The name Lot in Hebrew means Hidden or Covered. The word was used to refer to a veil. Perhaps Lot was born in a caul i.e. his face was hidden at birth?
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The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is believed to have taken place in about 1890 B.C. according to the Biblical Timeline at which time Lot was already a married man with grown daughters. Bishop Ussher in the 17th century dated Abraham’s call as taking place in 1921 BC. Lot was the son of Abraham’s brother Haran who had died while the family still lived in Ur according to Genesis 11 v 27,28. It was a family of close and complicated relationships as Abraham was married to his own half-sister. And his brother Nahor became Lot’s father –in –law when he married Milcah who may also have been the sister of Sarah. If she is identified with Iscah as in Jewish Talmudic stories (Genesis 11 v 29).Lot’s story is related in Genesis 11-14 and in chapter 19 he is also mentioned. Abraham was close to Lot, and he would have been his heir had Abraham not eventually had children. However, it cannot have been easy still not being in charge in middle life, because he was still under the patriarchy of Abraham.
They split up finally when the two reached Canaan as both had very large herds. Lot chose to travel on to the well-watered plains to the southwest – also where there were to be found the two notorious cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Jewish Midrash records rather more about Lot than is set down in the scriptures, claiming that Abraham had rescued him from a fire for instance.
In Genesis 19:8 there is rather a negative story about Lot when he offer’s his daughter’s to the mob rather than break the law of hospitality. 2nd Peter v 4-10 describes Lot as a righteous man disturbed by all the evil among which he lived.
Famously of course Lot and his family fled from the destruction that God poured out upon the cities of the plain and his wife stopped to look back and was turned into a pillar of salt. There is a rock formation on the shores of the Dead Sea known as ‘Lot’s wife’.
Genesis 19 tells the strange story of how Lot’s daughter’s, supposedly believing that they were the only people to escape the destruction. Deliberately got their father drunk so that they could have sex with him without his knowledge and so carry on the human race. The older girl’s daughter became the ancestor of the Moabite, and that of the younger one the Ammonites, both peoples who lived in proximity to the Israelites.
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In Egypt at this time the pyramids were being built. Was Lot a witness? China was in the stone age and North American hunters chased after large game animals. In Japan, the time covered is referred to as the Jamon period, which refers to the way in which ceramics of the time would have cord markings on them. In Sumaria, the cuneiform writing was being used for trade purposes and weights and measures were becoming fixed.
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