James H. Charlesworth offers general readers four initial thoughts on the importance of the Pseudepigrapha. They deserve to be quoted in full:

First, there is the very abundance of the literature, although we possess only part of the writings produced by Jews during the period 200 B.C. to A.D. 200. . . .
 
Second, the Pseudepigrapha illustrate the pervasive influence of the Old Testament books upon Early Judaism. . . .1
 
Third, we learn from the Pseudepigrapha that the consecutive conquests of Palestinian Jews by Persians, Greeks, and Romans, and the intermittent invasion by Syrian, Egyptian, and Parthian armies did not dampen the enthusiasm of religious Jews for their ancestral decisions. . . .
 
Fourth [and finally], the Pseudepigrapha attest that the post-exilic Jews often were torn within by divisions and sects, and intermittently conquered from without by foreign nations who insulted, abused, and frequently employed fatal torture. . . . 2

Most of these early Jewish writers believed they were free to reinterpret the various Old Testament texts, but it seems quite appropriate to state that they offered very little in the way of a positive reading of the Sodom and Gomorrah (S&G) narrative in Genesis. Instead, they treat the story as it is: a revelation of God’s judgment upon a sinful city (or cities). For an excellent introduction to apocalyptic literature, see the work of John J. Collins and George W. E. Nickelsburg.3

The Pseudepigrapha

The pseudepigraphal texts are in no particular order, and the majority of these works can be dated between 300 BC and AD 300. Thus, they are all important for determining social context and location, especially for the early Jewish Christians.

3 Maccabees 2:5 (First Century BC)

When the inhabitants of Sodom acted insolently and became notorious for their crimes you burned them up with fire and brimstone and made them an example to later generations.4

The previous verses (3–4) provide a quick-clip recap of the judgment texts in Genesis, beginning with God as creator and ruler who judges (v 3). The exhortation of the high priest includes v 5, which indicts S&G as those who “acted arrogantly,” possibly echoing earlier Maccabean literature.5 The subsequent verse (v 4) alludes to the flood narrative (–7), where God “destroyed [those who committed injustice] by bringing on them a boundless flood.” The narrative typology is intended to invoke the imagery from Israel’s mythic beginnings.
seems to predate the language of , utilizing the idiom “fire and sulfur.”6 The explanatory clause “you made them an example” is intended to clarify the intended meaning of the preceding phrase: the notoriety of S&G resulted in “consumption,” and this is an actualized example of what will happen “to those who should afterward” sin in the same way.
To be pithy: if you want to know what God did and what you can look forward to, see S&G. Any conception of restoration seems largely absent.

2 Enoch 34:1 (Late First Century AD)

God convicts the persons who are idol worshippers and sodomite fornicators and for this reason he brings down the flood upon them.7

The textual tradition of 2 Enoch is highly complicated and contains many interpolations and glosses. Andersen notes that the reference to the “Sodomites” is not only “a gloss” from a particular manuscript, but “is a later addition confusing the traditions from ff.”8 However, the reference does highlight the link early Jewish authors believe existed between God’s judgment of wicked humanity (34:1b) and the S&G narrative.

Greek Apocalypse of –21 and 7:12–16 (Second–Ninth Century AD)

This text is highly significant theologically, as God is in near constant negotiation with the seer. This reflects the ancient model of the patriarchs who argued with God:9

And the prophet said, “O my Lord, let us continue to a second judgment.” And God said, “I cast down fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah.” And the prophet said, “Lord, you bring upon us what we deserve.”10

This paragraph precedes judgment (2:26–32), and while there may be mercy at the end (7:13), the preceding verse asserts what will happen to those “who do not believe this book [a likely reference to the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra].” They “will be burned like Sodom and Gomorrah” (7:13). It is likely that this apocalypse has the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man in view (–31). The Trinitarian benediction (7:16) reveals that this is likely a Christian document.

Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs 4:1–5 and 9:1–3 (Second Century BC)

There are two references to S&G in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. The first one occurs in The Testament of Naphtali in 4:1–5:

I say these things, my children, because I have read in the writing of Holy Enoch that you also will stray from the Lord, living in accord with every wickedness of the gentiles and committing every lawlessness of Sodom. The Lord will impose captivity upon you; you shall serve your enemies there and you will be engulfed in hardship and difficulty until the Lord will wear you all out.11

The text goes on to articulate a form of remnant theology through decimation (4:3b). Mercy does return Israel, but only to the remnant that survives the dispersion (4:4–5). S&G serves as an example of immorality, wickedness, and lawlessness; the result is captivity upon Israel for acting in the same manner, leading to their decimation and leaving only a remnant to return to God once God has decided upon mercy.
The next reference is in The Testament of Benjamin 9:1–3:

From the words of Enoch the Righteous12 I tell you that you will be sexually promiscuous like the promiscuity of the Sodomites13 and will perish, with few exceptions . . .14

Again, the emphasis on the remnant is a standard trope in the Old Testament and finds its way into the New Testament at times ().15 The reference to “perish” could be a narrative echo of the flood account in –7, where all flesh perished except for the remnant found in Noah and his family.16 There is a restoration of Israel that follows, but the text does not specify that all of the individuals who perished are going to be resurrected.

The Testament of Isaac 5:27–32 (Second Century AD)

Stinespring notes that the theological importance of the Testament of Isaac concludes with this axiom: “Men should set their houses in order for preparation for death, they should live good moral lives, they should remember the judgment, but they should forget neither the mercy of God nor the need that they themselves be merciful.”17 The emphasis on the mercy of God thus has significant precedence within the world of the New Testament (–36).

Then I observed the deep river18 whose smoke had come up before me, and I saw a group of people at the bottom of it, screaming, weeping, every one of them lamenting. The angel said to me, “Look at the bottom to observe those whom you see at the lowest depth. They are the ones who have committed the sin of Sodom;19 truly, they were due a drastic punishment. Then I saw the overseer of punishment and he was all of him fire. He would strike the myrmidons of hell (his helpers) and say to them, “Kill them that it may be known that God exists forever.” Then the angel said to me, “Lift up your eyes and look at the whole gamut of punishments.” But I said to the angel, “My sight cannot embrace them because of their great number; but I desire to understand how long these people are to be in this torture.’ He said to me, “Until the God of mercy becomes merciful and has mercy on them.”20

Several things are to be pointed out. First, the vindictiveness of the New Testament is pretty tame compared to this. Paul has some interesting and harsh things to say to his churches (cf ), but they pale compared to this. Excluding the vivid imagery of and 20, the New Testament does not envision the eternal conscious torment of the individual in the afterlife.21
Second, the emphasis on mercy is based purely on God’s sheer generosity and goodness, and not on the continuous nature of human suffering in the afterlife.
Third and finally—though more could be said—the form taken by the mercy of God is not mentioned in the following sections, and the expected mercy does seem ambiguous given the nature of the punishment previously mentioned (5:28–29) of those in hell being “killed.” Does mercy remove them from life altogether, or are they removed from hell? It does not seem clear. The mentioning of the sin of Sodom illustrates the seriousness of sin and depravity, with the continually negative imagery that S&G evokes from the author.

Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers 12:61 (Second to Third Century AD)

There is no structure to these prayers, and there appear to be several Christian interpolations22 throughout this text though there are none in our section.

(You are) the one who kindled the fearful fire against the five cities23 of Sodom, and turned a fruitful land into salt because of those living in it, and snatched away pious Lot from the burning.24

Several things should be noted. First, what was once a living cityscape is now sown with salt. Salt, in this context, is clearly not a purifying agent, but a decisive destructive element, designed to keep the ground from sprouting life and thus preventing a return to the land that was once fruitful.
Second, it is curious that Lot is called “pious,” as his actions in the following chapters of Genesis seem to reveal a far more morally complex character.25
S&G is noted as being utterly wiped out, with the land said to be uninhabitable. The idea of S&G being inhabited now is not in the mind of the author, but rather he sketches out the totality of destruction as far as the author could conceive.

