Locating Sodom and the Other Cities of the Plain
by Anne Habermehl
This was the subject of a presentation at the Creation Research
Society Conference held in August of 2014 in Florence,
The abstract below was published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 51, Summer 2014, Number 1, p. 59.
This material, plus a discussion of the dating of Sodom to the beginning of the First Dynasty of Egypt, has appeared as a two-part paper in the Journal of Creation 31(2)2017.
Various geographical locations have been claimed for the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which were destroyed by God because of their wickedness. An especially widespread belief has been that the four cities lay at the south end of the Dead Sea. However, some place them along the west side of the Sea, some along the southeast side, and others on the northeast shore. Arguments will be provided from Scripture, history, archaeology, geography, geology, and chronology to show that these places claimed by others are probably not correct.
Examination of pertinent Scriptures puts the four cities in a line from south to north along the west side of the Jordan River, starting with Sodom and Gomorrah near Jericho at the north end of the Dead Sea. The stated borders of the territory of Canaan, and the Promised Land as shown to Moses, are especially important.
The land allotments of the tribes of Benjamin and Ephraim support the western Jordan location of these cities. It is shown that Admah and Zeboiim had to have been on the eastern edge of Ephraim's territory, leaving Sodom, Gomorrah, and Zoar at the eastern end of Benjamin's territory. Bela, the alternative name of Zoar, provides a significant piece of this puzzle, because Bela was the name of the oldest son of Benjamin. Zoar would have been renamed Bela when the children of Benjamin took possession of their territory.
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