[b-hebrew] Sodom

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Wed Jun 4 14:01:29 EDT 2008


Dear Jim,

If Abraham is in Hebron (Genesis 18:1, Oaks of Mamre), which is about the
half-way point of the Dead Sea, and since this area is about 2700-3000 feet
above sea level, it would have a very good view of the area of Sodom, Gomorrah,
Zoar, etc. near the Zered River at the Southeast corner of the Dead Sea. This
area was well-watered at one time; at least until the destruction of the Cities
of the Plain and burial under the south end of the Dead Sea. There would be no
need to go to up to near Bethel to see to the South-Southeast, when it is much,
much easier to look to the Southeast from the Hebron plateau area.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 7:53 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Sodom


>
> Avi Wollman:
>
> You wrote:  “And where did Abraham stand and see what God was doing to Siddom?
>>
>  1.  Abraham witnesses the after-effects of the destruction of the city of
> Sodom in the northern Jordan River Valley when Abraham is at the top of Mt.
> Jebel et-Tawil, between Beth-el and Hai.  That was where Lot had had a
panoramic
> view of the Jordan River Valley:
>
> “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain [KKR] of the Jordan,
> that it was well watered every where….”  Genesis 13: 10
>
> As Professor R. Christopher Heard puts it at p. 173 of “Dynamics of
> Diselection”, Lot was “mesmerized by the beauty of the Jordan River valley”.
>
> Abraham had first called the name “YHWH” at that mountain east of Beth-el.
> Genesis 12: 8  Then, on the top of Mt. Jebel et-Tawil just east of Beth-el,
> after Lot has departed for the Jordan River Valley, Abraham stands before YHWH
> on that mountain and receives wonderful divine promises of progeny and land.
> Genesis 13: 14-17
>
> So it is no surprise that Abraham hurries back to the top of Mt. Jebel
> et-Tawil to see the destruction of Sodom:
>
> “And Abraham got up early in the morning [in the Hebron Valley, and went up]
> to the place where he had stood before the LORD [YHWH].  And he looked out
> toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the Plain/KKR
 [“flatland”
> ], and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a
furnace.
> ”  Genesis 19:  27-28
>
> From Mt. Jebel et-Tawil, one can see the Jordan River snaking its beautiful
> way toward the Dead Sea.  On a clear day, one can even see Mt. Hermon in the
> far distance.  One cannot literally see the buildings of Sodom/Beth Shan, but
> one could certainly see a huge cloud of smoke rising over Sodom/Beth Shan.  If
> the wind was blowing hard from the north, the wind would blow this cloud of
> smoke south down the Jordan River toward the Dead Sea.  The valley would
funnel
> the smoke in the direction of where Abraham was standing on Mt. Jebel
et-Tawil.
>
> Abraham could not literally see the Jezreel Valley/Valley of Fields from Mt.
> Jebel et-Tawil.  But looking just to the left of Sodom/Beth Shan, Abraham
> could see faint traces of smoke rising up.  As such, Abraham would know that
the
> whole of the Jezreel Valley was burning.  Gomorrah/Megiddo on the west, and
> Sodom/Beth Shan on the east, were destroyed by fire.  All the fields between
> them, that is, the Valley of Fields/Jezreel Valley, were destroyed as well:
>
> “And he looked out toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the
> Plain [KKR], and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the land went up as the smoke
> of a furnace.”  Genesis 19: 28
>
> That’s not just the KKR of the Jordan/the Jordan River Valley.  That is also
> the KKR of Jezreel-Megiddo/the Jezreel Valley/the Valley of Fields/the Megiddo
> Plain.  All the “flatland” in the interior of Canaan, the KKR -- namely the
> Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley/Valley of Fields as well -- is
> ablaze.  Thus the fields of the other three cities of the Jezreel
Valley/Valley of
> Fields were also destroyed:  (1) Aful/Afula the Great/Admah;  (2) Afula the
> Little/A-P-R + sr/“Zoar”/“Little”;  and (3) Zeboiim/Jezreel.
>
> 2.  The destruction of Sodom is closely based on the historical destruction
> of Qatna.  In the well-documented secular history of the mid-14th century BCE,
> Qatna, like Sodom, was one of five cities that leagued against the dreaded
> Hittites and were defeated by four attacking rulers, including the Hittite
ruler (
> “four kings against the five”).  Like Sodom, Qatna was burned to the ground
> and never reinhabited.
>
> Chapter 14 of Genesis is warning that unless Canaan and Egypt stand united
> against the dreaded Hittites, then next year Beth Shan/Sodom in particular,
and
> northern Canaan in general, may suffer the same awful fate that Qatna
> historically suffered last year:  permanent destruction by fire.
>
> The composition of chapter 14 of Genesis in the mid-14th century BCE fully
> accomplished its intended goal.  The people of Canaan and Egypt did in fact,
at
> the 11th hour and for a short period of time, put up a united front against
> their common enemy, the Hittites, which persuaded the Hittites not to invade
> Canaan proper.  So historically the cities of the Jezreel Valley never got “an
> offer they could not refuse” from the dreaded Hittites (who did take over all
of
> Syria during that time period, plus the northern half of Lebanon, thanks in
> part to the historical “iniquity of the Amorites” at Genesis 15: 16 in selling
> out northern Lebanon and the west coast of Syria to the Hittites), and Beth
> Shan/Sodom was never burnt to the ground.  The composition of chapter 14 of
> Genesis was one important reason why Beth Shan/Sodom historically never
suffered
> Qatna’s awful fate of a fiery and permanent total destruction, and why the
> first Hebrews were not wiped out in the Late Bronze Age by the dreaded Hittite
> military machine.
>
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
>
>
>
>
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