And the Two Angels Came to Sodom

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224) “And the two angels came to Sodom.” It is written, “And the Lord went when He had left off speaking to Abraham.” This is so because when Divinity departed Abraham and he returned to his place, “The two angels came to Sodom in the evening,” since one angel departed with Divinity and those two remained.

225) When Lot saw them, he ran after them. But was he hospitable to anyone who came to his town, giving them food and drink? Also, his town’s people did not kill him, but when they found out that Lot’s daughter gave bread to a poor man they covered her with honey and put her on the rooftop until the bees ate her.

227) But because it was night, he thought his town’s people would not see him. Yet, when they came in the house, everyone gathered and surrounded the house.

228) Why did Lot run after the angels? He ran toward them since he saw Abraham’s form with them. It is written, “And Lot saw them, and ran to meet them” because he saw Divinity over them.

229) “And Lot saw them, and ran to meet them … and he said, ‘Behold now, my lords,’” with AlephDaletNunYod [in the words “my lords”—ADNI], which is the name of Divinity. But in our books it does not say, “Ran to meet them,” but “Rose up to meet them.” It seems that the view of The Zohar is that the meaning of “Rose up to meet them” is that he ran to meet them. Otherwise, it should have said, “And rose up from before them.”

It is written, “Turn aside, I pray you.” Should it not have said, “Come aside, I pray you”? Indeed, he wished to take them around the house and not let them in the house the usual way so that the town’s people would not see them. This is why he said, “Turn aside, I pray you.”

230) It is written, “For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven.” People should consider the deeds of the Creator and engage in Torah day and night. Anyone who engages in Torah, the Creator is praised by him above and praised by him below, for the Torah is a tree of life for all who engage in it, to give them life in this world and to give them life in the next world.

231) It is written, “For He looks to the ends of the earth,” to give them food and to provide for them with all that they need. The earth is Malchut. The ends of the earth is all that extends from her, since He always watches over her, as it is written, “The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning to the end of the year.”

232) It is written about this earth, Malchut, “She brings her food from afar,” and then she gives prey and food for all the animals of the field, which are the angels of BYA, as it is written, “She rises while it is still night, and gives prey to her household and portions to her maidens.”

233) This is why it is written, “For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven,” to give all the people in the world food and nourishment according to each and everyone’s needs, as it is written, “You open Your hand, and satisfy every living thing with favor.”

234) “For He looks to the ends of the earth” means to regard people’s deeds and to watch over all that people do in the world. “And sees under the whole heaven” means He sees and observes every single one.

235) When the Creator saw the deeds of Sodom and Gomorrah, He sent those angels to destroy Sodom. It is written, “And Lot saw,” meaning that he saw Divinity. But who can see Divinity? Indeed, he saw a light shining and rising over their heads, and then he said, “Behold now, my lords,” with AlephDalet, which is the name of Divinity. And for Divinity, meaning that illumination that he saw shining over their heads, he said, “Turn aside, I pray you, into your servant’s house.”

236) “And spend the night, and wash your feet.” Abraham did not do so. Instead, in the beginning he said, “wash your feet” and then “And I will fetch a piece of bread.” But Lot said, “Turn aside, I pray you … and spend the night,” and then, “And wash your feet.” This was so that people would not recognize them, for if they recognized them they would say that now they have just come to him, since they have not washed their feet from the road.

237) This is so because this is what the guests who entered there did, since they were sleeping in the street because there was no one to let them into his home. This is why they said, “No, we shall spend the night in the street.” It is written, “Yet he urged them strongly.”

238) When the Creator executes judgment in the world, one messenger does it. But now in the overturning of Sodom, we see two angels, as it is written, “And the two angels came to Sodom.” But was one angel not enough? The answer is that it was really one, and the reason why the text speaks of two angels is that one was to get Lot out and to save him, and the other was to overturn the city and to destroy the land. This is why there was only one in the overturning of Sodom.

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