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Sodom and Gomorrah

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John Martin's rendering of Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction.

Sodom (Hebrew: סדום, Seḏōm; Greek: Σόδομα, Sodoma; Arabic: سدوم, Sadūm) and Gomorrah (Hebrew: עמורה, ʻAmōrā; Greek: Γόμοῤῥα, Gomorra; Arabic: عمورة, ʿAmūrah) were very wicked places mentioned in the Old Testament that were destroyed by God.


In Genesis 18 God tells Abraham that he is planning on destroying the city of Sodom because of their sin and immorality. Abraham asked God not to destroy the city and God agreed if Abraham could find 50 righteous people living there. The number then went down to 45, then 30, then 20, and even 10. There was only one righteous man found living in Sodom, Abraham's nephew Lot. God's angels told Lot to take his family and leave because God was going to follow through with his plans. The angels took him, his wife and daughters safely out of the city. The angels then warned them not to look back or they would be destroyed. When the sun had risen, they were all safe in the city call Zoar that was in the valley. "Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah - from the Lord out of the heavens" (Genesis 19:24 ). As the cities were being destroyed, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. The Bible indicates that more cities than Sodom and Gomorrah were burned up that day.

Archaeological Discoveries

Today, many people believe that they have found the devastated ruins of these ancient cities. The suspected sites are thought to be located exactly on a fault line along the eastern side of a plain south of the Dead Sea. Bab edh-Dhra, which is thought to be the modern name for Sodom, and Numeira, thought to be Gomorrah, were destroyed at the same time by some catastrophe that left debris about three feet thick.[1] The Associates for Biblical Research published an article in 1999 reporting the "The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah".[2]

The escape of Lot from Sodom by Gustave Doré

In 1980, Ron Wyatt observed some strange formations near the Dead Sea, which are believed by some to be the remains of large city structures, although others question the credibility of these assertion. Sulfur balls have also been discovered in the region. According to Genesis 19:24 God rained down burning sulfur on the cities and the entire plain.[3] Answers In Genesis generally disputes Wyatt's claims. For this particular discovery, they point out that sulfur balls have been known to occur naturally, and chemical testing from 'building ash' at the site indicates that the formations are not burnt buildings.[4]

The 1st century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus mentions Sodom in his the wars of the Jews book four,chapter eight.

The country of Sodom borders upon it. It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how, for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that Divine fire, and the traces [or shadows] of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits; which fruits have a color as if they were fit to be eaten, but if you pluck them with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes. And thus what is related of this land of Sodom hath these marks of credibility which our very sight affords us.[5]


Seminar by Steve Collins, PhD.

Seminar by Steve Austin, PhD.


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