Monday, April 25, 2011

Genesis 19 and the Gate to the City of Sodom

Hi, JeremiahA--

Your assessment of Sodom’s gate in Genesis 19 is interesting.

However, Ray Vander Laan notes, “The gate was the center of city life in biblical times. Originally designed to defend a city against attack, this massive structure soon became a combination of community center, city hall, and marketplace…Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.”

Dr. Walter D. Zorn of Lincoln Christian University writes: “The biblical literature and ways of talking about war included the city gates. Note the following references. Ezekiel describes how Jerusalem’s gates were attacked by the Babylonians: “I have stationed the sword for slaughter at all their gates. . . . . to set battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp and to erect siege works” (Ezek 21:15, 22). Earlier Deut 28:52ff. had warned about this: “They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you.”

““To possess the gate” was to possess the city (Gen22:17; 24:60)”, according to Zorn.

The citizens of Sodom had every right to suspect the possibility that Lot’s unknown guests were enemy scouts who posed a real threat of military attack.

--ez duz it Copyright © 25 April 2011

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