shower of nitrous particles might have been precipi- does not appear to have any thing poisonous in it. Dr. tated from the atmosphere, here, as in many other Pococke swam in it for nearly a quarter of an hour, places, called heaven, which, by the action of fire or and felt no kind of inconvenience; the water, he says, the electric fluid, would be immediately ignited, and is very clear, and having brought away a bottle of it, so consume the cities ; and, as we have already seen he "had it analyzed, and found it to contain no subthat the plains about Sodom and Gomorrah abounded stances besides salt and a little alum.” As there are with asphaltus or bitumen píts, (see chap. xiv. 10,) frequent eruptions of a bituminous matter from the that what is particularly meant here in reference to bottom of this lake, which seem to argue a subterrathe plain is the setting fire to this vast store of inflani. neous fire, hence the accounts that this place was burnmable matter by the agency of lightning or the elec- ing even after the days of the apostles. And this tric Auid; and this, in the most natural and literal phenomenon still continues, for “ masses of bitumen," manner, accounts for the whole plain being burnt up, says Dr. Shaw, " in large hemispheres, are raised at as that plain abounded with this bituminous substance; certain times from the bottom, which, as soon as they and thus we find three agents employed in the total touch the surface, and are thereby acted upon by the
Lol s wife disobeys, ind
becomes a pillar of salt. A. M. 2107. the plain, and all the inhabitants 26 But his wife looked back A. M. 2107.
of the cities, and " that which grew from behind him, and she became upon the ground.
° a pillar of salt.
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• Chap. xiv. 3; Psa. cvii. 34. Ver. 17; Num. xvi. 38; Prov. xiv. 14; Wisd. x. 7; Luke xvii. 32; Heb. 1. 38.
external air, burst at once, with great smoke and noise, heaven, she might be struck dead with lightning, and like the pulvis fulminans of the chemists, and disperse indurated or petrified on the spot, is as possible. And themselves in a thousand pieces. But this only hap- that the account of her becoming a pillar of salt may pens near the shore, for in greater depths the eruptions be designed to be understood metaphorically, is also are supposed to discover themselves in such columns highly probable. It is certain that salt is frequently of smoke as are now and then observed to arise from used in the Scriptures as an emblem of incorruption, the lake. And perhaps to such eruptions as these we durability, &c. Hence a covenant of salt, Num. may attribute that variety of pils and hollows, not un- xviii. 19, is a perpetual covenant, one that is ever to like the traces of many of our ancient lime-kilns, be in full force, and never broken; on this ground a which are found in the neighbourhood of this lake. pillar of salt may signify no more in this case than an The bitumen is in all probability accompanied from the everlasting monument against criminal curiosity, unbebottom with sulphur, as both of them are found pro- lief, and disobedience. miscuously upon the shore, and the latter is precisely Could we depend upon the various accounts given the same with common native sulphur; the other is by different persons who pretend to have seen the friable, yielding upon friction, or by being put into the wife of Lot standing in her complete human form, with fire, a fætid smell.” The bitumen, after having been all her distinctive marks about her, the difficulty would some time exposed to the air, becomes indurated like a be at an end. But we cannot depend on these accounts; stone. I have some portions of it before me, brought they are discordant, improbable, ridiculous, and often by a friend of mine from the spot; it is very black, gross absurd.
to have seen her as a hard, and on friction yields a fætid odour.
heap of salt; others, as a rock of salt; others, as a For several curious particulars on this subject, see complete human being as to shape, proportion of parts, Dr. Pococke's Travels, vol. ii., part 1, chap. 9, and &c., &c., but only petrified. This human form, acDr. Shaw's Travels, 4to. edit., p. 346, &c.
