Lot’s Sin

Genesis 19:30-38—”How can the Tawrat say that the prophet Lot slept with his own daughters? Saying such a thing of a prophet is disgraceful and insulting.”

This is the record of a terrible event. As we read this story we think these actions unthinkable and disturbing. Reading this story makes us feel uncomfortable—yet we need to look at this section carefully to understand rightly what happened.

The first question that we need to ask is: what was the extent of Lot’s sin? Firstly, he can be accused of drunkenness. In making this accusation we need to remember that laws prohibiting the consumption of alcohol did not exist in the time of Lot. This law came much later.

Secondly, we need to ask to what extent Lot was involved in incest. While not wanting to justify the situation, it is difficult to prove that he acted with evil intent. Firstly, verse 33 records that he was not aware of the events – either because he was asleep or unconscious. Secondly, his daughters thought it necessary to drug their father before this happened because they knew that if he was sober he would have not gotten involved in their evil scheme.

Many people have a misconception that all the prophets were sinless, perfect models of righteousness. Yet we know from both the Qur’ān and Bible that even David, Moses, and Solomon were guilty of major sins. The Tawrat gives no indication that Lot was a righteous example, but instead makes clear that his drunkenness and incest were wrong.

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