Lot in the Bible

Abraham's nephew was one of the only survivors of Sodom and Gomorrah.

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That evening, two angels came to Sodom. Lot, who was sitting in the gate of the city, rose to meet them and invited them to stay at his house. They, at first, refused the invitation but accepted after Lot insisted.

The visitors dined with Lot and his family, and they were getting ready to go to bed when the men of Sodom surrounded the house and demanded that Lot hand them the visitors, whom they intended to rape. Lot went out of the house, closing the door behind him and implored the men not to commit such a wicked act.

He offered to give them his two virgin daughters, to do with them what they wanted. The men of Sodom screamed that Lot was a foreigner, and had no right to tell them what to do. They pressed against him and tried to break down the door. The visitors pulled Lot inside the house and shut the door.

The men outside were stricken with blindness and could not find the entrance. The visitors told Lot to take all the members of his household out of the city, because God had sent them to destroy it. Lot went to his sons-in-law and told them to leave the city, because God was going to destroy it. The sons-in-law laughed and thought that Lot was joking.

Early next morning, the angels urged Lot to take his wife and his two daughters and flee the city. When he delayed needlessly, the angels seized his hand, and the hands of his wife and daughters, and brought them out of the city.

They told Lot and his family to escape to the hills, and warned them not to look back. Lot told them that he would not be able to get that far and to allow them to find refuge in a small nearby town. The angels agreed and told him that the little town, called Zoar, would not be destroyed.

The sun was rising when Lot entered Zoar, and God rained sulfurous fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying both cities and annihilating their inhabitants. Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot, afraid of staying in Zoar, left the town with his two daughters and went to the hills, where they lived in a cave.

The two daughters believed that no man had been left alive, but they were anxious to have children. They made their father drunk and laid with him. The eldest one gave birth to a son, whom she called Moab; he was the ancestor of the Moabites. The youngest one also had a son, and called him Ben-ammi, the ancestor of the Ammonites.

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David Mandel studied at the University of Pennsylvania under Bible scholar Moshe Greenberg, and moved to Israel in 1970, where he founded Computronic Corporation, an Israeli software development company that specializes in biblical software.