cording to others, has still resident in it a miraculous Verse 26. She became a pillar of salt] The vast continual energy; break off a finger, a toe, an arm, variety of opinions, both ancient and modern, on the &c., it is immediately reproduced, so that though mulcrime of Lot's wife, her change, and the manner in titudes of curious persons have gone to see this woman, which that change was effected, are in many cases as and every one has brought away a part of her, yet unsatisfactory as they are ridiculous. On this point still she is found by the next comer a complete human the sacred Scripture says little. God had commanded form! To crown this absurd description, the author Lot and his family not to look behind them ; the wife of the poem De Sodoma, usually attributed to Tertulof Lot disobeyed this command; she looked back from lian, and annexed to his works, represents her as yet behind him—Lot, her husband, and she became a pillar instinct with a portion of animal life, which is uneof salt. This is all the information the inspired his- quivocally designated by certain signs which every torian has thought proper to give us on this subject; month produces. I shall transcribe the whole passage it is true the account is short, but commentators and and refer to my author; and as I have given above critics have made it long enough by their laborious the sense of the whole, my readers must excuse me glosses. The opinions which are the most probable from giving a more literal translation :are the following : 1. “Lot's wife, by the miraculous
-et simul illic power of God, was changed into a mass of rock salt, probably retaining the human figure.”. 2. “ Tarrying
In fragilem mutata salem, stetit ipsa sepulchrum, too long in the plain, she was struck with lightning
Ipsaque imago sibi, formam sine corpore servans. and enveloped in the bituminous and sulphuric matter
Durat adhuc etenim nuda statione sub æthra, which abounded in that country, and which, not being
Nec pluviis dilapsa silu, nec dirula ventis. exposed afterwards to the action of the fire, resisted
Quinetiam, si quis mutilaverit advena formam, the air and the wet, and was thus rendered permanent.”
Protinus ex sese suggestu vulnera complet. 3. “ She was struck dead and consumed in the burn
Dicitur et vivens alio sub corpore sexus ing up of the plain ; and this judgment on her disobe
Munificos solito dispungere sanguine menses. dience being recorded, is an imperishable memorial of
TerruLLIANI Opera, vol. ii., p. 731. Edit. OBERTHUR the fact itself, and an everlasting warning to sinners The sentiment in the last lines is supported by Irein general, and to backsliders or apostates in particu- næus, who assurés us that, though still remaining as a lar." On these opinions it may be only necessary to pillar of salt, the statue, in form and other natural state that the two first understand the text literally, accidents, exhibits decisive proofs of its original: Jam and that the last considers it metaphorically. That non caro corruptibilis, sed statua salis semper manens, God might in a moment convert this disobedient wo- et, per naturalia, ea quæ sunt consuetudinis hominis man into a pillar or mass of salt, or any other sub- ostendens, lib. iv., c. 51. To complete this absurdity, stance, there can be no doubt. Or that, by continuing this father makes her an emblem of the true Church, in the plain till the brimstone and fire descended from which, though she suffers much, and often loses whole
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Desolation of the cities.
Lot leaves Zoar. 27 And Abraham gat up Pearly | 30 And Lot went up out of A. M. cir. 2107, B. C. cir. 1897.
B. C. cir. 1897. in the morning - to the place Zoar, and dwelt in the mounwhere a he stood before the LORD:
tain, and his two daughters with him ; for he 28 And he looked toward Sodom and feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the cave, he and his two daughters. plain, and beheld, and lo, 'the smoke of the 31 And the first-born said unto the younger, country went up as the smoke of a furnace. Our father is old, and there is not a man in
29 And it came to pass, when God de- the carth u to come in unto us after the manstroyed the cities of the plain, that God * re- ner of all the earth : membered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the 32 Come, let us make our father drink midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the wine, and we will lie with him, that we may cities in the which Lot dwelt.
preserve seed of our father.
p Psa. v. 3. -1 Chap. xviii. 22 ; Ezek. xvi. 49, 50; Hab. ii. 1; 23; Hos. xi. 8. * Ver. 17, 19.- Ch. xvi. 2, 4 ; xxxvii. 8, 9; Heb. ii. 1. 1 2 Pet. ii. 7; Rev. xviii. 9. - Ch. viii. 1; xviii. Deut. xxv. 5. — Chap. ix. 21 ; Prov. xxiii. 31-33; Mark xii. 19.
