God Said Man Said

Sodom and Gomorrah

The Bible records in the book of Genesis that in the days of the patriarch Abraham, and his nephew Lot, there existed two very wicked cities by the names of Sodom and Gomorrah. All the men of the city of Sodom were homosexual. It is from this cityís name that the word sodomy finds its root. Homosexuals are, in fact, known as sodomites. Genesis records that God destroyed these two wicked cities, as well as the cities of Admah and Zeboim, miraculously, by raining down upon them brimstone and fire out of heaven.
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Sodom and Gomorrah

Article#: 1398

The credibility of the Holy Bible is challenged incessantly by its detractors, but its inerrancy continues to reign undefeated. It’s profoundly important for the skeptics to discredit the Word of God—for if it’s true, they must live their lives upon this earth ever-fearful of the scepter of God’s displeasure hanging over their heads, and a soon-coming judgment day where they must give an account of their disobedient lives. The miraculous accounts recorded thousands of years ago are the skeptics’ favorite targets; and necessarily so, because if a six-day creation, an original mother and father, Noah’s ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, the parting of the Red Sea, the virgin birth, and so much more, are found to be true, then there is a God and He did author the Scriptures, and look out, for "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31)."

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GOD SAID, Genesis 18:20-21:

20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

GOD SAID, Genesis 19:1-29:

1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

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.

9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will need be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

12 And the men 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:

13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

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.

15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

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.

17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for that which thou hast spoken.

22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

MAN SAID:  The Sodom and Gomorrah story is just a fairytale handed down from generation to generation. The Bible has no historic credibility.

Now, THE RECORD. The Bible records in the book of Genesis that in the days of the patriarch Abraham, and his nephew Lot, there existed two very wicked cities by the names of Sodom and Gomorrah. All the men of the city of Sodom were homosexual. It is from this city’s name that the word sodomy finds its root. Homosexuals are, in fact, known as sodomites. Genesis records that God destroyed these two wicked cities, as well as the cities of Admah and Zeboim, miraculously, by raining down upon them brimstone and fire out of heaven.

For the record, allow me to enumerate the names of great Biblical people that not only believed God’s record of Sodom and Gomorrah, but also wrote about the matter: Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Zephaniah, the Apostles Peter, John and Paul, Jude, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Were the great prophets and apostles of the Bible duped by faith? Did Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, have it wrong? Of course the answer is an emphatic "No!" The historians in the time of and preceding Christ, as well as the discoveries of today, concur over and over again with the Genesis record.

It was about 1900 years before Christ that the catastrophic destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah took place. The following was written by a scholar and often-quoted author by the name of Jack Finnigan: "A careful examination of literary, geological and archaeological evidence comes to the conclusion that the corrupt cities of the plain lay in the area which is now submerged beneath the slowly rising waters of the southern section of the Dead Sea."

Finnigan continues, "And their destruction came about through a great earthquake [This is what he believed happened.] which was probably accompanied by explosions, lightning, and issue of natural gas and general conflagration." [End of quote] This all happened about 1900 B.C. That was the time of Abraham. That is the time the Scriptures say Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

You’ve heard of the Dead Sea. You’ve probably seen promotional photographs of someone sitting in the water of the Dead Sea while reading a newspaper. The mineral content of the water is so dense that you can’t sink. The Dead Sea is truly a wonder of the world—the abiding testimony of the judgment of God. The following excerpt is from The Bible As History:

During the siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, it is said that the Roman army commander Titus sentenced certain slaves to death. He gave them short shrift, had them bound together by chains and thrown into the sea at the foot of the mountains of Moab. But the condemned men did not drown. No matter how often they were thrown into the sea, they always drifted back to the shore like corks. This inexplicable occurrence made such a deep impression upon Titus that he pardoned the unfortunate offenders. Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian who lived latterly in Rome, repeatedly mentions a "Lake of Asphalt". Greeks lay stress on the presence of poisonous gases, which are reported as rising from all parts of this sea. The Arabs say that in olden times, no bird was able to reach the opposite side. The creatures, as they flew across the water, would suddenly drop dead into it.  [End of quote]

In 1848, the United States commissioned an expedition to research the mysteries of the Dead Sea. It was led by geologist W.F. Lynch. When the team arrived at the Dead Sea, they decided to take a swim. Again from The Bible As History:

The first thing to do was to have a swim. But when they jumped in they felt as if they were being thrown out again. It was like wearing life-jackets. The old stories were therefore true. In this sea, it is impossible to drown. The scorching sun dried the men’s skins almost at once. The thin crust of salt which the water had deposited on their bodies made them look quite white. No shellfish, no fish, no seaweed, no coral—no fishing boat had ever rocked on this sea. Here was neither a harvest from the sea nor from the land. For the banks were equally bare and desolate. Huge deposits of coagulated salt made the beach and the rockface above it sparkle in the sun like diamonds. The air was filled with sharp acrid odours, a mixture of petroleum and sulphur. Oily patches of asphalt—the Bible calls it "slime" (Genesis 14:10)—float on the waves. Even the bright blue sky and the all-powerful sun could not breathe any life into this forbidding looking landscape.

