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Sodom was a Canaanite city-state that existed during the time of Abraham, where his cousin Lot lived. Sodom is mostly known for its tremendous sexual immorality and its destruction by God[1]. It is first described in Genesis and throughout the rest of the Bible, Sodom is used as symbolism for the unrepentant sinner's inheritance of God's wrath.

History

Foundation

The city of Sodom was founded by the families of the offspring of Canaan[2], descendants of Ham[3]. Sodom was along the border of the land of Canaan[4]. it was closely surrounded by four other smaller cities: Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar; all of which were closely allied and influenced by Sodom (perhaps under Sodom's rule)[5]. Sodom was founded on the well watered Jordan River plain that stretched all the way to Zoar, but after Sodom would be destroyed it would no longer be plentiful[6].

Lot's Home

When Abraham (or Abram as he was called at the time) and his cousin Lot decided to seperate ways, there were two areas in which they had to chose from[7]. Lot, seeing the area of Sodom was plentiful[6], settled in the plain of the Jordan[8] and set up his tent near Sodom[9], where by this time the people had become very wicked[10].

War of the Cities

Sodom's King in Battle

At one point the city of Sodom along with several other cities had been subject to the city of Elam and it's king Kedorlaomer[11], for twelve years and so in the thirteen year[12], Bera king of Sodom along with several other cities united to rebel against Kedorlaomer[13].

At one point in the war, Bera (Sodom's king) and his forces, along with other city allies, gathered in the Valley of Siddim[14] and battled against Kedorlaomer and his allies[15]. After battling Sodom's army suffered losses and began to flee, but many of the forces fell into tar pits of the valley leaving the rest to flee to the hills[16].

Sodom Sieged

With the army of Sodom weakened and unable to protect the city, Kedorlaomer and his army sieged Sodom and took all of its goods, its food[17] and many of its people, including Lot[18].

Abram rescues Sodom's goods

A survivor of the Sodom attacks escaped and reported the incident to Abram[19]. Knowing that his cousin had also been taken captive[20], Abram assembled a force of men[21], and attacked Kedorlaomer and his forces[22]. In doing so Abraham recovered all of the belongings of Sodom and rescued his cousin and the people of Sodom[23].

After this, the king of Sodom along with his allies came out to meet to Abram[24]. Bera in his gratitude offered all the possessions of Sodom, asking only to have his people returned to him[25]. Abram only returned to the king, saying that on oath[26] he had promised God he would not take anything belonging to Sodom[27].

The Destruction of Sodom

Abraham's plead for Sodom

At one point three Angels visited Abraham[28]. When the Angels got up to leave from their conversation with Abraham, God proclaimed in the form of a question that he would inform Abraham of his plans[29] to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, because many nations (most importantly Israel) would arise from his offspring[30].

God promised Abraham that he would go down to the Sodom and its sister city[31], and examine the city to confirm that the evil of the city was as troublesome as it appeared[32]. Then the Angels went on their way and went down to Sodom, while Abraham stayed in God's presence[33].

Abraham approached God and asked if he could destroy the righteous of the city, alongside the wicked[34], supposing that if there were fifty righteous would the city be spared[35]. God replied to Abraham that if there were indeed fifty righteous he would spare the entire city[36]. Abraham once again spoke up and asked if there were forty-five if the city would be spared[37], having the reply that it would. Abraham once again asked if there were forty righteous if the city would be spared[38], and once again was replied that it would.

Abraham continued to plead for the city, lowering the amount of required righteous to save the city by ten each time[39], until God had told promised him for the sake of ten the city would be spared.

The Angels Confirm the Evil

The two of the three "men" (two Angels, the third being God) arrived in the city of Sodom in the evening. Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city, and seeing the Angels[40] offered hospitality to them by inviting them to stay in his house. Rather the Angels preferred to spend the night in the the town square. Lot strongly insisted and so the Angels came and stayed with Lot[41]. Before Lot and his household retired for bed, every man of the city came and surrounded the house[42]. They requested that Lot bring the Angels he had brought with them outside the house to sleep with them[43]. Lot went outside to plead with the men of the city in order to protect the Angels[44] even offering his virgin daughters[45]. The men of the city insisted[46] and so the Angels pulled Lot back inside[47] and blinded the men outside[48].

