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The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah

The Divine Visit and Abraham's Bargain

In the ancient lands of Canaan, under the vast, blue sky and the majestic oak trees of Mamre, Abraham was taking a restful afternoon when he suddenly found himself in the company of the divine. Three visitors appeared, and it soon became clear that one of them was the Lord. As they shared a meal, God revealed to Abraham the impending doom of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah due to their rampant wickedness.

Abraham, ever the negotiator and deeply concerned for his nephew Lot, who lived in Sodom, decided to bargain with God. "Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?" Abraham asked, his brow furrowed with concern. "What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you still destroy it?"

God, in a display of patience and mercy, agreed, "If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

But Abraham, sensing an opportunity, pressed further. "What if the number of righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for the lack of five?"

Again, God agreed, "If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy it."

This back-and-forth continued with Abraham lowering the number each time, and God agreeing each time, until finally, Abraham said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"

And God, demonstrating immense patience, replied, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it." With that, the conversation ended, and God departed, leaving Abraham with a sense of hope mixed with lingering dread.

The Angels Arrive in Sodom

As the sun began to set over Sodom, Lot was sitting at the city gate when he noticed two travelers approaching. Unbeknownst to him, these were angels sent by God to inspect the city. Lot, being the hospitable soul he was, greeted them warmly, "My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning."

The angels initially declined, preferring to stay in the square, but Lot insisted so strongly that they finally agreed and followed him home. As they enjoyed a modest meal in Lot's house, the tranquility of the evening was shattered by the sounds of an unruly mob gathering outside. The men of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded the house and demanded, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have our way with them!"

Lot, desperate to protect his guests, stepped outside and pleaded, "No, my friends, don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never known a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

But the mob was relentless, and they pushed forward, trying to break down the door. The angels intervened, pulling Lot back inside and striking the mob with blindness, rendering them unable to find the door.

The angels then turned to Lot with a sense of urgency. "Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."

Lot hurried to warn his sons-in-law, but they thought he was joking. With a heavy heart, Lot returned home, knowing the gravity of the situation.

The Flight from Destruction

At dawn, the angels urged Lot, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished." But Lot hesitated, torn between the life he had built and the danger at hand. Seeing this, the angels grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and daughters and led them safely out of the city.

"Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains, or you will be swept away!" the angels commanded.

Lot, in a moment of panic, pleaded, "No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."

The angels agreed to his request. "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." That town was called Zoar.

As they fled towards Zoar, the sky above Sodom and Gomorrah turned ominously dark. Suddenly, the heavens opened, and burning sulfur rained down upon the cities. The earth trembled, and fiery destruction engulfed everything.

Lot's Wife Looks Back

Amidst the chaos and the desperate flight, Lot's wife, overcome by curiosity or perhaps longing for the life she was leaving behind, looked back at the burning cities. In that instant, she was transformed into a pillar of salt, a stark reminder of the consequences of disobedience and the danger of looking back.

Lot and his daughters, filled with sorrow and fear, continued on without her, reaching Zoar safely as the destruction

raged behind them.

The Aftermath

In the safety of Zoar, Lot and his daughters reflected on the harrowing events they had just escaped. The once vibrant cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were now reduced to smoldering ruins, a powerful testament to divine judgment. They soon realized they couldn't stay in Zoar, either due to fear or the realization of its moral decay. They sought refuge in the mountains, finding solace in a cave far from the devastation.

A New Beginning

In their secluded mountain refuge, Lot and his daughters faced a new challenge: ensuring the continuity of their family line. This part of the story, while unsettling, underscores the complexity of human nature and survival. His daughters, believing they were the last humans on earth, made a drastic decision. They devised a plan to preserve their family line by getting their father drunk and lying with him. This resulted in the birth of two sons: Moab, the father of the Moabites, and Ben-Ammi, the father of the Ammonites.


The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a powerful narrative of divine judgment, mercy, and the enduring human spirit. It serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of wickedness, the importance of righteousness, and the consequences of disobedience. Through the dramatic rescue of Lot and his family, the story also highlights the theme of mercy, showing that even in judgment, there is a path to redemption for those who heed the divine call.

This narrative, rich in symbolism and lessons, continues to resonate through the ages, reminding us of the importance of faith, obedience, and the eternal struggle between good and evil.

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