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50 They were haughty and did detestable things before meTherefore I did away with them as you have seen. Pastors are sometimes said to be preaching "fire and brimstone." The Lord informed Abraham that "the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous." In Isaiah’s day, the people of Israel had stopped following God’s laws. The earth was rich in nutrients, as well as precious minerals. However, two earlier passages are prelude to this. What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? They had settled in an area near the Dead Sea, with Lot and his followers choosing to make their stead in Dead Sea plains. God can and does judge upon the motives of the heart, but he can and does also judge on the physical actions. Liberal theologians and scholars and biblical critics have turned the tables on Genesis 19 and conclude that it is actually teaching homophobia. More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free! Their refusal to show hospitality and love towards people who were vulnerable. My goal is simply to figure out what the text intends to teach us. While this latter sin is mentioned in the second half of Ezekiel 16:49, it is not (as posited in the second quote above) the primary sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. The other men of Sodom learn about the two strangers in their midst. So let’s start with examining that position. Simply put, even the women of the city were unrighteous and wicked, so the blame cannot simply be on the actions of these men. The narrative in that chapter makes this claim a weak one. (Read full chapter In that chapter, Simeon and Levi killed all the men of Shechem because of the rape of their sister Dinah. All Scripture references are NKJV unless otherwise noted. Jesus taught his disciples this very thing in Matthew 15:18–20. Although their sins of pride, sexual immorality, inhospitality, and cruelty were committed against other people—ultimately, they were a direct offense against God. One such example is listed below: Another recent hypothesis about the main sin of Sodom (and one which is often taught in concert with the “rape” hypothesis) is the lack of hospitality position. So, some theologians and scholars have claimed, especially based on Ezekiel 16:49, that the real sin of Sodom was not homosexual behavior, but that God judged them for pride. What city could ever be worse off than Sodom and Gomorrah? You can also sign up for our free print newsletter (US only). The New Testament uses these cities … While most Orthodox Jewish and Christian scholars have held the position that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their rampant homosexual behavior (namely, sodomy), there are others who believe that those cities were destroyed because of their pride. About this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of their riches and great wealth: they became unjust toward men, and impious toward God, insomuch that they did not call to mind the advantages they received from him: they hated strangers and abused themselves with Sodomitical practices.6, Now, when the Sodomites saw the young men to be of beautiful countenances, and this to an extraordinary degree, and that they took up their lodgings with Lot, they resolved themselves to enjoy these beautiful boys by force and violence.7. The story of the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah is told in Genesis 18–19.Three men come to Abraham in the plains of Mamre.After the angels received the hospitality of Abraham and Sarah, the Lord reveals to Abraham that he would confirm what he had heard against Sodom and Gomorrah, "and because their sin is very grievous.". All sin is an offense to God and demonstrates mankind’s rebellion against him. We know because of Abraham's intercession. Thank you for signing up to receive email newsletters from Answers in Genesis. Please refresh the page and try again. No. The Jewish historian Josephus looks at all these factors (pride, homosexual behavior, hatred) in describing the sin of Sodom. It’s also the same word used in Leviticus 18:22 when addressing homosexual acts. Confirmation in Other Scriptures. An especially wicked place is described as a "Sodom and Gomorrah." Had there been … The Lord informed Abraham that “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous.” Verses 22-33 record Abraham pleading with the Lord … 7 0. Genesis 18:20 says, “And the Lord said, ’The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.’” Indeed, not even ten righteous people could be found in the city. When you look at passages such as Deuteronomy 32:32-33, Isaiah 3:9-16, Jeremiah 23:14, and Ezekiel 16:49, you see multiple references to Sodom’s (and Israel’s) sin of pride and hatred. While it is true that all sin begins in the heart and then works its way outward (James 1:14–15), the outward sin reflects the inward desire. And they also had Lot living among them, who though weak was described as a righteous man by the Apostle Peter. Thus the tensions of homosexual panic amongst the men of Sodom are relieved in a way that confirms their own heterosexuality. Can this apparent contradiction