The judgment carried out against Sodom & Gomorrah for the sins of the people was literally and actually fire and brimstone. Abraham bargained with YHWH that if He found even ten (10) people who were righteous, YHWH agreed He would not destroy the cities.
“And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” (Gen. 18:32, KJV)
We can know that YHWH did not find even ten righteous souls in those cities because He did destroy them. That destruction was a sign to the people of the entire earth of YHWH’s judgment against the wicked, of YHWH’s righteous anger. The fire of His judgment was literally carried out upon the earth.
“24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.… 28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” (Gen. 19:24, 25, 28, KJV)
Fire from heaven. Sodom and Gomorrah became a symbol of wicked people, and the form of the judgment carried out upon those wicked became another symbol of YHWH’s judgment and anger. Ever after when the Lord would mention Sodom and Gomorrah the people would remember what had happened.
The promise made to Israel if they forsook the oath of the covenant with YHWH:
“22 So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the Lord hath laid upon it;
23 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:
24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger? 25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:
26 For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them: 27 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:
28 And the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.” (Deu. 29:22-28, KJV)
YHWH called Israel by Sodom’s name many times, comparing their wickedness and idolatry to that city He had destroyed.
“32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: 33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. 34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?” (Deu. 32: 32-34, KJV)
YHWH remembered, and stored up the promise of their destruction. Isaiah spoke to Israel, reminding them of this promise.
“7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9 Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.“ (Isa. 1:7-10, KJV)
YHWH continually used Sodom and Gomorrah as the symbols of wickedness and righteous judgment, and called the people of Israel by their names.
“8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory. 9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” (Isa. 3:8-9, KJV)
“14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.“ (Jer. 23:14, KJV)
YHWH used this comparison against other wicked nations such as Edom (Jer. 49:17-18), and against Babylon (Jer. 50:40), against Moab and Ammon (Zeph. 2:9), but the prophets sent to Israel and Judah were well used to this symbolism applied to the wicked children of Abraham. Ezekiel used it throughout chap. 16.
“45 Thou art thy mother’s daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which lothed their husbands and their children: your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.
46 And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.
47 Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.
48 As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.
49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” (Ezek. 16: 45-49, KJV)
Our Messiah used it again for the people of Judea living in that Roman province in the first century AD. He told His disciples that if any of the cities of Israel to whom they were sent rejected them that their judgment would be worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt. 10:15). He pronounced the same worse judgment against Capernaum (Matt. 11:23-24).
Paul used the comparison in speaking to the assembly of believers in Rome (Rom. 9:29) that without the Seed, Yeshua (Jesus), they would have been as the wicked of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Then, when YHWH used this same comparison in Revelation and linked it with the place of Yeshua’s crucifixion, there cannot have been any doubt which city was meant.
“ And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.“ (Rev. 11:8, KJV)
Just as in Ezekiel, the great city that was condemned for their unrighteousness, for their many transgressions against YHWH was Jerusalem. It was Jerusalem and all of Judea that was the focus of the judgment that was pronounced to come soon (Rev. 1:1; 22:6) upon those living in the first century AD.
The sign of the rainbow around the throne scene in both Ezek. 1:28 and Rev. 4:3 was the sign of the promise YHWH had made with Noah, that this judgment was to be a limited judgment against a land region, and not the entire earth.
In his comments on Ezek. chap. 16, Philip Mauro said:
“Manifestly this is just a strong way of saying that the overthrow of Jerusalem was to be forever; since the cities of the plain, and the northern kingdom, of which Samaria was the capitol city, had been completely obliterated. God had already said to the people of Israel through Moses that their overthrow would be “like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.. which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath” (Deu. 29:23). In fact, Sodom and Gomorrah are in Scripture the very type of complete and irrecoverable overthrow (See Isa. 1:8,9; Jer. 49:18; 50:40, Matt. 11:23). And God had said through Hosea, concerning the northern kingdom (Samaria), that He would “cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel,” and would “no more have mercy on the house of Israel” (Hos. 1:4, 6).
And now God concludes His threat of judgment upon Jerusalem by saying, “For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant” (v. 59).
