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1 HOW GOD OVERTHREW THE NATION OF THE SODOMITES, OUT OF HIS WRATH AGAINST THEM FOR THEIR SINS.
2 These sons-in-law to Lot, as they are called, Genesis 19:12-14, might be so styled, because they were betrothed to Lot's daughters, though not yet married to them. See the note on Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 13. sect. 1.
3 Of the War, B. IV. ch. 8. sect. 4.
4 This pillar of salt was, we see here, standing in the days of Josephus, and he had seen it. That it was standing then is also attested by Clement of Rome, contemporary with Josephus; as also that it was so in the next century, is attested by Irenaeus, with the addition of an hypothesis, how it came to last so long, with all its members entire.—Whether the account that some modern travelers give be true, that it is still standing, I do not know. Its remote situation, at the most southern point of the Sea of Sodom, in the wild and dangerous deserts of Arabia, makes it exceeding difficult for inquisitive travelers to examine the place; and for common reports of country people, at a distance, they are not very satisfactory. In the mean time, I have no opinion of Le Clerc's dissertation or hypothesis about this question, which can only be determined by eye-witnesses. When Christian princes, so called, lay aside their foolish and unchristian wars and quarrels, and send a body of fit persons to travel over the east, and bring us faithful accounts of all ancient monuments, and procure us copies of all ancient records, at present lost among us, we may hope for full satisfaction in such inquiries; but hardly before.
5 I see no proper wicked intention in these daughters of Lot, when in a case which appeared to them of unavoidable necessity, they procured themselves to be with child by their father. Without such an unavoidable necessity, incest is a horrid crime; but whether in such a case of necessity, as they apprehended this to be, according to Josephus, it was any such crime, I am not satisfied. In the mean time, their making their father drunk, and their solicitous concealment of what they did from him, shows that they despaired of persuading him to an action which, at the best, could not but be very suspicious and shocking to so good a man.
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