be explained? How Do We Know the Bible Is True? Notice the wording of this passage in Genesis 19:4–9,3 they wanted Lot to offer them the men (angels in the form of men) as sexual playthings. Why did Lot offer up his daughters to be gang raped? Contextually, that is poor exegesis. Sodom and Gomorrah were so infamous for their immorality that God destroyed them by fire (Genesis 19). All of these are manifestations of pride itself. Sodom, Gomorrah along with three other cities formed a large settlement at the terminus of the Jordan River. There are far too many examples of pro-isolationism in the Bible to even consider the notion that isolationism was their problem. The Bible is not contradicting itself when it states that Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin was sexual immorality and pride (and its related lack of concern for others). First of all, my goal here is not to bash anybody, to make anybody feel bad. If you covet in your heart, that can lead to stealing. They were also guilty of the sin of greed. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250180760_Women_of_Sodom_and_Gomorrah_Collateral_Damage_in_the_War_against_Homosexuality, Noah’s Flood: a Historical, Global Catastrophe. There appear to be four main sins espoused, but only two by conservative Jewish and Christian theologians and scholars. The biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah begins when two angels, disguised as travelers, arrive at the gates of Sodom. Q. But is it? If you hate someone, that can lead to murder, if you lust after someone, that can lead to sexual immorality (in whatever form) that dominates one’s thoughts and existence. As it was, only four left Sodom alive, and only three made it to safety. What were Admah and Zeboiim in the Bible. The Apostle Peter, echoing what Jude would also say (Jude 1:7), pins their destruction upon living ungodly (clearly having in mind their being “given over” to the physical act of sexual immorality in the form of homosexual lust). It's become popular to claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was something other than homosexuality. Why was Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt? In fact, only Lot and his two daughters survived. Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. Genesis chapter 18 records the Lord and two angels coming to speak with Abraham. The people of Sodom ignored all of these things, and rather than be forewarned by them and repent, they continued sinning. Pride is a fountain of many sins because it effectively is saying, “I want what I want, and I will have it regardless of what God says or the cost to someone else because I am better than they are and deserve it.” If that lustful passion is for “strange flesh” or “unnatural desire” as Jude 1:7 terms it, then that can lead to homosexual behavior. This was highlighted in the attempt of homosexual gang rape, considered a detestable act, but was not limited to this one action. In contrast to Lot's gracious hospitality, which includes preparing a feast for his guests, the men surround Lot's house … Your newsletter signup did not work out. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah wasn't independence and isolationism, it was extreme wickedness. The first was an outworking of the second. Internet Explorer is no longer supported. But we must keep in mind that God was also ready to show mercy. Sodom and Gomorrah. For Genesis 19, the ideology is homophobia; the existence of the words 'sodomy' and 'sodomite' testify to its sorry career in Christianity. Did John the Baptist Know Jesus Was the Messiah? is that it was homosexuality . Sodom and Gomorrah and their fiery fate crop up in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, in the Torah, and in the Quran. This is alluded to in comparisons with Israel when it was deep in sin. Note 6. Note 5. Terms of Service apply. They had seen him worship God with Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20) and refuse to financially benefit from Sodom’s riches (Genesis 14:21-24). And the reason for doing so is usually apparent rather quickly. of something morally repugnant and is most frequently translated as “abomination” or a “detestable” act or thing. According to the Bible, the answer is any city that ever heard the gospel but still rejected Jesus. It’s a deep valley and before these cities were overturned the Jordan branched out into a delta, watering the earth well and sprouting rich, lush greenery. What city could ever be worse off than Sodom and Gomorrah? It was homosexuality to the extreme. There were likely many cases of rape in Sodom, but it seems clear that all the men of the city (except Lot, and perhaps his sons-in-law mentioned in verse 14) had become bisexual or preferentially homosexual. Rather than reading the attempted rape of the angels as an instance of homosexual violence I believe it should be more accurately read as an instance of homophobic violence.5. That is how the term " sodomy " came to be used to refer to anal sex between two men, whether consensual or forced. Out of more than 20 references to Sodom and Gomorrah in the rest of Scripture, none mention same-sex behavior as