What was the sin of Sodom? Why did Abraham bargin for them?


#1

Genesis 13:13 says, "Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against the LORD exceedingly."

However, it's only after the angels' visitation to Abraham's tent, in Genesis 18, when God decides to destroy the city. Still, before he destroys it God informs Abraham in Genesis 19. Abraham pleads with God to spare the city if at least fifty righteous inhabitants dwell there. God agrees. Abraham further bargins the number to ten, and then ceases.

My questions are:

  • What was Sodom's sin? Was it homosexuality, or was there another reason?

  • Why did God approach Abraham if he intended to burn the city?

  • Why did Abraham, who would have sacrificed his son unquestioningly, beg God to spare Sodom?

  • Why did Abraham stop bargaining at ten people? Why didn't he beg God to save Lot?


#2

[quote="Bezant, post:1, topic:318091"]
Genesis 13:13 says, "Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against the LORD exceedingly."

However, it's only after the angels' visitation to Abraham's tent, in Genesis 18, when God decides to destroy the city. Still, before he destroys it God informs Abraham in Genesis 19. Abraham pleads with God to spare the city if at least fifty righteous inhabitants dwell there. God agrees. Abraham further bargins the number to ten, and then ceases.

My questions are:

  • What was Sodom's sin? Was it homosexuality, or was there another reason?

  • Why did God approach Abraham if he intended to burn the city?

  • Why did Abraham, who would have sacrificed his son unquestioningly, beg God to spare Sodom?

  • Why did Abraham stop bargaining at ten people? Why didn't he beg God to save Lot?

[/quote]

Sodom had, for all intent and purpose, completely abandoned its humanity. They gave into their animal instincts, sexually and otherwise. I'm not an old-testament scholar, but my person opinion in the subject was that God waited until after the Archangel came down to prove a point, similarly, this is why he spoke to Abraham and gave him the opportunity to save the city. God wanted to show him exactly why Sodom was to be wiped out. It wasn't a bargain, it was a lesson. Abraham gave up because he realized he wasn't going to be able to find -anyone- worthy of salvation.

Abraham begged God to spare Sodom for the same reason we ask God to appeal to the souls of the people who actively attack the Church; at our cores, we don't want to see anyone lost, not even our worst enemies.


#3

[quote="ProdglArchitect, post:2, topic:318091"]

Abraham begged God to spare Sodom for the same reason we ask God to appeal to the souls of the people who actively attack the Church; at our cores, we don't want to see anyone lost, not even our worst enemies.

[/quote]

Very well said.


#4

Like to add one answer to Prods post.

To the question why didn't abraham ask to spare his son.

God gave abraham a direct command...therefore, as for himself, he didn't

Also, during this time.....it was common practice to sacrifice your first born to a god. The gods would always "ask" for this. Up to this point....this "new" mysterious God did not ask for a such a thing.....until now. So when God asked, abraham thought " oh.....this God is going to be like all the other gods.....also taking from us, putting us under their yoke and enslaving us to their service for their protection and help".

But our God is not like any other.....and not only stopped the sacrifice to show He was in fact not like the others.....but in the fullness of time.....we see God saying , " no....I don't need you to want me.....it's I who want you and I will sacrifice my Son!"


#5

Soren Kierkegaard wrote on this issue in "Fear and Trembling," and argued what was tested was not simply Abraham's submission to God's will but more importantly his faith - that God was just and loving and would not allow him to kill his son.

Interesting article on this: bywayofbeauty.com/2013/03/kierkegaard-and-abraham-in-bible.html#more


#6

[quote="Bezant, post:1, topic:318091"]
Genesis 13:13 says, "Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against the LORD exceedingly."

However, it's only after the angels' visitation to Abraham's tent, in Genesis 18, when God decides to destroy the city. Still, before he destroys it God informs Abraham in Genesis 19. Abraham pleads with God to spare the city if at least fifty righteous inhabitants dwell there. God agrees. Abraham further bargins the number to ten, and then ceases.

My questions are:

  • What was Sodom's sin? Was it homosexuality, or was there another reason?

  • Why did God approach Abraham if he intended to burn the city?

  • Why did Abraham, who would have sacrificed his son unquestioningly, beg God to spare Sodom?

  • Why did Abraham stop bargaining at ten people? Why didn't he beg God to save Lot?

[/quote]

You should read all of Ezechiel 16, it is grim


#7

[quote="ProdglArchitect, post:2, topic:318091"]
Sodom had, for all intent and purpose, completely abandoned its humanity. They gave into their animal instincts, sexually and otherwise.

I'm not an old-testament scholar, but my person opinion in the subject was that God waited until after the Archangel came down to prove a point, similarly, this is why he spoke to Abraham and gave him the opportunity to save the city.

God wanted to show him exactly why Sodom was to be wiped out. It wasn't a bargain, it was a lesson.

[/quote]

It certainly appears to be a lesson for Abraham and his future descendants (Genesis 18:19), however God never explains, specifically, why Sodom had to be destroyed.

[quote="ProdglArchitect, post:2, topic:318091"]

Abraham gave up because he realized he wasn't going to be able to find -anyone- worthy of salvation.

[/quote]

If that's so, why does he stop at ten? Why not beg God to spare the city for one good man?

[quote="ProdglArchitect, post:2, topic:318091"]

Abraham begged God to spare Sodom for the same reason we ask God to appeal to the souls of the people who actively attack the Church; at our cores, we don't want to see anyone lost, not even our worst enemies.

[/quote]

Maybe, but it was still a conditional intercession. In other words, why ask God to spare the city only if there are X number righteous people? Why not ask God to spare everyone, righteous and wicked?


