Who Was Lot In The Bible? A Biblical Study On the Life and Death Of Lot

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Who was Lot in the Bible?  What was it about his life that can help us learn something?

Who was Lot?

Lot was Abraham’s nephew and we know nothing about Lot until he and Abraham (Abram for now) and all his family are called by God into a land they had never seen as we read in Genesis 12: 1-2 where “the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing’ so “Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan” (Gen 12:4-5).  There is no record of why Lot’s father and mother didn’t come or if they were even around but apparently they had left Lot in Abraham’s care.

Who Was Lot In The Bible

Abraham and Lot Separate

When they get to the Negeb, Abram and Lot “had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock” (Gen 13:5-7a) so Abram graciously offered to give Lot the choice of land (Gen 13:9) so “Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.).  So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east” (Gen 13:10-11a).  Lot selfishly chose the best land and then, “Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.  Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord” (Gen 13:12a-13) and that would prove to be a bad move.  Lot already had the choicest of land so why would he move his tent as far as Sodom?  Could it be the enticement of sinful practices going on there or a place where Lot could make more money in the sheep business?  For sure, Lot should have known better than to move his tent in among “great sinners against the Lord.”

Lot Taken Captive

When an alliance of kings swept into Sodom, the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela were defeated and fled into the hills.  When the victors came in, they took the spoils of war but also “Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way” (Gen 14:12) but “When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.  And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people” (Gen 14:14-16).  You would think that Lot would have learned his lesson but he remained in that wicked city, Sodom.

Lot’s Escape

When two angels came to take Lot and his family away, Lot was hesitant.  This seems incredible that Lot knew there were angels, messengers of God, and they told him the city was going to be destroyed by God’s judgment on the wicked in the city.  Once again the angels warned Lot and asked him “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it” (Gen 19:12-13) “So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, ‘Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.’ But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting” (Gen 19:14).

Sodom’s Destruction

In the morning, the angels had a great sense of urgency and said to Lot “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.  And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away” (Gen 19:15-17).  After they had reached Zoar, “the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.  And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.  But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Gen 19:24-26).  If Lot’s wife looked back, it must have been with regret for all she had left behind. God judged her for that instantly.

Lot’s End

Near the end of Lot’s life, he apparently lived in a cave because he was afraid of living in Zoar anymore (Gen 19:30) so there he was; living in a cave with only his two daughters with him.  His son in laws must have stayed behind in Sodom because they thought he was joking when Lot tried to warn them about God’s coming judgment.  Late in Lot’s life, his daughter’s realized that Lot had no heir so they got him drunk (Gen 19:32) and both of Lot’s daughters had children by him and “The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab.  He is the father of the Moabites to this day. The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi.  He is the father of the Ammonites to this day” (Gen 19:-37-38).  Lot’s descendants were born through sexual immorality and these two boys would end up as two of the worst enemies of the Israelites, well over 400 years later.   Lot ended up having illegitimate sons as heirs; ended up living in a cave, and apparently dies before Abraham does, and Abraham was older than Lot.  Things finally caught up with Lot and we hear nothing more from him again.

Conclusion

There are a lot of lessons to learn from Lot’s life.  He should have been more generous but wanted the best for himself and his flocks.  He moved too close to and got caught up into the things of that wicked city Sodom, perhaps again motivated by greed.  He originally was in the Negeb, and then he moved his tents closer to Sodom and finally moved right in.  He started out so good.  He had vast flocks and probably a lot of wealth, but because of some very poor choices, he ended up a widower and living in a cave.  God is surely trying to tell us something by including the story of Lot in the Bible.

Related reading for you: Sodom & Gomorrah: Bible Study with Lesson

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete December 25, 2015 at 2:14 am

In peters epistle he said that lot was just and his righteous soul was tormented by the wickedness of sodom. Lot also offered his daughters to be rapedin place of the Angels when the inhabitants of Sodom were trying to break into his house. What in lots life looked righteous at all? He wasjustifiedby faith. There’s a lot of preachers out there who would look at lots life and works and say that guy wasnever saved. He”practiced sin” etc.only the Lordknows the heart and I think we need the whole counsel of scripture instead of condemning people ofneverbeing saved in their stomach if they backslide. Look at the Corinthian church.

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Pete December 25, 2015 at 2:18 am

*never being saved in the first place.

