In Genesis 19, Lot defends the angels who came under his roof against the demands of the local men who want a chance to sodomize the three visitors. From the Torah's description, and Rashi's take on it, it would appear that this was a common practice by Sodomites against new-comers. My question is, wouldn't they have also sodomized Lot when he was a new-comer?

  • 2 visitors not 3 – Eli83 Nov 13 '17 at 3:05

Lot surveyed the whole land and chose Sodom. (Gen 13) He presumably wouldn't have done so if they had such a reputation, let alone stayed if he was actually subject to such treatment.

MORE importantly - Lot arrived in Sodom at a time when he was extremely wealthy (Gen 13). Its very possible that the angels were targeted because they were seen as particularly vulnerable / poor. They arrive in Sodom expecting to sleep in the streets (!, 19:2) and presumably, they looked the part.

I believe this fact - the sleeping in the streets - is a critical element to the story. Its not that Sodomites had a fear of strangers, its that they had a love for taking advantage of the defenseless.

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  • Interesting idea. Are there any sources that say this also? – Bruce James Feb 28 '13 at 19:54
  • I think it fits very well with the text - so to that extent, the Bible says it. :). If I find any traditional sources, I'll be sure to post. – Ben Feb 28 '13 at 19:57
  • Re "expecting to sleep in the streets": according to midrashim (citation needed) S'dom was known for lack of hospitality: so even a rich person would need to sleep in the streets (or buy/rent a house, I suppose). I doubt there were inns. – msh210 Feb 28 '13 at 21:30
  • Why not inns, or some other kind of pay-for-stay? Its a city. (Parenthetically, its city-ness is referenced throughout the story.) When someone runs into Avraham, out being a nomad in the countryside, they might not expect an inn. But in a city, I would imagine that its expected. – Ben Feb 28 '13 at 22:08

Sodom was about "no freeloaders." You try to mooch, we rape you.

Lot came in with money and was accepted. Hence, no rape.

Remember, the Jewish interpretation is that Sodom wasn't about lust. It was about power and cruelty; rape was just a tool in the box.

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Continuing from @Shalom's point, Lot carried a degree of protekzia by virtue of the fact that he was Avraham's nephew.

It writes in the Zohar I:108a and then continues in 108b that Lot tried to settle in other cities, but no other cities accepted him other than Sodom, whose king did so out of respect for Avraham.

So it would seem that he had royal approval, which would in turn, have possibly guaranteed his protection.

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  • I seem to remember in the midrash that Lot told the townspeople what would Avraham say. – interested Aug 31 at 15:28

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