Tour guides like to tell their groups about Sodom and Gomorrah when traveling near the Dead Sea, noting that visible desolation of the region today illustrates what we read in Genesis 19:24: “Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah–from the LORD out of the heavens.” But what does modern archaeology tell us about these places?
We first read about these cities in Genesis 14, which records a rebellion in which Sodom and Gomorra took part against larger regional powers: “At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim, these kings went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). All these latter kings joined...
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