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The Real Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah:How We Can Avoid the Same Destruction


 June 9, 2024—The Holy Bible recounts the tale of four cities so steeped in evil that God obliterated them with fire and brimstone (or sulfur, as we know it today). These cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as Admah and Zeboiim, are documented in Genesis 10-19. Archeological evidence in areas believed to be their locations further substantiates their existence. However, biblical and archeological elements are not the only evidence to consider. Even geological formations and local knowledge further explain the existence and destruction of these cities.

 

When two angels were poised to annihilate the cities, they took the hands of Lot, his wife, and their two daughters and led them to safety. An angel warned them not to look back. But Lot’s wife did, and she was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). On Mount Sodom in Israel, there is a geological formation that is known as “Lot’s  Wife.”

 

The Holy Bible confirms God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the plain, all the inhabitants, and all that grew on the ground (Genesis 19:25). But what were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah? Were they just one sin or a multitude? To unravel this, let’s delve into the history leading up to their destruction.

 

Before Sodom and Gomorrah’s Destruction

Territories in the plain of the Jordan were established for Noah’s descendants in Genesis 10. Sodom and Gomorrah are first mentioned in verse 19, whereas the Canaanites were dispersed in the plains of the Jordan and around the Dead Sea (exact boundaries unknown). As a descendant of Noah, Abram is first mentioned in Genesis 11:26, though his name later changes to Abraham (Genesis 17:5). In Chapter 14, four kings attacked the five kings in the Siddim Valley. The four kings going to war were:

  • Amraphel, king of Shinar

  • Arioch, king of Ellasar

  • Chedorlaomer, king of Elam

  • Tidal, king of nations


The kings in the Siddim Valley were as follows:

  • Bera, king of Sodom

  • Birsha, king of Gomorrah

  • Shinab, king of Admah

  • Shemeber, king of Zeboiim

  • The king of Bela (that is, Zoar)

 

The Siddim Valley kings served King Chedorlaomer for 12 years, but by the 13th year, they rebelled (Genesis 14:4). In response, King Chedorlaomer of Elam and his allies struck against the rebelling kings. He took goods and people with him, including Abram’s nephew, Lot (Genesis 14:11-12). Pursuing the armies with 318 servants, Abram brought back all the goods and the people that were taken captive, including Lot and his family. Chapters 13 and 14 indicate that the region was constantly under battle.

 

How does war lead to Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin? Knowing the past events helps us understand a verse that is commonly misinterpreted.

 

The Commonly Misunderstood Verse

About Sodom and Gomorrah

Genesis 13:13 says, “But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.” What could they have done that made them so wicked that God utterly destroyed everything and everyone in the plain? Many Christians, and even non-Christians, believe that their sin was homosexuality. The thought comes from Genesis 19, where God sends two angels to destroy the area. Lot invites the two angels to stay with him, but when the people of the city saw the two angels entering Lot’s house, they pounded on the door, saying,

 

“Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

- Genesis 19:4-5

 

In Genesis 14, you read that Sodom, Gomorrah, and the plain where they were located were in constant battle and under the threat of war and rebellion. When the people from Sodom saw the two angels whose faces they did not know, they assumed the angels were spies.


Sodom and Gomorrah’s Sin

as Mentioned in the Holy Bible

One thing I love about the Holy Bible is this: Scripture identifies scripture. Deuteronomy 29:29 declares, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” While Genesis does not lay out the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, the books of the prophets certainly do. Ezekiel 16:49-50 informs us:

 

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.

 

 

Moreover, Jeremiah compared the prophets in Jerusalem at his time to the iniquity of Sodom and Gomorrah:

 

 

Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: They commit adultery and walk in lies; They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

-        Jeremiah 23:14

 


Finally, Jude 1:7 mentions:


as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

 

 

The prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah lived during the Babylonian Capture/Exile. The books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah are in the Old Testament. Being in the Old Testament, they lived before Jesus Christ was born in the flesh through a virgin birth. Now, Mary was the mother of Jesus, and yes, she was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus Christ (see Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 2:1-20). However, she did not remain a virgin, as evidenced by Matthew 13:55-56, “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” This quote is also mentioned in Mark 6:3, though Judas is called Jude. Since Jesus had brothers and sisters, Mary did not remain a virgin.