"When a storm sweeps up through this rocky basin," observed Lynch, "the waves strike the sides of the boats like blows from a hammer. But the weight of the water is such that a short time after the wind has died down the sea is calm again."

The world learned for the first time from the report of the expedition two astonishing facts. The Dead Sea is over 1,200 feet in depth. The bottom of the sea is therefore about 2,500 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. The water of the Dead Sea contains approximately 30% of solid ingredients, most sodium chloride, i.e. cooking salt. The normal ocean has only 3.3 to 4% salt. [End of quote]

Speaking of the judgment that came upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Deuteronomy 29:23 reads:

And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:

Finally from The Bible As History:

It is only very recently that a great stir was caused by the excavation of Tell-el-Mardikh south of Aleppo. It was here that the Italian scholars Paolo Matthiae and Giovanni Pettinato discovered Ebla, a town dating from the third millennium before Christ. The first sensational discovery was that in almost prehistoric times a high degree culture had existed there with what was for those days an enormously differentiated social structure. The second sensation was that Ebla possessed rich archives of clay tablets. As always with archives of this nature, we are justified in having high hopes, but must be prepared to accept that opinions hitherto considered unassailable may be shown to have been built on insecure foundations. "When the texts have been studied, we shall perhaps have to forget the results of a whole century of research in the Ancient East," is how a German colleague of the Italian scholars expressed it. The third sensation and the most important in connection with the question of names is that the texts from Ebla dating from the third millennium before Christ contain names which are familiar to us from the Bible. The name of Abraham was encountered as well as those of the sinful towns of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim on the Dead Sea which were all destroyed by fire.  [End of quote]

Unquestionably, one of the world’s greatest historians and Biblical chronologists was Bishop Ussher, lived in the 1600s and penned a huge tome titled The Annals of the World. The following excerpt is from that book and it concerns Sodom and Gomorrah:

Abraham invited angels, who looked like travelling men, into his house, and gave them a feast. These angels reiterated the promise of the birth of Isaac for Sarah’s sake. They foretold the judgment of utter destruction which God intended to bring upon the five cities of the plain. Abraham, fearing what would become of Lot and his family in Sodom, made intercession to God for the sparing of that place. Sodom, Gomorrah, Adamah and Zeboiim, for their horrible sins, perished by fire and brimstone that rained down upon them from heaven. These cities were to be an example to all wicked men in times to come, of the pains of that everlasting fire to be inflicted on them in the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the second death. The monument of this remains to this day, even the Dead Sea. The valley of Siddim, where these five cities stood in former times, was full of brimstone and salt pits. This has since grown into a vast lake which, because of the brimstone still floating in it, is called Laces Asphaltitis or Lake of Brimstone and because of the salt, Mare Salsum or the Salt Sea. Concerning this, Solinus wrote:

"A long way off from Jerusalem, there lies a woeful spectacle, of a country to be seen, which was blasted from heaven and appeared by the blackness of the earth falling all to cinders. There were in that place before this, two cities, one called Sodom, the other Gomorrah, where if an apple grew, though it appeared to be ripe, yet it was not at all edible. Its outer skin contained nothing within it except a stinking smell, mingled with ashes and if ever so lightly touched, sent forth a smoke and the rest fell into a light dust of powder." [End of quote]

Sodom and Gomorrah were once part of the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley is part of a huge fracture (crack) in the earth’s crust. According to geologists, around 2,000 B.C., again, the time of Sodom’s judgment, this area literally plunged into an abyss or hole.

In his book, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, G.A. Smith comments concerning the area where Sodom and Gomorrah was located: "No other part of the world, which is not underwater, lies deeper than 300 feet below sea level."

Some scientists speculate that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah resulted from underground volcanoes erupting or great meteors falling to Earth on the two cities. So God said He was going to rain destruction out of heaven. A volcano could have showered them. Or possibly, a meteor could have come down and obliterated these two cities. In either case, brimstone, which is sulfur in its solid state, would have been a major ingredient. The Dead Sea is polluted with sulfur deposits. God said fire and brimstone.

