Guide A Great City Brought to Ruins (Genesis and Other Tall Tales Book 5)

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The Tower of Babel narrative in Genesis –9 is an origin myth meant to explain why the world's peoples speak different languages. According to the story , a united humanity in the generations following the Great Flood, There they agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city.
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Get Known if you don't have an account. Your descendants will possess the gate of their enemies. Through your offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. And the Lord said, "Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will o; nothing that they propose to do now will be impossible for them.

Come, let us go down, and confused their language there, so that they will not understand one another's speech. Alternative Title s : Genesis. Show Spoilers. How well does it match the trope? Rabbi Basil Herring, who served as head of the Rabbinical Council of America from to , writes that both the Rabbinic tradition and modern orthodox position consider the Torah to condemn homosexuality as an abomination. Moreover, that it "conveys its abhorrence of homosexuality through a variety of narrative settings", God's judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah being a "paradigmatic" instance of such condemnation.

Rictor Norton views classical Jewish texts as stressing the cruelty and lack of hospitality of the inhabitants of Sodom to the "stranger". Rabbinic writings affirm that the Sodomites also committed economic crimes, blasphemy and bloodshed. Eliezer was reported to be a victim of such legally unjust conduct, after Sarah sent him to Sodom to report on Lot's welfare.

The citizens also regularly tortured foreigners who sought lodging. They did this by providing the foreigners a standard-sized beds and if they saw that the foreigner was too short for the bed, they would forcibly stretch their limbs but if the foreigner was too tall, they would cut off their legs ; [54] [55] As a result, many people refrained from visiting Sodom and Gomorrah. Beggars who settled into the two cities for refuge were similarly mistreated. The citizens would give them marked coins presumably used to purchase food but were nonetheless forbidden, by proclamation, to provide these necessary services.

Once the beggar died of starvation, citizens who initially gave the beggar the coins were permitted to retrieve them, provided that they could recognize it.

The beggar's clothing was also provided as a reward for any citizen who could successfully overcome their opponent in a street fight. Two girls, one poor and the other rich, went to a well; and the former gave the latter her jug of water, receiving in return a vessel containing bread. When this became known, both were burned alive ib. When the scandal was revealed, the woman was stripped naked and covered with honey.

This attracted bees as the woman was slowly stung to death. Her cries then went up into the heavens, the turning point that was revealed to have provoked God to enact judgement upon Sodom and Gomorrah in the first place in Genesis Jon D. Levenson views a rabbinic tradition described in the Mishnah as postulating that the sin of Sodom was a violation of conventional hospitality in addition to homosexual conduct, describing Sodom's lack of generosity with the saying, "What is mine is mine; what is yours is yours" m.

Avot 5. Jay Michaelson proposes a reading of the story of Sodom that emphasizes the violation of hospitality as well as the violence of the Sodomites. Reading the story of Sodom as being about homosexuality is like reading the story of an ax murderer as being about an ax. The verses cited by Michaelson include Jeremiah , [Jeremiah ] where the sins of Jerusalem are compared to Sodom and are listed as adultery, lying, and strengthening the hands of evildoers; Amos —11 oppressing the poor and crushing the needy ; [Amos —11] and Ezekiel —50, [Ezekiel —50] which defines the sins of Sodom as "pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

And they were haughty, and did toevah before me, and I took them away as I saw fit. Two areas of contention have arisen in modern Christian scholarship concerning the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.


And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? Yada is used to refer to sexual intercourse in various instances, such as in Genesis between Adam and Eve:. Some Hebrew scholars believe that yada , unlike the English word "know", requires the existence of a "personal and intimate relationship".

Countering this is the observation that one of the examples of "know" meaning to know sexually occurs when Lot responds to the Gen request, by offering his daughters for rape, only three verses later in the same narrative:. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing The following is a major text in regard to these conflicting opinions:.

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Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. This reference to "going after strange flesh" is understood in different ways to include something akin to bestiality, having illicit sex with strangers, having sex with angels, but most often God's destruction of the populations of the four cities is interpreted to mean homosexual same-sex relations.

Many who interpret the stories in a non-sexual context contend that as the word for "strange" is akin to "another", "other", "altered" or even "next", the meaning is unclear, and if the condemnation of Sodom was the result of sexual activities perceived to be perverse, then it is likely that it was because women sought to commit fornication with "other than human" angels, [69] perhaps referring to Genesis 6 or the apocryphal Book of Enoch. Countering this, it is pointed out that Genesis 6 refers to angels seeking women, not men seeking angels, and that both Sodom and Gomorrah were engaged in the sin Jude describes before the angelic visitation, and that, regardless, it is doubtful that the Sodomites knew they were angels.

In addition, it is argued the word used in the King James Version of the Bible for "strange", can mean unlawful or corrupted Rm. Both the non-sexual and the homosexuality view invoke certain classical writings as well as other portions of the Bible. Now this was the sin of Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

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Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Here the nonsexual view focuses on the inhospitality aspect, while the other notes the description detestable or abomination , the Hebrew word for which often denotes moral sins, including those of a sexual nature.

