SODOM AND GOMORRAH:
[Pictures taken from the DK ILLUSTRATED FAMILY BIBLE
pgs. 44-45 Copyright 1997]
1. Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot
was sitting in (at)
the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.
And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet;
then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”
But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened
bread, and they ate. Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from
every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight?
Bring them out to us that we may know them [carnally].” So Lot went
out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See
now, I have two daughters who have not known man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish;
only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow (protection)
of my roof.” And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here,
and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against
the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.” (Genesis 19:1-9 NKJV). In the first part of the verse: “…When
Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my
lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go
on your way.” Lot was fulfilling the custom of hospitality. Especially in the desert, it was imperative
for a sojourner of a particular area to provide lodging and food to a traveling stranger; this meant life or death to the
traveler if these needs were not met. Abraham did this custom of hospitality to the three men that met him in the plains of
Mamre (Gen. 18:1-5), and the Book of Judges (19:13-25) talks about a man needing only lodging for himself, his men, and his
cattle because he was traveling to the house of the LORD. The custom of hospitality was that the traveler asked the inhabitant
of a particular area for lodging, food, or drink; but the inhabitant could also ask the traveler if he needed these things.
Guests were thought of as being sent from God. Providing food and lodging wasn’t a money burden, because it was seen
as tithing to God. Instead of giving the whole ten percent to the priests, the person could use part of the ten percent in
feeding poor strangers. Jesus obviously thought Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their inhospitality to strangers.
When Jesus sent His disciples preaching the gospel house to house and into different cities, of which they received the hospitality
of lodging, food, and drink; Jesus said this: “Whatever city or town you enter, ask who is trustworthy
in it, and remain there until you leave. And when you enter into the house, salute the family. And if the family is trustworthy,
your salutation of peace shall come upon it; but if it is not trustworthy, your salutation shall return to you. Whoever will
not welcome you and will not listen to your words, when you leave the house or the village, shake off the sand from your feet.
Truly I say to you that it will be easier for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that city.”
(Matthew 10:11-15 Lamsa). Jesus also confirms the belief in the hospitable acts of providing food and drink as tithing
to God. “Then the King will say to those at his right, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit
the kingdom which has been prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was
thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in;” (Matthew 25:34-35 Lamsa).
Going back to the
story of Sodom and Gomorrah in chapter 19:4-8 of Genesis,when it says: …the
men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said
to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them [carnally].”
So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so
wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them
as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow (protection)
of my roof.” First of all, Sodom and the cities round about it had fallen into fornication; which
meant anything from prostitution to lewd sexual acts such as rape. The cities back then didn’t like foreigners that
much, so foreigners were often vexed. Male and female foreigners were raped. Also, kings would take a male foreigners wife,
then kill the husband. The traveler also had the fear of robbery when traveling in foreign lands. When Abram entered Egypt,
Pharaoh took his wife, and because God plagued Pharaoh and all his household, Pharaoh gave Abram back his wife.
Another inhospitable act similar to Sodom’s occurs in (Judges 20:4-5 NKJV) where it says: So the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered,
answered and said, “My concubine and I went into Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin, to spend the
night. And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house at night because of me. They intended to kill me,
but instead they ravished my concubine so that she died.” Because this man was a foreigner, they wanted to kill him by burning
the house down on him. Since strangers were vexed, God made a prohibition against it: - “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you
were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21 NKJV). Because of the mistreatment and hatred that Laban showed toward
Jacob and his two daughters, (Genesis 31:14-15 NKJV) says this: Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there still any
portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? Are we not considered strangers by him? For he has sold
us, and also completely consumed our money.” The reason foreigners were hated is because
the travelers could be spies. These spies could overthrow the city or nation. Also, eating with one another was a part of
worship for believers of the same God. It was an abomination for the Egyptians to eat with the Hebrews (Gen. 43:32).
Generally, when a mob of men took counsel and
surrounded a house in those days, it was because of two reasons. One reason was to see if the visitors were spies (see Joshua
2:3). The second reason was to harass a resident who received foreigners of a different religion into his home (see Acts 17:5-9).
When it says the men of Sodom wanted
to know (ya-da) the foreigners, they wanted to see and understand who these
men were, plus have sex with them. The men of Sodom then surround his house and ask for his guests to take hostage. If the
visitors were taken hostage, they could be raped and (or) killed. Plus the host could also suffer punishment
for allowing foreign guests into his home. In accordance with the hospitality of the East, Lot offers his two daughters to
protect his guests. The guest, once the host has accepted him, is sacred, and must be protected from any danger even at the
cost of the life of members of the family. The guest in return has to not cause any trouble in the city that would shame the
Lot said that his two daughters had not known man, which would mean that they were virgins. Instead
of the men of Sodom raping and killing Lot’s guests, Lot offers his daughters to the mob. If the mob accepted Lot’s
offer, then they would have the assurance of not being killed for adultery.
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not a good example that the Bible condemns homosexuals, meaning people that are born
gay, because the men didn’t want to have sex with the men out of lust, but wanted to harm them. The men of Sodom said,
“This one came in to
stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” (Gen. 19:9
Now the Bible itself gives us the reason why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, it says this: “…like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah,
Admah and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and His wrath. All nations would say, ‘Why has the LORD done
so to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean? Then people would say: Because they have forsaken the
covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt; for they
went and served other gods and worshipped them, gods that they did not know and that He had not given to them.
Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against this land, to bring on it every curse that is written in this book:”
(Deuteronomy 29:23-27 NKJV). If Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality, why don’t any of the many verses
in the Bible that speak of Sodom and Gomorrah and why it was destroyed say it was because of homosexuality. These are the
other verses: Deut. 29:23, 32:32; Wis. 19:14-17; Isa. 3:9, 13:19; Jer. 23:14, 49:18, 50:40; Lam. 4:6; Ezek. 16:46-48; Amos
4:11; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15; Luke 17:29; Rom. 9:29; 2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 7.
2. "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbouring cities which in like manner gave themselves
over to fornication (za-ni prostitution), and followed after other
carnal lusts (bis-ra flesh)..." (Jude 1:7 Lamsa). This
verse is talking about how the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbouring cities committed fornication, which included
anything from prostitution to lewd sexual acts such as rape. These people followed after "other flesh,"
which is referring to the foreigners/strangers. The Aramaic word bis-ra, translated as carnal lusts here, really means flesh or people. We see this here: "It shall come to pass
in the last days, said God, I will pour My spirit upon all flesh (people); and your sons and your
daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams;" (Acts 2: 17 Lamsa). A translation of this verse would be: Even as Sodom
and Gomorrah and the neighbouring cities which in like manner gave themselves over to fornication, and followed after other
people. The statement “followed after other people” sounds like the inhabitants were going after foreigners/strangers.
That statement is actually the exact opposite of what Paul said, when he said that Israel was the “sons of my
flesh (or people)” (Rom. 11:14). Dr. Lamsa translates the words “sons
of” as “those who are” in this verse. (See also Gen. 37:27).
Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Mattai "the Preacher"
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