burning; the walled, a city in the vale of Siddim ( Genesis 13:10 ; 14:1-16 ). The wickedness of its inhabitants brought down upon it fire from heaven, by which it was destroyed ( 18:16-33 ; 19:1-29 ; Deuteronomy 23:17 ). This city and its awful destruction are frequently alluded to in Scripture ( Deuteronomy 29:23 ; 32:32 ; Isaiah 1:9 Isaiah 1:10 ; 3:9 ; 13:19 ; Jeremiah 23:14 ; Ezekiel 16:46-56 ; Zephaniah 2:9 ; Matthew 10:15 ; Romans 9:29 ; 2 Pet 2:6 , etc.). No trace of it or of the other cities of the plain has been discovered, so complete was their destruction. Just opposite the site of Zoar, on the south-west coast of the Dead Sea, is a range of low hills, forming a mass of mineral salt called Jebel Usdum, "the hill of Sodom." It has been concluded, from this and from other considerations, that the cities of the plain stood at the southern end of the Dead Sea. Others, however, with much greater probability, contend that they stood at the northern end of the sea. [in 1897].
their secret; their cement
(burning ), one of the most ancient cities of Syria. It is commonly mentioned in connection with Gomorrah, but also with Admah and Zeboim, and on one occasion -- ( Genesis 14:1 ) ... --with Bela or Zoar. Sodom was evidently the chief town in the settlement. The four are first named in the ethnological records of ( Genesis 10:19 ) as belonging to the Canaanites. The next mention of the name of Sodom, ( Genesis 13:10-13 ) gives more certain indication of the position of the city. Abram and Lot are standing together between Bethel and Ai, ver. 3, taking a survey of the land around and below them. Eastward of them, and absolutely at their feet, lay the "circle of Jordan." The whole circle was one great oasis --"a garden of Jehovah." ver. 10. In the midst of the garden the four cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim appear to have been situated. It is necessary to notice how absolutely the cities are identified with the district. In the subsequent account of their destruction, ( Genesis 19:1 ) ... the topographical terms are employed with all the precision which is characteristic of such early times. The mention of the Jordan is conclusive as to the situation of the district, for the Jordan ceases where it enters the Dead Sea, and can have no existence south of that point. The catastrophe by which they were destroyed is described in ( Genesis 19:1 ) ... as a shower of brimstone and fire from Jehovah. However we may interpret the words of the earliest narrative, one thing is certain --that the lake was not one of the agents in the catastrophe. From all these passages, though much is obscure, two things seem clear:
sod'-um (cedhom; Sodoma) One of the 5 CITIES OF THE PLAIN (which see), destroyed by fire from heaven in the time of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 19:24). The wickedness of the city became proverbial. The sin of sodomy was an offense against nature frequently connected with idolatrous practices (see Rawlinson, History of Phoenicia). See SODOMITE. The fate of Sodom and Gomorrah is used as a warning to those who reject the gospel (Matthew 10:15; 11:24; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 1:7). The word is used in a typical sense in Revelation 11:8. Sodom was probably located in plain South of the Dead Sea, now covered with water. The name is still preserved in Jebel Usdum (Mt. Sodom).
Dillmann. Genesis, 111; Robinson, BR, II, 187; G. A. Smith, HGHL, 505; Blanckenhorn, ZDPV, XIX, 1896, 53; Baedeker-Socin, Palestine, 143; Buhl, GAP, 117, 271, 274.
George Frederick Wright
These files are public domain.