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Sodom and Gomorrah

by Micha F. Lindemans
Sodom and Gomorrah, according to the Old Testament (Genesis 18, 19), were two ancient cities in Palestine, near the Dead Sea. The Bible almost invariably speaks of them together. With Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar, Sodom and Gomorrah formed the five "cities of the plain", all but the last-named of which are said to have been destroyed by brimstone and fire, perhaps accompanied by an earthquake, because of the indecency and perverse sexual practices of their inhabitants. Later they became prototypes of evil places and there are several tales in the aggadic tradition of the horrible things that occurred there.

When God made has plans known to Abraham about the destruction of Sodom, Abraham was worried about the righteous people in city. God then promised that he would save the city if He found ten righteous people there. He sent two angels to Sodom, and they encountered Lot at the gates of the city. Lot took the two angels to his house and offered them food and place to sleep. Later that night, the men of the city surrounded his house and ordered that he delivered to them the two men he had taken in. When they tried to force their way in, the angels struck them with blindness. They then spoke to Lot of the impending destruction of the city and told him to leave with his wife and two daughters. He and his family were warned not to look behind when they left to city, but Lot's wife did so and was instantly transformed in a salt pillar.

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