Sorry if I’m being intense. This is just something I’m passionate about. Believers can fall to incredible lows for long periods of time. This does not mean they are not saved. Just weak and well….waking in the flesh. Let us all learn from our mistakes and lots mistakes and be filled with the spirit and flee from sin.

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DocReits December 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Hi Pastor Jack,

I read with interest this article on Lot and was intrigued by your last thought, “God is surely trying to tell us something by including the story of Lot in the Bible.”

Then Pete replied with how one might start out on the right course and then back slide and questioned how that all plays out.

I contend that, “IT’S THE WOMAN’S FAULT”…;-) Poor men are so often just dopes when women are around. Look what happened in the Garden and how we all got in this mess. Moses just about got killed wrestling with God because Zipporah, his wife, didn’t think too much about circumcision. Poor old Abraham got tripped up over Sara telling him to take Haggar and what a mess with those offspring we’re seeing today.

Issac got fooled by his wife Rebecca’s scheme, literally pulling the wool over his eyes. Jacob(the deceiver) was deceived by Leah(his sister-in-law/wife) on the night of his wedding to her sister Rachel.

Probably the most egregious sins were committed by the wisest man ever born(other than Christ) when Solomon ended his life drawn apart by his foreign wives ending his days in idolatry.

Like I said dopey men(including me) drawn apart in order to please our ladies. Lot was the same no doubt. He probably got pulled into Sodom by his wife’s constant dripping(Pr 19:3) about being outside the city living a Bedouin lifestyle when she could be inside a city where she didn’t have to pee outside with the camels. C’mon men…you know you would probably give in also.

I don’t get the part about his daughters. Offering them to the men of the city in lieu of the angels. I just have to chalk that one up to weird Middle Eastern culture. After all, they’re the ones who still behead people and ride camels. Will Western man really ever understand that mindset. Answer, NO! That is why we have no business discussing peace with them, but that is another topic.

In summary, the moral to this reply is to never be unequally yolked(marriage) to a non-believer. Because, as I have illustrated, it is hard enough dealing with the wiles of these female believers, let alone a spouse who will draw you away from Jesus. Lot was a dope and paid the price.

My belief is that it was because he had a worldly wife as possibly evidenced by the fact that she remains a salt lick to this day(looked back to Sodom and the life she enjoyed). I have a godly wife who has worked for almost 50 years at keeping me from following in Lot’s footsteps. She introduced me to Jesus as a teenager. I thank God for her.

She tells me all the time to get us out of Washington state as it is a present day Sodom with some of the most anti-Christian state laws and leaders in the country. I don’t want to look back and become a salt lick, but I’m afraid WA state is just a small microcosm of what this nation(Babylon) has/is becoming.

DocReits

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Jack Wellman December 26, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Thanks Doc. This is “extra-biblical” evidence now that its not good for man to be alone or “left to himself” (with me, look out!). We cannot do much with one and even with two (although more), but a threefold cord, not that is vital when the third cord is God.

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KK Taylor January 7, 2017 at 9:22 am

“There is no record of why Lot’s father and mother didn’t come or if they were even around but apparently they had left Lot in Abraham’s care.”

Genesis 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldeans.

So we know why his father didn’t come but not his mother.

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Rob hudson July 2, 2017 at 5:34 am

The two guests were angels sent to destroy the town.

Literally they were going to breathe fire and death and brimstone upon the whole city.

Lot was a righteous man… but he had made peace with the world. He liked living in sodom… even though it was a wicked place.

He met the “guests” at the gate because he knew what they were sent to do. He got them to his house as quick as possible. He wanted to talk them out of destroying the town. He knew God. He believed in Him and all of His power.

When the “men” showed up demanding to see the guests it put him to the decision. These were agents of God. He wasn’t concerned about their safety. He knew they could take care of themselves. He was worried about protecting the city and the life he had made there.

I’m sure it was a moment of desperation that he chose to send his two children out to the men. These children happened to be girls. You see a lot of the misunderstanding of the story comes from believing somehow they were “less” valuable becuase they were female. It had NOTHING to do with that.

Obviously the mob could care less what sex they were. They wanted the men.

He actually thought he was trying to save the city.

It’s a great picture of what happens to a believer when they live in and of the world. Their thoughts get twisted.

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David Perez September 10, 2018 at 7:38 pm

I have to say DocReits, that is the best comment I have read in a long time. Congratulations on 50 years with your wife and 50+ years serving the Lord.

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Jack Wellman September 10, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Doc is a special man, for sure. You’re very encouraging Mr. Perez. Thank you sir.

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