And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
Sodom itself stood not only in the alluvium of a river bed, but on a main highway for land carriage between Babylon and Egypt. The natural consequences of such a position followed fast. When Ezekiel in his analysis of its decline calls "fulness of bread," comes without toil to a population so favourably situated. Wealth flowed in. With wealth easily acquired came "abundance of idleness"; and with leisure and wealth came luxury, their daughter. Then followed pride, the insolence of the pampered; at last, self-indulgence and shameless licence. Possibly the time had not yet arrived for the cultivation of those adornments which lend dignity to wealth, and serve even to veil the deformity of dissolute manners; of letters, I mean, and of the arts. Possibly the race was not endowed by nature with such gifts. At any rate, we detect no signs of such a degree of culture or refinement as has always accompanied civilization among Aryan peoples. The early civilization of the Hamitic tribes seems to have been of a vulgar material type, and to have fallen a speedy prey to vice and corruption. How far that corruption had gone in the case of Sodom is only too apparent on the face of the narrative. Disgusting and unnatural lust has been the plague-spot of heathenism in other times, as well as of at least one Moslem race in our own. But it never carried itself with such effrontery, or showed its vileness so openly, as in the town which has given it a name. Wherever it has appeared, it has marked a stage of social degradation ripe for destruction. Four hundred years after Sodom, other Canaanite tribes in Palestine had become infected with it, till the land was ready, in the strong words of Leviticus, to "spue them out." Its prevalence in Greece when St. Paul wrote his letter to the Church of Rome showed how near Greece was to its fall. What it means in the case of the Turk, we are seeing to-day with our eyes. Unnatural vice fills the cup of iniquity to overflowing. It sends up a "cry" to heaven that the righteous Judge must answer.
(J. O. Dykes, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;