DAY 5 – EQUALITY 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 VIDEO EPISODES

DAY 5 – EQUALITY
🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
VIDEO EPISODES

In our short video episodes of 50 Days of Genesis we will delve into one verse of each chapter of Genesis. Join and explore less-known ways of reading the Bible

WELCOME TO DAY 5 OF THE

🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
JOURNEY!

Today we will discuss Genesis 5 : 1 + 2

EQUALITY

Genesis 5 is the third time Genesis tells the story of the creation of man. This version is the least familiar one and least talked about. In this chapter we learn that both man and woman were named Adam, and that they were both created in the image of God, and both were blessed.

Man and Woman God created in the Garden of Eden were both called Adam. We will discuss the equality of creation in Day 5 of 50 Days of Genesis.
By William Blake – The William Blake Archive, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30537204

Watch episode DAY 5 on Youtube:

βœ… SUBSCRIBE AND JOIN OUR 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 JOURNEY HERE:
πŸ‘‰ https://hebrew-bible.net/50-days-of-genesis-video-series/

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πŸ”” Don’t forget to click on the bell to turn on post notifications!

Share your insights and comments on YouTube or on our blog.

Thanks for watching,
πŸ™πŸΌ Ran

πŸŽ“ Study with us in our Online Hebrew Bible Academy! New lessons in June 2022
HEBREW BIBLE ACADEMY ➑️ https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net

You can see here the text of the Bible both in Hebrew and in English: https://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0101.htm

Escaping Sodom, Desperate and Broken Hearted – Leaving Loved Ones Behind

Sodom and Gomorrah #20 (Genesis 19:15)

Today, after producing a few YouTube episodes of #50DaysOfGenesis series, I return to the story of Lot and his family escaping from Sodom. As you know, I am greatly disturbed by the harsh ways many believers judge Lot and his wife. There are many reasons for that. But most do it just because Lot and His wife lived in Sodom (as if those judging live in the land of righteousness).

We judge Lot and his wife as if they were robots, not as though they were humans with feelings, emotions, and pains. We judge them as if we would have behaved any better if we found ourselves having to leave everyone and everything behind. So why does it disturb me? Because, like many other places in the Bible, this chapter gives us a chance to learn compassion, but instead, we choose only to practice judgment.

So now we are back in chapter 19, and we’ll continue with verse 14.

After the mob attacked his house, Lot went to his sons-in-law to talk them into escaping with him from the doomed city of Sodom. As we often see with doomsayers nowadays, his relatives mocked him, and he returned home empty handed. But when morning comes, shortly before the destruction of Sodom begins, Lot and his family must leave. There can be no further delays.

Lot is escaping Sodom. He and his family are getting ready, leaving loved ones behind. 

This is translation and transliteration of the Hebrew Bible; Genesis 19:15

Escaping while leaving family behind

We now know that Lot had other daughters, married ones. He also had sons in law, maybe grandchildren, and maybe (as we have seen in verse 12) even a few sons . But, despite the unavoidable pain of separation, his broken heart, and despite knowing that he survived and they did not, he would have to leave them behind.

They mocked him. Understandably, they did not listen to his words, and they chose to stay with what they knew, rather than venture into the scary, and unfamiliar (most people I know would have stayed. Would you have listened to him?) Lot and his wife will have to carry in their hearts the burden and the guilt of the survivor, not only while escaping, but for the rest of their lives:  

Why did they die while we stayed alive? 
If we tried just a bit harder, we could have convinced them to come with us.
We could have saved them.  
We should have stayed to die with them.

These thoughts have been described over and again by survivors that had left behind loved ones, family, and friends. No reasoning, logic or words of comfort can ever ease their pain and burden of guilt, even if it was not their fault; even if it was their only option; even if they had no choice. 

Adam and Eve were made to leave the Garden of Eden; Cain was forced away from his land, and so did Abraham. Lot and his family are now escaping their home. These are only a few of the many such Biblical examples. But it does not end with the Bible. Our entire history is filled with people forced away from their homes, leaving others behind.

How many times throughout history have those that could foresee danger had to flee, broken heartedly, leaving behind friends, family and loved ones, who remained blind to the situation until it was too late? How many more times will humanity continue to face such horrors? It is not far from home. As we see the refugees in Ukraine nowadays, can we imagine ourselves in such a situation? Is there a guarantee we will never experience such horrors?

Many I have spoken to seem to harshly judge Lot and especially his wife. But can we put ourselves in their position and try to understand the pain that they must have suffered when they had to leave family and friends behind? Can we be sure we will not find ourselves in a similar situation? Can we find a little sympathy for them within ourselves?

