Tammuz 23, 5761 / July
Tammuz 21, 5764 / July 10, 2004
Tammuz 21, 5767 / July 7, 2007
Tammuz 21, 5770 / July 3, 2010
Tammuz 21, 5773 / June 29, 2013
Tammuz 24, 5776 / July 30, 2016
Tammuz 24, 5779 / July 27, 2019
Vayabou sheni /
Then Came the Two
SCRIPTURES should be read first
(V. 1) Then came the two angels to
Sodom – one for each mission: one to destroy Sodom and one to save Lot. They got
from Hebron to Sodom (50 miles S-SE) very quickly (by evening)! They met Lot at
the gates to the city, where elders and judges sit.
Lot saw the angels as men, evidenced
by his feeding them (v.3), and the men of the city called them men (v.5). The
angels came appearing as men, saying, “. . . We shall spend the night in the
square”, to test how the men of Sodom would treat them. Yet Lot urged them
strongly, so they turned aside – they did not go through the dangerous streets
of the city, but took a less noticeable route to Lot’s house, and entered with
Lot prepared a feast for them, and
baked unleavened bread – it was still the seven-day Feast of deliverance, that
began when Avraham served them.
they lay down, all the men of Sodom surrounded the house (not just disreputable
rabble, but representative citizens), to confront this “outsider-judge” who
would defy their social order; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where
are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have
relations with them.” This is not only sexual sin, but terroristic coercion,
opposite to God’s hospitality laws. [See Isaiah 1:10, 3:9, 13:19, Jeremiah
49:18, Ezekiel 16:46-57, Amos 4:11, Lamentations 4:6.]
(V.6) But Lot
went out to them and shut the door, and said, “Now behold, I have two
daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to
you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as
they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But their response was, “Stand
aside.” “Usually a man will fight to the death for the honor of his wife and
daughters, to slay or be slain, yet this man offers his daughters to be
dishonored!” – (Tanchuma).
they accused Lot, as a sojourner, of acting like their judge, and said; “now
we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed against Lot until the
door was about to break. But the angels reached out and brought Lot into the
house with them, and they struck the Sodomites with blindness, so that they
wearied themselves trying to find the doorway: these people were so adamant,
that they would not stop when struck blind! They were so fixed on the path of
sin that their doom was sealed and announced. [Literally, the Sodomites accused
Lot of being “judge of the judgments”, meaning he was judging their laws to be
wrong: whence it is taken that Sodom had laws against hospitality – to keep all
their wealth for themselves. Thus visitors were made to “pay” for entering.]
(V.12) Then the
angels said to Lot, “. . . Your son-in-law, and your sons, and your
daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for
we are about to destroy this place.” And Lot went out and spoke to his
sons-in-law, to whom his daughters were betrothed, and said, “Up, get out of
this place, for Yahweh will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his
sons-in-law to be jesting. In the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying,
“Up, take your wife and your two daughters, who are here, lest you be swept
away in the punishment of the city.” BUT LOT HESITATED. So the men seized
his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the
compassion of Yahweh was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside
the city. And it came about when they had brought them outside, that one said, “Escape
for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley;
escape to the mountains, lest you be swept away.” BUT LOT SAID TO THEM, “OH
NO, my lords! . . . I cannot escape to the mountains, lest the disaster overtake
me and I die; now behold, this town (Zoar, the smallest of “the five cities of
the plain” called “Sodom and Gomorrah”) is near enough to flee to, and it is
small. Please, let me escape there (is it not insignificant?) that my life may
be saved.” And the angel said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request
also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there,
for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”
How often do
we “hesitate”, or say to God’s instruction, “Oh, no! I’d like to do this
Abraham had an
attitude problem: he would put his wife in danger to save his own skin. Lot had
a greater problem: he outright offered his daughters.
and Sarah worked together for God: they wanted children to build God’s kingdom,
when God said, “move for My sake”, they left home; they both worked to serve
wayfarers. Lot had a dysfunctional family: Lot alone invited wayfarers under his
part of the roof, and prepared a meal; his wife was not party to the service;
when God said, “move to save your life”, Lot hesitated, then said, “Oh, no”, and
his wife looked back.
(V.23) In the
morning when Lot came to Zoar, Yahweh rained brimstone and fire from heaven on
all the valley with it’s four cities (leaving out Zoar), killing all the
inhabitants and plant life. But Lot’s wife, from behind him, looked back; and
she became a pillar of salt.
When God calls
us out from a life of serving the desires of this world, we are not to longingly
“At evening time, behold, there is
terror! Before morning they are no more. Such will be the portion of those who
plunder us, and the lot of those who pillage us.”
