by I. Penn
If you have read my first article Genesis v Science you will realize that I have spent a lot of time in my life reading and studying ancient documents, looking for, amongst other things, ancient texts and artifacts that support modern scientific knowledge or thought. This has led me into various studies one of which is to try and understand what the ancient texts mean by good and evil? Ancient texts have come to us via one of the world religions or societies with long traditions, often only oral, I think that they all have a concept of living your life in accordance with the rules of the Creator, that is being good and not evil, but what exactly is meant by good and evil? This concept I find in the writings of the Bible.
The following short article was written a few years ago when I was searching for signs of high technology in ancient documents and artifacts, could the story of Sodom & Gomorrah have messages applicable to both good and evil and high technology? I think maybe. I start this study from The Epistle of Jude, the second to last book in the New Testament, primarily because Jude identifies instances where evil, wicked or sinful acts , are referenced and punished.
The Hebrews that came out of Egypt during the Exodus and did not believe or love the Lord God, the angels that did not keep their proper domain, the the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who committed sexual immorality and Cain who murdered his brother.
|Jude is writing to someone called “Beloved” and reminding him/her of the punishment for acts of evil. The acts of evil written by Jude are:
Jude 5, “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those who did not believe. Jude 6, And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode. Genesis touches on this in Chapter 2 verse 2 and the Book of Enoch expands on the subject. Jude 7, as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh. Jude 11, woe to them, because they have gone the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
Most people know the story of Cain murdering his brother, murder is a crime in most societies but can anyone enlighten me on “Balaam for profit” or the “rebellion of Korah”?
Yesterday I was watching the TV documentary about Sodom And Gomorrah, the experts talking about these two biblical towns that Genesis says were destroyed by the Lord God because of the evil of the people. In my view they where missing the main point of the story.
Now for my views on this mystical biblical story and the events that were recorded
The story starts with the Lord God and two of his angels meeting with Abraham, Abraham prepares the best meal that he can and offers hospitality as was the custom, food, water to wash his feet. The Lord God decides to tell Abraham what he is doing, he is sending his angels to find out if the people are as evil as is said, if so, he will destroy them. They discuss the destruction of the people in these towns, Abraham asks the Lord God that if there where some righteous people in these towns would he continue with his plan, the Lord God responds that he would not, various numbers of people are discussed, 50, 45, 40, 30, 20 and 10.
In this story, Abraham immediately recognizes the Lord God and angels, they are physical beings, they walk, talk, eat, wash their feet. In the text, when the angels depart to visit the towns and people, in English text the angels turn into men?
When the angels arrive in Sodom, Lot immediately recognizes the angels, shows respect and offers them to stay in his house , the angels respond saying that they would sleep in the open square, Lot insisted and the angels accepted Lot’s hospitality. Before they slept, the men of the city, young and old, all the people, surrounded the house and demanded that Lot “bring them out to us that we may know them carnally”.
I don’t want to turn this text into something distasteful but I am trying to understand the full horror of the story, the absolute evilness of what the people of Sodom wanted to do, this is much more than sodomy between two consenting people, this was to force the two visiting angels/ men to have sex with them, forced sex is rape, rape is recognized as a terrible crime, when multiple men want to have sex with a person this is gang rape, but this was “same sex” gang rape, can you imagine such a heinous crime? I am trying to imagine this horror of this crime, I closed my eyes and tried to picture the scene, this was the men of the whole city young and old, wanting to drag these two visitors to the open square to have carnal sex with them, how many men we do not know, but you can get an idea from the text in the beginning where Abraham asks the Lord God “if fifty righteous men within the city”, not a large population as we think of a city today but is a large number when you think of multiple men having sex with one, in one session.
What was Lot thinking? had he seen this before? did it happen to all males that dared to visit these cities, was it because these two angels/men were exceptionally good looking, with beautiful bodies? Was this ceremonial or was it a mass orgy inspired by drugs or alcohol or both. The “people of the town gathered”, did the women join in with this spectacle? Lot clearly recognized the angel for what they were but the people of the town didn’t, or did they chose to ignore it.
There is one parallel of this story in Judges 19, 22 to 30, this is the story of a certain Levite from the mountains of Ephraim who rested on his journey in a town called Gibeah, nobody was prepared to give him hospitality until an old man coming from the fields offered his, as they were enjoying themselves, certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door, bring out the man who came to your house that we may know him carnally, the perverted men accepted the substitution of his wife or concubine, they knew her and abused her all night, in the morning she was dead.
Lot offered the substitution of his daughters, the men of the town were not having this , they wanted sex with the angels/men. What horrible crimes, in the case of Sodom and Gomorra they chose the wrong people to do his to, two angels who had been sent by the Lord God to judge them and if found guilty, destroy them.
The two angels had a very powerful defense, they had the ability to make the men of the town blind, how did they do this? were they prepared for this situation? Although the text gives no information we must assume that all of the men of Sodom were affected, it seems to have completely suppressed the situation, what an incredible weapon to have for crowd control, could it have been some sort of high technology?
Now for the destruction itself, what does the text tell us? Before the angels could start or authorize the fire and brimstone, the blast was going to be so devastating that Lot with his ladies had to go as far as possible from the area, the angels wanted them to go to the mountains, a compromise was to go to the city of Zoar. The blast was caused by fire and brimstone raining down from above, it destroyed everything, all the inhabitants, even everything that grew on the ground. When Lot’s wife looked back she turned into a pillar of salt. Early next morning, Abraham looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah “ the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace” – I think we all know a weapon that fits this description. Even a modern conventional weapon would not cause this amount of destruction.
The basic elements of the story of destruction by “fire and brimstone” could not have been understood in the way I have interpreted it until this modern era, Lot had to get as far away from the blast as possible, behind a mountain, the blast caused total destruction of at least two towns, presumably a rather large area, Lots wife looked back at the blast, she was running away from all her possessions and probably family, something killed her and changed her body to appear like a pillar of salt, the angels could not do anything until he arrives to safety and finally in the morning, Abraham looked in the direction and the smoke went up like the “smoke of a furnace” in modern terms we call it a mushroom.
How could anyone, those thousands of years ago have written such an accurate and detailed description of a thermo-nuclear explosion? In this story the Lord God clearly does not condone the behavior of these people and totally destroys them, do you agree?
Copyright 2013 I. Penn Presented with author’s permission