DAY 4 – SIN 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 VIDEO EPISODES

DAY 4 – SIN
🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
VIDEO EPISODES

In our short video episodes of 50 Days of Genesis we will delve into one verse of each chapter of Genesis. Join and explore less-known ways of reading the Bible

WELCOME TO DAY 4 OF THE

🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
JOURNEY!

Today we will discuss Genesis 4:6+7, the origin of

SIN

and why controlling it is the second commandment in the Bible.

I recorded the video ofΒ Day 4 - Sin -during my travel toΒ Jerusalem, in front of theΒ Monastery of the Cross in the Valley of the Cross and want to share a photo of that historical place with you.

I recorded the video of Day 4 during my travel to Jerusalem, in front of the Monastery of the Cross in the Valley of the Cross. I want to share a photo of that historical place with you.

Around the monastery there are dozens of olive trees, some are young, but a few are many hundreds of years old (not far there is the oldest tree which is believed to be over 3000 years old).

From the old olive press ruins here, we know that the place had olive trees over 2000 years ago, and legends tell us that it was from one of the trees in this valley that the cross for Jesus was made.

The Monastery itself was established in the 4th century, but the current structure was built in the 11th century. Since then monks have been living in it for over 1000 years, and are still living today. 

Watch episode DAY 4 on Youtube:

βœ… SUBSCRIBE AND JOIN OUR 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 JOURNEY HERE:
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πŸ”” Don’t forget to click on the bell to turn on post notifications!

Share your insights and comments on YouTube or on our blog.

Thanks for watching,
πŸ™πŸΌ Ran

πŸŽ“ Study with us in our Online Hebrew Bible Academy! New lessons in June 2022
HEBREW BIBLE ACADEMY ➑️ https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net

You can see here the text of the Bible both in Hebrew and in English: https://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0101.htm

DAY 3 – DEATH 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 VIDEO EPISODES

DAY 3 – DEATH
🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
VIDEO EPISODES

In our short video episodes of 50 Days of Genesis we will delve into one verse of each chapter of Genesis. Join and explore less-known ways of reading the Bible

WELCOME TO DAY 3 OF THE

🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
JOURNEY!

Today we will discuss Genesis 3:19

DEATH

You might have learned that death is the punishment for eating from the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

Hans Baldung Grien - Eve, Serpent and Death. In DAY 3 of 50 days of Genesis we will discuss if the Bible really says that death is the punishment for eating from the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

But is that what the Bible in Genesis 3:19 tells us? 

Watch episode DAY 3 on Youtube:

βœ… SUBSCRIBE AND JOIN OUR 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 JOURNEY HERE:
πŸ‘‰ https://hebrew-bible.net/50-days-of-genesis-video-series/

βœ… SUBSCRIBE TO SUPPORT FREE HEBREW BIBLE LESSONS ON THE INTERNET

πŸ”” Don’t forget to click on the bell to turn on post notifications!

Share your insights and comments on YouTube or on our blog.

Thanks for watching,
πŸ™πŸΌ Ran

πŸŽ“ Study with us in our Online Hebrew Bible Academy! New lessons in June 2022
HEBREW BIBLE ACADEMY ➑️ https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net

You can see here the text of the Bible both in Hebrew and in English: https://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0101.htm

DAY 2 – LONELINESS 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 VIDEO EPISODES

DAY 2 – LONELINESS
🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
VIDEO EPISODES

In our short video episodes of 50 Days of Genesis we will delve into one verse of each chapter of Genesis. Join and explore less-known ways of reading the Bible

WELCOME TO DAY 2 OF THE

🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
JOURNEY!

Today we will discuss Genesis 2:18

LONELINESS

Loneliness: a lone tree in middle of an acre in first snow of the winter. Learn what was not good in God's eyes and what he did to solve it.

Do you know the LONELINESS is very first thing that God said was not good?

Let’s read Genesis 2:18 and find out God’s solution to this problem. We will also discuss the difference between the original text and the common translations.

Watch episode DAY 2 on Youtube:

βœ… SUBSCRIBE AND JOIN OUR 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 JOURNEY HERE:
πŸ‘‰ https://hebrew-bible.net/50-days-of-genesis-video-series/

βœ… SUBSCRIBE TO SUPPORT FREE HEBREW BIBLE LESSONS ON THE INTERNET

πŸ”” Don’t forget to click on the bell to turn on post notifications!

Share your insights and comments on YouTube or on our blog.