The following paragraphs are from www.ArkDiscovery.com under the heading, "Sodom and Gomorrah, the Cities of the Plain, Ash and Brimstone Remain:"

The five cities of the plain have been located and the evidence is staggering. For the first time in modern history we have found round balls of brimstone, or nearly pure sulfur, embedded in an ashen area near the Dead Sea,...

These sulfur balls are mostly golf ball sized, and some have burn marks all around them! Webster’s Dictionary says that "brimstone" equals sulfur. Accordingly, we have found the absolute proof that we have finally located Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of the plain!

Each of the cities of the plain contain evidence of brimstone which God rained down upon the cities to destroy them. The brimstone is composed of 96-98 percent sulfur, which with trace amounts of magnesium create an extremely high temperature burn. This is the only place on earth where you can find 96 percent pure monoclinic sulfur in a round ball. This brimstone is NOT from any type of geo-thermal activity as there is no evidence of such in the area, and geo-thermal sulfur nodules are only 40 percent pure sulfur and are of the rhombic type.

The extremely high burning temperatures created a multi-shaded layering of ash that was formed by thermal ionization, caused by electrons repelling and attracting, creating a swirling effect sometimes. The intense fire which God rained down upon these cities was so hot that it burned the limestone blocks that were used in the construction of the cities. The ash there today is composed of Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Carbonate, which are by-products of the limestone and sulfur burning. [End of quote]

Sanchuniathon, the Phoenician priest, used these words in his ancient historical writings, which have recently been rediscovered. "The vale of Siddim sank and became a lake, always evaporating and containing no fish." Fish still don’t live in the Dead Sea.

Writing shortly after the time of Jesus, the Jewish historian, Josephus, noted that it was possible to see the remains of ancient cities south of the Dead Sea, known as the "Lake of Asphalt" or the "Sea of Salt." Since at least the first century before Christ, historians have placed Biblical cities of the plain of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela in that region.

Sodom and Gomorrah? Fire and brimstone? "Yes!" over and over again. The following passages are from Halley’s Bible Handbook:

In 1924, Drs. W. F. Albright and M. G. Kyle, directing a joint Expedition of the American Schools and Xenia Seminary, found, at the southeast corner of the Dead Sea, five Oases, made by fresh water streams, and, centrally located to them, on a plain 500 feet above the level of the Dead Sea, at a place called Bab-ed-Dra, the remains of a great fortified enclosure, evidently a "high place" for religious festivals. There were great quantities of potsherds, flints, and other remains of a period dating between 2500 B C and 2000 B C; and evidence that the population ended abruptly about 2000 B C. This evidence that the region was densely populated and prosperous indicates that it must have been very fertile, "like the garden of God." That the population ceased abruptly, and that it has been a region of unmixed desolation ever since, seems to indicate that the district was destroyed by some great cataclysm which changed the soil and climate.

"Brimstone," 19:24:  Kyle said that under Mt Usdom (The word Usdom in English is "Sodom.") there is a stratum of salt 150 ft thick; and that at the proper time God kindled the gases; a great explosion took place; the salt and the sulphur were thrown into the heavens red hot, so that it did literally rain down fire and brimstone from heaven. [End of quote]

In one last statement, G. A. Smith writes, "Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous for vice and godlessness. Sexual acts alluded to in connection with the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah are the basis for the contemporary term ‘sodomy.’”

"Sodomy" is a term understood in history, literature, and law in several senses: 1.) As denoting any homosexual practice between men (or women) in allusion to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. 2.) As denoting anal intercourse, and 3.) As synonymous with bestiality.

The Hebrew word Sodom means "to scorch; burnt (i.e. volcanic or bituminous) district;" The Hebrew word Gomorrah means "a (ruined) heap." And so it came to pass. As you should suspect, God’s Word is correct once again.

GOD SAID, Genesis 19:24-25:

24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

MAN SAID: The Sodom and Gomorrah story is just a fairytale handed down from generation to generation. The Bible has no historic credibility.

Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

Authorized King James Version

"Atlas of the Bible," Reader’s Digest, 1981.

Free, J. P., Archaeology and Bible History

"Great People of the Bible and How They Lived," Reader’s Digest, 1974.

Halley, H. H., Halley’s Bible Handbook.

Josephus, F., Josephus, Complete Works, Kregel Publications.

Keller, W., The Bible As History.

Silvergerg, R., Sunken History.

Smith, G. A., Historical Geography of the Holy Land.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

Ussher, The Annals of the World, Master Books.

www.ArkDiscovery.com

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