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Genesis 19:13
because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."

Who are doing the outcry? They are the righteous ones, correct?

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The idea of the outcry of/against Sodom and Gomorrah occurs in two places with different verbs:

  • Gen 18:20 - Then the LORD said, “The outcry against (זַעַק) Sodom and Gomorrah is great. Because their sin is so grievous
  • Gen 18:21 - I will go down to see if their actions fully justify the outcry (צַעֲקָה) that has reached Me. If not, I will find out.”
  • Gen 19:13 - because we are about to destroy this place. For the outcry to (צַעֲקָה) the LORD against its people is so great that He has sent us to destroy it.”

The meaning of צַעֲקָה and זַעַק are very similar and mean an outcry signifying a shriek of distress and cry for help, or cry of shock abhorrence. Keep in mind the kind of despicable place these were as evidenced by the unabashed evil of the rapist mob who wanted to molest the Lot's two visitors (Gen 19:4, 5).

The source of such an outcry could be any of the following:

  • the outcry of heavenly angels who must view such reprehensibly evil acts constantly
  • The outcry of people who had visited the city and were appalled and prayed for God to intervene
  • The outcry of the still righteous people in the cites (this is unlikely as only Lot's family were good enough to save)
  • A figurative outcry to express the concern of God who already knew the situation and did not really need to visit the city to find out (as evidenced the angels' action when they got to the city); compare Heb 11:4.

Since we are not told, my suggestion is a combination of all the above except the third. The Cambridge commentary has a helpful suggestion in it remarks on Gen 18:20:

the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah] See Genesis 19:13. (1) Either, this is the complaint concerning Sodom and Gomorrah going up to Heaven. The genitive “of” is then objective, like “the report of Tyre” (Isaiah 23:5), “the spoil of thine enemies” (Deuteronomy 20:14). (2) Or, it is the cry by the cities, which are personified, and which make their loud complaint against the inhabitants. The genitive then is subjective. See Genesis 4:10.

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