And there came two angels to Sodom at even
Or "the two angels" F8, the two men who were angels in the likeness of men, that had been with Abraham in the heat of the day at Hebron, on the evening of the same day came to Sodom:
and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom:
not as a civil magistrate to try causes there, being appointed a judge over them, as Jarchi relates; yea, the Jews say F9: that that day five judges were appointed by the men of Sodom, and Lot was the chief of them; but this is not likely, and seems to be contradicted, ( Genesis 19:9 ) ; but he sat there to observe strangers that might pass by, and invite them into his house, and that they might not fall into the hands of the wicked Sodomites, who might abuse them; this being a time when not only travellers would be glad to put up and take refreshment, but his wicked neighbours lay in wait for them to satisfy their lusts on them: he had learnt this hospitality from Abraham;
and Lot seeing [them], rose up to meet them:
he arose from his seat and went forward to meet them, which showed his readiness and heartiness to receive them:
and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
not in a religious way, as paying worship to angels, for as yet he did not know them to be such, and if he had, would not have given them divine adoration; but in a civil way, as was the custom of the eastern countries to bow very low in their civil respects to men, especially to great personages; and such Lot took these to be by their goodly looks and by their dress, as appears by his salutation of them in ( Genesis 19:2 ) .
F8 (Mykalmh ynv) "duo illi angeli", Tigurine version, Cocceius; so Ar. "duobus illis angelis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F9 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 50. fol. 44. 4.