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According to the Bible, Lot ( ; Arabic: لوط, ; "Hidden, covered") was the nephew of the patriarch Abraham, or Abram. He was the son of Abraham's brother Haran (Gen. 11:27). Abraham's brother Nahor became Lot's brother in law by marrying Milcah, Lot's sister.

Religious literature

The Bible


The story of Lot is told in the Book of Genesis. Lot is mentioned in chapters 11-14 and 19.

Lot was the son of Abraham's brother Haran. Lot and his family went with Abraham and his family from Urmarker of the Chaldees to Egyptmarker. When Abraham traveled to the Land of Canaan at the command of God, Lot accompanied him. (Genesis 12:1-5). Abraham always had a great affection for Lot. When they could not continue longer together in Canaan because they both had large flocks and their shepherds sometimes quarrelled he gave Lot the choice of his abode. Lot went southeast to plains near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, since the land there was well watered.

About eight years after this separation, Chedorlaomer and his allies attacked the kings of Sodom and the neighbouring cities, pillaged Sodom, and took many captives, including Lot. Abraham armed his servants, pursued the confederate kings, and overtook them near the springs of Jordan. He recovered the spoils they had taken and brought back Lot with the other captives. Abraham was offered a reward by the King of Sodom, but refused even a shoelace.

In Genesis 19, when God plans to overturn and destroy the five cities of the plain, he sends angels to the city of Sodom where they meet Lot at the city gates. Lot seems greatly concerned that the angels should spend the night in his house but the angels insist they wish to spend the night in the city street. Lot puts a great deal of pressure on them and eventually convinces them. However all the people of Sodom surround Lot's house with intent to "know" (traditionally interpreted as carnal knowledge) the angels. Lot offers the men his daughters instead, whom he says are virgins, but the men were not interested.

The angels decide to forewarn Lot of the dreadful catastrophe about to happen. Lot, his wife, sons-in-law, and daughters are warned to leave. The sons-in-law do not take the warning seriously; also, Lot lingers. The angels take Lot, his wife, and his daughters by hand and draw them forcibly out of their house, saying, "Save yourselves with all haste. Look not behind you. Get as fast as you are able to the mountain, unless you be involved in the calamity of the city." Lot entreats the angels, who consent that he might retire to Zoar, which was one of the five doomed cities. His wife, looking back on Sodom, is turned into a pillar of salt.

Lot left Zoar and retired with his two daughters to a cave in an adjacent mountain. In Genesis 19:30-38, Lot's daughters incorrectly believed they were the only people to have survived the devastation. They assumed it was their responsibility to bear children and enable the continuation of the human race, even though the family had just left Zoar, and the daughters surely would have seen men there. On two subsequent nights, according to the plan of the older daughter, they got their father drunk enough to have sexual intercourse with them, with each becoming pregnant. The first son was named Moab (Hebrew, lit., "from the father" [meh-Av]). He was the patriarch of the nation known as Moab. The second son was named Ammon or Ben-Ammi (Hebrew, lit., "Son of my people"). He became the patriarch of the nation of Ammon.

New Testament

In Jesus simply says "Remember Lot's Wife" using her as a warning to professing Christians to not turn back to their sin after leaving it. J.C. Ryle devotes a chapter in his work, Holiness, to remembering Lot's wife. In Lot is described as a righteous man surrounded by wickedness.


Jews and Christians do not consider Lot a prophet, but Muslims do. The story of Lot impregnating his daughters while drunk is not mentioned in the Qur'an and is considered a lie. The Qur'an does say that the people of Lot insisted on their wickedness of homosexuality, murder and robbery while also refusing to stay lawful to their wives.

Consequently, an Arabic expression for homosexuals is derived from the name for the people of Lot or Lut (in Arabic); i.e., Luti.


Jewish midrash records a number of additional stories about Lot, not present in the Tanakh. These include:
  • Abraham took care of Lot after Haran was burned in a gigantic fire in which Nimrod, King of Babylonmarker, tried to kill Abraham.
  • While in Egypt, the midrash gives Lot much credit because, despite his desire for wealth, he did not inform Pharaoh of the secret of Sarah, Abraham's wife.

In geography

A geological formation overlooking the Dead Seamarker is called 'Lot's Wife', because of the shape and location of the feature.

A fourth chalk prominence off the western coast of the Isle of Wight, from which The Needlesmarker take their name, was also called 'Lot's Wife'.

In popular culture

See also



  1. Strong's Hebrew Bible Dictionary - SpeedBible by
  2. Genesis 13:6,7
  3. Genesis 13:10-12
  4. Genesis 19:5
  5. Genesis 19:8
  6. Genesis 19:31
  7. Genesis 19:33–36
  8. see Hertz, J.H.,"The Pentateuch and Haftorahs" 2 ed. Soncino Press, London, 1972,page 69.
  10. Genesis|19:30-36


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