"Now Lot went up out of Zoar and settled in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; so he lived in a cave with his two daughters."

Genesis 19:30 NRSV https://bible.com/bible/2016/gen.19.30.NRSV

If God had given him that land, and God did not destroy Zoar. Why Lot has to run from that city and go to mountain ? Is there any cultural background that can help me understand this passage in better way. Moreover, what was he afraid about ?

  • Where does it say God gave Lot the land?
    – Dave
    Aug 14 '20 at 19:56
  • Hi @Dave, I am just trying to understand why LOT was afraid. "21He said to him, “Very well, I grant you this favor too, and will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken." it clearly tells God had favored him and God saved him.
    – Hitesh
    Aug 16 '20 at 8:25
  • Don’t get me wrong, you have a fair question. One that is well worth considering. But the promise of ‘land’ was to Abraham and his descendants.- not relatives. In fact, he was told not to bring relatives’ (Lot) - Nevertheless, Lot’s ‘favor’ came as a result of being under Abraham’s covenant, and for no other reason. Lot didn’t know ‘this God’, hence the unsureness.
    – Dave
    Aug 16 '20 at 18:38

Genesis 19:23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Basically, Lot was still in a state of shock thinking about what had just happened. We are reading the happenings like watching TV. Lot was there in person in the midst. He panicked and wanted to play it more safe.

Ellicott gives some more reasons, https://biblehub.com/genesis/19-30.htm

(30) He feared to dwell in Zoar.--Though this little place had been granted him for an asylum, yet, terrified at the sight of the smoking valley, and remembering that he had been originally commanded to go to the mountains, he summons up his courage and proceeds thither. The limestone regions of Palestine are full of caverns; and the patriarch, whose wealth had been so great that he and Abraham could not dwell together, is now content to seek in one of these caverns a miserable home.

Lot was scared. Very few people wouldn't be.

Genesis 19:15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

16When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

Put yourself in his shoes. You may do the same just in case of whatever. The people of Zoar may blame you and your daughters, the foreigner, for the disaster: Why are you the only ones who have survived Sodom and Gomorrah?

  • Thanks @Tony, I am beginning to see it now, the struggle of fear/doubt and faith in God. Thanks for a detailed explanation for the passage to understand it better. May I ask one more question, could it be that there were still people in ZOAR and LOT was afraid of those people and that's why he decided to play safe and went to the hills as he was first commanded to do that - not sure if there is any historical evidence for that ?
    – Hitesh
    Aug 16 '20 at 8:25
  • Yes, I think so.
    – Tony Chan
    Aug 16 '20 at 14:01

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