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Sodom and Gomorrha

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Sodom, a city of Pentapolis (Wisdom 10:6; Genesis 14:2): Sodom, Gomorrha, Adama, Seboim, and Bala — later called Segor (Genesis 19:22). They were situated in "the country about the Jordan" (Genesis 13:10); their exact location is unknown (cf. Genesis 14:3, 8, 10, 17; 19:20-22, 30, 37; Deuteronomy 34:3). Josephus identifies Segor with "Zoara of Arabia" at the south end of the Dead Sea ("Bel. Jud.", IV, viii, 4; cf. "Ant. Jud.", I, xi, 4; XIII, xv, 4; XIV, i, 4). Conder identifies it with Tell esh-Shaghur, seven miles north of the Dead Sea; Burkhard, Wetstein, and others with Chirbet es-Safich, three miles south of the Dead Sea; E. Robinson puts it on Lisan, etc. For the unnatural sins of their inhabitants Sodom, Gomorrha, Adama, and Seboin were destroyed by "brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven" (Genesis 13:13; 18:20; 19:24, 29; Hosea 11:8). Since then, their names are synonymous with impenitent sin, and their fall with a proverbial manifestation of God's just wrath (Deuteronomy 29:23; 32:32; Isaiah 1:10 sqq.; Ezekiel 16:49; Matthew 11:23 sq.; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7). The Septuagint rendering katestrephe (Genesis 19:25) probably led to the erroneous opinion that the destruction of Sodom was accompanied by great upheavals of the earth, and even to the formation of the Dead Sea.


HUMMELAUER, Comment. In Gen. (Paris, 1895), 376, 416 sq.; BUHL, Geog. des Alt. Pal. (Leipzig, 1896), 271-74; ROBINSON, Bibl. Researches in Palestine, II (Boston, 1847), 480 sqq.; Palestine Explor. Fund (1879), 15, 99, 144 (1881), 277 (1884), 126 (1886), 19-22; BLANCHENHORN in Zeirschr. des deutsch. Pal. Vercins (1896); CONDER, Handbook to the Bible (London, 1873), 38; IDEM, Heth and Moab (London, 1880), 154 sqq.

About this page

APA citation. Reagan, N. (1912). Sodom and Gomorrha. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Reagan, Nicholas. "Sodom and Gomorrha." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Thomas M. Barrett. Dedicated to the mercy of God.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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