CITY OF SODOM & THE WRATH OF GOD
"And Lot went out unto them to the door......Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man, let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you and do ye to them as is good in your eyes...." Genesis 19:6-8
This is a tale that they don’t want you to know. This is a tale of wrath of God, of Patriarchy, Incest & Genocide. This is a tale from the Hebrew Bible (The Bible’s – Old Testament). This is a tale of wanton destruction & incest that is shared by the three monotheistic religions born out of the harsh lands of central Asia.
It was after much thought that I decided to tell this story. It is a violent story with some explicit content involving seduction, incest, wrath of God, apocalyptic events, genocide. This is a story that is shared, equally by the three monotheistic religions that originated out of the central Asian deserts and it finds place in their holy books – the Hebrew Bible, The Bible & The Quran.
In the mid bronze age at around 1700 BCE, the area now known as Tall el Hammam was once fertile, fed by the Jordan river as it flowed into the Dead Sea. In this area, a handful of human settlements developed, largest of them were the cities of SODOM & GAMORRAH. Rich from river trade & plentiful produce, these cites became cesspool of sin, worshiping many “false” gods (polytheism). To this city comes Lot with his family. 4 daughters, wife & goats etc. Legends say that he was sent to Sodom to spread the God’s word and guide the sinful city back to worshiping the “true god”. But Lot fails to convince the sinful people of Sodom. It is said the people of Sodom indulge in loot, murder, rape but the worst was their crime of homosexuality……(the words SODOMY & SODOMITE originate from the city of Sodom).
P.S. – All three faiths hail Lot as a prophet – (Lut) is nephew of prophet Abraham (Ibrahim).
The monotheistic God is a vengeful, angry god (refer to my previous blog “When God went to War with Gods I &II – (Link https://kreately.in/when-god-went-to-war-with-gods-1/(opens in a new tab) And he decides to destroy the city of sin (in spite of Abraham’s ardent pleas to spare his nephew Lot & his family). He tasks 2 angels to come down to Earth and destroy the city of Sodom and all the nearby areas so that “Not a blade of grass stands”.
Night is falling by the time angels arrive at the gates of Sodom. Outside the city gates they meet Lot, who falls on his knees and begs the strangers (not realizing that the hooded strangers were angels) to come to his house to spend the night. (Genesis 19.1-3). He orders his wife and daughters to wash & feed the strangers. Outside his door, the villagers start gathering, drunk and in mood of violence. They demand that the strangers be handed over to them so that they may “know them” (Genesis 19:4-5).
PS – Lot invites the strangers home in hope that these strangers might bring some luck (money, gold etc) to him.
Lot goes out to meet the villagers but seeing that the villagers were adamant in their desire to “bugger” the strangers, he offer his own two daughters to the villagers –
“And Lot went out unto them to the door……Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man, let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you and do ye to them as is good in your eyes….” Genesis 19:6-8
The crowds show no interest in Lot’s virgin daughter, they are rather more interested in “buggering” the strangers. Just as the crowds threaten Lot, the angels rescue Lot and ask him to take his family out of Sodom. They tell him that god has decreed the destruction of the city and all its inhabitants. By morning the angels help Lot leaves the city. Outside the city the angels warn Lot to escape the city & the plains & to go up the mountain.
“And it came to pass…….Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay …in all the plain, escape to the mountain, lest thou be swept away” Genesis 19:17
“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah, brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven” Genesis 19:24
“But the wife looked back from behind him and she became a pillar of salt” Genesis 19:25
As they escape the city, the city behind them goes up in flames and all its people are burnt from the sulphur and fire from the skies. The screams of people rend the sky and as Lot’s wife turns around towards the city, she turns into a pillar of salt. Lot and his two virgin daughters escape the burning of the cities and genocidal killing of all the men, women & children who dwelt there. The 3 seek shelter in a cave on the mountain and as days pass, the destruction around them continues till only acrid smoke and air, heavy with smell of decaying bodies, reaches up to their cave.
PS – The burning of Sodom & Gomorrah & killing of men women and children is often used as an example of god’s hatred for homosexuality
As days pass, Lot spends his time drinking and brooding while the daughters Moab & Ben Ammi worry that all men have been killed and they may never get to meet another man and “lay with him”.
“And the first born said unto the younger “our father is old and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. Come let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father“”. Genesis 19:31-32
The elder daughter Moab expresses her desire to “lie with her father”. When Ben Ammi, the younger daughter asks her how, Moab says, their father has been without wine for some time now but she has hidden a couple of jugs of wine. She will use it to intoxicate her father and then “preserve his seed”
“And they made their father drink wine that night. And the first born went in and lay with her father……” Genesis 19:33
Moab proceeds as planned and after she has slept with her father, she encourages Ben Ammi to do the same.
“And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first born said unto the younger ” behold I lay yesternight with my father. Let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou art in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father'” and they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him……” Genesis 19:34-35
“Thus were both the daughter of Lot with child by their father……” Genesis 19:36-38
Lot acts as if nothing has happened on those night. Even when the bellies of his daughters begin to swell and there were no men alive on the plains of Sodom, he remained silent. When the daughters give birth to two sons, he remains silent. When they name their children with names that literally meant – From Father (Moab) & Son of my kin ( Ben Ammi) he showed no sign of understanding the message that his daughters gave him.
Clergy of all three religions have tried to explain the scandalous conduct of Lot and his daughters. They have chosen to ignore it, reman silent, reinterpret it or worse – make it into something it was not. According to them, the clergy of these religions, the biggest sin here was (interpreted variously as) homosexuality, polytheism or denying hospitality to strangers. Incestuous coupling between Lot and his daughters is not considered a sin. Lot’s callous attempts to hand over his virgin daughters to the lusty villagers to rape, is also not considered a sin.
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