Genesis 19:20

20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”

Genesis 19:20 in Other Translations

20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.
20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there--is it not a little one?--and my life will be saved!"
20 See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.”
20 Look over there - that town is close enough to get to. It's a small town, hardly anything to it. Let me escape there and save my life - it's a mere wide place in the road."
20 Look, this town is close enough for me to run to. It is a small place. Please let me go there-it's only a small place, isn't it?-so that I can survive."

Genesis 19:20 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 19:20

Behold now, this city [is] near to flee unto
Pointing to Bela, afterwards called Zoar, from what follows: it is said to be two miles distant from Sodom F26. But the Jews F1 say it was four miles, and some say F2 five; for they reckon that a man may go five miles from the ascent of the morning (or break of day) till the sun shines out: and it [is] a little one:
a little city, and the houses and buildings in it few, the inhabitants few; and the sins of it few, as the Targum of Jonathan adds, in comparison of Sodom and Gomorrah; and therefore Lot hoped this favour would be granted him, that this city might be saved, and he be allowed to flee to it, and go no further; but others think this refers not to the city, which some say F3 was a large and spacious one, but to his request, that it was a small thing he asked, and hoped therefore it would not be denied, and in which he was very importunate: oh, let me escape thither, ([is] it not a little one?);
or "is it not a little thing" F4? a small request that I make: and my soul shall live:
I shall not only be able to get thither, and so my life will be preserved; but I shall be in good spirits, rejoice and be glad, that I am got safe and out of the reach of danger; my spirits, which are now faint, and therefore can never think of getting so far as to the mountain, but, if this favour is granted me, they will revive, and I shall cheerfully pursue my journey thither, and be comfortable.


F26 Bunting's Travels, p. 63.
F1 T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 2, 3. & Gloss. in ib.
F2 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 94. 1.
F3 Bunting's Travels, p. 63.
F4 "Nonne perexigua res est?" Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius.

Genesis 19:20 In-Context

18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please!
19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die.
20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”
21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.
22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar. )
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