We can learn a lot of interesting things from the story of the destruction of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Myth or reality, these two words which are divided by a very thin line, are enigmas in the stories about these historical cities. The legends which speak of peculiar personalities, angels and other deities who literally warned people to leave these doomed cities whose catastrophic fate was inevitable.
Sodom and Gomorrah are probably two of the most infamous cities that has existed on planet Earth. These cities have been lost for millennium, and only in recent years the sites have been tentatively identified by researchers who have proposed dozens of different theories about the historical cities and their fate. But what really happened here and what do the stories tell?
Here are some of the things we have to know when talking about Sodom and Gomorrah
The Bible tells the story of what happened:
(Genesis 18:20; 19: 24-26.28)
24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
The cities are believed to have been located south of the Lisan Peninsula.
Searching the Dead Sea: Sodom and Gomorrah
We know that the Dead Sea’s surface and shores are 429 meters (1,407 ft) below sea level, Earth’s lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 34.2% salinity (in 2011), it is also one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, though Lake Vanda in Antarctica (35%), Lake Assal in Djibouti (34.8%) Jordan and many smaller rivers flow into the Dead Sea. The Jordan river has a major significance in Judaism and Christianity and, to a more moderate degree, Islam, as the site where the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land and where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist. Evaporation under the scorching sun takes place on the surface of the Dead sea at a speed of more than 230 million cubic feet per day. According to the Arab tradition there are many poisonous gases evaporating from the lake that are so hazardous that birds cannot fly over it.