Genesis 19 NKJV records:

Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. 2 And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”

And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.

3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

  • What does it mean to spend the night in the open square?
  • What did this entail? Would this be outside without cover (in the open)?

1 Answer 1


The term rechob is related to the concept of openness and is translated as town square, open square, public space, or even "the streets." What is clear from the context is that it is the opposite of "indoors."

The OP asks if this means the angels would spend the night outside without cover. The answer is "not necessarily." A town plaza (or "the streets") might be located in an area with overhanging porticoes. A lean-to against bordering structures is another possibility. In a town square, unremoved tables and booths used for marketing could also provide some shelter. Finally, travelers would often carry material to form a rudimentary tent in which they could protect themselves from the elements.

Conclusion: The "open square" was most likely a place where townsfolk congregated for marketing and festivals. The text does not make it clear whether any shelters were located there.

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