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Ver. 6. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes,.... By raining brimstone and fire upon them from heaven, Ge 19:24 which soon reduced them to ashes, with Admah and Zeboiim, De 29:25, cities delightfully situated, which were as the garden of God, and the land of Egypt, together with the inhabitants of them; and after they had received a signal mercy, in being rescued by Abraham from the kings who had carried them captive; and though Abraham, the friend of God, interceded for them, and righteous Lot dwelt among them. The first of these cities is in the Hebrew language called Sedom; Philo the Jew {w} calls it Sodoma, as in Ro 9:29 and in the Septuagint on Ge 13:10 here it is said to be a city, and Josephus {x} always calls it the city of the Sodomites, but in Mt 10:15 we read of the land of Sodom; and so Philo {y} the Jew speaks of cwra, the region or country of the Sodomites; here the word is of the plural number, as in Mt 10:15 as it is also in the Septuagint in Ge 10:19 and in Philo the Jew {z}, and so is Gomorrah in some copies of this, place, as in Mt 10:15. Solinus, the historian, gives an account of these cities, in agreement with this; "a good way off of Jerusalem (he says {a}) is opened a sorrowful gulf, which the black ground, "in cinerem soluta", "reduced to ashes", shows it to be touched by heaven; there were two towns, or cities, the one called Sodom, and the other Gomorrah; where an apple is produced, which, although it has an appearance of ripeness, cannot be eaten; for the outward skin that encompasses it only contains a sort of soot, or embers within, which, ever so lightly squeezed, evaporates into smoke and dust;'' and so the author of the book of Wisdom 10:7 speaking of the five cities, on which fire fell, says, "of whose wickedness, even to this day, the waste land that smoketh is a testimony; and plants bearing fruit, that never come to ripeness.'' Philo the Jew {b} says, that "there are showed to this day in Syria monuments of this unspeakable destruction that happened; as ruins, ashes, sulphur, smoke, and a weak flame, breaking forth as of a fire burning:'' condemned [them] with an overthrow; by this sad "catastrophe" God condemned the sins of those men of Sodom and Gomorrah, and condemned their persons to everlasting damnation; of which their temporal punishment was an emblem and figure; see Jude 1:7, the word "overthrow" is generally used when this destruction is spoken of, De 29:23 and therefore retained by the apostle here: making them ensamples unto those who after should live ungodly; in the commission of any sins, and be open, bold, and impudent in them, and declare them as they did; and especially that should live in the commission of the same sins, those unnatural lusts and uncleannesses, which to this day go by the name of "sodomy", and "sodomitical" practices; now the punishment of the inhabitants of these cities was an ensample to such wicked conduct, showing what they must expect, and was a representation of those everlasting burnings, which such sinners, as a righteous retaliation for their burning lusts, shall be cast into. The Jews say {c} the same of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah as of the old world; "the men of Sodom have no part in the world to come, as is said Ge 13:13 "but the men of Sodom were wicked, and sinners before the Lord exceedingly"; wicked in this world, and sinners in the world to come;'' See Gill on "Jude 1:7". {w} De Temulentia, p. 272. {x} Antiqu. l. 1. c. 8. sect. 3. c. 11. sect. 3. {y} De Abrahamo, p. 381. {z} De Temulentia, p. 272. {a} Polyhistor. c. 48. {b} De Vifa Mosis, l. 2. p. 662. {c} Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 11. sect. 3. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 4. fol. 149. 1.

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