This is a summary of the Biblical account of the city of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah was an ancient city of Syria located in the plain of Jordan. The city was 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. 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 presumably located in plain South of the Dead Sea, now covered with water. The name is still preserved in Jebel Usdum (Mt. Sodom).
Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible
The Bible story about the city of Sodom and Gomorrah is a terribly sad story that reminds us of just how much God hates sin. During the time of Abraham, three angels came to visit him and two of the angels decided to go visit Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord told Abraham that he was going to destroy the city because of the people's sin. God also told Abraham that he would spare the people and not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if he was able to find even 10 people who were righteous.
When the two angels arrived in Sodom and Gomorrah, a man named Lot invited them to stay at his home. Some men from the city came to Lots home demanding to be given the two visitors so they could have sex with them. Lot, trying to defend and protect the angels, offered the men his virgin daughters in their place. As the angry men tried to break into Lot's home, the angels struck the men blind and then led Lot and his family out of the city.
As Lot's family fled Sodom and Gomorrah, God rained down burning sulfur onto the city. All men, animals, and vegetation were destroyed. The angels warned Lot and his family to not look back but his wife did not listen and was immediately turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back.
What We Know About Sodom
The name Sodom means "burning" - It was 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 16:46-5 ; 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.
On the one hand, the narrative of Genesis seems to state positively that it lay at the northern end of the Dead Sea. On the other hand, long-continued tradition and the names of the existing spots seem to pronounce with almost equal positiveness that it was at its southern end. Of the catastrophe which destroyed the city and the district of Sodom, we can hardly hope ever to form a satisfactory conception. Some catastrophe there undoubtedly was but what secondary agencies, besides fire, were employed in the accomplishment of the punishment cannot be safely determined in the almost total absence of exact scientific description of the natural features of the ground around the lake. We may suppose, however, that the actual agent in the ignition and destruction of the cities had been of the nature of a tremendous thunder-storm accompanied by a discharge of meteoric stones, (and that these set on fire the bitumen with which the soil was saturated, and which was used in building the city. And it may be that this burning out of the soil caused the plain to sink below the level of the Dead Sea, and the waters to flow over it--if indeed Sodom and its sister cities are really under the water.) The miserable fate of Sodom and Gomorrah is held up as a warning in numerous passages of the Old and New Testaments. (Excerpt from Smith's Bible Dictionary)
What We Know About Gomorrah
The name Gomorrah means "submersion". It was one of the five cities of the plain of Siddim (q.v.) which were destroyed by fire (Genesis 10:19; 13:10; Genesis 19:24, Genesis 19:28. These cities probably stood close together and were near the northern extremity of what is now the Dead Sea. This city is always mentioned next after Sodom, both of which were types of impiety and wickedness (Genesis 18:20; Romans 9:29). Their destruction is mentioned as an "example unto those that after should live ungodly" (2 Peter 2:6; Jude 1:4-7). Their wickedness became proverbial (Deuteronomy 32:32; Isaiah 1:9 Isaiah 1:10; Jeremiah 23:14). But that wickedness may be exceeded (Matthew 10:15; Mark 6:11). (Easton's Bible Dictionary)
One of the CITIES OF THE PLAIN (which see) destroyed by fire from heaven in the time of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 19:23-29). It was located probably in the plain South of the Dead Sea, now covered with water. However, others who place the Cities of the Plain at the North end of the Dead Sea, fixes upon Khumran (or Gumran), marked on the Survey Map of Palestine North of Ras Feshkeh, where there are ruins about a mile from the Dead Sea. But there is nothing to support this view except the faint resemblance of the name and the inconclusive arguments placing the Cities of the Plain at that end of the sea. (Excerpt from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
The Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom was a wicked and vile place. Wickedness had become universal, and they were unanimous in any vile design. Here were old and young, and all from every quarter, engaged in this riot; the old were not past it, and the young had soon come up to it. That they had arrived at the highest pitch of wickedness; they were sinners before the Lord exceedingly ch. 13:13 ); for, 1. It was the most unnatural and abominable wickedness that they were now set upon, a sin that still bears their name, and is called Sodomy. They were carried headlong by those vile affections (Rom. 1:26, Rom. 1:27 ), which are worse than brutish, and the eternal reproach of the human nature, and which cannot be thought of without horror by those that have the least spark of virtue and any remains of natural light and conscience. Note, Those that allow themselves in unnatural uncleanness are marked for the vengeance of eternal fire. (see Jude. 7) They were not ashamed to own it and to prosecute their design by force and arms. The practice would have been bad enough if it had been carried on by intrigue and wheedling, but they proclaimed war with virtue and bade open defiance to it. Hence daring sinners are said to declare their sin as Sodom (see Isaiah 3:9). (Matthew Henry Bible Commentary)
Read the full BIble passage about Sodom and Gomorrah below and find further study resources in the related articles and videos.