So there was to be a complete breach of the covenant, that had subsisted between God and the earthly Jerusalem. ….But, the prophesy itself goes on to declare, as Jeremiah had already foretold, that God would work out His purposes under a new and “everlasting covenant”; …
It is easily to be seen, in the light of the New Testament Scriptures, and of the way O.T. prophesies are interpreted by Christ and Peter and Paul, that this latter part of Chap. XVI is a foretelling of the work of the gospel, which was to be proclaimed “to the Jew first,” and which would have the effect of separating the true “Israel” (Rom 9:6) from the mass of the apostate nation….” Source: The Hope of Israel, chap. XI, p. 96-97, 1922:
The second destruction of Jerusalem and the temple prophesied by Christ through John in Revelation was the vision foretold by Ezekiel. It was the change from the earthly physical, and temporary accommodation God had made with the children of Abraham by which He would fulfill the blessing to all nations on earth (Gen. 18:18, 22:18; 26:4)
Jerusalem was the place of the birth of the church on the day of Pentecost in AD 30-31, and it was from Jerusalem that the word, the gospel went forth into all of the lands. Jerusalem was the focus of Ezekiel’s prophesy and of Revelation’s prophesy. Jerusalem was the birthplace of the spiritual covenant, and the death of the old Mosaic animal sacrificial temple system (AD 70).
Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption (1 Cor. 15:40-49), the corollary to the fleshly body of man, and the fleshly temple system is apparent. The heavenly, everlasting kingdom and its heavenly city, the New Jerusalem was birthed out of the old one on earth. The prophesies of both Ezekiel and Revelation were for that new heavenly and everlasting Jerusalem that is the spiritual city in which all believers in Christ dwell (Rev. 21:1-3).
8 thoughts on “Ezekiel in Revelation – Part II: Sodom & Gomorrah”
Why are you concerned with the 40 years mirror to the promised land? Is there a particular passage for that requirement?
The only requirements that I am familiar with is the one that Jesus gave His disciples in the Olivet Discourse. Specifically, where Jesus said that this generation will not pass away before all these things take place (Matt 24:34). That one and Matt 16:28 where Jesus said that there are some standing here that would not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.
A little tidbit on Matt 24:34 that you might appreciate…. The Greek construction of that verse and also of verse 35 is somewhat rare in the NT. That verse has a double negative with an Aorist Subjunctive verb. It is called Emphatic Negation.
According to Daniel. Wallace,
” Emphatic negation is indicated by οὐ μή plus the aorist subjunctive or, less frequently, οὐ μή plus the future indicative (e.g., Matt 26:35; Mark 13:31; John 4:14; 6:35). This is the strongest way to negate something in Greek. One might think that the negative with the subjunctive could not be as strong as the negative with the indicative. However, while οὐ + the indicative denies a certainty, οὐ μή + the subjunctive denies a potentiality. The negative is not weaker; rather, the affirmation that is being negatived is less firm with the subjunctive. οὐ μή rules out even the idea as being a POSSIBILITY: “ου μή is the most decisive way of negativing something in the future.”Emphatic negation is found primarily in the reported sayings of Jesus (both in the Gospels and in the Apocalypse); secondarily, in quotations from the LXX. Outside of these two sources it occurs only rarely. As well, a soteriological theme is frequently found in such statements, especially in John: what is negatived is the possibility of the loss of salvation.” (Emphasis mine)
Wallace, D. B. (1996). Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (p. 468). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
What Jesus then in essence is saying is that it is IMPOSSIBLE for this generation to pass away before all these things take place. Verse 35 is equally emphatic…
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will NEVER pass away.
I have compiled a list of all these types of verses. Some of my favorites are: Hebrews 8:12, Romans 4:8, Hebrews 13:5, and Rev 21:27
Grace and peace to you.
Eugene, I am not viewing the 40 years “short period” between the cross and the full establishment of the kingdom in AD 70 as a “requirement” but simply as one of God’s patterns. He always followed His patterns. It was part of the Exodus to the earthly promised land. I am certain is was mirrored and part of the transformation / birthing / delivery to the spiritual promised land. And, that time period was what Jesus referred to in Matt. 24: 14 for the reading and probate of the “will”, or new covenant to “all the world” of that Roman empire before the end, or destruction pronounced upon Jerusalem, and the cessation of the old covenant.
I may write a post on God’s patterns in His plan of salvation. And, yes, that construction could not be more emphatic, and most ppl do not recognize it. Maybe I should be a little more in depth, but I am attempting to point out the obvious for simplicity and easy reading.
Gina, please forgive me. I am still a little confused on why you are holding to a 31 AD crucification. I’m not trying to start an argument, I just want to understand why you hold your positions.
I agree with you that God seems to work in patterns. The number forty is a common number in Scripture. We see it used with Noah and the flood, Moses and the wandering in the wilderness, and here with Jesus in the Olivet Discourse (though not specifically mentioned).
We are both in agreement that the Destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the Old Covenant happened in 70 AD. What I don’t understand about your 31 AD determination is the math part. Seventy minus forty equals thirty – not thirty-one.
What am I missing?
Grace and peace to you..