#8

[quote="MichaelHowling, post:4, topic:318091"]
Like to add one answer to Prods post.

To the question why didn't abraham ask to spare his son.

God gave abraham a direct command...therefore, as for himself, he didn't

Also, during this time.....it was common practice to sacrifice your first born to a god. The gods would always "ask" for this. Up to this point....this "new" mysterious God did not ask for a such a thing.....until now. So when God asked, abraham thought " oh.....this God is going to be like all the other gods.....also taking from us, putting us under their yoke and enslaving us to their service for their protection and help".

But our God is not like any other.....and not only stopped the sacrifice to show He was in fact not like the others.....but in the fullness of time.....we see God saying , " no....I don't need you to want me.....it's I who want you and I will sacrifice my Son!"

[/quote]

While I know some cultures practiced human sacrifice, I don't know if it was a "common" ritual for societies like Ancient Greece, Egypt or Persia.


#9

I read something today about Ezekiel 16:49 saying the sins of Sodom was that they had plenty of food, but wouldn't share it with the poor. (That's what led me here, via a search for "Sodom", and I see that Ezekiel 16 was also posted on this thread.)

I had always thought one of the Biblical bases against homosexuality was related to Sodom and Gommorrah, but this verse indicates otherwise.

I know that homosexuality goes against natural law, but what exactly is the Biblical basis against homosexuality?


#10

[quote="Larry1700, post:9, topic:318091"]
I read something today about Ezekiel 16:49 saying the sins of Sodom was that they had plenty of food, but wouldn't share it with the poor. (That's what led me here, via a search for "Sodom", and I see that Ezekiel 16 was also posted on this thread.)

I had always thought one of the Biblical bases against homosexuality was related to Sodom and Gommorrah, but this verse indicates otherwise.

I know that homosexuality goes against natural law, but what exactly is the Biblical basis against homosexuality?

[/quote]

Homosexuality isn't per se, sodomy is the thing that is immoral

Leviticus I suppose is the Biblical basis against homosexual intercourse, do note that the death part has definitely been abrogated.

Sodomy is immoral because all inherently sterile sex is intrinsically wrong regardless of whether it is two males, two females or a male and a female.


#11

[quote="Bezant, post:1, topic:318091"]

  • Why did God approach Abraham if he intended to burn the city?

  • Why did Abraham, who would have sacrificed his son unquestioningly, beg God to spare Sodom?

  • Why did Abraham stop bargaining at ten people? Why didn't he beg God to save Lot?

[/quote]

God approached Abraham because the he knew Abraham had kin in Sodom, and Abraham had already ridden to their rescue before. In making the announcement to Abraham God was doing more than engaging in philosophical banter; God was warning Abraham to restrain from riding to the rescue again.

Abraham wasn't bargaining to save some nameless strangers. He was bargaining to save his nephew and his nephew's tribesmen who had taken up residence in and around Sodom. At the time Lot and Abraham went their separate ways Lot's people were extremely numerous, far too numberous to continue living with Abraham.

Genesis 13:5 Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents,
6 so that the land could not support them if they stayed together; their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.
7 There were quarrels between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and those of Lot's. (At this time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were occupying the land.)
8 So Abram said to Lot: "Let there be no strife between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are kinsmen.
9 Is not the whole land at your disposal? Please separate from me. If you prefer the left, I will go to the right; if you prefer the right, I will go to the left."
10 Lot looked about and saw how well watered the whole Jordan Plain was as far as Zoar, like the LORD'S own garden, or like Egypt. (This was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
11 Lot, therefore, chose for himself the whole Jordan Plain and set out eastward. Thus they separated from each other;
12 Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain, pitching his tents near Sodom.

Furthermore, Abraham loved his nephew, and when Lot's tribe was captured by invaders who took over Sodom, Abraham rescued them and restored their wealth. That's when the Melchizidek encounter happened.

Why did Abraham stop at 10? Let's count them up: Lot, his wife, his two daughters, their betrothed husbands (the girls were still virgins, but their marriages had already been arranged)... That's six. Knowing that Lot's vast tribe included faithful servants, and Melchizidek had been in the area, it's not unreasonable to think that there should have been at least four more righteous people.

But Lot's sons-in-law laughed at him, and Melchizidek was nowhere to be found.


#12

The sins of Sodom were likely were similar to what God orders the Jews not to do in Dueteronomy. There are several pasages where God instructs them not to sacrifice their children, not to have incestual relations with brothers, parents, children, ect, and a variety of other disturbing acts. I read an article (I think it was on 'Reasonable Faith') that detailed these sins, and showed why God wanted those Caananites who didn't flee to be eradicated completely (this is later in Salvation History, after the Exodus, but these Canaanites are likely of the same ilk as the Sodomites). Think of all the strange sins of the Romans and Greeks, like orgies, drunkeness, sodomy, pedastry, ect, but remove any attribute to culture or society (Greeks and philosphy, Romans and infrastructure), and add to it child and infant sacrifice, incest, and straight up occult worship.

To me, it is amazing that, living among sin like that, Abraham remained faithful. It speaks volumes of him, and that even though the world around him was almost completely devoid of morality and virtue, he was still willing to oppose the flesh and live for God. What is more amazing to me, is that, in a time of brutal back-stabbing and disregard of neighbor, Abraham pleads with God for the lives of his neighbors, who likely persecute him (mock him, treat him as an outcast), and benefit him nothing.

*These are my opinions, and may not be theologically accurate. I'll try to look up the article that had some good points in it. Another poster points out that Abraham had descendants in Sodom. This is probably a better reason as to why he pleads for the city.


#13

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