“Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven” (Genesis 19:24). Most believers are familiar with the account of Sodom and Gomorrah, where these wicked cities were supernaturally destroyed by the Lord. Have archaeologists discovered evidence of this event?
Well, headlines are certainly proclaiming that “a giant space rock” smashing down over Tall el-Hamman in the Middle East 3,600 years ago may have “inspire[ed] the biblical story of Sodom.” Based on their analysis, they argue the asteroid sped towards the city at 38,000 mph, exploded into a blinding fireball 2.5 miles above ground in a blast “around 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb,” immediately encasing the city in flames and sending a destructively powerful shockwave through the city. Everyone and everything in the city were instantly killed.
You see, the destruction of Tall el Hammam, according to secular dating, took place around 1750–1650 BC, much later than the time of Abraham.
The article then asks, “Could [Genesis 19] be an ancient eyewitness account” of this asteroid impact? Well, no, it’s not. You see, the destruction of Tall el Hammam, according to secular dating, took place around 1750–1650 BC, much later than the time of Abraham. Later, it was occupied again around 1000 BC, according to secular dating models, at the beginning of the Israelite monarchy. Yet Scripture states that Sodom was destroyed and never inhabited again.
“As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah And their neighbors,” says the LORD, “No one shall remain there, Nor shall a son of man dwell in it.” (Jeremiah 49:18 NKJV)
“As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah And their neighbors,” says the LORD, “So no one shall reside there, Nor son of man dwell in it.” (Jeremiah 50:40 NKJV)
Furthermore, that location doesn’t match the biblical description of where the historical Sodom and Gomorrah were. And, keep in mind that Lot, his wife, and his daughters fled the city of Sodom to go to Zoar. A blast that powerful would have killed them even in Zoar, which was described as very close to Sodom (Genesis 19:20-23). Also, the destruction of these cities, as well as the other cities such as Admah and Zeboim on the plain, wasn’t a story “inspired” by some naturalistic event—it was a divinely ordained destruction, sent by God to judge their incredible wickedness.
So, no, Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed by an asteroid that “inspired” the biblical account—they were destroyed just as the Bible states. And that’s a reminder to make sure we judge people’s interpretation of past events from the foundation of God’s Word! If the interpretation doesn’t match, then it’s wrong. The cities’ destruction and the continued desolation of their former location are a reminder to us that God always judges sin. He is patient and gives us time to repent, but he will judge sin. But Jesus took our penalty of death for us. Turn to him today and believe in the gospel message!
This item was discussed yesterday on Answers News with cohosts Dr. Georgia Purdom, Tim Chaffey, and Bodie Hodge. Answers News is our twice-weekly news program filmed here at the Creation Museum and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also covered the following intriguing topics:
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
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