Genesis 19:31

31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is getting old and there's not a man left in the country by whom we can get pregnant.

Genesis 19:31 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 19:31

And the firstborn said unto the younger
That is, the firstborn of those two, or the elder of them; for, if Lot had other daughters that were married in Sodom, it is probable they were elder than either of these: Aben Ezra intimates, that Lot had another wife, who died first, and these were by his second; the following motion is made by the eldest of them to the youngest, as being bolder, having more authority, and a greater influence to persuade:

our father [is] old;
if he was fifty years of age when he was taken captive by the kings, as says the Jewish chronologer F17 he must now be sixty five, since the destruction of Sodom, according to Bishop Usher F18, was fifteen years after that:

and [there] is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the
manner of all the earth;
to marry them, cohabit with them, and procreate children of them, which was the common way of the propagation of mankind in the earth; they thought the whole world was destroyed by fire, as it had been by a flood; they understood it would be no more consumed by water, but they had been told it would be by fire, and they imagined the time was now come, and this was the case; that not only Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire, and that by this time the fire had reached to Zoar, and had consumed that, but that the whole earth was destroyed, and not a man left but their father, and therefore thought it could be excusable in them, and lawful for them to take the following method to repopulate the world; or else they supposed there were none in the land, the land of Canaan, not of any of their kindred and relations, for they might be ignorant of Abraham and his family, or however of any good man that they knew of, that they could be joined to in marriage; for as for the inhabitants of Zoar, they had just left, they were as wicked as any, and therefore could not think of living with them in such a near relation: but all this is not a sufficient excuse for contriving and executing what is after related; for they should have inquired of their father, who could have informed them better.


F17 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 77. 1.
F18 Annales Vet. Test. p. 8, 9.

Genesis 19:31 In-Context

29 And that's the story: When God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, he was mindful of Abraham and first got Lot out of there before he blasted those cities off the face of the Earth.
30 Lot left Zoar and went into the mountains to live with his two daughters; he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He lived in a cave with his daughters.
31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is getting old and there's not a man left in the country by whom we can get pregnant.
32 Let's get our father drunk with wine and lie with him. We'll get children through our father - it's our only chance to keep our family alive."
33 They got their father drunk with wine that very night. The older daughter went and lay with him. He was oblivious, knowing nothing of what she did.

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Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.