Lot's Daughters and Disinvitations

The question came up in our sermon discussion Sunday - I'm not sure how - of how many daughters Lot had.

Here's the biblical information:
1. Lot had two virgin daughters living with him (19:8)
2. Lot had sons-in-law who had married, or were to marry, his daughters (19:14)
3. Lot had two daughters with him who escaped the city with him (19:15-16)

Number one has no dispute.

Number two does. Had they married already (NKJV), or were they to marry (ESV)? The Hebrew participle can be read either way. If they were already married, then Lot has at least four daughters. If they were to marry, then Lot could have just two daughters. Then they were betrothed like Joseph and Mary: considered married but she had not yet known a man.

Number three: the angels tell Lot to take the daughters "who are here" and flee. This also can be read two different ways. It sounds at first like there are other daughters of Lot who aren't there: those married to the sons-in-law. This could be. But the Hebrew word is the passive of "find" and implies they've been recovered, like lost sheep who are "found." It would make sense that Lot's two daughters wake up to the awfulness of settling in Sodom after the mob attacks their home. They decide to flee with father and break off instead of consummate their marriages to Sodomites.

Commmentators tied to the KJV text assume Lot had 4 or more daughters. The majority of those I read who examine the Hebrew in verse 14 figure that there were two betrothed yet virgin daughters. This could really go either way.

Ultimately this question is of less import than bigger questions. Living in a wicked environment you will find yourself squeezed like Lot is, here. Don't get tied to its comforts. Be ready to forsake it to follow Christ. Remember Lot's wife. Jesus Himself says this incident has application for us (Luke 17:32). Sacrificing your family to be in such a place (19:8) will bring consequences later (19:30-38). Lot cannot be condemned without qualification, though, according to Scripture. See 2 Peter 2:7-8.

We are not in Sodom, yet. Christian figures are dis-invited from public prayers for being "anti-homosexual," but Christian homes are not yet assaulted out of malice and persecution as Lot's was. Many areas of our culture now self-consciously reject a Christian worldview. While we have time, let's consider how we will act if society around us goes completely hostile to Christian truth. The end of Hebrews, starting around 10:19, may be good to consider in this time.

1 comment:

  1. ok, I love this - some interesting textual analysis, then basically "you guys? that's not important! here's what's important!" - had a priest once whose sermons were like that, but he's moved away...