19:20 Look, this town 1 over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 2 Let me go there. 3 It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 4 Then I’ll survive.” 5
19:22 Run there quickly, 6 for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 7
19:23 The sun had just risen 8 over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 9 19:24 Then the Lord rained down 10 sulfur and fire 11 on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord. 12 19:25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region, 13 including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew 14 from the ground. 19:26 But Lot’s 15 wife looked back longingly 16 and was turned into a pillar of salt.
19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 17 to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 19:28 He looked out toward 18 Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region. 19 As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace. 20
19:30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters.
1 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.”
2 tn Heb “Look, this town is near to flee to there. And it is little.”
3 tn Heb “Let me escape to there.” The cohortative here expresses Lot’s request.
4 tn Heb “Is it not little?”
5 tn Heb “my soul will live.” After the cohortative the jussive with vav conjunctive here indicates purpose/result.
6 tn Heb “Be quick! Escape to there!” The two imperatives form a verbal hendiadys, the first becoming adverbial.
7 tn Heb “Therefore the name of the city is called Zoar.” The name of the place, צוֹעַר (tso’ar) apparently means “Little Place,” in light of the wordplay with the term “little” (מִצְעָר, mits’ar) used twice by Lot to describe the town (v. 20).
9 tn The juxtaposition of the two disjunctive clauses indicates synchronic action. The first action (the sun’s rising) occurred as the second (Lot’s entering Zoar) took place. The disjunctive clauses also signal closure for the preceding scene.
10 tn The disjunctive clause signals the beginning of the next scene and highlights God’s action.
11 tn Or “burning sulfur” (the traditional “fire and brimstone”).
12 tn Heb “from the
sn The text explicitly states that the sulfur and fire that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah was sent down from the sky by the
13 tn Or “and all the plain”; Heb “and all the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.
14 tn Heb “and the vegetation of the ground.”
15 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Lot) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
sn Longingly. Lot’s wife apparently identified with the doomed city and thereby showed lack of respect for God’s provision of salvation. She, like her daughters later, had allowed her thinking to be influenced by the culture of Sodom.
17 tn The words “and went” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
18 tn Heb “upon the face of.”
19 tn Or “all the land of the plain”; Heb “and all the face of the land of the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.
20 tn Heb “And he saw, and look, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.”
sn It is hard to imagine what was going on in Abraham’s mind, but this brief section in the narrative enables the reader to think about the human response to the judgment. Abraham had family in that area. He had rescued those people from the invasion. That was why he interceded. Yet he surely knew how wicked they were. That was why he got the number down to ten when he negotiated with God to save the city. But now he must have wondered, “What was the point?”
21 tn The construction is a temporal clause comprised of the temporal indicator, an infinitive construct with a preposition, and the subjective genitive.
22 tn Or “of the plain”; Heb “of the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.
23 tn Heb “remembered,” but this means more than mental recollection here. Abraham’s request (Gen 18:23-32) was that the
sn God showed Abraham special consideration because of the covenantal relationship he had established with the patriarch. Yet the reader knows that God delivered the “righteous” (Lot’s designation in 2 Pet 2:7) before destroying their world – which is what he will do again at the end of the age.
24 sn God’s removal of Lot before the judgment is paradigmatic. He typically delivers the godly before destroying their world.
25 tn Heb “the overthrow when [he] overthrew.”