Lot and His Daughters, Genesis 19:30-38

The inward area is the first place of loss of true Christian life, of true spirituality, and the outward sinful act is the result.” – Francis Schaeffer

I hate being a bad news bearer. But there’s no getting around it. This passage is the sad sequel to Sodom’s destruction (Genesis 19:1-29).

You may read Genesis 19:30-38 here: Bible Gateway.

The angels—who admonished Lot to flee to the mountains—granted Lot’s request to flee to a nearby town instead (Gen. 19:18-22). But fear prompted him to move further away from the burning sulfur’s ashes. With his wife gone—turning into salt for disobediently looking back—he and his two daughters finally settle in a lonely mountain cave.

Neither daughters’ future grooms from Sodom had believed Lot when he warned them to flee because of God’s impending judgment, (Gen. 19:12-14). They died along with all the others.

So out of desperation, Lot’s daughters (who also adopted Sodom’s morals) stoop to manipulation and incest with their father to preserve their family line.

And both daughters become pregnant. The older daughter births Moab, while the younger daughter births Ben-Ammi. These two boys’ descendants would become two of Israel’s greatest enemies, the Moabites and the Ammonites. But interestingly, Ruth—David’s great-grandmother and ancestor of Jesus—was from Moab.

This section (verses 30-38) has similarities to Noah’s last days after his rescue from the flood.

Layman’s Bible Commentary observes: “In Noah’s case, he became drunk with wine and uncovered himself in the presence of his children. In both narratives, the act has grave consequences. Thus, at the close of the two great narratives of divine judgment—the flood and the destruction of Sodom—those who are saved from God’s wrath subsequently fall into a form of sin reminiscent of those who die in judgment. This is a common theme in the prophetic literature (Isaiah 56-66; Malachi 1).”


We are more apt to sin when we find ourselves in a desperate situation.

Why didn’t Lot help his daughters find husbands? Abraham’s family wasn’t far away. But Lot’s lack of initiative and habitual compromise only complicated matters.


Jesus ~ The greatest gift of all!

Although this passage simply reports these events without openly condemning the sisters’ actions, Scripture elsewhere clearly condemns incest: Leviticus 18:6-18; 20:11, 12, 17, 19-21; Deuteronomy 22:30; 27:20-23; Ezekiel 22:11; 1 Corinthians 5:1.

We may never stoop to this kind of sin, but we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). Compared to our holy God even our best efforts “are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). And the wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23).

But the great news is that God remedied our sin problem through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. He stepped down from heaven’s glory into our dark, sinful world and offers us the gift of forgiveness and life (Romans 6:23), along with transformation of the heart.


14 thoughts on “Lot and His Daughters, Genesis 19:30-38

  1. It’s a sad story KD, but all we can say is the Bible tells it like it is. Lot’s actions brought this on himself, and he had no one but himself to blame. Good job just taking it head on. You may have inspired a post here or a series of posts. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Lot and His Daughters, Genesis 19:30-38 | Truth in Palmyra

  3. I really wonder about this sordid tale. I have difficulty seeing it as anything but a Hebrew morality fable.
    How could a man drink to the point of committing incest while blacked-out drunk (a difficult enough feat in itself !) only to wake up, wait 12 hours and do it again with the other daughter? I accept it as God’e inerrant word, yes. But I wonder – did they put drugs in the wine? It takes a lot of alcohol to make a person unaware of what they are doing. It seems like this is a cautionary tale about incest/sexual abuse rather than a legitimate account of the origin
    of the Moabites. It is an affirmation of our total depravity. I feel the same way about the men of Sodom vs. the angels and the repeat of the EXACT same scenario with the Benjamites [Judges 19:23-25]. This is Jewish humor combined with morality fable. Am I in unbelief here? Jesus is my savior – but I can’t accept this as documented history.

    • Andrew, thanks for your visit and comment. While you bring up a valid point about this story sounding more like a morality fable, the context doesn’t imply this is a parable or allegory. So I do believe it is a literal account, even though we don’t get all the details.

      • What about the exact repetition of the “bring them out that we may know them (No — take my daughter instead)” scenario from Genesis 19 and Judges 19:22. 23 ? Are these both literal accounts?

      • Hey Andrew! Nice to see you around these parts! Hey, just my thoughts on these passages. Yeah, they aren’t very pleasant are they? They reflect that The Bible reflects events as they occurred, even when that truth is not favorable for a person who might actually be one of God’s people.

        Did they happen? Well, there’s not much to suggest this was poetic or metaphorical language, so I would say yep they happened. Sad, but true.

        I am very hesitant to allegorize something in the Bible just because it’s unpleasant, That can be a dangerous, slippery slope for people. Some people go from there and then next thing you know all of the miracles, and even the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus get tossed into the allegory category. Then, there is a really huge problem.

        I hope that helps some my friend.

      • I believe Christ was raised from the dead and that He is Lord. That is a non-negotiable. Some of the obscure parts of the OT that sound like Jewish folklore, I am not so sure. But all you said here is reasonable and appreciated.

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