[b-hebrew] What Does "Sodom" Mean?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Nov 25 12:15:42 EST 2008

I have to give you an "A" for persistence, and another for imagination,
while an "F" for horticultural knowledge, another for historical knowledge
and a third for knowledge of Biblical Hebrew.

In dealing with your "F"s:

First of all, I have found Gesenius an untrustworthy source of knowledge of
word meanings. The reason I went into lexicography was because of trying to
use his dictionary while reading Tanakh. Too many times his glosses didn't
fit the context. It's been a couple of decades since I last looked at his
dictionary, so I don't recall specific examples, but for you to base your
argument on his work puts up a red flag that you don't know what you're
talking about.

Secondly, the historical narratives of the Patriarchs is put in the early
bronze age, not late. Furthermore, when we go back to original materials, we
find that the dates so confidently posted in history books are in reality
based on educated guesses that could very well be wrong. That is especially
true as many of the educated guesses are based on other educated guesses
based on educated guesses: the errors can compound. Further, archeologists
are coming to the conclusion that the ruins of Sodom can be identified with
those of a certain early bronze age site south of the Dead Sea.

Third, grain can be grown where ever there is well watered good soil. I've
seen wheat growing wild on hillsides. For you to claim that the Jesreel
valley was the only place where grain was grown is therefore patently
ludicrous. For you, coming from grain growing area, to make such an
elementary error ....

Finally, not mentioned above, if you want to make wild speculations as to
the etymology of place names, there are at least a couple of possibilities
for Sodom that don't require letter substitutions.

Concerning your "A"s, your persistence has a certain amount of lunacy about
it: after being shown based on linguistic analysis that your theory was
untenable, to which you admitted, that you try to rebuild it has a tinge of

Karl W. Randolph.

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