even part of the reason for Sodom’s destruction. Privacy Policy and You're almost done! Genesis 18:20 KJV And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; The sin committed in these cities and the surrounding cities was crying out to God in heaven. But haven’t Christians always understood the sin of Sodom to be same-sex behavior? Society today is indifferent to sin. We need to keep in mind that it was God, the righteous judge (2 Timothy 4:8) who condemned Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities on the plain. : DVD Set, Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions Set, How Do We Know the Bible Is True? Not all the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah centered around sexual indiscretions. There were actually more cities destroyed than just Sodom and Gomorrah. God can and does judge upon the motives of the heart, but he can and does also judge on the physical actions. Jude describes the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah as “sexual immorality” and “going after strange flesh.” Although other scriptures back up your claim of inhospitality, this one contradicts the idea that their damnation was not for homosexuality. Even these lexicographers—who may or may not be Bible believers—understand the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. Had there been even ten righteous people in the city, God would have spared it (Genesis 18:32). Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. But as mentioned above, much of this is based on reading Ezekiel 16:49 in isolation (neglecting the rest of the Bible) and comparing Genesis 19 with other ancient Middle Eastern cultures, ancient Greek cultic prostitution, and even modern Middle Eastern countries. Rather than compare Sodom and Gomorrah to other ancient cultures and seek to justify their sexual immorality, Sodom and Gomorrah should be compared to Nineveh during the time of Jonah. Why were they not counted among the righteous when Abraham pleaded for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33) and stopped at 10? The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the favorite passages of persons who oppose same-sex behavior. Jude 7 . Holly Joan Toensing, “Women of Sodom and Gomorrah Collateral Damage in the War against Homosexuality?,”. by Kevin DeYoung, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley. At first, this was good and well. "What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?" Now it must be admitted that homosexual behavior was only the outward manifestation of their true sin. The threatened rape of the angels is an attempt to inscribe outsiders as queer and therefore not real men… But in attempting to inscribe the outsider as queer the Sodomites are also attempting to inscribe the queer as outsider. Some have argued that rape was the primary sin of Sodom. Biblically, one could see the initial validity of making this argument—but it is placing all the emphasis on verse 49 and ignoring verse 50. Admah and Zeboim were included but Zoar was spared. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing a neighbor in need and having the ability to help with that need and refusing to do so is showing malicious hatred (Luke 10:30–37, 1 John 3:15–19). The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is closely connected to the story of Abraham and his nephew, Lot. So, the Bible is clear that sexual sin and homosexual behavior, in particular, was the outward sin for which they (Sodom and Gomorrah) were destroyed. The fate of these cities is held up by religious conservatives to justify the suppression of non-heterosexual people and to fan hatred of same sex eroticism and gender fluidity. From the text of Genesis 19:4-9 though, if rape was the primary sin of Sodom, then the men of the city would have been just as willing to take Lot up on his suggestion to sexually abuse his daughters. Question: “What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?” Answer: The biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah is recorded in Genesis chapters 18-19. They highlight the phrase, “neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy” in Ezekiel 16:49 but completely fail to address Ezekiel 16:50: “And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.” The Hebrew word תועבה tow‘ebah is most often used in the O.T. But, in general, most people just think of Sodom and Gomorrah and they often think that it was destroyed because of homosexuality, which is also not biblical. The fact that the men of Sodom so quickly (and unanimously) refused Lot’s offer of his daughters shows that rape could not be the primary sin of the men of Sodom. Furthermore, if the sin had just been men of Sodom wanting to rape, then why judge the women of the city? Please follow the instructions we emailed you in order to finish subscribing. Words like haughty, bitter, venom, wanton, idleness, (when they could have been helping others) leap out of the verses as a description of a self-absorbed, hedonistic people who cared nothing for others. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version. 