Lot (Bible): Wikis

  
  

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Lot flees from Sodom

According to the Bible, Lot (Hebrew: לוֹט, Modern Lowt ("veil") Tiberian Loṭ) "Hidden, covered"[1]) was the nephew of the patriarch Abraham, or Abram. He was the son of Abraham's brother Haran (Gen. 11:27). Abraham's brother Nahor became Lot's brother in law by marrying Milcah, Lot's sister.

Contents

Religious literature

The Bible

Genesis

The story of Lot is told in the Book of Genesis. Lot is mentioned in chapters 11-14 and 19.

Lot was the son of Abraham's brother Haran.[2] Lot and his family went with Abraham and his family from Ur of the Chaldees to Egypt. When Abraham traveled to the Land of Canaan at the command of God, Lot accompanied him. (Genesis 12:1-5). Abraham always had a great affection for Lot. When they could not continue longer together in Canaan because they both had large flocks and their shepherds sometimes quarrelled [3] he gave Lot the choice of his abode. Lot went southeast to plains near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, since the land there was well watered.[4]

About eight years after this separation, Chedorlaomer and his allies attacked the kings of Sodom and the neighbouring cities, pillaged Sodom, and took many captives, including Lot. Abraham armed his servants, pursued the confederate kings, and overtook them near the springs of Jordan. He recovered the spoils they had taken and brought back Lot with the other captives. Abraham was offered a reward by the King of Sodom, but refused even a shoelace.

In Genesis 19, when God plans to overturn and destroy the five cities of the plain, he sends angels to the city of Sodom where they meet Lot at the city gates. Lot seems greatly concerned that the angels should spend the night in his house but the angels insist they wish to spend the night in the city street. Lot puts a great deal of pressure on them and eventually convinces them. However all the people of Sodom surround Lot's house with intent to "know" (traditionally interpreted as carnal knowledge) the angels.[5] Lot offers the men his daughters instead, whom he says are virgins,[6] but the people were not interested.

The angels decide to forewarn Lot of the dreadful catastrophe about to happen. Lot, his wife, sons-in-law, and daughters are warned to leave. The sons-in-law do not take the warning seriously; also, Lot lingers. The angels take Lot, his wife, and his daughters by hand and draw them forcibly out of their house, saying, "Save yourselves with all haste. Look not behind you. Get as fast as you are able to the mountain, unless you be involved in the calamity of the city." Lot entreats the angels, who consent that he might retire to Zoar, which was one of the five doomed cities but was spared because Lot asked the angels to allow him to seek refuge there. His wife, looking back on Sodom, is turned into a pillar of salt.

Hendrik Goltzius' 1616 painting Lot and his daughters shows Lot being seduced by his two daughters.

Lot left Zoar and retired with his two daughters to a cave in an adjacent mountain. In Genesis 19:30-38, Lot's daughters who in their mind were taking responsibility to bear children to preserve Lot's family line, got their father drunk enough to have sexual intercourse with them on two consecutive nights, with each becoming pregnant. The first son was named Moab (Hebrew, lit., "from the father" [meh-Av]). He was the patriarch of the nation known as Moab. The second son was named Ammon or Ben-Ammi (Hebrew, lit., "Son of my people"). He became the patriarch of the nation of Ammon.

New Testament

In Luke|17:32 Jesus simply says "Remember Lot's Wife" using her as a warning to professing Christians to not turn back to their sin after leaving it. J.C. Ryle devotes a chapter in his work, Holiness[7], to remembering Lot's wife. In 2 Peter 2:7-8 Lot is described as a righteous man surrounded by wickedness.

... [God] rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men, (for while he lived among them day after day, that righteous man was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard )

Quran

Jews and Christians do not consider Lot a prophet, but Muslims do. The story of Lot impregnating his daughters while drunk[8] is not mentioned in the Qur'an and not believed by Muslims. The Qur'an does say that the people of Lot insisted on their wickedness of homosexuality, murder and robbery while also refusing to stay lawful to their wives.

And his people came to him, rushed on towards him, and already they did evil deeds. He said: O my people! these are my daughters-- they are purer for you, so guard against God and do not disgrace me with regard to my guests; is there not among you one right-minded man?

They said: Certainly you know that we have no claim on your daughters, and most surely you know what we desire.

He said: Ah! that I had power to suppress you, rather I shall have recourse to a strong support.

They said: O Lut! we are the messengers of your Lord; they shall by no means reach you; so remove your followers in a part of the night-- and let none of you turn back-- except your wife, for surely whatsoever befalls them shall befall her; surely their appointed time is the morning; is not the morning nigh?

So when Our decree came to pass, We turned them upside down and rained down upon them stones, of what had been decreed, one after another.[9]

And Lut when he said to his people: What! do you commit an indecency which any one in the world has not done before you?

Most surely you come to males in lust besides females; nay you are an extravagant people.

