As in the Days of Lot, Likewise, as in the Day of the Son of Man
It was not accidental for the Messiah to explicitly say, “And as it came to be in the days of Noach” and “likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot”.
And as it came to be in the days of Noach so also shall it be in the days of the Son of man. … And likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot: They were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building, but on the day Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed all. It shall be the same in the day the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he who shall be on the house-top, and his goods in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember the wife of Lot! Whoever seeks to save his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall preserve it. (Luk 17:26-33)
Before proceeding in this article concerning ‘as in the days of Lot’, the reader is encourage to first read Chapter “The Signs of the Coming of the Messiah“ from the present author’s book Reckoning of Time. In this chapter the present author has exposed the reader to his view concerning the signs of the Messiah’s coming and more particularly, as it will be natural to connect them, the Eleventh Sign in this chapter: As In The Days Of Noach.
We should not think that it was accidental for the Messiah to link both events ‘the days of Noach’ and ‘the days of Lot’ in such a way as to explicitly say, And as it came to be in the days of Noach so also shall it be in the days of the Son of man. … And likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot.
And since this is how the Messiah taught His disciples, what would be more natural for us to study them together and this order: ‘as in the days of Noach’ and ‘as in the days of Lot.’
Many today believe that sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was the rampant homosexuality in the cities and that was the reason why they were destroyed with fire. Those two cities were so notorious for sexual perversions that even today, thousand years later, the word “sodomy” for homosexuality, that came from the name of the most infamous city: Sodom, is still around.
And do not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination. (Lev 18:22)
The Torah forbids to lie with a male as with a female (see also Rom 1:27). All heathen were more or less addicted to the homosexuality and temple prostitution that even the Israelites did not keep themselves clean from this abomination (Jdg 19:22).
Although, the homosexuality was a major factor of decision making concerning the fate of the wicked cities, it was not the only one. There was more to it than just that. We read concerning the wickedness of Sodom from Josephus’ Antiquities, Book 1, Chapter 11:1, thus:
About this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of their riches and great wealth; they became unjust towards men, and impious towards God, insomuch that they did not call to mind the advantages they received from him: they hated strangers, and abused themselves with Sodomitical practices. God was therefore much displeased at them, and determined to punish them for their pride, and to overthrow their city, and to lay waste their country, until there should neither plant nor fruit grow out of it. …
From Josephus and other historical sources we learn that the Sodomites and the Gomorrans were ill-famed with the cruelty towards strangers and pride on account of their riches and wealth in addition to the homosexuality that was widely spread in their land. That was the reality in the days of Lot, Yeshua was talking about when He said: And likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot … It shall be the same in the day the Son of man is revealed.
With that being said, we may continue in Yeshua’s teaching as He has said, as it came to be in the days of Lot.
How many were called to leave in the days of Lot?
In the Book of Genesis we see that Lot separated himself from Avraham and settled in the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. Until that moment it is not obvious from the text that Lot had any family, later in Gen 19:8, when the angels came to save from the imminent destruction, we see that he had two virgin daughters who lived with him. Those were the same daughters who left Sodom with him.
We also learn from Gen 19:12 that the angels asked Lot whether Lot had anyone else: a son-in-law, sons, and other daughters. In Gen 19:14 we learn that he had two more daughters who were married and did not live with him.
And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place, for Yehovah is going to destroy this city! But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be as one joking. And when morning dawned, the messengers urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” (Gen 19:14-15)
Therefore, we find that Lot had four daughters, but he left the city with only two of them. We should notice that the angels did not show any interest in saving his wife. Most likely, Lot’s wife was a Sodomitess, because we do not see her with Lot prior to the separation from Avraham.
If so, the angels knew before hand that she would not leave her favorite city, Sodom. In Gen 19:15, however, we see that they did refer to her, but only to urge him to hurry and leave the doomed city as soon as possible. They did that because they had the instruction to save Lot and all with him who were willing to leave, we assume. The angels could not do their job while Lot was still in the city doomed for destruction (Gen 19:16, 22).
From the whole context of the passage it seems that the two angels had all night to convince Lot and his family to leave. And when the morning dawned, they urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” (Gen 19:15)
And when there was no time any longer to waste, they brought them outside and saying, “Flee for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed.” (Gen 19:17)
In other words, the messengers warned Lot that it sufficed for him to save lives and not to worry about possessions which they must leave behind. The mountain they were told to escape to was called afterwards the mountains of Moav (Moab) named after his son from his older daughter.
Probably, Lot was hesitating or unwilling to leave without his wife and the two married daughters. And probably, the married daughters of Lot did not leave, because either they loved the city as their mother did, or because their evil Sodomite husbands did not permit them. Either way they remained in Sodom.
We do not know either whether the two virgin daughters obeyed their father just because they were too young to disobey him, or because they were not stained by the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah. We do not know. What we know is that the married ones, however, remained in the city with their husbands and possessions and perished in the aftermath of the destruction.
How many left Sodom?
In the escape Lot’s wife was tempted by the attractions of the cities. She looked back and something strange happened right there. She looked back from behind him and became a post of salt. Lot and his two daughters fled to the mountain and were saved, but she perished. (Gen 19:26)
We read in Josephus‘ Antiquities, Book 1, Chapter 11:4 thus concerning the dramatic events in the days of Lot,
…But Lot’s wife continually turning back to view the city as she went from it, and being too nicely inquisitive what would become of it, although God had forbidden her so to do, was changed into a pillar of salt; for I have seen it, and it remains at this day. Now he and his daughters fled to a certain small place, encompassed with the fire, and settled in it: it is to this day called Zoar, for that is the word which the Hebrews use for a small thing. There it was that he lived a miserable life, on account of his having no company, and his want of provisions.
