Homosexuality, Incest and Rape in the Holy Bible

Lot and His Daughters by Hendrick Goltzius (1616)

During the Easter holidays I thought it would be appropriate to read a little further in the Holy Book, and this time I came upon a rather bizarre chapter, namely the story about Lot and his two daughters, and how they seduced their father to have sex with them. But first a little introduction. All Christians know that homosexuality is strictly forbidden by their God, which is also why he decided to destroy the two sinful cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. Here’s an excerpt from Genesis 19:1-8 in the New International Version:

    The two angels [disguised as ordinary men] arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
    “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
    But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
    Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

Now, I don’t know what you make of this, but I find it very strange that Lot would prostitute his two virgin daughters to be gang raped by the horny crowd rather than letting any harm happen to his visitors. Apparently rape is okay with God as long as it doesn’t happen to his fellow men!

Anyway, Sodom and Gomorrah was completely destroyed the next day and Lot and his two daughters were the only survivors of God’s wrath (Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back, as you may remember). They first escaped to a small town called Zoar and then proceeded to live in a mountain cave, Genesis 19:30-38:

    Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
    That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
    The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
    So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.

Again, I find this very strange since incest is strictly forbidden by God as well. Even punishable by death. Of course, Lot might be excused because he was drunk and couldn’t remember a thing, but then again, how was he even able to perform a sexual act in his drunkenness? Also, I find it hard to believe that his daughters would do what the story says. Perhaps it was the other way around, namely that Lot had a few drinks of wine, got horny and then raped his daughters. After all, women were considered the property of men in those days. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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