Genesis 19:29–38

1929 When God destroyed the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot away from the disaster that overtook each town in which Lot settled. 30 Lot headed up from Zoar and settled with his two daughters in the high country. Lot and his two daughters dwelt in a cave. 31 The firstborn daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there are no men in the land to come to bed as befits the way of all the earth! 32 Come, let us give our father wine to drink and lie with him, so we may keep our father’s seed alive.” 33 That night they gave their father wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with her father, and he knew not when she lay down or arose. 34 The next day the firstborn said to the younger, “Last night I lay with my father. Let’s serve him wine tonight too, and you go in and lie with him so that we will both keep our father’s seed alive.” 35 They served their father wine that night as well, and the younger daughter lay with him, and he knew not when she lay down or arose. 36 Both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn daughter gave birth to a son and named him Moab; he is the tribal-father of today’s Moabites. 38 The younger daughter also bore a son and named him Ben-Ammi; he is the tribal-father of today’s Ammonites.

It is now confirmed that YHWH’s concern for Lot was based less on Lot’s basic hospitality than on Abraham’s hospitality of abundance. It is suggested, in elliptical fashion, that Lot moved from small town to small town as they fell apart following a deluge of stinking fire. Eventually, Lot and his daughters ended up where the messengers had first directed him—the high wilderness away from cities. Lot now returns from whence he came, but without all the resources he initially took to the Plain.

From working his way into the city and culture of Sodom, Lot finds himself living in a cave. This man of the city has lost his drive. He no longer flourished off the land but has retreated beneath it—already dead while still breathing.

If Lot has lost his will, his daughter take matters in their own hands. They need more bodies for the basics of living in a wilderness. Being away from others, the only practical avenue open is that of incest. Though readers may come up with other options, the daughters do not. They speak of their actions as a keeping Lot alive (perpetuating his “seed”), not of lust.

The plan to “lie” with Lot comes close, here, to the act of rape. The actual intercourse is phrased in asexual terms, befitting an unconscious Lot.

The daughters’ plan worked. They become pregnant. The subsequent children were named Moab and Ben-Ammi. Over time they develop into nations—the Moabites and the Ammonites.

The people in Abraham’s line will find their relations with Moab will wax and wane. Moab will be the place where Moses looked at a Canaan he did not enter and Ruth, a Moabite, is an ancestress of king David. The Ammonites lived north of the Moabites and Edom (later from Esau, lived south of the Moabites. These are the highlands east of the Jordan River (reminiscent of being east of Eden). Canaan/Israel lies west of the Jordan. There are a variety of connections and relations through the generations. Readers could spend hours investigating the various branches of the extended family tree and their interactions.

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