Lot and His Daughters

The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures has announced the publication of an article on Lot’s daughters:

Talia Sutskover, “Lot and His Daughters (Gen 19:30–38).  Further Literary and
Stylistic Examinations.”

Journal of Hebrew Scriptures – Volume 11: Article 13 (2011)


Although the biblical text contains no explicit condemnation of the sexual act that takes place between Lot and his daughters in Gen 19:30-38, this article suggest that analysis of micro-structures and stylistic patterns may reveal that a negative impression of this sexual act lurks sotto voce in the text. A literary analysis shows that repetitions of terms from the semantic fields of kinship and sexual intercourse provide special emphasis to the theme of a sexual act occurring between father and daughters. Instead of the expected relations in which fathers own their daughters, the daughters depicted here possess and manipulate their father. Moreover, taking into
account that the general initiative and focalization are assigned to the elder sister, the constructed narrative pattern departs from the more common biblical pattern in which the younger siblings are more dominant and theologically prominent. While some scholars have suggested that the daughters had no choice, and even acted heroically, the analysis suggested here may lead to a reading that considers the reported sexual acts as negative and uncommon among Israelites.

The article is available free online in PDF format. To access the article directly please go to Journal of Hebrew Scriptures online.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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1 Response to Lot and His Daughters

  1. Pingback: Lot and His Daughters « Myriad Shades of Gray

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