One of “the cities of the District” probably located near the southern end of the Dead Sea. (Ge 13:12) Sodom and Gomorrah were apparently the chief of these cities. Their ruins are believed by many scholars to be presently submerged under the waters of the Dead Sea, though some others recently have claimed that the ruins of the cities may be identified with sites along wadis to the E and SE of the Dead Sea. In Abraham’s time the region was described as “well-watered . . . like the garden of Jehovah.” (Ge 13:10; see DISTRICT OF THE JORDAN.) During the time that Lot, Abraham’s nephew, resided in this fertile District, King Birsha of Gomorrah along with the kings of four other cities of the District rebelled against the domination of Chedorlaomer of Elam and three other allied kings. They were attacked and fled, some of their soldiers falling into the numerous bitumen pits in the area. Sodom and Gomorrah were sacked by the Eastern kings, who took Lot captive.—Ge 14:1-12.
More than 14 years later, the outcry of complaint about the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah became so great that Jehovah sent angels to inspect the situation and then to destroy the cities by a rain of fire and sulfur.—Ge 18:20, 21; 19:24, 28.
The thoroughness of the destruction of these cities was afterward used as a symbol of complete and everlasting annihilation. (De 29:22, 23; Isa 1:9; 13:19; Jer 49:18) Jehovah figuratively expressed the depth of wickedness to which the rulers and people of Judah and Jerusalem had sunk when he addressed them through the prophet Isaiah: “Hear the word of Jehovah, you dictators of Sodom. Give ear to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah.”—Isa 1:1, 10; Jer 23:14.
The apostle Peter said that by reducing Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, God condemned them, “setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come.” (2Pe 2:6) This mention by Peter and references by Jesus Christ and Jude prove that Jesus and his disciples acknowledged that these cities of the District had actually existed and that they accepted the Biblical account of them as true. Though the cities underwent “the judicial punishment of everlasting fire” (Jude 7), Jesus indicated that people of Sodom and Gomorrah would experience a resurrection to stand for judgment. He contrasted them with a city that rejected his disciples in their preaching of the Kingdom good news, saying: “It will be more endurable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than for that city.”—Mt 10:7, 14, 15.
Everlasting Destruction. Sodom, however, persisted in a course in defiance of Jehovah, becoming known for such immoral practices as homosexuality. “The cry of complaint about Sodom and Gomorrah,” Jehovah declared, “yes, it is loud, and their sin, yes, it is very heavy.” God therefore sent his angels to destroy Sodom, with the assurance to Abraham that if ten righteous persons could be found in the place, the whole city would be spared.—Ge 18:16, 20-33.
The city showed it deserved destruction, for a vile mob of residents of Sodom, including boys and old men, surrounded Lot’s house, attempting to rape his angelic guests. The next day, after Lot, along with his wife and two daughters, left the city, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by sulfur and fire. (Ge 19:1-29; Lu 17:28, 29) Thereafter Sodom and Gomorrah became a proverbial figure of utter destruction from God Almighty (De 29:23; Isa 1:9; 13:19; Jer 49:18; 50:40; La 4:6; Am 4:11; Zep 2:9; Ro 9:29) and of extreme wickedness.—De 32:32; Isa 1:10; 3:9; Jer 23:14; Eze 16:46-56;
Jehovah is “a manly person of war,” “the God of armies,” and “mighty in battle.” (Ex 15:3; 2Sa 5:10; Ps 24:8, 10; Isa 42:13) Not only has he the right as Creator and Supreme Sovereign of the universe but he is also obligated by justice to execute or authorize execution of the lawless, to war against all obstinate ones who refuse to obey his righteous laws. Jehovah was therefore just in wiping out the wicked at the time of the Flood, in destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, and in bringing destruction upon Pharaoh’s forces.—Ge 6:5-7, 13, 17; 19:24; Ex 15:4, 5; compare 2Pe 2:5-10; Jude 7.
Jude mentions that “Sodom and Gomorrah . . . are placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire.” This would not conflict with Jesus’ statement about a Jewish city that would reject the good news: “It will be more endurable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than for that city.” Sodom and Gomorrah were everlastingly destroyed as cities, but this would not preclude a resurrection for people of those cities.—Jude 7; Mt 10:15; compare Lu 11:32; 2Pe 2:6.
“In a Spiritual Sense.” Revelation 11:3, 8 says that the corpses of God’s “two witnesses” lay in the broad way of the great city ‘called in a spiritual sense Sodom and Egypt.’ Isaiah’s prophecy (1:8-10) likens Zion or Jerusalem to Sodom and calls her rulers “dictators of Sodom.” However, about 96 C.
Just in the days of Sodom & Gomorrah so it will be in our day. So called Gay christian follower their God the Devil