(veil or covering), the son of Haran, and therefore the nephew of Abraham (Genesis 11:27, 31). His sisters were Iscah, who is by some identified with Sarah, and Milcah the wife of Nahor. Haran died before the emigration of Terah and his family from Ur of the Chaldees, and Lot was therefore born there. He removed with the rest of his kindred to Charran, and again subsequently with Abraham and Sarai to Canaan (Genesis 12:4-5). With them he took refuge in Egypt from a famine and with them returned, first to the “south” (Genesis 13:1), and then to their original settlement between Bethel and Ai (Genesis 13:3-4). But the pastures of the hills of Bethel, which had with ease contained the two strangers on their first arrival, were not able any longer to bear them, so much had their possessions of sheep, goats, and cattle increased. Accordingly they separated, Lot choosing the fertile plain of the Jordan, and advancing as far as Sodom (Genesis 13:10-14). The next occurrence in the life of Lot is his capture by the four kings of the east and his rescue by Abram (Genesis 14:14). The last scene preserved to us in the history of Lot is too well known to need repetition. He was still living in Sodom (Genesis 19:1), from which he was rescued by some angels on the day of its final overthrow. He fled first to Zoar, in which he found a temporary refuge during the destruction of the other cities of the plain. Where this place was situated is not known with certainty. The end of Lot’s wife is commonly treated as one of the difficulties of the Bible, but it surely need not be so. It cannot be necessary to create the details of the story where none are given. On these points the record is silent. The value and the significance of the story to us are contained in the allusion of Christ (Luke 17:32). Later ages have not been satisfied so to leave the matter but have insisted on identifying the “pillar” with some one of the fleeting forms which the perishable rock of the south end of the Dead Sea is constantly assuming in its process of decomposition and liquefaction. From the incestuous intercourse between Lot and his two daughters sprang the nations of Moab and Ammon.
Smith's Bible Names Dictionary (1866).