members, yet preserves the pillar of salt, that is, the Verse 29. God remembered Abraham] Though he foundation of the true faith, fc. See Calmet. did not descend lower than ten righteous persons, (see
Josephus says that this pillar was standing in his chap. xviii. 32,) yet the Lord had respect to the spirit time, and that himself had seen it: Els orninu áhwv of his petitions, and spared all those who could be called μετεβαλεν, ιστορικα δ' αυτην ετι γαρ και νυν διαμενει. | righteous, and for Abraham's sake offered salvation to Ant. lib. i., c. xi. 3, 4.
all the family of Lot, though neither his sons-in-law St. Clement, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, elect nor his own wife ultimately profited by it. The chap. ii., follows-Josephus, and asserts that Lot's wife former ridiculed the warning; and the latter, though was remaining even at that time as a pillar of salt. led out by the hands of the angel, yet by breaking the
Authors of respectability and credit who have since command of God perished with the other gainsayers. travelled into the Holy Land, and made it their busi- Verse 30. Lot went up out of Zoar] From seeing ness to inquire into this subject in the most particular the universal desolation that had fallen upon the land, and careful manner, have not been able to meet with and that the fire was still continuing its depredations, any remains of this pillar ; and all accounts begin now he feared to dwell in Zoar, lest that also should be to be confounded in the pretty general concession, both consumed, and then went to those very mountains to of Jews and Gentiles, that either the statue does not which God had ordered him at first to make his escape. now remain, or that some of the heaps of salt or Foolish man is ever preferring his own wisdom to that blocks of salt rock which are to be met with in the of his Maker. It was wrong at first not to betake vicinity of the Dead Sea, may be the remains of Lot's himself to the mountain ; it was wrong in the next wife! All speculations on this subject are perfectly place to go to it when God had given him the assuidle; and if the general prejudice in favour of the rance that Zoar should be spared for his sake. Both continued existence of this monument of God's justice these cases argue a strange want of faith, not only in had not been very strong, I should not have deemed the truth, but also in the providence, of God. Had myself justified in entering so much at length into the he still dwelt at Zoar, the shameful transaction aftersubject. · Those who profess to have seen it, have in wards recorded had in all probability not taken place. general sufficiently invalidated their own testimony by Verse 31. Our father is old] And consequently the monstrous absurdities with which they have en- not likely to re-marry ; and there is not a man in the cumbered their relations. Had Lot's wife been changed earth-none left, according to their opinion in all the in the way that many have supposed, and had she been land of Canaan, of their own family and kindred; and still preserved somewhere in the neighbourhood of the they might think it unlawful to match with others, such Dead Sea, surely we might expect some account of it as the inhabitants of Zoar, who they knew had been in after parts of the Scripture history; but it is never devoted to destruction as well as those of Sodom and more mentioned in the Bible, and occurs nowhere in Gomorrah, and were only saved at the earnest request the New Testament but in the simple reference of our of their father; and probably while they lived among Lord to the judgment itself, as a warning to the dis- them they found them ripe enough for punishment, and obedient and backsliding, Luke xvii. 32 : Remember therefore would have thought it both dangerous and Lot's wife!
criminal to have formed any matrimonial connections Verse 27. Abraham gat up early in the morning] with them. Anxious to know what was the effect of the prayers Verse 32. Come, let us make our father drink wine) which he had offered to God the preceding day; what on their flight from Zoar it is probable they had brought must have been his astonishment when he found that with them certain provisions to serve them for the time all these cities, with the plain which resembled the being, and the wine here mentioned among the rest. garden of the Lord, chap. xiii. 10, burnt up, and the After considering all that has been said to criminate smoke ascending like the smoke of a furnace, and both Lot and his daughters in this business, I cannot was thereby assured that even God himself could not help thinking that the transaction itself will bear a discover ten righteous persons in four whole cities ! more favourable construction than that which has been