It shouldn't be hard to miss that the story of Lot's daughters facilitates a political swipe at the nations of Moab and Ammon, longstanding enemies of Judah. Claiming that the nations were conceived in incest is about as low as one could get in deriding an enemy.
Does Genesis 19 condemn Homosexuality?
Good point leolaia,the political animosity between the federation of tribes that went under the name Israel and a couple northern tribes that allied into separate kingdoms of Moab,Ammon and Edom goes to the heart of these stories. It seems the close relatedness of these peopels posed a greater threat to the authors' sense of national uniqueness then had they been fully outside invaders. I wonder the proposed etymology (LXX) of the tribal names referencing incest. According to Routledge, the names Mo'abi parsed as Me ab i in Hebrew means 'from-father-my' and the boy Ben 'ammi means 'son of my close kinsman'. I have seen other suggested etymologies but wonder if you have any thoughts or references.
Also, this was not God approved. There are many "sins" that happened before the Mosaic law went into effect where God did not punish the person. There was not as of yet a written code.
But the point is, Genesis is a history book. It isn't a theological book for the most part. Because something is recorded there, that doesn't mean that God approved of it. Lot's daughters schemed to get Lot drunk and to have sex with him. If anyone was to be punished, then it would have been them.
How drunk was Lot? Enough to not be able to say no to his daughters yet not so much that he could maintain an erection? Twice?
God-approved or not, Lot is held up as a man of righteousness in the Bible. In Hebrews, if I recall correctly, he's held up as a man of faith?
Even though he managed to have sex twice with his daughters whilst drunk? Whatta guy
Even though he managed to have sex twice with his daughters whilst drunk? Whatta guy
How do you know that they did not get him extremely drunk, cover their faces, and then come to him?
Also, it is 2Peter that calls Lot righteous not Hebrews. Plus, you must keep in mind that though a Bible writer may have recorded specific sins and foolish acts of an individual does not mean that the person could not also have been righteous. Only Jesus was completely righteous and sinless. Though Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. were counted faithful (Hebrews 11:7-29), they occasionally disobeyed God’s will, and acted foolishly or cowardly. God never blessed their disobedience, only their faithfulness.
Consider the harlot Rahab. While God did not condone her being a prostitute, she was “justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way” (James 2:25).
Simply because God graciously saved Rahab from the destruction of Jericho, does not mean that God condoned her past sexual sins. Similarly, just because Peter called Lot righteous does not mean that Lot was perfect. Even the apostle Peter, who also served as an elder in the church, was guilty at one time or another of having a lack of faith, denying that he knew the Lord, and hypocritically withdrawing himself from Gentiles.
Though Lot’s offering of his daughters to the sodomites is inexcusable, Genesis 19 clearly indicates the distinction between the righteousness of Lot and the wickedness of the inhabitants of Sodom. The sodomites even hinted at such when they declared that Lot “keeps acting as a judge” (Genesis 19:9). This was the distinction Peter made—not that Lot was perfect, but that he remained uncontaminated by the actions that were prevalent throughout Sodom. Like Christians today who strive to walk in the light, though they are imperfect (1 John 1:5-10), Lot was a righteous man, who also made some memorable mistakes.
It is also a possibility that the alcohol was added to the story specifically to lessen the accountability of Lot when an earlier flood legend (by one theory)was reutilized, as Leolaia posted some time ago. The Koran has none of the sex in its version of the tale, altho this is of course a much later developement it exemplifies the editing methods in use for centuries. We are dealing with legends and assimilation of existing mythologies so sometimes the mash-up is a bit awkward. Noah was apparently originally a deity of the vine/wine which preciptated some reference to wine in the Hebrew legend. Maybe familiarity with the parallel Noah story was the source of the wine element in the Lot story? Just speculating.
PP, of course you can argue the myth angle. But I'm arguing from the angle of the story being actual true history.
"He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless, for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard" (2 Peter 2:7-8).
Lot in fact was seen as wicked in the Enochic tradition: "And he and his daughters committed sin upon the earth, such as had not been on the earth since the days of Adam till his time, for the man lay with his daughters" (Jubilees 16:6-8). Others saw in him in a negative light: "I was disturbed at my nephew Lot" (Genesis Apocryphon 21:5-7), "He was an unsteady and indecisive person ... sometimes rebellious and refractory through the instability of his character" (Philo, Abrahamo 212), "If he was able to escape Sodom, as Scripture indicates, he owed this more to Abraham's merits than his own" (Origen, Homilies on Genesis 5.3).
PP....Like most of the ethnological word plays in Genesis, these are folk etymologies (implicit in the MT, explicit in the LXX) supporting the narrative rather than representing the actual linguistic derivation of the names (as they posit forms of the names otherwise unattested, (ben-)`Ammi and Me`abi, although in the case of the latter there was an e/o interchange in Moabite). Their actual origins are obscure, which is typical with toponyms which often are older than the language of the people inhabiting the place. The underlying root for Moab may have cognates in Hebrew ya`ab "to long for" (i.e. a longing for the land of Moab) or Arabic wa`aba "angered, ashamed", if in fact, the name is of Semitic origin. Ammon, on the other hand, might have its source in the city Rabbat-'Amman (modern 'Amman, Jordan), but that doesn't explain where the name came from (which is rather late, not appearing until the first millennum BC in Assyrian documents referring to the "House of Amman" in the same sense as the "House of Omri").
Viewing the story through the lens of folklore and comparative mythology, there is a case to be made that it is a retelling of a Moabite legend about the origin of the Dead Sea which is a desert variant of the flood myth. It has the same themes of divine destruction of the land, the salvation of a family, and the genesis of a people from that family. There is also likely the theme of flooding lurking in the tradition, inasmuch as the land is a fertile valley (the vale of Siddim) prior to the destruction. There is a hint of the universality of the destruction ("There is not a man on earth", v. 31), which may have been original to the Moabite legend but in J's version this is a (humorous) misapprehension of the situation by Lot's daughters. Sexual impropriety and/or humiliation of the patriarch via drunkeness following a catastrophe is a theme also found in J's flood narrative. However there are also parallels with the Greek myth of Myrrha which may be of West Semitic (perhaps even South Semitic) origin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrrha
Thanks Leolaia as always. The Adonis/Tammuz connections are provocative.
Lot in fact was seen as wicked in the Enochic tradition: "And he and his daughters committed sin upon the earth, such as had not been on the earth since the days of Adam till his time, for the man lay with his daughters" (Jubilees 16:6-8). Others saw in him in a negative light: "I was disturbed at my nephew Lot" (Genesis Apocryphon 21:5-7), "He was an unsteady and indecisive person ... sometimes rebellious and refractory through the instability of his character" (Philo, Abrahamo 212)
Even if we can trust this apocryphal literature and this is true, the fact still remains that he was guilty of sin just as others that were "declared rightous" were.
Am I not "wicked" if I lie? Am not "wicked" if I sin? Yes. And I sin every day. But that does not take away from me being declared righteous in Christ. 1John 1:9 says - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
No one is justifying Lot's sins or his daughters. Their sin was recorded and what a shame that is for them.