DCCC Apologetics Course II DISCOVERY OF THE REMAINS OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH lesson 14

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INTRODUCTION

Critical scholars claim that Biblical history from the Flood to Abraham is pure fiction. Scholars especially scoff at the Biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning Sulphur. In 1990 Ron Wyatt discovered what is certainly the remains of Sodom, Gomorrah and the other cities

of the plain. These sites reveal undisputable evidence that they were destroyed by burning Sulphur that fell from the sky.

LESSON AIM:

To illuminate the student with Biblical evidence concerning the location of Sodom, Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain and to demonstrate the visual evidence that these cities were destroyed by burning sulphur as the Bible claims.

LESSON OBJECTIVES: You will . . .

  1. Study the Biblical history of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and learn of their historical authenticity in the Ebla Tablets.
  2. Read Biblical directions that locate Sodom, Gomorrah and the cities of the plain on the western coast of the Dead Sea.
  3. Learn the Biblical date and the Biblical reasons that these cities were destroyed by God.
  4. See on video the precise locations of Sodom, Gomorrah and Zoar (where Lot and his daughters fled for safety).
  5. Observe visual evidence of the burned remains of the city of Gomorrah.

BIBLICAL HISTORY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH

  1. Sodom and Gomorrah Before Judgment (Genesis 13:10)
    1. “Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)”
    2. At this time in history the Dead Sea was a valley, not a sea, with the Jordan River flowing through it and sinking down into crevices into the ground below.
    3. In Genesis 14 the kings of the east battled against the armies of Sodom, Gomorrah and the other cities of the Plain and fought in the Valley of Siddim (Sodom), which is now the Dead Sea.
    4. Some fell into tar pits in the valley (Genesis 14:10).
  2. The Reasons for Sodom’s Judgment
    1. The Sodomites’ great wealth was counter-balanced by their great sin.
    2. “Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD” (Genesis 13:13).
    3. “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. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49-50).
    4. The Lord and two angels went to see Abraham (Genesis 18:16-21).
    5. The two angels in human form stayed in Lot’s house, and all of the males of Sodom gathered outside Lot’s house requesting that he send the two men out so that they could homosexually rape them (Genesis 19:4-5).
  3. Sodom’s Great Sin and Abraham’s Great Kindness
    1. In Genesis 14:1-24 when the four kings from the east plundered the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and captured Lot, his family and many others, Abraham and his army surprised the enemy’s army at night and rescued the hostages and recaptured the loot.
    2. Abraham returned the people and possessions to the king of Sodom, even though this king was a terrible sinner before God (Genesis 14:17-24).
  4. Sodom’s Powerful Intercessor -Abraham
    1. Abraham intercedes for Sodom (Genesis 18:22-25). “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?”
    2. The power of righteous people (Genesis 18:26). “The LORD said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.’”
    3. In Genesis 18:27-32 Abraham gave an extraordinary example of persistence in prayer on behalf of a sinful city.
    4. Finally in Genesis 18:32, Abraham challenged the patience of God with one last request: “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” God answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
    5. Jesus teaches us to pray with persistence (Luke 18:1-8)[i].
    6. 1 Timothy 2:1-5 instructs Christians to never quit praying for all men, including the terrible emperor Nero.[ii]

GOD’S DESTRUCTION OF SODOM, GOMORRAH AND OTHER CITIES

  • The High Price of Wickedness
    • God could not find even 10 righteous people in Sodom; thus God had no alternative but to express His punitive justice and destroy Sodom and all of the other sinful cities in the plain along the Dead Sea.
    • The two angels who entered Lot’s house blinded the citizens of Sodom outside and led Lot and his family out so they could escape the destruction that God would soon send on the city (Genesis 19).
    • Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).
    • God permitted Lot and his daughters to flee to Zoar, a city only a few hours walk from Sodom (Genesis 19:18-24).
    • When Lot and his family left Sodom, the Lord rained down sulphur and fire upon the cities of the Plain.
  • The Terribleness of Judgment (Genesis 19:24)
    • “Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens.”

