Who Was Lot in the Bible?

Lot Was a Man Who Settled for Less

Who Was Lot in the Bible?
Lot and his family fleeing Sodom. Catherine Leblanc / Getty Images

Lot in the Bible was the nephew of the Old Testament patriarch Abraham. His name means "to conceal" or "cover." Lot was also the progenitor of the Moabites and the Ammonites, who became longstanding enemies of Israel.

Lot was a man who seemed to be greatly influenced by his environment. As long as he accompanied his godly uncle Abraham, he managed to stay out of trouble.

Lot in the Bible

  • Known for: Lot was the son of Haran, Abraham’s brother. He accompanied Abraham on his journey to the land of promise but later moved to Sodom, a place where he and his family were surrounded by sin and corruption. When they fled the city to escape destruction, His wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.
  • Bible References: Lot's life is featured in Genesis chapters 13, 14, and 19. He is also mentioned in Deuteronomy 2:9, 19; Psalm 83:8; Luke 17:28-29, 32; and 2 Peter 2:7.
  • Accomplishments: Lot made his flocks grow to the point where he and Abraham had to part ways because there was not enough grazing land for both of them. He learned much about the one true God from his uncle, Abraham.
  • Occupation: Lot was a successful livestock owner and Sodom city official.
  • Hometown: Lot was born in Ur of the Chaldeans.
  • Family Tree:
    Father - Haran
    Uncle - Abraham
    Wife - Unnamed
    Two Daughters - Unnamed

When Lot got away from Abraham's good example and moved to the city of Sodom, he knew he was in a place of sin. Peter says Lot was distressed by the evil going on about him, yet he did not work up the initiative to leave Sodom.

Despite his waywardness, God considered Lot and his family righteous, so he saved them. On the verge of Sodom's destruction, two angels led Lot, his wife and two daughters away.

Lot's wife turned and looked back, whether from curiosity or longing, we don't know. Immediately she turned into a pillar of salt.

Panicked because they were living in a wilderness cave where there were no men, Lot's two daughters got him drunk and committed incest with him. Perhaps if Lot had raised his daughters more strictly in God's ways, they would not have gone through with such a desperate plan.

Even so, God made good come out of it. The older daughter's son was named Moab. God gave Moab a section of land in Canaan. One of his descendants was named Ruth. Ruth, in turn, is named as one of the ancestors of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

Strengths

  • Lot was loyal to his uncle, Abraham.
  • He was a diligent worker and overseer.

Weakness

  • Lot could have been a great man, but he let himself get distracted.

Life Lessons

Following God and living up to his potential for us requires constant effort. Like Lot, we are surrounded by a corrupt, sinful society. Lot could have left Sodom and made a place for himself, his wife, and daughters where they could serve God. Instead, he accepted the status quo and stayed where he was. We can't flee from our society, but we can live God-honoring lives in spite of it.

Lot had a wonderful teacher and holy example in his uncle Abraham, but when Lot left to go out on his own, he did not follow in Abraham's footsteps. Attending church regularly keeps us focused on God. A Spirit-filled pastor is one of God's gifts to his people. Listen to God's Word at church. Let yourself be teachable. Resolve to live a life pleasing to your heavenly Father.

Key Takeaways

  • Change is hard. Lot's conscience told him he should leave Sodom, but he preferred the familiar, even if it was bad for him and his family. Abraham had broken away from his home in Ur, trusting in God against the unknown. Lot should have done as his uncle did. Instead, he settled for less.
  • Like Lot, we are sinful by nature. Even after we are saved, we are subject to backsliding. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide us into good choices.
  • Jesus mentioned Lot's wife (Luke 17:31–32) as an example of clinging to the past instead of going with God. When we lose our old life for Christ, he gives us a new, eternal life.
  • Jesus also compared the end times to "the days of Lot" (Luke 17:28–29). Unlike the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah who disbelieved God's warning of coming destruction, believers must live in readiness for His sudden return.

Key Verses

Genesis 12:4
So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. (NIV)

Genesis 13:12
Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. (NIV)

Genesis 19:15
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished." (NIV)

Genesis 19:36-38
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. (NIV)

Luke 17:28–29
And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building—until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. (NLT)

Sources

  • Lot. Tyndale Bible Dictionary (p. 826).
  • Lot. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 1052).
  • Lot, Son of Haran. The Lexham Bible Dictionary.
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Zavada, Jack. "Who Was Lot in the Bible?" Learn Religions, Mar. 3, 2022, learnreligions.com/lot-nephew-of-abraham-701171. Zavada, Jack. (2022, March 3). Who Was Lot in the Bible? Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/lot-nephew-of-abraham-701171 Zavada, Jack. "Who Was Lot in the Bible?" Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/lot-nephew-of-abraham-701171 (accessed July 7, 2022).