(V.30) And Lot, being afraid that
Zoar would also be destroyed, in spite of the angel’s assurance, went up and
stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; and he stayed in a
cave, with his two daughters. Lots two daughters thought that the rest of the
earth was destroyed, and there could never be mates for them, and man would
therefore perish from the earth. So these two inexperienced young ladies hatched
a plan to preserve mankind: they got their father too drunk to know what was
going on, then both raped him on consecutive nights. Lest one think that
conception is happenstance, they both conceived on their first attempt
(conception on one attempt being very rare). The first-born bore a son, and
called his name Moab (mo-Av: Of-his-father); he is the father of the Moabites.
The younger also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi (Son-of-my-people); he
is the father of the sons of Ammon.
When we have faith in an all-powerful
God, we wait for His provision, not making rash judgments contrary to God’s
word, and actions that lead to disaster.
(Going back to V. 27) Abraham arose
early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before Yahweh; and
he looked down toward five cities of the plain, and he saw the smoke of the land
ascending. Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that
God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow.
As with Lot, so with us: we are saved
by God’s remembering his covenant with Abraham.
“It was the same as happened 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 that Lot went
out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that
day, let not the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house go
down to take them away; and likewise let not the one who is in the field turn
back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life shall lose it, and
whoever loses his life shall preserve it.”
Is buying, selling, planting,
building, marrying – is this sin? Yes, if it is not to serve God. To have our
heart set on the creation, rather than on the creator – this is sin; everything
the person of this world does is sin. “Remember Lot’s wife”: let us “set our
hearts on things above” – (Colossians 3:2). If we seek to keep this world’s way
of life, we lose eternal life (not as “falling from grace”, but displaying that
we are not of the faith). We, too, may face this test when Yeshua returns.
2 Peter 2:4-10
For if God . . . turned the cities of
Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an
ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot,
vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: the Lord knows how to deliver
the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment
to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of
uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are
not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Who may dwell on Your holy hill? . . .
When we live whole-heartedly by God’s
standard of righteousness, when we hold Him in awe above all things on earth,
when we seek His way and trust everything to His care, then we can live
completely at peace, regardless of circumstances. And then also we are prepared,
for the Great Sabbath, to dwell with Him in righteousness.
We can be like Lot, greedy for the
riches of the low life, and end up with a dysfunctional family; or we can be
like Avraham, living on high ground, preparing for life in with God in Zion.
“Mi Yagur (Who may abide)
in Your tent” implies permanent residence of the soul in a glorious
dwelling. “Mi Yishkon (Who may dwell) on Your Holy Hill” refers to
Mount Moriah with the Holy Temple. What are the requirements for our souls to
dwell eternally in a glorious body, and to be permitted in God’s House?
The requirements relate to the
thoughts of our hearts, the words of our mouths, and our actions. This is not
“salvation by our own works,” but rather our future resurrection state, and our
goal here to be in fellowship with our Creator.
(V.2 & 5) “Who walks in perfect
innocence.” We are to walk before Him whole-heartedly, with assurance that
He will provide for everything that He wills for us to do. We are not to be
anxious about our future (Matthew 6:34).
We are not to seek to ‘climb the
ladder of success’ by stepping on others, but rather we are to seek the success
of others (). We are not to compete unfairly with business rivals. We are not to
seek interest when loaning to someone in need, but rather loan with willingness
to let it be a gift (Acts 20:35).
(V.2b - 3) “Who speaks truth in
his heart, and does not slander with his tongue.” We should take care to
avoid deceptive speech. If we agree to do something, and later discover it will
be unexpectedly expensive to us, we must not go back on our words.
We are not to defame another person:
this is considered murder, as it is destroying a person’s name (1 John 3:15);
slander includes both false and true statements that defame. (There are
situations where we are required to defame another, such as in protecting others
from danger, and testifying of witnessed criminal behavior to authorities.)
(V.4) We are to honor those who fear
Yahweh, but we are forbidden to exalt or flatter idolaters.
(V.2) “Does what is right”
refers to works. We are to be scrupulously honest in our dealings. We are to put
others before ourselves: consider our example – Yeshua. We are to write God’s
Words on our hearts to know how to follow Him – in other words, study! We are
not to be over-involved in this world’s ways. However, we are to be productive
here in whatever God has given us to do; we are to work to justify God’s
provision for us – that being a different perspective than scheming to amass
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who chose us from among all peoples by
giving us Your Torah.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
Reader 1* Amen 1
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate
of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face
to the ground. 2 And he said, "Now behold, my lords, please turn
aside into your servant's house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then
you may rise early and go on your way." They said however, "No, but we shall
spend the night in the square." 3 Yet he urged them strongly, so they
turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and
baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
Reader 2* Amen 4
Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the
house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5 and
they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight?
Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them." 6 But Lot
went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and
said, "Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8 "Now behold, I
have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them
out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men,
inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof." 9 But they
said, "Stand aside." Furthermore, they said, "This one came in as an alien, and
already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them." So
they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.
Reader 3* Amen 10
But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them,
and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the doorway of
the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves
trying to find the doorway. 12 Then the two men said to Lot, "Whom
else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and
whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; 13 for we
are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before
Yahweh that Yahweh has sent us to destroy it." 14 Lot went out and
spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, "Up, get
out of this place, for Yahweh will destroy the city." But he appeared to his
sons-in-law to be jesting.
Reader 4* Amen 15
When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Up, take your wife and your
two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the
city." 16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand
of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of Yahweh was
upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. 17
When they had brought them outside, one said, "Escape for your life! Do not look
behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or
you will be swept away." 18 But Lot said to them, "Oh no, my lords!
19 "Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you
have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life;
but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I
Reader 5* Amen 20
now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me
escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved." 21 He
said to him, "Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town
of which you have spoken. 22 "Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do
anything until you arrive there." Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar.
23 The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24
Then Yahweh rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh out of
heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all
the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But
his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Reader 6* Amen 27
Now Avraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood
before Yahweh; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and
toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land
ascended like the smoke of a furnace. 29 Thus it came about, when God
destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Avraham, and sent Lot
out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot
lived. 30 Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his
two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a
cave, he and his two daughters.
Reader 7* Amen 31
Then the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is not a
man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth. 32
"Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may
preserve our family through our father." 33 So they made their father
drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he
did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 On the following
day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Behold, I lay last night with my
father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with
him, that we may preserve our family through our father." 35 So they
made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with
him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus
both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37 The
firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites
to this day. 38 As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called
his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living
Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who selected good prophets, delighting
in their words which were spoken truthfully.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the
Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,
and the prophets of truth and
Isaiah 17:14 - 18:7
Reader 8* Amen 14
At evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they are no more. Such
will be the portion of those who plunder us and the lot of those who pillage us.
18:1 Alas, oh land of whirring wings which lies beyond the rivers of
Cush, 2 which sends envoys by the sea, even in papyrus vessels on the
surface of the waters. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a
people feared far and wide, a powerful and oppressive nation whose land the
rivers divide. 3 All you inhabitants of the world and dwellers on
earth, as soon as a standard is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and as
soon as the trumpet is blown, you will hear it.
Reader 9* Amen 4
For thus Yahweh has told me, "I will look from My dwelling place quietly like
dazzling heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest."
5 For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms and the flower
becomes a ripening grape, then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives
and remove and cut away the spreading branches. 6 They will be left
together for mountain birds of prey, and for the beasts of the earth; and the
birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them, and all the beasts of the
earth will spend harvest time on them. 7 At that time a gift of
homage will be brought to Yahweh of hosts from a people tall and smooth, even
from a people feared far and wide, a powerful and oppressive nation, whose land
the rivers divide – to the place of the name of Yahweh of hosts, even Mount
Psalm 15 (to be sung)
A Psalm of David
1 O Yahweh, who may abide in Your
tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity,
and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not
slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach
against his friend; 4 in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who
honors those who fear Yahweh; he swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 he does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe
against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
Reader 10* Amen 20
Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was
coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs
to be observed; 21nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There
it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst." 22 And He
said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will long to see one of the
days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 "They will say to
you, 'Look there! Look here!' Do not go away, and do not run after them. 24
"For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines
to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day. 25
"But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
26 "And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the
days of the Son of Man: 27 they were eating, they were drinking, they
were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah
entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Reader 11* Amen 28
"It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were
drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were
building; 29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained
fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 "It will be
just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 "On that
day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go
down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn
back. 32 "Remember Lot's wife. 33 "Whoever seeks to keep
his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34
"I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and
the other will be left. 35 "There will be two women grinding at the
same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. 36 "Two men
will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left." 37
And answering they said to Him, "Where, Lord?" And He said to them, "Where the
body is, there also the vultures will be gathered."
"Blessed are You, Yahweh
our God, King of the Universe,
Rock of Ages, righteous
throughout all generations.
You are the faithful God,
promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,
for all Your words are true
Faithful are You, Yahweh
our God, and faithful are Your words,
for no word of Yours shall
You are a faithful and
merciful God and King.
Blessed are You, Yahweh our
God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."