Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Biblical Events - Pt.3

Sodom & Gomorrah
I was asking him questions about the Dead Sea, or the “Sea of Deaths” as he called it. The Qumran community was located on the cliffs at the edge of this body of water. All I had ever heard about it was that it was very salty and would not sustain life. This peculiarity has never really been satisfactorily explained. With this in mind, I asked if the sea had any peculiarities about it. I was taken off guard by his answer.
S: It has sometimes the smell of tar, or resin, or pitch, yes. They say that toward the South that there are pits of pitch and that this is part of it. Also nothing grows in the Sea of Death. There are a few plants along the edges.

D: Is this why you call it the Sea of Death?

S: It is called this because it is upon these shores that Gomorrah and Sodomon were brought to destruction. And it is to remind us of this.
I glanced quickly at Harriet and saw she was as surprised as I was. This was certainly unexpected. We had heard the Bible story, but had no idea these two infamous cities were associated with the Dead Sea. Note the reversal of the names as we are accustomed to hearing them and the different pronunciation of Sodom. It was obvious none of this came telepathically from our minds.
D: Oh? We've always thought the name meant that nothing would grow there.

S: (Interrupted) This is why nothing grows here.

D: How were these cities destroyed?
Suddi answered nonchalantly, “Radiation.” Again I was taken off-guard, and asked if he could tell us the story of what happened.
S: It is said that they were displeasing in the eyes of Yahweh, for they had gone from the path of truth. And when that they were given the warning many, many times to become back to the path of righteousness, that they laughed. And it is said that Lot was in these cities and he was visited by two great beings, who told him to take his family and leave and they would be protected. And he was upset because, I mean, this was his city after all, and even though it was still bad, these were his people. But they told him they were not worth saving, that they must start over and start again from anew. So he took his two daughters and his wife and they left. It is said that his wife looked back on the city and in so doing that she died, from what she saw and looking upon the face of destruction with her eyes.
I remembered the familiar story of her turning into a pillar of salt, but Suddi said there was nothing unusual about her death other than she looked back and saw destruction. I asked if he had an explanation for the destruction.
S: Where these cities were located, there are pockets of the pitch and the tar and a great heat was caused. The lightning bolds, they struck from the heavens. And when they hit this, they caused destruction to reign (or could this word be 'rain'? An interesting difference in definition.) And it caused to … explode.  And the cities, they caved in about this, themselves, and sunk until that there was nothing left.

D: Then you think that Yahweh caused all this to happen?

S: It was his choice, yes.
This was something I could not delay research on. He had sparked my curiosity. I did not see that it would jeopardize the story of the Essenes if I looked for more information about Sodom and Gomorrah. Some of the best was readily available in my encyclopedia. The thing to remember is that we had no interest in looking it up before, we had never thought of a connection.

Archaeological and Biblical evidence supports the locating of the five Cities of the Plain (of which Sodom and Gomorrah were two) in the Vally of Siddim. This was a once-fertile plain located at the south end of the Jordan River-Dead Sea Valley. The early invaders of the area found that the Valley was full of wells of asphalt - “Slime pits” in the older translations. Ancient and modern writers attest to the presence of asphalt (Greek) and bitumen (Latin) around the Dead Sea, especially around the southern part. In ancient times it was called the Salt Sea and Lake Asphaltitis. At the south-west corner rises a low mountain made up in part of pure compact crystalline salt, which the modern Arabs call Jebel Usdum, the Mount of Sodom.

Recent investigations by geologists have revealed the presence of petroleum as well as seepage of asphalt. They also suspect the presence of uranium but feel it would be too difficult to mine. Ancient writers wrote of the foul odors and soot arising from the Sea. It was so strong that it tarnished metals. Modern geologies say this is natural gas, which would have been unknown to the people of the past. They claim a possible explanation of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is that oil and the gas fumes may have been ignited by lightning, or an earthquake overturned the hearth fires causing an explosion. In the Bible it says that Abraham saw smoke rising from the Plain, which went up “as smoke of a furnace,” a fitting description of burning oil and gas. It also might fit an atomic explosion.

The surface of the Dead Sea, which is 1292 feet below sea level, is lower than any known place on earth. The sea then drops to a maximum depth of 1309 feet and is six-times saltier than sea water, making it also the saltiest place on earth. This is a unique geological phenomenon. No other part of the globe, which is not under water, lies deeper than 300 feet below sea level. Absolutely nothing will live in the water.

According to Werner Keller in The Bible as History, explorations in that area came up with something strange. Although the body of the sea is incredibly deep, the south end is shallow, no more than fifty or sixty feet deep. When the sun is shining in the right direction, the outlines of forests can be seen beneath the water. They have been preserved by the high salt content of the water. This is evidence that before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah the area was a lush and fertile plain. It is believed that the cities sank beneath the water in this area and this would explain why it is shallower there.

Salt is in the air, and everything in the area (including people) is quickly covered with a crust of salt. This could be an explanation for the story of Lot's wife turning into salt. When the explosion occurred, there must have been a tremendous amount of salt thrown into the air from the salt mountain located near the cities.

I would like to venture to draw my own conclusions as to what happened there. In order for the cities to sink and the area to be rendered lifeless and desolate for all time to come, I believe a natural atomic explosion occurred. Could this also account for the incredible depth of the sea? It is possible with the presence of uranium as well as the other highly volatile chemicals in the area. It is interesting to note that no Geiger counter readings for radioactivity have ever been carried out in the area, according to writer Erich von Daniken.

But this does not explain the presence of the two beings who came to warn Lot and his family. If it was a natural phenomenon, how did they know about it in advance? It has been suggested that instead of lightning triggering the explosion, it may have been ignited by laser beams from an outer-space craft. An open mind can see many possibilities other than the orthodox." - Pages  153-156

- Jesus and the Essenes, by Dolores Cannon

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