The Angels then told Lot to gather any other relatives, other than his immediates[49], for they were going to destroy the city due to its evil[50]. So Lot went out and warned the men pledged to marry his daughters, but they thought he was joking[51].

Destruction

With dawn soon to fall, the Angels urged Lot to leave the city[52] and they took him and his family by the hand and lead them outside the city[53]. Lot informed the Angels he and his family would flee to Zoar[54] and they did so quickly[55]as the destruction could not begin until they arrived, as the entire plain[56] that Sodom was on would be destroyed[57]. Once Lot arrived at Zoar, the sun had risen[58] and so God rained down burning fire and sulfur to destroy the city[59]. Both Sodom and its sister city Gomorrah along with the entire plain (including three other cities, all destroyed except Zoar) in which Sodom laid on, were destroyed, leaving no vegetation[56].

The next morning Abraham had gotten up and returned to the place where he had pleaded for Sodom[60]. He looked downward at the plain of Sodom and saw a thick smoke rising from the entire land[61].

Legacy

Throughout the rest of the Bible, Sodom is used in comparisons of sinners and the wrath of God they would experience. When destroying the plain, God remembered Abraham and that his cousin Lot lived there, therefore sparing Lot's life[62]. Not only was the city of Sodom destroyed, but the entire plain along with it[56], including three other cities which were all destroyed except Zoar.


Verses

  1. Gen 19:3, (Link)
  2. Gen 10:15-17 (Link)
  3. Gen 10:6,20 (Link)
  4. Gen 10:19 (Link)
  5. Gen 14:2, 14:8, 19:25, 19:28; Deut 29:23 (Link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gen 13:10
  7. Gen 13:8-9 (Link)
  8. Gen 13:11 (Link)
  9. Gen 13:12 (Link)
  10. Gen 13:13 (Link)
  11. Gen 14:1 (Link)
  12. Gen 14:4 (Link)
  13. Gen 14:2 (Link)
  14. Gen 14:8 (Link)
  15. Gen 19:9 (Link)
  16. Gen 14:10 (Link)
  17. Gen 14:11 (Link)
  18. Gen 14:12 (Link)
  19. Gen 14:13 (Link)
  20. Gen 14:14 (Link)
  21. Gen 14:14 (Link)
  22. Gen 14:15 (Link)
  23. Gen 14:16 (Link)
  24. Gen 14:17 (Link)
  25. Gen 14:21 (Link)
  26. Gen 14:22 (Link)
  27. Gen 14:23-24 (Link)
  28. Gen 18:2 (Link)
  29. Gen 18:17 (Link)
  30. Gen 18:18-19 (Link)
  31. Gen 18:20 (Link)
  32. Gen 18:21 (Link)
  33. Gen 18:22 (Link)
  34. Gen 18:23 (Link)
  35. Gen 18:24 (Link)
  36. Gen 18:26 (Link)
  37. Gen 18:27-28 (Link)
  38. Gen 18:29 (Link)
  39. Gen 18:30-32 (Link)
  40. Gen 19:1 (Link)
  41. Gen 19:3 (Link)
  42. Gen 19:4 (Link)
  43. Gen 19:5 (Link)
  44. Gen 18:6-7 (Link)
  45. Gen 19:8 (Link)
  46. Gen 19:9 (Link)
  47. Gen 18:10 (Link)
  48. Gen 19:11 (Link)
  49. Gen 19:12 (Link)
  50. Gen 19:13 (Link)
  51. Gen 19:14 (Link)
  52. Gen 19:15 (Link)
  53. Gen 19:17 (Link)
  54. Gen 19:20 (Link)
  55. Gen 19:21 (Link)
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 Gen 14:2, 14:8, 19:25, 19:28; Deut 29:23
  57. Gen 19:22 (Link)
  58. Gen 19:23 (Link)
  59. Gen 19:4 (Link)
  60. Gen 19:27 (Link)
  61. Gen 19:28 (Link)
  62. Gen 19:29 (Link)

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