Five Cities Destroyed by God: Exploring the Complex Sinful Demise

Homosexuality and the 5 Cities Destroyed by God

The story of the five cities destroyed by God is one that interests nearly all Bible readers. Homosexuality is often cited as the principal sin of these doomed sister cities, but the story is much more complex.

The biblical cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (or Zoar) were all destroyed by fire from heaven for unrepentant sin.

1. Sodom and Gomorrah

Sodom and Gomorrah are the two cities mentioned in Genesis that were destroyed by god. This story has a prominent place in the biblical narrative and a long history of extratheological uses.

The story is complex and has many different interpretations. For example, some people believe that homosexuality was part of the sin that led to their destruction. However, this is not true. The Bible says that the sin was pride, excess of food, and prosperity without concern for the needs of others.

Another interpretation is that they were destroyed because of their idolatry. This view is also not correct because idolatry includes many different things, such as ignoring God’s commands. It also includes worshiping false gods. However, this is not the only way that god can destroy his own creation.

2. Tyre

The city of Tyre was located on two sandstone reefs that made up an island off the coast of Lebanon. Its wealth and power filled its ruler with pride. The Tyrians were willing to pay tribute when compelled, but resisted direct attack.

In the New Testament Jesus ministered to Tyre, and we know from ancient sources that it was a thriving commercial center (Matthew 15:21). Modern scholars have confirmed the sandstone reefs on which the city was built, and they are a spectacular sight.

The city was destroyed by god, but not immediately. Ezekiel prophesied that it would be destroyed at a later date. In 332 B.C., Alexander used the rubble from mainland Tyre to build a causeway to the supposedly impregnable island city.

3. Admah

A city whose name appears in Genesis 10:19, 14:2, Deuteronomy 29:23 and Hosea 11:8, Admah was destroyed by God because of its sins – specifically, homosexuality. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, it was a city of the plain, which reflects a level of wickedness that was beyond repentance.

When the king of Admah allied with the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Zeboiim and Zoar to fight against Abram, it led to their destruction by God in his fierce anger (Genesis 19:24). He also destroyed the infrastructure of the cities.

While it is clear that the city deserved the punishment, it is equally clear that God had sympathy for them and wanted to rescue them from their condition (Hosea 11:8). This is why he did not treat them the same as Sodom and Gomorrah.

4. Zeboiim

The last of the five cities destroyed by God in his wrath was Zeboiim, and although it is generally not mentioned separately from Admah (Genesis 10:19; Genesis 14:2; Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8), it also had a king with its own name and was a city of some importance. It was located in the Vale of Siddim.

The Bible reveals the destruction of the infrastructure in these cities as another example of God’s intense wrath and His inability to forgive sin. As with the others, they were targeted exclusively for their wickedness.

5. Hazor

Hazor, the “head of all those kingdoms” (Joshua 11:10), was a major Canaanite city with a powerful cult. It was a prestigious city that functioned for several hundred years prior to the Israelite conquest.

Hazor was conquered by Joshua and burned to the ground during his victory over a league of Canaanite cities at Lake Merom (Joshua 11:13). This destruction of the city’s infrastructure is confirmed archaeologically by a thick layer of burn material dated to the 13th century BCE.

Yadin’s excavations and those of Amnon Ben-Tor of Hebrew University have established the biblical account of the destruction of the city by fire. However, the identity of the attackers remains a mystery. One possible extra-biblical clue has been found in the Amarna Letters, a collection of Egyptian clay documents dating to the end of the 15th century BCE.