God counts time on an inclusive system where the 1st day or the 1st year of the time He sets is included in the # of days or years. So, I am assuming that AD 70 is the correct date of the destruction of the temple, and counting backwards 40 years to the 1st year of the 40 year period gets us to 31AD. In the sequence, 31AD, 32AD, 33AD….40AD is 10 years; 41AD, 42AD, 43AD….50AD is 20 years, etc.
We count time as an interval between days or years as you are counting in your question. We would think that 70AD minus 40 yrs equals 30AD. But that is not how the Jews counted. See this explanation here: https://www.yhwhww.org/jewish-inclusive-reckoning/
31AD also agrees with the correction of the 2 yrs difference between the regnal year of 14AD most people assume for the beginning of Tiberius’ rule after Augustus’ death. But, Augustus was ill, and set Tiberius over the rule of the province of Syria of which Judea was a part in 12AD so that Tiberius was co-Princeps with Augustus 2 yrs before his death. That moves the count of years most people assume backwards 2 yrs from 33AD. Scroll down 5 para. from the heading The Co-Princeps of Tiberius here: https://biblearchaeology.org/research/the-daniel-9-24-27-project/4363-what-was-the-fifteenth-year-of-tiberius. “On the whole then, the weight of scholarship seems to favor Suetonius’ timeline. Tiberius celebrated his triumph in October, AD 12.” Luke would have counted from Tiberius’ control and rule over Judea in AD 12.
Good Post Gina… I noticed that you put the crucifixion in 30 AD. Many people put it in 33 AD. I agree with you by the way, but I am curious as to how you came to your conclusion of 30 AD?
Grace and peace to you.
Actually, I believe the crucifixion was really in 31 AD, and it is because of the report of Phlegon’s account of the 2nd year of the 202nd Olympiad which most historians believe began in 29 AD. (See discussion beginning about the 15th para. here: https://www.christianhospitality.org/wp/first-church-rome9/) Yr 1 of the 202nd Olympiad would be summer 29AD thru summer 30AD, Yr 2 then was summer 30AD thru summer 31 AD. Summer of 30AD was too late for Nisan (April), and on a 40 year inclusive count to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD would require the 1st year of the 40 year mirror of the Exodus wandering would be 31 AD. Where as we use an interval count method, God used an inclusive count method where the 1st day or the 1st year of a time period was included in that time specified. And when we take into account the fact that Luke would have used the Syriac calendar and not the Roman calendar, and that Tiberius’ rule over Syria (Judea) began two years prior to Augustus’ death, then we have Christ’s death 2 yrs prior to the normally reported 33 AD. But, I cannot be absolutely certain of the records of men, so I usually say 30-31 AD.
Thanks for the reply. Like you , I don’t trust the records of men. I do however, trust the record of the stars since the universe runs like a fine watch that God set in motion and controls by the power of His might.
This is how I came to my conclusion… The Bible tells us that Jesus was crucified at Passover on a Friday. In the Jewish calendar, each month began with a new moon. The moon traveled through its phases throughout the month from new moon, to full moon, and then back to new moon for the next month. Since the months of the Jewish calendar were based on a lunar calender, this means that a full moon would fall either on the 14th or 15th of each month (the middle of the month).
Pontius Pilot was the governor of Judea from from 26 to 36 AD. We can calculate when a full moon fell on either the 14th or 15th on a Friday during that period. There are only four possibilities: 27, 30, 33, and 34 AD. The Apostle John records three Passovers during the ministry of Christ. Jesus began His ministry in 27 AD – exactly 483 years from the proclamation of Cyrus the Great in 457 BC. We know it is 27 AD because as you said, from the reign of Tiberius Caesar which began as a dual reign with Augustus in 12 AD. Jesus began His ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberius’ reign according to Luke (27 AD).
27 AD is too early for the crucifixion because that is when Jesu started His ministry, and 33 and 34 AD are too late because His ministry only lasted three and a half years. That leaves only 30AD.
One final note on Jesus beginning His ministry in 27 AD. John 2:19-21 gives us a clue… Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
Antiquities 15:380 tells us that the temple reconstruction began in 19 BC. If you add 46 years to 19 BC, you get 28 AD. This means that Jesus’ ministry began before that date since in John 2, Jesus was obviously already into His ministry.
Grace and peace to you.
Yes, that agrees with what others say. But that means that for the 40 years mirror to the spiritual promised land would put the destruction of Jerusalem in 69 AD, not 70 AD. There was a report I read several years ago of two rabbis that believed the destruction of Jerusalem happened earlier- one of them holding for 68 AD and the other for 69 AD. My studies have proved to me over and over that God’s patterns hold true. So, whatever the astrological calculations show, they are still subject to man’s manipulations. Right now, I am sticking with 31 AD. Thanks for the info.