Sodom and Gomorrah

Chapter 1. Judgement by Fire - Part 2

The Judgement that these people will face is yet future. But God chose Sodom and Gomorrah to be an example ahead of time of how He feels about sin and how He will judge all the wicked. They will end up in ashes, as Malachi wrote of the end of the wicked:

Malachi 4:1-3: “For, behold, the Day comes, that SHALL BURN as an OVEN; and all the proud, yes, and all who do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the Day that comes SHALL BURN THEM UP, says the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with Healing in His wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And you shall tread down the WICKED; for they shall be ASHES under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, says the Lord of hosts.” 

Jude also writes along those same lines, presenting these Cities as proof of the reward of the wicked:

Jude 7: “Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for (the purpose of being) 
an EXAMPLE, suffering the vengeance of eternal FIRE.” 

They provide the entire world with the evidence of the coming judgement which Jude describes as: "the Vengeance of Eternal Fire." Again, the word used for EXAMPLE signifies: "a thing shown, a specimen", indicating that these unique Cities should be 

preserved by God, for us to see. God has set forth the Judgement 
of SODOM and GOMORRAH as the classic warning, the example and the pattern of how He will judge the whole world in the future.

The fact that these Cities of Ash could still be seen in the time of Christ, is proven by the 1st Century Jewish historian, Josephus, 
who writes in his "WARS OF THE JEWS", book 4, chapter 8:

"Now this country is then so sadly burnt up, that nobody cares to come at it ... It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its Cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the REMAINDERS of that DIVINE FIRE; and the TRACES [SHADOWS] of the 5 CITIES are STILL to be SEEN." 

The question remains: 
“Are these Cities still visible today as a testimony to the truth of God’s Word and the certainty of God’s Judgement?” 

In this book, I aim to set forth the amazing claim that the evidence for this Judgement is still there to see today. We must start by assuming the Bible account is a true historical account and then asking what would we expect to discover on that basis that would confirm it. Since this was a unique event we would expect the remains to contain unique and distinctive features. These towns were totally destroyed by fire and burning sulphur which rained 

down upon them. This resulted in total destruction of the Cities that they were ‘turned into ashes.’ Therefore we would not expect to find the usual kind of archaeological finds in these places. However, if the witness of the New Testament and Josephus is true, then there should be clear identifiable remains. 

If the Bible is true and if these Cities have been preserved by God, as Josephus claimed, then what would we expect to see today? 

*1. There should be 4 or 5 distinct, well-defined city-sized regions around the Dead Sea, that could be the remains of these destroyed Cities, distinctly standing out from the general landscape.

These regions should be primarily composed of ASH-LIKE material showing evidence of being the result of a burning FIRE for they had been turned to Ashes (2Peter 2:6), so that the Shadows (Traces) of these Cities were still preserved in the time of Christ. Since they were destroyed by burning sulphur balls raining down from above we would expect these ash-like areas to contain a high sulphur content, and that there would be remnants of these balls of brimstone, with evidence of having been at high temperatures.

Deuteronomy 29:23: “The whole land is brimstone (sulphur), 
salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, 
nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of: 
(1) Sodom and (2) Gomorrah, (3) Admah, and (4) Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and His wrath.” 

This identifies the 4 Cities (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim) that God initially destroyed. Lot first escaped to Zoar, and so it was spared for his sake. But soon after, he left it for fear of its imminent destruction. It seems reasonable to suppose Zoar was also destroyed after Lot left, especially in view of what Lot’s daughters said in the mountains of Jordan (overlooking Zoar), after they had left Zoar: 

Genesis 19:30,31: “Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his 2 daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his 2 daughters dwelt in a cave. Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth.” This only makes sense if Zoar also had been destroyed, so finally all 5 Cities of the Plain were destroyed.

One of these regions, namely Zoar, should be the smallest area, as well as being the southernmost (Genesis 13:10) for Lot escaped from Sodom at the southern end of the Dead Sea, to Zoar, which must be further South in order to be outside the initial destruction zone.

Thus we should find 5 city-sized areas of ash-like material alongside the Dead Sea, that stand out from their surroundings, and that have a high sulphur content. The southernmost should be the smallest.

*2. Despite the erosion over 4000 years, we would still hope to see the distinctive shapes of City Buildings, Formations and Walls, characteristic of Canaanite Cities of that time. 

*3. SULPHUR BALLS embedded in the ash-like material 

Genesis 19:24 says: “The Lord RAINED upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah BRIMSTONE and FIRE from the Lord out of heaven.” Since Brimstone is SULPHUR, this means millions of 
burning sulphur balls must have rained down from above. Therefore we would expect to see the remains of these spherical sulphur balls embedded in the ash of these Cities. This would be the conclusive proof that these Cities were destroyed just as the Bible describes.

*4. SALT. The other element of Judgement (as well as Sulphur and Fire) in the Biblical Account of the destruction of Sodom is SALT. When God destroyed Sodom, there must have been a sudden wave of salt that covered the whole area around Sodom, because Lot’s wife, who lagged behind as she looked longingly towards Sodom, suddenly got covered by salt, becoming a pillar of salt! However, this salt wave must have stopped short of where Lot was in Zoar. 

Genesis 19:23-26: “The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those Cities, all the Plain, all the inhabitants of the Cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a PILLAR of SALT.” 

Therefore we should find great quantities of SALT in the area around Sodom, but Zoar should be outside the ‘salt-zone’.

Does what is actually there today agree with what should be there according to the Bible? I aim to demonstrate that all these four points are exactly what we find. Despite the erosion of 4000 years the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah are still there to be seen right where the Bible says they should be. These Ashen Cities around the Dead Sea, containing millions of sulphur balls, are unique in all the earth, a testimony to God’s Judgement. God’s Word is true! 

*1. Today, we can indeed find 5 well defined City-sized regions around the Dead Sea, which clearly contrast with their surroundings. 
These regions are composed of a whitish compacted ash-like material, contrasting with the general brown rock of the region, causing them to visibly stand out from the surrounding landscape. This is only found in these 5 special localities. They can be seen as whitish areas on satellite photos of the Dead Sea area (opposite).

Whenever I take a group to Israel, I look forward to show them the remains of the shadow City of Gomorrah, which is under Masada (see the picture opposite), and to take them down its ‘spooky’ streets. Often it is one of the most moving parts of their whole trip. 

Scientific analysis of the ash-like material confirms that it has an unusually high SULPHUR content, and that it is best explained as the result of a great FIRE. This is confirmed by the millions of embedded sulphur balls, which show evidence of being the remains of balls that rained down, burning at great heat (see Appendix 1).

    

Home

Books

About Us

Events

Teachings

Bible Commentary

Media

Shop

Donate

Contact

Print

OBC Office

363 Banbury Road
Oxford - England - UK
OX2 7PL
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 515086
Fax: +44 (0) 8721 107068
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Print

Sunday Services

Sundays at 11am and 6pm
Cheney School Hall
Cheney Lane - Headington
Oxford - England - UK
OX3 7QH