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Daily Israel Report

Judaism: Lot and the Angels

"And he urged them exceedingly" 19;3.
Published: Friday, November 02, 2012 8:03 AM




Lot owed his life to the fact that he urged the visitors to enter his house. Had he failed to do so, he would not have been besieged by the men of Sodom, and he would not have been rescued by the wayfarers whom he heroically had protected at the risk of his own life.

This is another instance of Hashem’s lesson that kindliness to others is a prelude to greatness (see 18:10), for Hashem "desires kindliness" (Micheh 7:18). Because of his exceptional hospitality, he was not only delivered from death (see 19:16), but he thereby set into motion the train of events that led up to the episode of Ruth who was he mother of the house of David.

Thus Lot earned the vast distinction of being the remote progenitor, through the maternal side, of the house of David.

"He urged them exceedingly": had he urged them weakly, the Messengers would not have consented; and all would have been lost. Because "he urged them exceedingly" and thereby demonstrated the strength of his desire to follow his great teacher’s example, he was rescued and the house of David was rescued with him.

The Torah describes at length the hospitality of Lot. "And Lot saw and he arose to meet them and he bowed down with his face to the earth" (19:1) almost like Abraham, except that Abraham "saw and ran to meet them" (18:2). "And he urged them exceedingly... and he made for them a feast, and he baked unleavened bread" (19:3), and he defended them despite the peril from the attacking throng (19:6-8).

We discern three reasons for the Torah’s description of Lot’s virtue:

1) To demonstrate the greatness of his teacher Abraham, to whom Lot owed his good qualities;

2) To demonstrate that it was due to Lot’s hospitality that he was rescued from Sodom;

3) To declare the reason why there came forth from Lot such a one as Ruth, whose kindliness to Naomi (Ruth 2:11-12) caused her to become the progenitress of the house of David; thus Abraham’s efforts upon Lot were not lost, but finally brought fruit after many generations.

It can therefore be said that the house of David was founded (on both sides) by Abraham.

(From "The Beginning")