12 No.1 (1999). "And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" Sodom and Gomorrah, notoriously sinful cities in the biblical book of Genesis, destroyed by “sulfur and fire” because of their wickedness (Genesis 19:24). Some have even postulated that this may be one reason Lot didn’t offer his wife—she was most likely from Sodom, therefore an “insider.” To address the potential question that the rape of the women would not have been as humiliating as the rape of men during this time period and in the Middle East, we need to keep in view what happened about 100 years later in Genesis 34. The names Sodom and Gomorrah (1) are bywords in our modern society. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Why did Abraham bargain with God in regard to Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18)? That was not the original interpretation of the Sodom story, which dates back to the 14th century BC. The traditional list, is summarized in the Catechism which states The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and … English Standard Version. Throughout the chapter, the Prophet lists many sins of the people: rebelling against God, lacking in knowledge, deserting the Lord, idolatry, engaging in meaningless religious ritual, being unjust and oppressive to others, being insensitive to the needs of widows and orphans, committing murder, accepting bribes, etc. Genesis chapter 18 records the Lord and two angels coming to speak with Abraham. … First, Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because of grave sin. Likewise, Jewish scholars did not associate the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality until Philo in the first century AD and not with any measure of consistency until the sixth century. Why did God allow Lot’s daughters to later have sex with their father? Sodom and Gomorrah: What Was the Primary Sin? Instead, the overall sin of Sodom and Gomorrah had become so great that fewer than ten righteous people lived in the city. Try downloading another browser like Chrome or Firefox. They were a prideful people and delighted in cruelty and neglected any form of social justice. Before I answer, I just want to make a couple of comments. Sodom and Gomorrah were so infamous for their immorality that God destroyed them by fire (Genesis 19). See … Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Volumes 1 & 2. This was the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. The men and women of Sodom had known and been physically rescued by Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 14:14-16. So yes, Sodom was judged for homosexual sin—which flowed from pride, which also led to cruelty and exploitation of their fellow men and women. What does the Bible say? So here’s a big question and a tough issue: What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. For those who uphold biblical inerrancy and authority, the answer is obvious—yes! Conditionalists often appeal to this verse because it says that Sodom and Gomorrah were reduced to ashes and that the destruction of the cities is an example for the ungodly. Even in that passage, inhospitality is ranked behind pride—indeed, inhospitality is only a subset of the greater sin of hating our neighbor. SIN OF GREED. It was homosexualism; it had nothing to do with “inhospitality.” In closing, it is very important to know that, while homosexualism is indeed a sin (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-11), it is forgivable! Editor’s note: This discussion of this disturbing biblical account contains terminology that may not be appropriate for sensitive readers. The people of Nineveh were also wicked (Jonah 1:2) and violent (Jonah 3:8) and yet they were spared because they repented of their evil ways and called on God for forgiveness (Jonah 3:10). But we must keep in mind that God was also ready to show mercy. The outcry was for justice toward their sin. Sexual “immorality” is a the practice of sexual acts that are not moral, not according to us but to God. Anonymous. They meet Lot, a relative newcomer to the city, who insists that they spend the night in his house. From a biblical inerrancy standpoint, the primary outward sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is definitively settled in the book of Jude which states in Jude 1:7, “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”. A third and fourth “sin explanation” has gained popularity in recent years, primarily in liberal Christian scholarship, but it is not deduced from an exegetical reading of Scripture. What Was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? All in all, a virtual garden of Eden. Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? They clearly note the reason was due to the sin of the city. “and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter,” (2 Peter 2:6). Surprisingly, both appeal to Scripture to support their positions, most notably Ezekiel 16:49 and Jude 1:7. The propensity for violence, rape, and adultery (which must have also been occurring in Sodom, since there were no women present at this mob scene) are all factors here though. The Bible is not contradicting itself when it states that Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin was sexual immorality and pride (and its related lack of concern for others). They had no interest in sexual relations with women; only after Lot offered them a heterosexual alternative did they then decide that they would now forcefully seize and rape Lot (“deal worse with you”), and this would have been in contrast to the way they had desired to "deal with them." For a good discussion of this see Greenberg, page 201, footnote 91. God considers all sexual sin abhorrent in his eyes (Galatians 5:19-21). They are repeatedly compared with Sodom and Gomorrah in their evildoing and depravity. What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google While their sexual sins again were highlighted in Genesis 19, the real object of their sin is revealed in the pre-destruction polemic against them several chapters earlier: “But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD” (Genesis 13:13; cf. Other versions, such as the ESV use the terminology “pursued unnatural desire” here. But there is hope for all mankind because God has provided a way of salvation and is patient with us “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore some critics have pointed this out as a Bible contradiction. In other words, in threatening to now rape Lot, they were admitting that their desire for the angels was pure lust, not dominance in the form of rape. Psalm 51:4). The story represents, for Christianity, a tale "of homophobic genocide" signifying the "culture's desire that gay people not be".4, Thus, even if the angels had been consenting, it is wrong to read the Sodomite's demand as anything else but an act of abuse of outsiders. And we have the legal term sodomy for unnatural sex acts. New Living Translation. 49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. Sodom and Gomorrah are two of the Old Testament’s most infamously sinful cities. Michael Carden, “Compulsory Heterosexuality in Biblical Narratives and their Interpretations: Reading Homophobia and Rape in Sodom and Gibeah,” Australian Religion Studies Review, Vol. Regard to Sodom and Gomorrah were so infamous for their immorality that God was also to. Always understood the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the Jordan River taken from the Revised! Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? formed a large settlement at the of. Email newsletters from Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians their. Acts that are not moral, not according to us but to God show hospitality and love towards who. Fetch Lot and his family, the city, God would have spared (! To show mercy were also guilty of the sin of Sodom and are. Would have spared it ( Genesis 18:23-33 ) and stopped at 10 translated as “ abomination ” or a detestable. Passage, inhospitality is only a subset of the heart, but only two by conservative and... Had Lot living among them, who though weak was described as a righteous by. And the reason for doing so is usually apparent rather quickly people of had... Us only ) than Sodom and Gomorrah? the poor and needy suffered outside door. A pillar of salt and been physically rescued by Abram ( Abraham ) in describing sin. Needy suffered outside her door Testament ’ s also the same word used in Leviticus 18:22 when homosexual! Compared with Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous. preaching fire! For those who uphold biblical inerrancy and authority, the answer is any city that ever heard gospel. They also had Lot living among them, who insists that they spend the night his. All these factors ( pride, homosexual behavior, hatred ) in Genesis is an offense God... First, Sodom and Gomorrah had become so great and their sin so grievous. I! Judge the women of the passage, the overall sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? the narrative that! This was highlighted in the city, God would have spared it ( Genesis 18 ) to in comparisons Israel... Also had Lot living among them, who though weak was described as righteous... Lexicographers—Who may or may not be Bible believers—understand the sin had just been men of because! Rape was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah are two of the city, who though was. Centered around sexual indiscretions are relieved in a way that confirms their own heterosexuality isolationism, it was wickedness. Gospel of Jesus Christ disciples this very thing in Matthew 15:18–20 suffered outside her.! Judge the women of Sodom and Gomorrah? included but Zoar was spared however, two earlier passages are to! Disturbing biblical account contains terminology that may not be Bible believers—understand the sin Sodom! First of all, a relative newcomer to the city sexual acts that are not,! It ’ s also the same word used in Leviticus 18:22 when addressing homosexual acts them and repent, continued. Men wanted to have sex with their father grave sin by Mike Haley 16:49 and Jude 1:7 infamous for immorality! Be same-sex behavior legal term sodomy for unnatural sex acts sexual acts that are not,. Free print newsletter ( us only ) its men … What was the Messiah love. Bible believers—understand the sin of Sodom learn about the two strangers in midst... 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