What Is Sodom?

Mary has suggested that maybe we have different definitions for Sodom. I agree that we must have correct definitions for words in order to have a serious discussion. But our definitions don’t really matter. We must see what Scripture says about Sodom and what Sodom is referring to throughout the Scripture. You might be surprised how many times Sodom is referred to beyond the account about Lot.

Terry mentioned one occurrence in Ezekiel 16:49-50 in her comments about Sodom.

Here is one other reference to Sodom which might surprise you:

Revelation 11:7-8 (ESV)
7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit  will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,
8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.

So after you have a chance to find references to Sodom in the Bible; where is Sodom and what is Sodom’s problem based purely on the Scripture?


8 thoughts on “What Is Sodom?

  1. I’m sure you must be sick of hearing from me by now, Berean Wife. Sorry if I’ve taken over your blog. A fascinating subject. Funny how I felt, after our trip, that God had gotten us out of Sodom, and then came home to my computer and saw the article you recommended by John MacArthur on Sodom.

    In the Bible account in Genesis 18 and 19, Sodom’s main sin that pushed God to destroy it (and Gomorrah), although they had other sins, too, was homosexuality.

    Even secular people and secular dictionaries refer to the homosexual act as “Sodomy.”

    Jerusalem is frequently referred to in the both the O.T. and the N.T. (as you are Terry referenced) as Sodom. Jerusalem, too, had problems with this sin. It was destroyed in 70 A.D. Possibly this will happen in the future, too.

    Sodom and cities like it in the Bible were slated for specific destruction due to the sin of homosexuality.

    God destroyed Noah’s world for the same thing, although the world of his time, like Sodom, also had other sins (violence, evil imaginations). In II Peter 2:5,6 Noah’s world was linked with the world of Sodom and Gomorrah in the two verses, indicating the same problem.

    Both Lot and Noah were somewhat corrupted, although righteous because of their faith.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    No problem, believe me, I can discuss the Bible, doctrine and Christian living all the time, even late into the night if anyone will stay awake and listen. Just life won’t slow down always for the fun stuff!

    I question though whether one particular sin was the reason for destruction. Although homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord there are other sins which are also called abominations.

    I’ve been trying to study through this and wow this gets deep. Not only is there homosexuality, but then there is the references to “strange flesh”, angels, pride, adultery … Just dog-paddling here right now. But I’m afraid we can’t focus so much attention on one particular sin while giving passes to others. Verses like this keep coming to mind:

    Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)
    19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
    20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
    21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Berean Wife

  2. Oops, as you AND Terry referenced.

    We do not stay uncorrupted when we live in places that are filled with all kinds of perversion.

    The first thing Noah did after getting out of the ark was plant a vineyard and get drunk.

    Lot, as we saw, allowed his daughters to make him drunk and commit incest with him.

    Lot, if you read the Scriptures, asked the angel who got him and his daughters out of Sodom for permission to retire to the little town of Zoar. The angel gave permission. This would have been find.

    However, Lot was still shaking, and feared even to live in Zoar. He then retreated to a cave (in other words, he went overboard), and as all sin begin sin isolation, his daughters, who had been corrupted (and I understand that even if we live in a perfect place, corruption is in our fallen hearts) committed incest with their father.

    Once you have left Sodom, there is no need to go overboard and hole up in a cave in isolation. But I see Christians doing that even here in the rural areas, not even fellowshipping with other conservative Christians. Interesting.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    Family Homechurching comes to my mind as a potential example of “holing up.” I think Scripture is clear we should seek to fellowship and worship with other believers.

    Berean Wife

  3. Sorry for my typos. This would have been FINE, I meant.

    I have put these comments of mine on my posts on my site, too.

    I learned a lot about Corinth, too, from reading John MacArthur’s commentary.

    It was a very wicked, perverted city. In no way is it called “Sodom”, though, or likened to it, although it had all kinds of perversion.

    The Christians there got things twisted. They had holed up and refused to associate with unbelievers to whom they should have been witnessing; they were at the same time, associating freely with Christians who were living in gross sin. Paul tried to correct this.

    If you are living in a city in which you can still live (not a Sodom filled with homosexuality), then be a witness — associate with unbelievers somewhat (not buddy-buddy) so that you can preach the Gospel and be a witness. Don’t hole up.

    Guard against holing up, whether you live in a city or in a small town. You are hiding your light under a bushel.

    Corinth apparently didn’t make it. In the Book of Revelation, you don’t read of it when Jesus gives his messages to the angels of the 7 churches. There is no, “…and to the angel of the church in Corinth.” I wonder what happened to those Christians in that city? Did they all fall away? Did any of them leave that church and that city? I believe I would have, if possible.

    Christians need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Some need to begin, like Noah, to begin to “build a boat,” and make plans to leave the corruption of the cities and settle elsewhere, if that is where God is leading you. If this is God’s will for a Christian, He will make provision.

    Going back to Noah and Lot, neither made any converts. God was merciful and did not destroy these men and their families when He rained destruction.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    Like I’m gonna complain about spelling errors and typos! ha! That would be bad. My daughter likes checking my spelling and grammar on some things before I embarrass her.

    “Going back to Noah and Lot, neither made any converts.”

    True, but that ultimately means the Lord did not choose to call any His Own from Sodom or Noah’s world other than Lot and Noah’s families. It was not the Lord’s will to save others, but to destroy the city or the world for their wickedness as an example to us. (Jude 7)

    Berean Wife

  4. No, I’m not giving passes for other kinds of sins. They are still sins. However, homosexuality is the sin for which Sodom was ultimately destroyed. It is a grave sin. There are three sins which “push the envelope” with God and cause Him to destroy a civilization or city or whatever: idolatry, child sacrifice and homosexuality. We must not say they are not worse than other sins; the Bible clearly shows that they are. Sodom etc were certainly examples. God is not willing that any should perish, however; they had their chance. (Can you tell I’m not a Calvinist?)

    Berean Wife Reply:


    I’m not being difficult, I promise. I’m tired and my better and smarter half is not available. 🙁

    Where is the Scriptural basis for:

    There are three sins which “push the envelope” with God and cause Him to destroy a civilization or city or whatever: idolatry, child sacrifice and homosexuality. We must not say they are not worse than other sins; the Bible clearly shows that they are.

    I can find a basis for lust and impurity being a result of the Lord giving them up to their sin:

    Romans 1:24-25 (ESV)
    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
    25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!

    Berean Wife

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