This pillar of salt, we see in the account of the Antiquities of the Jews, was still standing in the days of Josephus (1 CE), as it was standing in the days of Lot. He was very explicit to say that he had seen it. This is how powerful message Elohim left for the next generations to remember what happened in the days of Lot.
But we should note another call to flee to the mountains made more than nineteen centuries later:
So when you see the ‘abomination that lays waste,’ spoken of by Dani’el the prophet, set up in the set-apart place” – he who reads, let him understand. Then let those who are in Yehudah flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the house-top not come down to take whatever out of his house. And let him who is in the field not turn back to get his garments. And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing children in those days! And pray that your flight does not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. (Mat 24:15-20)
The Messiah, quoting from the Book of Daniel, prophesied concerning the end-time. He warns us that we shall witness another abomination: “abomination that lays waste.” We cannot miss to note the point the Messiah wants to make here and the connection with the abomination that laid waste in the days of Lot.
Here, however, the Messiah is prophesying about the last forty-two months of the world when the abomination spoken of by Daniel will take place in the set-apart place. Again, the Messiah very intentionally linked the abomination in the day of His returned with the abomination in the days of Lot, when He said: And likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot … It shall be the same in the day the Son of man is revealed.
Although, He referred to different abominations, that lays waste in the Set-apart place and the abomination in the days of Lot, it is not so hard to see the broader context of abomination: the gay parades in Jerusalem and the rampant homosexuality in Sodom as in the days of Lot. Yeshua’s comparison was not accidental.
A further reading in Dan 9:27, Dan 11:31 and Dan 12:11 seems to indicate that those living or visiting Israel at the time when the abomination is set up in Jerusalem, are to flee to the mountains.
This is exactly what the messenger said to Lot and this is exactly what the Messiah is saying: So when you see the ‘abomination that lays waste,’ spoken of by Dani’el the prophet, set up in the set-apart place” – he who reads, let him understand. Then let those who are in Yehudah flee to the mountains.
The two stories are centuries apart, but the message is the same: those who will be found worthy are told to flee to a place of refuge without hesitation and without looking back. It will in the day of the Messiah, as it was in the days of Lot: Flee!
The story of Lot’s wife is a good enough example to consider Messiah’s warning seriously. And for more insight on the place of refuge, as the present author sees it, the reader is encourage to refer to the article The Hidden Remnant.
After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other wicked cities, we see Lot with his two daughters.
Later they became pregnant by their father after they intoxicated him with wine and laid with him (Gen 19:36). And the first-born daughter bore a son and called his name Mo’av, and he became the father of the nation of Mo’av. (Gen 19:37) And the younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi: the father of the nation of Ammon. (Gen 19:38)
When the destruction of wicked cities took place Avraham set out from there to the land of the South (Gen 20:1). From the Sages we learn that he did this in order to distance himself from Lot, probably, because he had acquired a bad reputation, when he had been intimate with his daughters. We find this in from Gen. Rabbah 52:3, 4.
So, Lot was found righteous to be spared from the abomination that laid waste in Sodom and Gomorrah.
In Gen 18 we witness Avraham’s plea before YHVH to save the wicked cities for the sake of fifty, forty-five, forty, thirty, twenty, … ten righteous! “Suppose there are found ten [righteous]?”, humbly he asked YHVH. And He said,
I would not destroy it for the sake of ten. Gen 18:32
Not even ten were found in Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot.
How many people did leave the abomination that lays waste? Three. Only three righteous were found worthy of salvation; eight were called, four left, but only three made it to the mountains.
Likewise, it will be in the day of the Messiah’s return: “And likewise, as it came to be in the days of Lot.”
How many will make it today, as in the days of Lot?
But, how many will be called to flee and how will actually make it?
Apostle Shimon Kefa (Peter) calls Lot righteous soul, as we read,
and having reduced to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah condemned them to destruction – having made them an example to those who afterward would live wickedly, and rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the indecent behavior of the wicked. For day after day that righteous man, dwelling among them, tortured his righteous soul by seeing and hearing their lawless works. The Lord knows how to rescue the reverent ones from trial and to keep the unrighteous unto the day of judgment, to be punished, (2Pe 2:7-9)
How many souls will be found righteous in the Day of the Son of man?
Many souls will be eating and drinking; they will be buying and selling, they will be planting seeds and building nice houses, making career, but as on the day Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed all, so will be in the day the Messiah is revealed.
In that day, he who will be called to flee to the mountains, let him not come back to take his possessions and likewise let him not turn back to sigh sadly over what he is leaving behind. Because when the time comes to leave, the biggest stumbling block before many will be the material possessions they have acquired, the career they have built, stocks, etc. This is especially true for those living in the West. Many will not be willing to leave behind their stuff.
The Messiah is warning us concerning this:
For where your treasure is, there your heart shall be also. (Luk 12:34)
As it came to be in the days of Noach and in the days of Lot, likewise, it will be in the day of the Messiah’s return: many will be called, some will leave, but only a remnant will make it.
This is what Yeshua the Messiah is teaching us by saying, “likewise, as it came to be in the days of Noach and in the days of Lot …”
As in the days of Noach, many were called but only eight souls were saved; as in the days of Lot, eight were called, but only three were saved.
The attractions and seductions of this world will deceive many to “look back” with nostalgia towards the life style they leave behind and this may cost them a lot, as in the days of Lot.
This seems to be the warning of Yeshua the Messiah when He said,
Remember the wife of Lot!
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.