What does Genesis 19:4 mean?
ESV: But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.
NIV: Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.
NASB: Before they lay down, the men of the city—the men of Sodom—surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter;
CSB: Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house.
NLT: But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house.
KJV: But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
Verse Commentary:
Abraham's nephew, Lot, has welcomed two traveling strangers into his home in Sodom for the night. He has prepared for them a feast and has given them a place to stay. He doesn't seem to know, yet, that these men are angels disguised in human form, and he can't know that they've been sent from God to investigate the sins of the city in preparation for God's judgment.

After they've eaten and before they've gone to bed, the sins of the men of the city now become evident. Lot desperately argued with the angels to keep them from spending the night in the town square. By offering them his home for the night, and encouraging them to leave early, Lot seems to be trying to keep their presence a secret from the predators of the city. This attempt fails, as all of the men of Sodom gather at Lot's house and surround the place.

The men spell out their evil intentions clearly in the following verses. The text is careful to note that every man in the city of every age is involved in this attempted crime. This is a crucial fact, since the Lord had assured Abraham that the city would not be destroyed if ten righteous people were found there (Genesis 18:32). It's now clear that number won't be reached—Sodom is completely and totally corrupt.
Verse Context:
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.
Chapter Summary:
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.
Chapter Context:
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.
Book Summary:
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 4/22/2024 3:29:45 AM
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