And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
We have to speak, then, of Sodom's sinfulness. Delicacy may seem to repel us from such a subject altogether, but there is a false as well as a true delicacy, which, by passing by sin in silence, gives it an amnesty, and suggests the thought of its repetition. Had the sin of Sodom been confined to that people, and had it been rooted out with the guilty cities, it would almost have been sacrilege against human nature to dig it up from the slush of the sea of death, and expose it to the world. But alas I it still exists even in Christian nations, and requires still to be denounced. Had there been but one prevalent evil practice in Sodom, there is something so disgusting, and at the same time comparatively so rare, in the sin which bears the name of the city, that it might have been as well, perhaps, to have passed it over in silence. But it is evident that the peculiar iniquity of Sodom was only the climax and consummation of the general depravity of the place. This is clear, both from the general principles of human nature, and from certain distinct declarations in the Word of God. We are told that "pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness," were the sins, or rather were sins producing the flagrant and fatal sin of Sodom; and no doubt along with these every species of excess and licentiousness abounded, so that the city formed, with the exception of Lot and his family, one blot on the face of the earth; and we can conceive of a visitor shuddering with horror, as, passing through it at eventide in haste, he in this street hears cries, faint and half-sincere, of "Father, force me not I" and in another, finds men and women staggering in their vomit; and in a third, hears men cursing Jehovah, and cursing Lot, and cursing Abraham; and in a fourth, sees obscene dances; and in a fifth, beholds many plunging into the fires of an idol-sacrifice. All this, and more than this, which dares not even be shadowed out in expression, might have been seen in this fearful city, running over as a great caldron of iniquity, and coming to a point in that sin for which its inhabitants are set forth for an example, "suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." It added to the aggravation of these sins, that they were committed amidst an unbounded flush of prosperity; that they were committed amidst scenes of much natural loveliness, nature being outraged before the eye of her most beautiful forms; and that they were committed not only in opposition to nature's silent, but to God's uttered protest.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;