101 Bible Secrets
Bible Secret Number 84 

Was Incest Justified?

People have wondered why Lot’s daughters committed incest with their father. Such an act would naturally be held in disdain and without excuse by ordinary people. Is there any reason why they did what they did other than just sexual desire?
 

The Old Covenant legislation prohibited such actions as those committed by Lot’s daughters with their father (Leviticus 18:6,7 etc.). In the New Testament the apostle Paul was horrified that one of the Corinthian Christians was sexually intimate with his own stepmother (I Corinthians 5:1). Certainly, the incestuous actions of Lot’s daughters cannot be held in good repute, yet there are some interesting circumstances involved in the episode that may relieve them of intentional guilt.

Note this. When the whole valley of Jordan was destroyed by fire and "went up as the smoke of a furnace" (Genesis 19:28), the daughters of Lot (who escaped with their father) made a big mistake in their interpretation of that event. Since the destruction was so thorough, they came to the conclusion that the whole world had been destroyed. "Our father is old, and there is NOT A MAN in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth" (Genesis 19:31). They came to believe that there had been an end of the world and that the whole earth had been destroyed by a divine holocaust and they were the only ones left, along with their father.

There were some reasons for believing that the end of the world had come and that God had saved only those three alive. Note that the great fiery destruction occurred in the 10th generation from the Flood of Noah. It is also interesting that God destroyed the earth with the Flood of Noah in the 10th generation from Adam. Perhaps the girls thought God would destroy it again 10 generations later. It was made plain that God would not destroy the earth any more by water (Genesis 9:15), thus the future destruction could logically come by fire. And indeed, revelation proves this to be the case (II Peter 3:7). All the biblical references to judgment for our end of the age have to do with fire, not water.

Lot’s daughters may well have thought that since God is consistent, he may well have designed the 10th generation from Noah to be the time for the destruction by fire as the 10 generation from Adam was the time God destroyed the earth by water. Certainly the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was very typical of the future judgment by fire to come on the earth, and we even find this referred to in the New Testament (Jude 7), and those fires have gone out. [See Appendix 5, "Where Is the Lake of Fire".] Though Lot’s daughters were wrong as to the time of Judgment because the whole earth was not destroyed as they imagined, they probably committed their incest in circumstances which they felt justified.

This is even more possible when we consider the next point. There was a prophecy given to Eve that one of her seed would come who would bruise the head of Satan under his heel (Genesis 3:15). This personage, through later revelation, was reckoned as a Messiah who would redeem people from their sins. Such a person was prophesied to appear. Yet, up to the time of Lot no such person had come to earth. Since the daughters of Lot considered themselves and their father the only ones left in all the earth, the prophesied "seed" could only come forth by birth. They may have felt exonerated in their incestuous acts by being the instruments to bring the prophecy to pass (through their rescue of the human species). What a shock they must have got when they found that only the Jordan Valley was destroyed. Abraham was still alive, and all Canaan survived. Egypt, Babylon and all other areas were spared, and they were now with child by their own father.


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