We are told that Lot was greatly tormented by the perversions of Sodom. What could possibly have been so irresistible for Lot to have remained in that depraved city? Earlier in Genesis we read of Lot's initial attraction to the cities of that area:

  • Genesis 13:10: "Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere— this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah— like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar."

This is understandable, and would be a compelling reason to relocate to that area for financial gain. Almost immediately, however, we read:

  • Genesis 13:13: "Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD."

Would Lot not have serious reservations living in such an area after soon witnessing the ungodliness of the people? In Peter's Second Letter we read of Lot's distress:

  • 2 Peter 2:8: "[For] by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among [the Sodomites], felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds."

Who would continue to live in a city where their "righteous soul was tormented day after day?" Did Lot have little other choice but to stay? Further, it seems that by continuing to live there, he was jeopardizing everything, and would essentially lose everything he had — including his wife. What could have been the motivating factor for Lot to linger in such a dreadful place? Are there other, related passages that help us understand Lot's poor decision to remain?

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    Great question but the only answer is that in a struggle between Lot's conscience and his love of the world, the latter prevailed, possibly with the assistance of his wife.
    – Dottard
    Jul 30, 2021 at 22:46
  • Good point. Perhaps that explains why God had little mercy on her disobedience (Gen. 19:26)?
    – Xeno
    Jul 30, 2021 at 22:49
  • Lot was in a very dangerous situation indeed. So were his wife and daughters. Hence the reason for God's judgment on that appalling situation. Many people, in many parts of the world today are trapped in terrible situations. Some flee and die in the fleeing. We see these terrible things happening every day in the world. Your question surprises me. And so do the constant, unwarranted and unscriptural criticisms of Lot. Scripture states 'righteous Lot'. 2 Peter 2:7.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 30, 2021 at 23:37
  • @NigelJ I have not intentionally disparaged Lot at all. As I wrote to another: "He left Ur with Abram and Sarai (Gen. 12:4). Lot was like a son to Abram. Naturally, Lot was under no compulsion to leave Sodom, but if we were "tormented day after day by the lawless deeds of those around us" (2 Pet. 2:8), would we not feel inclined to relocate? Lot could always return to Abraham." I don't understand why you feel I'm being critical of Lot. All I'm pointing out is his apparent blindness while living in a land that was not only depraved but dangerous (remember, he was kidnapped in Gen. 14).
    – Xeno
    Jul 30, 2021 at 23:56
  • @Xeno . . . and scripture calls him . . . 'righteous'.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 31, 2021 at 0:03

2 Answers 2


First - you need to put this into context. Abraham had been called out away from the nation he was born under, the gods his people served. And it was he that had been called

GENESIS 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.

Abraham was told to leave his ‘kindred’ - môleḏeṯ - which specifically includes relations. Lot was Abraham’s brothers son. He wasn’t supposed to take him!

Nevertheless Lot was ‘covered’ under Gods promise to Abraham - as outlined in Genesis 12: 1-3. And God saw Lot as righteous.

But how would Lot ‘know’ what was ‘right’? What was his ‘source’ of guidance? Knowledge? God was ‘dealing’ with Abraham, but Lot and his Uncle had separated, gone their own ways. There where no ‘commandments, no ‘words’ from God! Just this inner perception that made him uncomfortable. But he was under no compulsion to ‘listen’ to this, it was his choice to ‘live’ with it. He was not violating any expectation.

So we have no basis for ‘judging’ Lot. None. Many try to! That issue over Lot being declared ‘righteous’ has perplexed and confounded many theologians. We can (should!) not use our ‘standards’ to analyse Lots behaviour. Although many love to apologetically ‘’’’ discuss ‘’’’ Lot, we should just let the Bible tell us what is … and that is that he was seen as righteous.

2 PETER 2:7 and if he rescued righteous Lot,

  • I'm making no judgments of Lot. He left Ur with Abram, Sarai, and all their possessions (Gen. 12:4). Clearly, Lot was like a son to Abram. I don't ever recall reading that Lot "wasn't supposed to be taken" by Abram. Naturally, Lot was under no compulsion to leave Sodom, but if you were "tormented day after day by the lawless deeds of those around you" (2 Pet. 2:8), would you not feel a bit inclined to relocate? Lot could always return to Abraham. Remember, too, that Lot was kidnapped while living in these depraved areas. How much would any of us put up with under such circumstances?
    – Xeno
    Jul 30, 2021 at 23:25

Lot's children and possibly grandchildren were there in Sodom. To leave them there would be to abandon those nearest and dearest to him. The story records what happened when he did leave.

And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: ...And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. (Genesis 19:12,14)

  • There were no grand children. Lot's two daughters 'had not known men' at the time they were offered to the assailants. This gives some indication of just what was going on in the city and just how dangerous the situation was.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 30, 2021 at 23:34
  • @NigelJ You didn't read the Bible quotation that is part of my answer if you assume, incorrectly, that Lot had only those two daughters.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 31, 2021 at 1:01

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