Jubilees 16:5–6; 20:6; 22:22 (Second Century BC)

In Jubilees, we have a retelling of the Genesis narratives. Specifically, in 16:5–6 we read:

And in that month the LORD executed the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah and Zeboim and all of the district of the Jordan. And he burned them with fire and sulfur and he annihilated them till this day just as (he said), “Behold, I have made known to you all of their deeds that (they were) cruel and great sinners and they were polluting themselves and they were fornicating in their flesh and they were causing pollution upon the earth.” And thus the LORD will execute judgment like the judgment of Sodom on places where they act according to the pollution of Sodom.26

The duration of the annihilation of S&G (and the surrounding areas) is seemingly quick. Unlike the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra, there is little existential torment or torture here. Rather, there appears to be a cataclysmic event that ends in extinction. The final verse illustrates the typology of how S&G is being used and how all people who embrace the cruelty and pollution of S&G will end up: absolutely destroyed.
This is followed in 20:6 with a brief admonition to “guard yourself from all fornication and impurity”27 and because of this, “all your sons” will suffer “a destruction by the sword, and you will be cursed like Sodom, and all your remnant like the sons of Gomorrah”28. This is concluded in the final reference:

Just as the sons of Sodom were taken from the earth, so (too) all of those who worship idols shall be taken away.29

The phrase “were taken from the earth” harkens back to the desolation of 16:5–6, and the annihilation of the cities and all of their inhabitants. These three references illustrate the utter ruin of S&G and do not suggest a restoration of these cities. Instead, they reside as a sobering reminder of the destructive consequences of sin.30

Conclusion

There are other references in the Pseudepigrapha to S&G, but these are simply mentions and the author moves on (cf Pseudo-Philo 45:2–3), offering little interpretation of the events.
What can be derived from all of this evidence is that S&G is viewed in universally negative terms, whether for sexual immorality, cruelty, or general depravity. In enacting judgment, God is said to wipe them out, annihilate them, and destroy them, and there does not appear to be any reference (barring the ambiguous reference in the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra, a second-century AD work) to there being any restorative nature to the destruction. Instead, S&G offers a sobering reminder to the power of God to overcome sin and destroy all of the evil within God’s good kingdom.