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In the Gospel of Matthew and corresponding verse when Jesus warns of a worse judgment for some cities than Sodom, inhospitality is perceived by some as the sin, while others see it fundamentally being impenitence:. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

The nonsexual view focuses on the cultural importance of hospitality, which this biblical story shares with other ancient civilizations, such as Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome , where hospitality was of singular importance and strangers were under the protection of the gods. Kugel, Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University suggests the story encompasses the sexual and non-sexual: the Sodomites were guilty of stinginess, inhospitality and sexual license, homo- and heterosexual in contrast to the generosity of Abraham, and Lot whose behavior in protecting the visitors but offering his daughters suggests he was "scarcely better than his neighbors" according to some ancient commentators, The Bible As It Was, , pp.

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Within the Christian Churches that agree on the possible sexual interpretation of "know" yada in this context, there is still a difference of opinion on whether homosexuality is important. On its website, the Anglican Communion presents the argument that the story is "not even vaguely about homosexual love or relationships", but is instead "about dominance and rape , by definition an act of violence, not of sex or love".

This argument that the violence and the threat of violence towards foreign visitors is the true ethical downfall of Sodom and not homosexuality , also observes the similarity between the Sodom and Gomorrah and the Battle of Gibeah Bible stories. In both stories, an inhospitable mob demands the homosexual rape of a foreigner or foreigners. As the mob instead settles for the rape and murder of the foreigner's female concubine in the Battle of Gibeah story, the homosexual aspect is generally seen as inconsequential, and the ethical downfall is understood to be the violence and the threat of violence towards foreigners by the mob.

This Exodus —24 lesson is viewed by Anglicans as a more historically accurate way to interpret the Sodom and Gomorrah story.

Scholar in history and gender studies Lisa McClain has claimed that the association between Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality emerged from the writings of 1st century Jewish philosopher Philo , and that no prior exegesis of the text suggested such a linkage. The Quran contains twelve references to "the people of Lut", the biblical Lot, but meaning the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, and their destruction by God is associated explicitly with their sexual practices: [78] [79].

The 'people of Lot' transgressed consciously against the bounds of God. Lot only prayed to God to be saved from doing as they did. Then Gabriel met Lot and said that he must leave the city quickly, as God had given this command to Lot for saving his life. In the Quran it was written that Lot's wife stayed behind as she had transgressed. She met her fate in the disaster, and only Lot and his family were saved during the destruction of their city, [80] with the understanding that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are identified in Genesis, but "the location remains unnamed in the Qur'an" [81].

Commentary: This was his wife, who was a bad old woman. She stayed behind and was destroyed with whoever else was left. So they patiently obeyed the command of Allah and persevered, and Allah sent upon the people a punishment which struck them all, and rained upon them stones of baked clay, piled up. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the biblical cities. For other uses, see Sodom and Gomorrah disambiguation.

Biblical cities. Main article: Battle of Siddim. Further information: Deuterocanonical books. Main article: Lot in Islam. Further information: Firestorm. Retrieved Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism. Oxford University Press. What is Islamic Philosophy? Gordon; Baumann, Martin World of Criminal Justice: N-Z. Gale Group. Retrieved January 13, Criminal Law and Procedure.

Cengage Learning. The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. Retrieved April 19, In the Book of Mormon , a man named Jared and his family ask God that their language not be confounded at the time of the Tower of Babel.

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Because of their prayers, God preserves their language and leads them to the Valley of Nimrod. From there, they travel across the sea to the Americas. The confusion of tongues confusio linguarum is the origin myth for the fragmentation of human languages described in the Book of Genesis —9, as a result of the construction of the Tower of Babel. Genesis claims that prior to the event, humanity spoke a single language. This has sometimes been interpreted as being in contradiction to the earlier Genesis ,. During the Middle Ages, the Hebrew language was widely considered the language used by God to address Adam in Paradise , and by Adam as lawgiver the Adamic language by various Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholastics.

Dante in the Divina commedia implies however that the language of Paradise was different from later Hebrew by saying that Adam addressed God as I rather than El. Before the acceptance of the Indo-European language family , these languages were considered to be " Japhetite " by some authors e. Beginning in Renaissance Europe, priority over Hebrew was claimed for the alleged Japhetic languages, which were supposedly never corrupted because their speakers had not participated in the construction of the Tower of Babel.

The Swedish physician Andreas Kempe wrote a satirical tract in , where he made fun of the contest between the European nationalists to claim their native tongue as the Adamic language. Caricaturing the attempts by the Swede Olaus Rudbeck to pronounce Swedish the original language of mankind, Kempe wrote a scathing parody where Adam spoke Danish , God spoke Swedish , and the serpent French. The primacy of Hebrew was still defended by some authors until the emergence of modern linguistics in the second half of the 18th century, e.

Historical linguistics has long wrestled with the idea of a single original language. In the Middle Ages, and down to the 17th century, attempts were made to identify a living descendant of the Adamic language. The literal belief that the world's linguistic variety originated with the tower of Babel is pseudolinguistics , and is contrary to the known facts about the origin and history of languages.