 

  • The 2 LORDS (Hebrew word = Yahweh = Jehovah) participated in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The LORD (Yahweh) on earth who talked to Abraham rained down the burning sulfur from another LORD (Yahweh) in heaven.
  • Genesis 19:14 teaches the plurality of the Godhead: The Father and Son; Genesis 1:1-3 includes the Holy Spirit.
  • The Judgment and Salvation Principle
    • 2 Peter 2:6-9[iii] expresses some important lessons Christians need to receive from this destruction of Sodom.
    • They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire (Jude 1:7 ).
      • The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was eternal in the sense that these cities were never rebuilt and no one ever lived in them again.
      • “The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur–nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger” (Deuteronomy 29:23).
      • “Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations” (Isaiah 13:19-20).
    • Historical Confirmation of Sodom and Zeboiim
      • Giovanni Pettinato found in the Ebla Tablets the names of Sodom and Zeboiim, two of the many cities with which Ebla traded.[iv]
      • These Tablets are dated between 2400 and 2000 B.C., but likely need to be re-dated 200 to 300 years later.
      • Ebla’s trade with Sodom and Zeboiim support their historicity and their wealth and commercial importance even before the time of Abraham.

BIBLICAL DATE OF THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH

  • Sodom and Gomorrah’s Destruction Occurred 1 Year Before Isaac’s Birth
  • Isaac Born the Following Year in 1846 B.C.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah Were Destroyed in 1847 B.C.

LOCATION OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH

  • Different Scholarly Theories
    • South end of the Dead Sea. This location is contradicted by the Biblical description in Genesis 10:19[v]
    • Under the Dead Sea. We will see later the exact location of these cities on the western coast of the Dead Sea.
    • Eastern Side of the Dead Sea (in Moab). Border of Canaan never was located on eastern side of Dead Sea, which is Edom and Moab.
  • Cities of the Plain That Were Destroyed. Deuteronomy 29:23 – Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim.
  • Biblical Description of Location of These Cities
    • Genesis 10:19 – Eastern Border of Canaan, west of the Dead Sea.
      • Genesis 10:19 traces western border of Canaan along the coast of the Mediterranean from Sidon in the north, running south toward Gerar, and on to Gaza.
      • Genesis 10:19 traces the southern border from Gaza on the Mediterranean coast, east to Sodom, on the western coast of the Dead Sea.
      • The eastern border runs along the western coast of the Dead Sea from Sodom in the south, northward to Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and finally to Lasha, which is Dan, in the far north.
      • Notice on a map that Lasha (Dan) is at the northeast corner of Canaan directly east from Sidon on the northwest corner of Canaan.
    • Therefore Sodom is located on the western coast of the Dead Sea toward the southern end
    • of the Dead Sea, right at the base of Mount Sodom (Sidim), the mountain of salt. See Wyatt’s Video of this location.
    • Gomorrah is north of Sodom, and is located by Wyatt a few miles north of Massada, also on the western side of the Dead Sea: see the Video.
    • Admah must be located further north on the western coast of the Dead Sea, not far from Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
    • Zeboiim is located further north along the same line of the eastern border of Canaan. Its Scriptural location will be pinpointed in the video.
  • The Battle of Genesis 14:1-12 Locates the Cities of the Plains
    • Genesis 14:8-10 describes the Canaanites kings going out from their cities and down into the valley of Sidim, where tar pits were located, in order to fight against the kings of the East.
    • Their cities were not down in the valley, but on the plain above that looked down on the valley.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah Were Not Located on the East Coast of the Salt Sea
    • Lot lived near to, and later in, Sodom (Genesis 13:12; 19:1).
    • Sodom is south of Jerusalem, not southeast (Ezekiel 16:46).
    • Abraham lived in Hebron, west of the Dead Sea (Genesis 13:18; 18:1).
    • Abraham looked down south, not east across the Dead Sea to look towards Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:28).
    • The angels traveled “down,” not across from Hebron toward Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16).
    • “Down” is south on the western side of the Dead Sea.
    • If Sodom were on the east side of the Dead Sea, Sodom would have been “across” on the same level as Hebron, not “down.”
    • Also, the angels would have needed to cross the Dead Sea in its middle from Hebron to get there, or walk down all the way to the end of the Dead Sea and walk back “up” the other side.
    • Therefore, the Bible clearly locates Sodom and Gomorrah on the southwest side of the Dead Sea.
  • Location of Zoar
    • Lot fled to Zoar before the burning sulphur fell.
    • All scholars located Zoar at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
    • Genesis 19:20; 14:2 locate Zoar (Bela) very close to Sodom, so that it could be reached within an hour or two by Lot and his daughters.
    • The distance between Mount Sodom at the base of Mount Sidim and the recognized site of Zoar can be spanned in a one-hour walk.

