Subject: The TRUTH About Sodom and Gomorrah - Part
Reference Scripture: Genesis 18:20 - 19:29
In continuation of our study of Sodom and Gomorrah, I would
like to just point out a few things for your consideration.
Mind you, in no wise am I trying to get you to see MY personal
point of view, nor am I trying to decide FOR you what the
message of this story is as it relates to your life. I am
just presenting information in hopes that you will prayerfully
seek God and let HIM give you what you need from this biblical
account. We've already discussed the often argued and debated
points of the story. And we've discovered that what we have
all heard and been taught isn't necessarily the "whole truth"
of the matter. In fact, in some cases, I believe we have been
taught the WRONG thing altogether. Here are some other points
of consideration in helping you determine what's really going
First let's consider the actual names of the cities, Sodom
and Gomorrah. The name "Sodom" comes from the Hebrew word
"Cedom (pronounced: sed-ome') which means to scorch, or burnt.
And the name "Gomorrah" is " 'Amorah (pronounced: am-o-raw'
") meaning a ruined heap, as in gathering things into a heap
for burning. Now, since this is what happened to the cities,
could these names have been given to them AFTER the fact?
Some theologians argue that these two cities were CALLED Sodom
and Gomorrah after their destruction and were not the original
names thereof. If this is so, what were there actual names?
THE WORD SODOMITE (SODOMY)
Further along these lines, let's consider the word "sodomite"
which is often used by some to describe same gender loving
people. Yes, the word is in the Bible as we know it today.
And it has been very loosely translated as "homosexual" in
some versions of the Scripture. The word is used twice in
the Old Testament of King James Version of the Bible, and
several times in the New Testament. But if you look in the
Hebrew and Greek texts…. the word "sodomite" isn't found at
all. Let me elaborate…
In Deuteronomy 23.17, the text reads: "There shall be no
whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons
of Israel." And II Kings 23.7 reads: "And he brake down the
houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD,
where the women wove hangings for the grove."
Now if you look up "whore" in Hebrew, the word is "k'deshah",
meaning prostitute (temple prostitute in this case). And the
word "sodomite(s)" is "kadesh", the male version of the word
"k'deshah". This says there were both male and female temple
prostitutes who sold their bodies in worship of the fertility
goddess Asherah. God was saying in these texts that His people
should not engage in this kind of activity, thus breaking
the law forbidding idol worship. So in these scriptures, idol
worship is the thing being forbidden.
In English, we get our word "sodomy" from the word "sodomite"
in the Bible. And the definition of the word varies. In this
country there are laws forbidding sodomy, and the definitions
differ from state to state. Some get so extreme as to say
that anything other than vaginal heterosexual sex is sodomy.
So I suppose by this definition, all other kinds of sex between
consenting adults is not only illegal, but is also forbidden
by Scripture and participants thereof are going to hell!
Next, let's consider that two other cities in that region
were destroyed as well, Admah and Zeboim (Deuteronomy 29.23,
Hosea 11.8). In fact, the only city spared in this account
was the small city of Zoar. This is the city that Lot and
his family were instructed to run to for escape. Why are these
cities not traditionally addressed in this account? What was
their problem? Was their omission in teaching this story on
purpose? Or were they insignificant? If insignificant, why
were they destroyed?
THE SOCIAL CLIMATE
If you read from Genesis 14, you will discover that during
the time of this story, the cities (to include neighboring
cities) were engaged in a war. This HAD to have created a
social climate where everyone was on alert. Anyone foreign
to the city or to the region was held suspect and could be
considered a spy. There was intense need amongst the townspeople
to feel safe and secure. Thus the need for the gates surrounding
the cities and the posted watchmen (remember Lot was the gatekeeper
in this story). Think about it, you live in a city who was
just engaged in war. The night a NON-NATIVE of the city is
trusted to watch the gate (thus controlling traffic in and
out), he lets two people that NOBODY knows into the city and
even more so BEHIND CLOSED DOORS FOR THE NIGHT IN HIS HOUSE!
Certainly this raised some eyebrows and caused some suspicion.
Don't think this scenario is possible? Consider the heightened
levels of security in THIS country after 9/11/01. Same thing.
THE WORD "ABOMINATION"
In Genesis 18.20-19.29, NOWHERE is the word "abomination"
found. The story specifies that "the sin of Sodom was grievous
to God" and that's it. When cross-referencing this scripture,
the prophet Ezekiel mentions an unnamed abomination. Careful
study will reveal that the word "abomination" was not defined
until the law was given in Leviticus, and a great number of
things were considered to be abomination. Therefore, when
looking at this story, one cannot look to the Levitical definition
of the word in reference to Sodom and Gomorrah because all
the cities of the region were destroyed BEFORE the law was
even given. In most cases, outside of he law, the word "abomination"
is used when describing acts associated with idol worship,
and thus were considered by the Hebrew people as unclean.
Proverbs 6.16-19 gives a list of the things that God deems
abominable…"a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed
innocent blood, feet that are swift to do mischief, a false
witness that speaketh lies, and he that sows discord among
the bretheren". Nowhere in this list is homosexuality mentioned
(though SGL and Non-SGL people alike do all of these things).
AGAIN, the truth about Sodom and Gomorrah is GOD JUDGES SIN!
And this story is proof of that. But to use this Biblical
account as justification to preach hate and eternal damnation
to all Same Gender Loving people is scripturally incorrect.
And as we've seen in this two-part study, it is a downright
misinterpretation of this scripture and its message.