What does Genesis 19:11 mean?
ESV: And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
NIV: Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
NASB: Then they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, from the small to the great, so that they became weary of trying to find the doorway.
CSB: They struck the men who were at the entrance of the house, both young and old, with blindness so that they were unable to find the entrance.
NLT: Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.
KJV: And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
Finally, these strangers from out of town, these two travelers, reveal their true nature as angels by using the power of God to control a crowd of men intent on breaking down Lot's door to get at them. Neither Lot nor those in the crowd could have known that the angels had come to investigate the sins of the city in preparation for God's judgment against it.
The angels allowed the men to fully demonstrate their wickedness right up to the moment in which they would have hurt Lot and his family. Lot knew that travelers would not be safe out in the open in Sodom, and attempted to keep the men safely in his own home overnight. Unfortunately, the men of Sodom arrived and demanded the strangers be handed over for rape. Lot's attempts to discourage them failed, resulting in even more aggression.
In the prior chapter, God used human language to speak of "investigating" the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. He also humored Abraham's attempt to plead for the righteous who might be living in Sodom. At this moment, all of these threads come together. The purpose of the "investigation" is not for God's benefit, but for ours. Seeing the reaction of the men of Sodom, the angels have provided all the evidence necessary to show that God's impending judgment is warranted.
The angels first pulled Lot back inside the door to keep him from the mob. Here, they supernaturally blind all of the men who are about to break that door down. Perhaps they did so with a blast of powerful light. Suddenly without sight, the men outside could no longer find the door. Interestingly, the text says the men were still so intent on their sin that they "wore themselves out groping for the door." This crowd is so energized by rage and perversion that even when blinded, they will not stop.
Regardless, the danger from the mob to those inside the house has been averted for the moment. A greater danger is coming, however, and the angels will quickly address this with Lot and his family.
Genesis 19:1–22 describes what happens following the Lord's assurance to Abraham that He will not destroy Sodom if He finds ten righteous people there. Despite such a low standard, Sodom fails the test. Every man in the city attempts to rape two of the Lord's angels who are in human form. The angels intervene, eventually removing Lot and his family from the city by force, and out of God's mercy. The angels instruct the family to run to the hills, but Lot asks if they can flee to the tiny town of Zoar instead. The angels allow this.
Two angels, disguised as men, visit Abraham's nephew, Lot, in the city of Sodom. After the men of Sodom attempt to rape the angels in Lot's home, the angels rescue Lot and his family, forcibly removing them from the city. Then God sends fire and sulfur from heaven. This destroys all of the land and people in and around the cities. As stated in earlier verses, this is the result of their great and ongoing wickedness. Lot's wife is turned to a pillar of salt when she disobeys the angels by looking back on the destruction. Lot and his daughters flee first to Zoar, then to a cave in the hills. There, Lot's confused and frightened daughters get him drunk, have sex with him, and each become pregnant.
In the previous chapter, Abraham had bargained with God on behalf of his nephew Lot and the people of Sodom. The Lord assured Abraham He would not destroy the cities if He found ten righteous people there. Chapter 19 immediately demonstrates no righteous people are to be found. Every man of Sodom attempts to attack two visitors, who are God's angels in human form. As the angels rescue Lot, God's judgment falls, utterly destroying everything in the area around Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot and his daughters end up in a cave in the hills, where the daughters scheme to conceive children by making their father drunk. This ends Lot's role in the story of Genesis, with future chapters focusing exclusively on the life and descendants of Abraham.
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 12/6/2023 11:05:54 PM
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