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Genesis 19:15-22

Context

19:15 At dawn 1  the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 2  or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!” 3  19:16 When Lot 4  hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them. 5  They led them away and placed them 6  outside the city. 19:17 When they had brought them outside, they 7  said, “Run 8  for your lives! Don’t look 9  behind you or stop anywhere in the valley! 10  Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!”

19:18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 11  19:19 Your 12  servant has found favor with you, 13  and you have shown me great 14  kindness 15  by sparing 16  my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 17  this disaster will overtake 18  me and I’ll die. 19  19:20 Look, this town 20  over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 21  Let me go there. 22  It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 23  Then I’ll survive.” 24 

19:21 “Very well,” he replied, 25  “I will grant this request too 26  and will not overthrow 27  the town you mentioned. 19:22 Run there quickly, 28  for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 29 

1 tn Heb “When dawn came up.”

2 tn Heb “who are found.” The wording might imply he had other daughters living in the city, but the text does not explicitly state this.

3 tn Or “with the iniquity [i.e., punishment] of the city” (cf. NASB, NRSV).

4 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Lot) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “in the compassion of the Lord to them.”

6 tn Heb “brought him out and placed him.” The third masculine singular suffixes refer specifically to Lot, though his wife and daughters accompanied him (see v. 17). For stylistic reasons these have been translated as plural pronouns (“them”).

7 tn Or “one of them”; Heb “he.” Several ancient versions (LXX, Vulgate, Syriac) read the plural “they.” See also the note on “your” in v. 19.

8 tn Heb “escape.”

9 tn The Hebrew verb translated “look” signifies an intense gaze, not a passing glance. This same verb is used later in v. 26 to describe Lot’s wife’s self-destructive look back at the city.

10 tn Or “in the plain”; Heb “in the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.

11 tn Or “my lords.” See the following note on the problem of identifying the addressee here. The Hebrew term is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

12 tn The second person pronominal suffixes are singular in this verse (note “your eyes,” “you have made great,” and “you have acted”). Verse 18a seems to indicate that Lot is addressing the angels, but the use of the singular and the appearance of the divine title “Lord” (אֲדֹנָי, ’adonay) in v. 18b suggests he is speaking to God.

13 tn Heb “in your eyes.”

14 tn Heb “you made great your kindness.”

15 sn The Hebrew word חֶסֶד (khesed) can refer to “faithful love” or to “kindness,” depending on the context. The precise nuance here is uncertain.

16 tn The infinitive construct explains how God has shown Lot kindness.

17 tn Heb “lest.”

18 tn The Hebrew verb דָּבַק (davaq) normally means “to stick to, to cleave, to join.” Lot is afraid he cannot outrun the coming calamity.

19 tn The perfect verb form with vav consecutive carries the nuance of the imperfect verbal form before it.

20 tn The Hebrew word עִיר (’ir) can refer to either a city or a town, depending on the size of the place. Given that this place was described by Lot later in this verse as a “little place,” the translation uses “town.”

21 tn Heb “Look, this town is near to flee to there. And it is little.”

22 tn Heb “Let me escape to there.” The cohortative here expresses Lot’s request.

23 tn Heb “Is it not little?”

24 tn Heb “my soul will live.” After the cohortative the jussive with vav conjunctive here indicates purpose/result.

25 tn Heb “And he said, ‘Look, I will grant.’” The order of the clauses has been rearranged for stylistic reasons. The referent of the speaker (“he”) is somewhat ambiguous: It could be taken as the angel to whom Lot has been speaking (so NLT; note the singular references in vv. 18-19), or it could be that Lot is speaking directly to the Lord here. Most English translations leave the referent of the pronoun unspecified and maintain the ambiguity.

26 tn Heb “I have lifted up your face [i.e., shown you favor] also concerning this matter.”

27 tn The negated infinitive construct indicates either the consequence of God’s granting the request (“I have granted this request, so that I will not”) or the manner in which he will grant it (“I have granted your request by not destroying”).

28 tn Heb “Be quick! Escape to there!” The two imperatives form a verbal hendiadys, the first becoming adverbial.

29 tn Heb “Therefore the name of the city is called Zoar.” The name of the place, צוֹעַר (tsoar) apparently means “Little Place,” in light of the wordplay with the term “little” (מִצְעָר, mitsar) used twice by Lot to describe the town (v. 20).



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