How Many Daughters?

I’ve heard our pastor preach more than once on the life of Lot. Each time he mentioned Lot had four daughters. But Genesis 19 only refers to two daughters.

When I asked about it, the pastor cited the view of a theologian from some three hundred years ago who held the view that Genesis 19:14 indicates Lot had married daughters in addition to the two who were apparently not.

In contrast, the view I’ve seen in a number of places suggests Lot’s two daughters were betrothed to sons-in-law, which in Bible times was as good as being married prior to the official marriage. Note the example of Joseph and Mary in the Gospels.

If Lot did have more daughters, how many did he have?

Our pastor settled on two unmarried daughters and two who were married, since more than one son-in-law is indicated. But there’s no set number mentioned. Thus, Lot could have had several more daughters who were married.

If true, losing them and saving only two surely compounded his loss and heartache when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

Genesis 19 repeatedly refers to two daughters. Other Bible translations of verse 14 indicate his daughters were to be married, not that they were already married.

While I’m inclined to believe Lot had only two daughters who were betrothed, I’m not going to lose sleep over the question.

Granted, it’s essential to interpret and understand the Scriptures as correctly as we possibly can. But the number of Lot’s daughters shouldn’t detract from the larger message of his sad story.

If the Lord tells us in heaven that Lot had more than two daughters, I’ll be satisfied. Who’s going to argue with God?

Below are the verses from Genesis 19 which refer to Lot’s daughters. See the whole chapter for an understanding of how these verses fit into the narrative of Lot’s life story.

8. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof…
12. And the men
[angels] said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:..
14. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law…
16. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city…
30. And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
31. And the firstborn said unto the younger, 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:…
36. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.