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.”

Read Genesis 19:20 Using Other Translations

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.
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!"
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.”

What does Genesis 19:20 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
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.


FOOTNOTES:

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.
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