Bob Schneider wrote: "Let me offer another explanation, based on my
interpetation of Genesis 19. I think that the popular notion that the story
of Sodom constitutes a condemnation of homosexuality is mistaken; rather,
the story is a condemnation of the violation of the sacred law of
I did not mention this aspect of the story; I agree with Bob.
Bob continues: "Rather than making the offer in terror, with no intention to
following through, I think that Lot is going to extremes to protect his
guests, to whom he has shown hospitality... ."
Whether or not Lot intended to follow through is a problemmatical question,
of course. Whether or not Lot was "in terror" may, however, be fairly
assumed. You are correct that guest protection was a very high goal in those
times, and it is entirely possible that Lot would have actually followed
through with his virgin daughters had the guests not stepped in.
Bob offers: "That none of the early Jewish or Christian commentators found
it worthy of comment may be equally shocking--it is to me."
I don't know that this is true, although I have never found any who did so.
It does seem that the scriptures, which purport to tell us about ethical
questions, never address the situation, and I have no explanation for this
that satisfies me.
Bob again: "I wonder what the Hebrews who heard this story in its early
tellings thought of it all?"
The jewish people have a tradition of debating the scriptures; it is
possible they have addressed it somewhere in he Torah.
Bob:"Finally, I'm not sure I would agree that Lot is a good man. He
really doesn't come off well in the Genesis stories."
I think scripture describes him as "good." Not particularly a person worthy
of emulation though.
Thanks for the observations.
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