And he said, behold now, my lords
Taking them to be, and bespeaking them as persons of quality, who appeared with majesty in their countenances, and looked as if they had been well brought up, and were upon their travels; not knowing them to be angels, whom he received and entertained unawares, as the apostle, referring to Lot and Abraham, observes, ( Hebrews 13:2 ) ;
turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house;
meaning himself, who was their humble servant, and entreats them to turn in to his house, which perhaps was hard by, and take up their lodging with him: the ancient Jews F11 give the sense of the phrase thus, go a roundabout, winding, crooked way to my house, that the men of Sodom may not see you go in there, and know you are there. This is taken from the signification of the word to "turn in", which in a different construction signifies to decline, to go back; and so the Targum of Jonathan,
``turn here, and there, and go into the house of your servant:''and tarry all night, and wash your feet;
the meaning is, that they would stay all night, and take up their lodging with him, when they had washed their feet, which was usually done before they laid down, and even before they supped; and indeed was the first thing that was done to a stranger upon his entering into the house, ( Genesis 18:4 ) ( Luke 7:44 ) :
and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways:
signifying that he would not detain them longer than they thought fit; they might rise as soon in the morning as they pleased, and pursue their journey, only he entreats they would accept of a night's lodging with him:
and they said, nay, but we will abide in the street all night;
which they said partly out of modesty, it not becoming strangers to be too forward in accepting an invitation, and partly to try whether Lot was hearty in the invitation he gave them; and hereby also reigning ignorance of the manners and behaviour of the men of Sodom, as if they might be safe from their insults in the street in the night; and this made Lot the more pressing upon them, that they might not be exposed to his wicked neighbours.
F11 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 50. fol. 44. 4.