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Based on the fact that Lot was such a giving person (Bereishis 19:2) that he was willing to risk his life for kindliness

וַיִּפְצַר־בָּם מְאֹד וַיָּסֻרוּ אֵלָיו וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם מִשְׁתֶּה וּמַצּוֹת אָפָה וַיֹּאכֵלוּ׃

But he urged them strongly, so they turned his way and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

and he raised at least one daughter follow in his footsteps and actually lose her life by giving food to the poor of Sodom.

Lot's wife however was extremely selfish and was punished by turning into a pillar of salt Bereishis 19,26 as Rashi and Midrash Rabba explain when Lot asked her to give salt to the guests she reprimanded him for having invited them and refused. What was the drawing factor in Lot marrying such a seemingly selfish woman?

  • Often husbands and wives do not match. – Gershon Gold Nov 13 '19 at 1:10
  • She was cute? [15 char] – user6591 Nov 14 '19 at 1:09
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To fully grasp why Lot married the woman he married we must first understand Lot.

G-d tells Abraham that He will destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. We read in chapter 19, that Lot shows the visitors (angels) hospitality. However, in Genesis 19:5, the Sodomites ask for the angels. They wished to desecrate them. Rather than expose the angels to homosexuality, Lot offers his daughters instead. It is good that he tries to protect them, but the willingness to surrender his daughters to brutal rape and the impact it would have for the rest of their lives only goes to show that Lot saw his daughters as property. Is it right to offer his daughters to save the lives of strangers? Would it be more appropriate to offer his own life or, try to escape altogether?

There are other instances, too. When G-d gave Abraham the land of Israel, Abraham took the smaller land to settle the dispute because family was important to him. It was essential to keep the peace between brothers. Lot, didn't see it quite like that and arrogantly took the much larger land and cattle as a prize. Lot even pitched his tent facing Sodom, the land of the sinners. He would eventually mingle with themtoo, residing in the filth. Later, Genesis Rabba states that Lot was captured because he foolishly settled in Sodom. After the destruction of Sodom, his daughters thought the world was going to end and had sex with him while he was unconscious.

In short, Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was corrupted. Where Lot sought riches, Abraham sought spirituality and to come closer to G-d. Indeed a Midrash and the Rambam state that Abraham discovered G-d. These are the characteristics of a G-dly man.

Lot's predicament led him to marry a selfish woman, like himself. Her fate was sealed when Lot’s wife turns into a pillar of salt in Genesis 19:26. Lot was spared. Perhaps it was because G-d wanted to give him another chance to act justly. And he did.


PS The Midrash Genesis says that Abraham was so holy that he perceived angels the way how others see regular human beings; but Lot, who was not so pious saw angels as angels. Yet others like the Rambam said that neither saw angels. It was a dream.

  • But Lot himself wasn’t selfish. – DonielF Nov 12 '19 at 23:37
  • Lot wanted the larger piece of land. Abraham wasn’t greedy and gave it to him. Lot, on the other hand, would have never gave Abraham the bigger lot. Does this not sound selfish to you? – Turk Hill Nov 12 '19 at 23:39
  • They were arguing over entitlement; Lot never would have taken something that wasn’t his, and merely argued that it was theirs already. How can you possibly describe the Lot who risks his life to save the angels as selfish? – DonielF Nov 12 '19 at 23:41
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    I don’t see any of that in your answer. – DonielF Nov 12 '19 at 23:51
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    See Ralbag's 20th Lesson regarding the propriety of offering his daughters instead of the guests. – Alex Nov 13 '19 at 0:15

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