And the answer of his people was no other than that they said: Turn them out of your town, surely they are a people who seek to purify.

So We delivered him and his followers, except his wife; she was of those who remained behind.

And We rained upon them a rain; consider then what was the end of the guilty.[10]

Consequently, an Arabic expression for homosexuals is derived from the name for the people of Lot or Lut (in Arabic); i.e., Luti.

Midrash

Jewish midrash records a number of additional stories about Lot, not present in the Tanakh. These include:

Mount Sodom, Israel, showing the so-called "Lot's Wife" pillar composed, like the rest of the mountain, of halite.
  • Abraham took care of Lot after Haran was burned in a gigantic fire in which Nimrod, King of Babylon, tried to kill Abraham.
  • While in Egypt, the midrash gives Lot much credit because, despite his desire for wealth, he did not inform Pharaoh of the secret of Sarah, Abraham's wife.

In geography

A geological formation overlooking the Dead Sea is called 'Lot's Wife', because of the shape and location of the feature.

A fourth chalk prominence that once stood off the western coast of the Isle of Wight, from which The Needles take their name, was also called 'Lot's Wife'.

In popular culture

  • In the science fiction stories "Lot" (1953) and "Lot's Daughter" (1954) by Ward Moore, the Bibilical story of Lot and his daughters' survival from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is reinterpreted as the story of the survival of a modern American family in the aftermath of nuclear war.[11]
  • Comic book artist Brad Neely depicts Lot's story in his short titled "Bible History #1".
  • The band Coldplay incorporated the image of Lot's wife into their 2008 song "Viva la Vida" (from the album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends) when the song states that the king's castle was built on "pillars of salt and pillars of sand".
  • The band The Thermals used imagery from this story in their 2006 song "A Pillar of Salt".
  • The novel, Beyond Suspicion written by James Grippando, mentioned Lot's story in chapter 45.
  • The movie, MaClintock's Peach, released as Nobody Knows Anything has a scene in which Lot (played by Mitch Rouse) watches his wife (played by David Pasquesi ) turn into salt.
  • The stage musical Caroline, or Change, with book and lyrics by Tony Kushner and music by Jeanine Tesori, includes the song "Lot's Wife," in which Caroline asks to be turned into a pillar of salt.
  • The parable of Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah are evoked in the lyrics of the song "Gomorrah". The lyrics were written by Robert Hunter, primary lyricist for Jerry Garcia. The song was performed often by the Jerry Garcia Band, Jerry Garcia's long-standing solo venture when the Grateful Dead were off the road.

See also

References

Notes

Bibliography

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LOT, in the Bible, the legendary ancestor of the two Palestinian peoples, Moab and Ammon (Gen. xix. 30-38; cp. Ps. lxxxiii. 8); he appears to have been represented as a Horite or Edomite (cp. the name Lotan, Gen. xxxvi. 20, 22). As the son of Haran and grandson of Terah, he was Abraham's nephew (Gen. xi. 31), and he accompanied his uncle in his migration from Haran to Canaan. Near Bethel' Lot separated from Abraham, owing to disputes between their shepherds, and being offered the first choice, chose the rich fields of the Jordan valley which were as fertile and well irrigated as the "garden of Yahweh" (i.e. Eden, Gen. xiii. 7 sqq.). It was in this district that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were situated. He was saved from their fate by two divine messengers who spent the night in his house, and next morning led Lot, his wife, and his two unmarried daughters out of the city. His wife looked back and was changed to a pillar of salt, 2 but Lot with his two daughters escaped first to Zoar and then to the mountains east of the Dead Sea, where the daughters planned and executed an incest by which they became the mothers of Moab and Ben-Ammi (i.e. Ammon; Gen. xix.). The account of Chedorlaomer's invasion and of Lot's rescue by Abraham belongs to an independent source (Gen. xiv.), the age and historical value of which has been much disputed. (See further Abraham; Melchizedek.) Lot's character is made to stand in strong contrast with that of Abraham, notably in the representation of his selfishness (xiii. 5 sqq.), and reluctance to leave the sinful city (xix. 16 sqq.); relatively, however, he was superior to the rest (with the crude story of his insistence upon the inviolable rights of guests, xix. 5 sqq.; cf. Judges xix. 22 sqq.), and is regarded in 2 Pet. ii. 7 seq. as a type of righteousness.

Lot and his daughters passed into Arabic tradition from the Jews. The daughters are named Zahy and Ra`wa by Mas`udi ii. 139; but other Arabian writers give other forms. Paton (Syria and Palestine, pp. 43, 123) identifies Lot-Lotan with Ruten, one of the Egyptian names for Palestine; its true meaning is obscure. For traces of mythical elements in the story see Winckler, Altorient. Forsch. ii. 87 seq. See further, J. Skinner, Genesis, pp. 310 sqq. (S. A. C.)


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