Who was Lot in the Bible?

BibleAsk Team


Lot was son of Haran and the grandson of Terah. He was the nephew of Abram. His family originally lived in UR of Chaldeans. The Bible tells us that Terah took his son Abram, his grandson, his daughter-in-law Sara and they went out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. They came to Haran and dwelt there (Genesis 11:31). When Terah died, the Lord told Abram to continue his Journey to Cannan. The Lord’s message began with a command, continued with a promise, and ended with a blessing (Genesis 12:1-3).

Choosing Sodom

When Abram came to Bethel, a strife arouse between his herdsmen livestock and the herdsmen of his nephew’s livestock because the land could not support them for their possessions were so great. So Abram asked his nephew to choose first for himself the land he wanted. Though appointed heir to the entire country, Abram showed true humility by yielding his own interests to those of Lot and so permitting him to take as much of the land as he desired. Lot chose the plain of Jordan because it was well watered. And he dwelt in the wicked cities of Sodom while Abram dwelt away from the cities in the land of Canaan (Genesis 13:5-13).

Living among the wicked cities, Lot found himself in the middle of trouble. For five kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboyim, and Bela rebelled against King Kedorlaomer (Genesis 14:4), who with the help of his allies conquered them. King Kedorlaomer defeated their cities and spoiled it, and their surviving citizens were taken away into captivity. Among them were Lot, his family and all his possessions (verse 16).

When Abram heard that his nephew was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants and attacked their enemy and brought back his nephew, his family, the captives and all the goods (Genesis 14:14-16). Lot went back to his home in Sodom. However, his righteous spirit was oppressed and tormented everyday by the filthy conduct of the wicked lawless inhabitants there (2 Peter 2:7-9).

The Destruction of Sodom

When the cup of inequity of these cities was full, the Lord decided to destroy these cities. And he sent two angels to inform Lot to leave the cities before God turns them into ashes. When Lot saw the angels, who looked like men, he invited them to his house to protect them (Genesis 19:1–2). The angels accepted his invitation. But the men of the city gathered around Lot’s house, and asked him to give them the two men to satisfy their homosexual lusts (verses 4–5). When he refused, they tried to break into his house.

The two angels quickly took Lot inside, shut the door, and struck the men with blindness. And they commanded Lot to leave immediately, for they were commanded to destroy all the people in it (Genesis 19: 12–13). So, Abraham’s nephew went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters and asked them to leave before the Lord destroys the cities but they refused (verse 14).

When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot and his family to hurry and they took them by the hand and brought them outside the city. And told them not to look behind nor stay anywhere in the plain but to escape to the mountains (Genesis 19: 15-17). But Lot, presuming on God’s mercy, requested that he may escape to the city of Zoar instead (verse 20). Not heeding the angel’s warning, Lot’s wife looked back at Sodom, as if her heart refused to give it up. Then, the Lord turned her into a pillar of salt (verse 26).

Moving to the Mountains

Lot settled in the mountains in a cave outside of Zoar (Genesis 19:30). The evil influence of Sodom affected his daughters’ moral judgement and they committed a great crime. For the firstborn daughter said to to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us. Let us make our father drink wine, and we will sleep with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father” (Verses 31,32). And that is what they did.

And they both got pregnant and had sons named Moab and Ben-Ammi. These sons became the fathers of the Moabites and the Ammonites (Genesis 19: 37–38). Later on, the Lord commanded the Israelites not to destroy the Moabites and the Ammonites for Lot’s sake (Deuteronomy 2:9, 19).

Lot made unwise decision when he decided to live in the wicked cities thinking that would be best for him materially. Consequently, he lost his possessions, his wife, and some of his children. Yet, the Lord showed him great mercy and saved his life and the life of his two daughters from death because he was willing to heed the divine warning.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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