  1. We can see this is so because of the numerous “Testaments” dedicated to the various patriarchs. []
  2. James H. Charlesworth, “Introduction for the General Reader,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Hendrickson, 2013), 2:xxviii. []
  3. John J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, 2nd ed. (Eerdmans, 1998); George W. E. Nickelsburg, Resurrection, Immortality, and Eternal Life in Intertestamental Judaism and Early Christianity, 2nd ed. (Harvard University Press, 2006). []
  4. James H. Charlesworth, ed., “3 Maccabees,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, trans. H. Andersen (Hendrickson, 2013), 1:519. This section seems clearly to predate the language used in Jude and 2 Peter. []
  5. 1 Macc 1:21; 7:34, 47; see also . []
  6. –29 specifies what “fire and sulfur” is intended to communicate, showing Jesus’ utilization of the imagery and result: “destruction” (ἀπώλεσεν). The idiom can connote torment in an apocalyptic () and in a generally eschatological sense (; ). []
  7. James H. Charlesworth, ed., “2 Enoch,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, trans. H. Andersen (Hendrickson, 2013), 1:158. []
  8. Ibid., 1:158, n.a. []
  9. Abraham argues with God over S&G (–32), Moses pleads with God over the idolatry of the Israelites (Exod 32:9–14), and Hezekiah begs God and is rewarded (2 Kgs 20:1–11). []
  10. James H. Charlesworth, ed., “Greek Apocalypse of Ezra,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, trans. M. E. Stone (Hendrickson, 2013), 1:572. []
  11. James H. Charlesworth, ed., “Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, trans. H. C. Kee (Hendrickson, 2013), 1:812. []
  12. Kee notes that this reference is “not found in extant Enochic material” in ibid., 1:827, n9a. []
  13. The use of “Sodomites” is a reference to the inhabitants of S&G and likely does not reflect the modern debate or usage of the term, especially with the sexual connotations assumed therein. []
  14. Charlesworth, “Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs,” 1:827. The rest of the text is considered to be textually suspect, due to the phrase, “the temple curtain shall be torn” (v 3) and the entirety of . Of course, it could be a genuine prophecy, but Kee considers it to be a Christian interpolation, though he acknowledges that The Testament of Levi 10:3 contains an allusion to the temple veil being torn. It seems that such an interpolation is unlikely, but because it is strongly disputed we shall not utilize it. []
  15. The remnant is also found in the Apocrypha in such texts as Tobit 13:16 and Sirach 44:17. []
  16. Cf : “They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished (ἀπώλετο; aorist indicative middle). But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction (ἀπωλείας; genitive singular noun) of the godless.” []
  17. James H. Charlesworth, ed., “Testament of Isaac,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, trans. W. F. Stinespring (Hendrickson, 2013), 1:904. []
  18. Stinespring notes that this term is likely better translated as “abyss” in ibid., 909, n.b. []
  19. The text does not specify the nature of the sin, and since S&G is a kitchen sink type of story in the Old Testament, one can assume immorality of all kinds is in view. []
  20. Charlesworth, “Testament of Isaac,” 909. []
  21. Cf E. Earle Ellis, Christ and the Future in New Testament History (The Netherlands: Brill, 2000), 180–99. []
  22. Specifically, some of the language echoes the gospel of John, though this type of language may be found in Philo, and this may weaken the interpolation hypothesis of various text stipulated by Darnell and Goodenough (a splendid last name for a scholar, if I may say so!). []
  23. A similar reference may be found in Wisdom 10:6–7. []
  24. James H. Charlesworth, ed., “Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, trans. D. R. Darnell (Hendrickson, 2013), 2:693. []
  25. For a fascinating and illuminating treatment of “patriarchs behaving badly,” see Fuller Theological Seminary professor of Reformed theology and church history, John L. Thompson, Reading the Bible with the Dead (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), specifically ch.4-5. []
  26. James H. Charlesworth, ed., “Jubilees,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, trans. O. S. Wintermute (Hendrickson, 2013), 2:88. []
  27. Thus, sexual misconduct seems to be an issue for the writer’s view of how God judged S&G. Not all New Testament writers make this point (cf ), but it is clear that the priestly author of Jubilees views it in such a manner. []
  28. Charlesworth, “Jubilees,” 2:94. []
  29. Ibid., 2:99. []
  30. E. P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1977), 365: “Thus idolatry is warned against or forbidden: 1.9 (the uncleanness, shame and idolatry of the Gentiles); 11.4 (the transgression and uncleanness of idolatry); 11.16 (‘went astray after graven images and after ‘uncleanness’); 12.2; 20.7 (‘walk not after their idols, and after their ‘uncleannesses’); 22.22; 36.5. Sexual sins are frequently warned against without being specified: 16.4-6 (the Sodomites and others defile’ themselves and commit fornication in their flesh, and work uncleanness on the earth’); 20.3-5 (Israelites should refrain ‘from all fornication and uncleanness’).” []

I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel 7:20

20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions.

6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

Revelation 20:10

10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Let him rain coals on the wicked;
fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

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18:1 And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

18 The sons of Jorah, 112.

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way.

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.

And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.

27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,

Romans 11:5

So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

14:1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

29 And as Isaiah predicted,

“If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
we would have been like Sodom
and become like Gomorrah.”