Geneology in the OT and incest

So we read in the bible that after the flood Lot had intimacy with his daughters. Now how does that connect with evolution? If the flood was not real or not in such a large scale why theres this scene in the bible? Why his daughters wanted to make children with him since we know from evolution there were some other thousands like of them at that time?

I don’t know why they did that. They may not have had any idea of any local population since their city had just been destroyed and they were living in a cave. I also don’t know why Lot offered his daughters for the mob that came to visit his house. Sounds like a pretty messed up family/city to me.


I think he offered them in case they kill them but hoping God would protect them. But even if they were a messed up family why did God chose them out? That’s it if you believe the narative is literal

Well, Lot’s daughters become the parents of the Moabites and the Ammonites, who were Israel’s enemies. So to the degree that they were “chosen,” it was not for a very desirable reason (from the Israelites’ perspective).

Well it’s not related to evolution at all.

There is a lot of arguments over why they did that. One thing they bring up often is the irony that previously Lot was willing to allow them to be raped to prevent the “men/angels” from being raped which must have been a terrifying experience for them. They were raised in a perverted city and so perhaps it was there way of getting revenge by raping him. There are a handful of other plot narratives but I’m on a short lunch and can’t dive into them.

But Lot , was ultimately considered righteous. A man, like anyone, who struggles with sin and despite living where he chose it seems he was distressed by the actions of those around him. After all he was willing to be hurt and his family to protect those under his blessing and roof.

2 Peter 2:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men.

I believe the reason is to do with carrying on their father’s line. I’ll do some checking and get back to you.

The short answer is because Lot was being a bit of a doughnut (as we say in my little patch of the UK). translation, he did something stupid.

The long answer is that the hospitality code of the ANE was sacred, and so whilst the men (angels) were under his roof they were under his care (cf Gen 19:8). When Lot realised that his door step sermon hadn’t swayed the angry mob, he panicked and in his own mind considered the rape of his virgin daughters preferable to the rape of his male guests. He decided to choose the lesser of two evils when he should have chosen neither. It is worth noting that it is only after Lot offers his daughters that the angels then strike the mob blind (Gen 19:10-11) - that says something about what the Lord thought about Lot’s idea, I think.

The story is problematic, in part because God is silent about it all and because Lot is implied to be righteous by virtue of the earlier conversation between God and Abraham. However, OT narratives often include embarrassing accounts of so called ‘heroes’ of the faith - often without God ever saying a direct word about it. It is also worth remembering that Lot, like every of OT believer was not declared righteous because of his actions but because of his faith in God. Finally, when viewed through the lens of biblical wisdom the problematic stories of the OT often offer great opportunities for growing in wisdom (by seeing folly in action) and developing a Christian ethic (by seeing unethical behaviour up close). That’s certainly true of Lot here in Gen 19. I think our response to Lot as we read Gen 19 is supposed to be, “what did you say that for Lot, you complete and utter doughnut!”


Yeah, this is the part that bothers me the most too – I can try to understand the cultural veneration of both hospitality and the male heir, but sometimes I wouldn’t mind a little divine commentary popping in here and there. :wink:


Those who write the history that survives and is accepted by future generations gain a level of control of the memes (Noosphere) that guides humankind’s future. What better revenge could the Israelites take on their enemies, the Moabites & Ammonites, than to spread into the future the calumny that these two societies (including modern Paletinians) were founded on incest? Could that party explain the (seemingly) irreconcilable enmity that prevails today? For those who believe the Bible, including the OT, is inerrant, this ‘explanation’ cannot be considered. However, IMHO, it is the most likely.
Al Leo


Interesting hmmm. But can you explain it better? Theres seems a little contradiction that the Isralite God would “chose” Israels enemies and lead them to whatever even spoke to them.

Pete Enns seems to think that the Israelites attributed infamous origins to their enemies, to justify Israel’s fighting against them. Examples were Noah cursing Kenaan, Ham’s offspring, for making fun of him; and Moab and Ammon being the products of incest.

According to the story in Genesis 19:

  1. The daughters did not know that there were any men left on earth, and they thought this was there only chance to have children, And a child was very important to a woman. (See verse 31: there is not a man…)

  2. Lot was so drunk that he did not know that he had been raped. (See verses 34 and 35)

30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and settled in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; so he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And 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 all the world. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, so that we may preserve offspring through our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night; and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. 34 On the next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Look, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, so that we may preserve offspring through our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also; and the younger rose, and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.