REMAINS OF SODOM, GOMORRAH, ADMAH, ZEBOIIM, ZOAR

  • Josephus’ Testimony (first century Jewish scholar)
    • Josephus said the remains of all five cities still existed in the first century A.D. when he wrote and that he had seen them with his own eyes, including fruit that turned to smoke and ashes when plucked with the hands.[vi]
    • He also claimed that he had seen the pillar of salt into which Lot’s wife turned.[vii]
  • Discovery of All Five Cities by Ron Wyatt: See Video
    • Wyatt found all five cities in their Biblical locations (as noted above).
    • Sodom was found at the base of the Mount Sodom (Siddim) on the western side of the Dead Sea.
    • Gomorrah is the best preserved and was found north of Sodom about a half-mile north of the base of Mt. Massada.
    • The ashen remains of Gomorrah clearly denote former buildings and other construction, including a temple and a ziggurat: see the video.
    • The remains of burning sulphur can be clearly seen in slabs of construction upon which the brimstone fell, leaving some of the sulphur within the blackened holes it forms when it was smothered by the fallen ashes.
    • Wyatt had the sulphur examined in a laboratory and it proved to be 95% pure sulphur.

VISUAL EXAMINATION OF A SITE THAT MAY BE ANCIENT GOMORRAH

  • Visual Examination of Gomorrah in 1991

The site of the remains of Gomorrah just north of Massada.

  • The outer wall of Gomorrah was clearly evident and ashen remains of buildings, a temple and a ziggurat were evident.
  • Rectangular door and window openings are clearly seen in some of the remains.
  • Sulphur balls are found all over the site of Gomorrah.
  • Sulphur Balls Tested

Mr. Dutton of the Southwestern Public Service Co. in Amarillo, Texas, had some specialists test samples of these sulphur balls; they were found to contain 96.1% sulphur.

  • Dutton said that sulfur is obtained by drilling deep into the ground, liquefying the crystallized sulfur; then pumping it out of the ground.
  • He had never seen balls of powdered sulfur before seeing my samples.
  • He considered this evidence as absolute proof that burning balls of powdered sulfur fell on this site and burned it as the Bible says.

 

SELF EXAM FOR LESSON FOURTEEN

  1. Describe the economic condition of Sodom and Gomorrah before its destruction. To what is it compared? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Name two great things Abraham did for Sodom.
    • ____________________________________________________________________
    • ____________________________________________________________________
  3. How is the power of righteous people illustrated in Abraham’s plea for Sodom? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Tell of the connection between the Elba Tablets and the cities of Sodom and Zeboiim. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. The date of the destruction of Sodom is: __________________________________________

 

[i] Luke 18:1-8 The Parable of the Persistent Widow Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

[ii] 1 Timothy 2:1-5 Pray for All Men  1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

[iii] 2 Peter 2:6-9 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

[iv] Giovanni Pettinato, The Archives of Ebla, Doubleday, 1981, p. 287.

[v] Genesis 10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.

[vi] Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 4.8.4.

[vii] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 1.11.4.

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