Genesis 19:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 19:2, NIV: "My lords,' he said, 'please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.' 'No,' they answered, 'we will spend the night in the square.'"

Genesis 19:2, ESV: "and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.”"

Genesis 19:2, KJV: "And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night."

Genesis 19:2, NASB: "And he said, 'Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.' They said, 'No, but we shall spend the night in the public square.'"

Genesis 19:2, NLT: "'My lords,' he said, 'come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again.' 'Oh no,' they replied. 'We'll just spend the night out here in the city square.'"

Genesis 19:2, CSB: "and said, "My lords, turn aside to your servant's house, wash your feet, and spend the night. Then you can get up early and go on your way." "No," they said. "We would rather spend the night in the square.""

What does Genesis 19:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Two angels disguised as men have arrived in Sodom. Lot, sitting at the gate of the city as a leader and elder of the town, has welcomed them. He probably doesn't yet know that these are angels sent to investigate the sins of the city's people in preparation for God's judgment.

What Lot does seem to know is that two men, arriving in the city late in the day, are not safe out in the open. In this and the following verse, Lot will urge them to come to his home for the night and to leave early in the morning. He is offering his hospitality, as demanded by the culture of the time. At the same time, though he does not say so, Lot is also offering his protection from the violent men of his own city.

The angels initially reject his offer, claiming they will simply spend the night in the town square. In an era before large-scale hotels, inns, or other accommodations, it would not have been unusual for travelers to sleep in a public area for a night as they passed through a town. As messengers of God, the angels were not concerned for their own safety. Rather, they seem to be testing Lot to see how hard he would try to protect two unsuspecting "men" from the wickedness of his town.