 

 

The Books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah were written in the 6th Century B.C. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah occurred sometime in the 20th century B.C.  Why is this noteworthy?  While Ezekiel and Jeremiah were thousands of years after Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction, they were undoubtedly before the time of Jude. The book of Jude was written in the first century, some 2,000+ years after Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

 

Jude’s Take on Sodom and Gomorrah

Now, here is where Jude comes from. Not only was he the brother of James, but he was also the brother of Jesus. (It is worth mentioning that Jude was used in place of Judas so the name would not be confused with Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus Christ.) When Jesus spoke to His disciples, He knew from the beginning who would not believe in Him and who would betray Him (John 6:64). As written in John 7:5, Jesus’s brothers did not believe in Him. It was likely only after the Resurrection that they began to believe.  

 

Jude refers to sexual immorality in verse 7. We only see this phrase in the New Testament. When Jesus referred to it in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9, He was clearly speaking to adultery. Paul also refers to “sexual immorality” in the books of Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Thessalonians. Of these books, Paul defines sexual immorality as incest in 1 Corinthians 5:1 (a man in the church in Corinth was married to his father’s wife). Paul also says that each man should have a wife because of sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 7:2). However, given that Jude and Jesus were brothers and from the same region, and Jesus spoke to adultery; we can infer that Jude was referring to adultery as well. In contrast, Paul was from Tarsus (Acts 9:11).

 




Cross agianst Dawn Sky, Cross, Dawn

When Jude cites strange flesh in verse 7, we cannot be sure what this translates to. The term “strange flesh” does not occur anywhere else in the Holy Bible. Given what is written in Jeremiah, perhaps it refers to a partner who was not their spouse (adultery). We know the Roman Empire governed Israel during the time of Jesus and his brothers. Perhaps the strange flesh refers to something else. We cannot assume what it means one way or the other.

 

However, 1 Timothy 1:5-7 discusses how some will desire to teach unsound doctrine because they want to be teachers. It is worth noting that this is the case of Judas. Verse 9 of Jude discusses how the archangel Michael rebuked Satan over Moses's body. Yet, Deuteronomy 34:6 says, “And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day.”  God buried Moses, and no one knows where Moses’s remains are today.

 

Therefore, why would the archangel Michael rebuke Satan over Moses when no one knows where his grave is even today? In addition, Revelation 12:7-10 discusses the battle between Michael and Satan and their armies. Satan was overthrown and cast out of heaven. What were they fighting about? Moses? No. Because Satan rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:12-21). Scripture testifies to scripture.

 

The True Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah

With these things said, here are the actual sins of Sodom and Gomorrah:

 

  1. Lazy

  2. Pride

  3. Gluttony

  4. Haughty

  5. Did not help those in need or the poor

  6. Committed abomination

  7. Adultery

  8. Lying

  9. Strengthen the hands of the evildoers

 

 

Not one of these sins is homosexuality (the book of 1 John 5. Anyone who tells you otherwise either does not know the Holy Bible or is being taught by someone who is teaching falsely as influenced by Satan. 1 John verse 9 says, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”  In addition, Revelation 22:18 warns us, “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.”  This is an echo of what is written in Deuteronomy,4:2, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

 

Homosexuality: A Sin or Not?

Understand that I do not condone homosexuality, for God made Adam; after Adam, God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so He made a helper for him, which was a woman (Genesis 2:20-22). Adam would call her Eve (Genesis 3:20).

 

Furthermore, Paul states:

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

-        Romans 1:24-27

 

Homosexuality is a sin, but it was not a sin of the cities in Siddim Valley.


Destroying Sodom and Gomorrah

For the reasons of their extreme wickedness, Sodom and Gomorrah, along with everyone and everything on the plain, were consumed in fire and brimstone. While it is unclear what natural feature God used to rain down brimstone and fire, we know the result. Archeological evidence revealed ash, bones, burnt pottery, and even sulfur balls. If we are not careful to repent our sins, we too will end up like Sodom and Gomorrah: consumed in an everlasting fire reserved for the wicked. Jesus said:

 

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’” 

 

-        Matthew 25:41 -43

 

Accepting Jesus

However, there is hope in Jesus Christ for He was crucified, resurrected, and ascended to heaven. When He died on the cross, he paid the debt for your sins. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Perhaps you committed one or more of the sins mentioned above. If there is still breath in your lungs, you can accept Jesus Christ as your savior today. Just say this prayer aloud:

 

God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!

 

 

Welcome to the Christian Family!

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