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Genesis 13:10 has the following verse:

וַיִּשָּׂא־ל֣וֹט אֶת־עֵינָ֗יו וַיַּרְא֙ אֶת־כָּל־כִּכַּ֣ר הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן כִּ֥י כֻלָּ֖הּ מַשְׁקֶ֑ה לִפְנֵ֣י ׀ שַׁחֵ֣ת יְהוָ֗ה אֶת־סְדֹם֙ וְאֶת־עֲמֹרָ֔ה כְּגַן־יְהוָה֙ כְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם בֹּֽאֲכָ֖ה צֹֽעַר׃

Translation of bold:

because it was all well-watered before Hashem destroyed Sodom and Amora

Are there any other places in Tanach where this kind of explicit foreshadowing happens? Why is it necessary here?

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    Bereishit 36:31 "And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel."
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 29 '14 at 18:44
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    @IsaacMoses I can't give you any reputation if you insist on leaving answers in the comment field. Oct 29 '14 at 18:46
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    Ibid. 2:5 "No shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground;" Granted, these aspects of Creation were covered in Chapter 1, but this is the beginning of a new account of Creation, and at this point, their creation is a future event that's being referred to now.
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 29 '14 at 18:50
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    The beginning of Lech L'cha refers to m'kom Sh'chem, which the N'tziv says means "the site of the future city of Sh'chem".
    – msh210
    Nov 24 '14 at 7:11
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Are there any other places in Tanach where this kind of explicit foreshadowing happens?

There are probably a few, but, one memorable one for me is Shmot 16:35 that states that B'nai Yisra'el ate the manna for 40 years until they arrived at the border of Cana'an. Obviously, it hadn't yet happened.

As to why such cases occur, in general, this fits into the notion that the events in the Torah were not written in sequential order, necessarily, and were edited, later.

I have to explore the message behind this specific verse that you mentioned, as to what important info the Torah is telling us.

Offhand, I think the Torah is emphasizing Lot's character, He was surrounded by righteous men, esp. his uncle Avraham, who took care of him and showed him the acts of kindness. At the point that there was an argument between the herdsmen, and Avraham gives Lot the option to chose where to live, Lot specifically plants his tent in Sodom - an area that was corrupt, and Lot knew that it was corrupt. Yet, it didn't bother him to live there, anyway.

That's what I heard in drashot from my rav and a few Divrei Torah in the past. Have to further research why the Torah foreshadows, here.


Follow up - See Rash"i and Sifsei Chachami, mark 'ayin on the verse you mentioned. The Torah mentions the destruction of Sedom as a decription of the previous phrase that the land was "completely watered". I.e. - Sedom was fertile / watered only prior to the destruction, but it wasn't that way afterwards.

I have trouble understanding that this is a decription of the previous phrase, since there is an etnachta prior to it, thus, making it seem like the description is disconnected from its subject. Maybe an etnachta doesn't form this type of disconnect?

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  • +1 - I don't think this is related to the rule of events not being in sequential order, because here it is not happening out of order, just being told about out of order. (I.e. it is more basic than that rule) Oct 29 '14 at 18:43
  • This is written in the Torah, given to the Bnei Yisrael at Har Sinai. The torah has to point out that this area, currently well known as destroyed and devastaed, was at that time lush and fertile. It is not the same as the man as the destruction had occurred 401 years before (one year before the birth of Yitzchak) Oct 29 '14 at 23:31
  • @sabbahillel not sure what you are responding to, but why does the Torah need to point it out? They'll figure it out as they read on. Nov 12 '14 at 19:19
  • @YeZ I am responding to the comparison with the man, which is not the same. This is similar to other explanations (such as the city Balak came from) which are needed for the time that the people received the Torah. Nov 12 '14 at 22:55
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Other answers have explored why the Torah mentions the future in your case, so i'm just going to bring another case of this.

Bereishit 32:33:

עַל-כֵּן לֹא-יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה, אֲשֶׁר עַל-כַּף הַיָּרֵךְ, עַד, הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה: כִּי נָגַע בְּכַף-יֶרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב, בְּגִיד הַנָּשֶׁה.

Explaining this particular case, perhaps the Torah inserted it here simply because it's on that subject.

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Another one that Rashi actually points out is in Bereishis 2:14 d.h. Kush v'Ashur.

As far as why here, I would suggest that it brings out the unbelievable unnatural event of the destruction, much like Eiliyahu watering everything before the heavenly fire struck.

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  • But the one that always blows my mind is the one @Isaac mentioned. All the rest at least happened before Moshe gave us the Torah. The list of Edomite kings had all the mipharshim there scrambling.
    – user6591
    Oct 29 '14 at 20:14
  • I like the suggestion. Oct 29 '14 at 23:25

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