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On the bigger scale though it does seem like incest was a bit common among ancient Israelites. Half siblings and cousins seemed to be non taboo. It also seems to have been that way for many places. Asia, Europe, native Americans, Africa and early settlers all the way up through maybe even the 1800s it was common.

I can’t make it fit within my worldview. It seems disgusting. I would probably not hang out with someone who married their half sister or cousin. Even if it’s not technically a sin, I guess it would still bother me and make me feel weird. But I guess if you went back a few hundred years anywhere in the world it would not have been taboo.

In the Christian world of 200 years ago, I think the marriage of half-siblings would have been frowned on. This is due to the reliance on the Law of Moses for guidance which did not accept such marriages (despite the example of Abram and Sara).

It also says not to lie with your brothers wife, yet Onan did and it says not to take your wife’s sister yet Jacob did. So it seemed that some of them was taken with a grain of salt.

But either way, let’s say most was against half siblings. They were 100% on board with cousins.

Plus creationist, which is what many are and have been, believe that Adam and Eve’s kids took one another and then again with Noah’s grandkids. I also believe debates occurred concerning wife vs concubine.

In the case of Onan, the principles of kinsman redeemer seemed to be a genuine exception to the law’s around incest (although Onan does predate the law quite a bit). One reason for this is that the child produced from the union was seen to be of the dead husband’s line and, if male, considered the husbands heir. This is the real reason God strikes down Onan; he treats his brother’s wife as a prostitute. He wants the ‘perks’ of being kinsman redeemer without shouldering the duty of protecting his dead brothers family from injustice and poverty. Essentially Onan wanted a free, live-in prostitute and then when the widow ‘failed’ produce an heir, he could then claim his dead brother’s property as his own too. Such a move would trap his brother‘s widow in a lifetime of poverty and likely force to remain a defecto sexual slave in Onan’s household.

So culturally, I don’t think acting as kinsman redeemer was ‘seen’ as incest in the same way we see it today. The incest laws seems to have more to do with prearranged marriages, romantic relationships, infidelity, sexual abuse, etc.

Personally, I find this creationist approach very problematic. To think that God would create humanity knowing that there would need to be several generations of continuous and unavoidable incest only to later condemn incest as egregious sin - it just doesn’t fly with me.


My wife and I are reading one of Agatha Christie’s earliest mystery stories, “Secret Adversary,” written about the end of World War I, in which it’s considered normal for a man to propose marriage to his first cousin! It’s a good story (free on Kindle), and while we keep trying to guess the villain’s identity, the side comment about the cousin gave us a bit of the bejeebies. One of L M Montgomery’s last “Anne” books talked about a man who fell in love with his cousin at reunions, and kept trying to get the courage to ask her to marry him. It puts a whole new spin on Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck, if you consider going to family reunions, ‘playing the field.’”.


I was reading, maybe it was the tale of heike or maybe it was just some asian slice of life with a touch of fantasy but some ruler was told to marry his cousin because they grew up together and who better to spend your life with than someone you love in several ways and blah blah. It’s was weird. It was centered on the thought their cousin would most likely be more faithful to him and his family since it’s her family as well and it would reunite different parts of the family to help better ensure they were all taken care of down the line as far as land and goods being broken up fairly meaning his male cousins would probably be held in better light because of their sisters marriage to him and he would be in better light because they would be less likely to try to kill him to receive more inheritance and so on.

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there’s even a genetics study in Iceland on whether those who are 3rd cousins are more fertile than others. In the Yanomamo culture (the anthropologist was Chagnon), in the Amazon, you’re expected to marry your first cousin (I think only if it’s the child of a blood aunt). Interesting. In Detroit, my neighbor was a Chaldean Christian from Iraq. Her parents were cousins and had an arranged marriage. I can see the expectation that there’s a social regulation.



  1. Both those situations occurred before the law was given. Jacob was under the law given to Noah, as the law of Moses was a few hundred years in the future.
  2. Onan did not lie with his brother’s wife, but with his brother’s widow. This is a requirement of the law of Moses.

There was a pretty good movie about this a few years ago.

Remember Gone with the Wind?”

Scarlett’s mother said “The Wilkes always marry their cousins.” And Ashley and Melanie we’re cousins.

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