Thanks for watching,
πŸ™πŸΌ Ran

πŸŽ“ Study with us in our Online Hebrew Bible Academy! New lessons in June 2022
HEBREW BIBLE ACADEMY ➑️ https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net

You can see here the text of the Bible both in Hebrew and in English: https://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0101.htm

DAY 1 – CREATION 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 VIDEO EPISODES

DAY 1 – CREATION
🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
VIDEO EPISODES

In our short video episodes of 50 Days of Genesis we will delve into one verse of each chapter of Genesis. Join and explore less-known ways of reading the Bible

WELCOME TO DAY 1 OF THE

🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
JOURNEY!

Today we will discuss Genesis 1:1

🌏 THE CREATION OF THE WORLD 🌎

and see why the translation fails to convey the beauty, magnitude, and mystery of this verse.

The Creation of the World
By William Blake – The William Blake Archive, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=246177255

Watch episode DAY 1 on Youtube:

βœ… SUBSCRIBE AND JOIN OUR 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 JOURNEY HERE:
πŸ‘‰ https://hebrew-bible.net/50-days-of-genesis-video-series/

βœ… SUBSCRIBE TO SUPPORT FREE HEBREW BIBLE LESSONS ON THE INTERNET

πŸ”” Don’t forget to click on the bell to turn on post notifications!

Share your insights and comments on YouTube or on our blog.

Thanks for watching,
πŸ™πŸΌ Ran

πŸŽ“ Study with us in our Online Hebrew Bible Academy! New lessons in June 2022
HEBREW BIBLE ACADEMY ➑️ https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net

You can see here the text of the Bible both in Hebrew and in English: https://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0101.htm

New Lessons in our Hebrew Bible Academy in June 2022 – Come and Join


In June we will start into a new series of Hebrew Bible lessons in our Online Academy www.academy.hebrew-bible.net.

I will teach the Biblical Hebrew of the Story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4) and the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18 and 19).

You will be able to discover and to discuss the less-known interpretations of these well-known stories. You will be surprised to figure out the spiritual depth is hidden in the text.

In our Hebrew Bible Academy lessons you will get to know the original Hebrew text so that you can seek YOUR truth, completely unrelated to any religion.

Discover our new lessons here:


The Story of Cain and Abel – New Lessons

We all know that Cain was the very first murderer. As the story is commonly told, Cain was jealous of his brother who, unlike Cain, made his offerings to God wholeheartedly. But is this really what the original text tells us?

By delving into the Hebrew text, word by word, we will explore undisclosed and unknown subtleties in the Biblical text.

Lesson #1:
Does God Discriminate?

πŸ—“οΈ 11 June 2022, 10:00 AM CEST

https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net/course/cain-and-abel-1-does-god-discriminate

We know from Genesis 4:4-5 that the two brothers are making offering to God. Cain brings from his labour in the field, and Abel, the shepherd, from is herd. Does God discriminate Cain by preferring one profession over another?

  • What does it mean that God regards or does not regard an offering? Was it as simple as in Carl August Zscheckel engraving, in which Cain’s smoke did not go up while Abel’s did?
Cain and Abel making offerings to God. Cain’s smoke did not go up while Abel’s did
  • What was God’s reason for discriminating against Cain?

Lesson #2:
Are we Rewarded for Our Good Deeds?

πŸ—“οΈ 18 June 2022, 10:00 AM CEST

https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net/course/cain-and-abel-2-are-we-rewarded-for-good-deeds

After rejecting Cain’s offering, God speaks to him and gives him a paradox to contemplate, a paradox that should guide him, and every person, throughout our lives. This verse, as we will see in a following up post, also defines sin, and instructs us how we must deal with it.

Verse 7 presents to us a paradox. It has two contradictory meanings, each of them consistent with the text. The contradiction stems from the double meanings of the word שְׂא֡Χͺ.

Lesson #3:
Why did Cain Kill Abel?

πŸ—“οΈ 25 June 2022, 10:00 AM CEST

https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net/course/cain-and-abel-3-why-did-god-save-cain

The commonly told story tells us that Cain killed Abel because he was jealous that God accepted Abel’s offering but not his own. But does the original text support this story?

  • Can we safely conclude that it was jealousy? Can there be other interpretations?
  • There is another important issue to consider: Was it a murder?

Lesson #4:
Who was Cain?

πŸ—“οΈ 2 July 2022, 10:00 AM CEST

https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net/course/cain-and-abel-4-who-was-cain

In Gen 4:16-17 Cain’s trial is over. He is leaving God a free man, finds a place to settle, have a son and builds a city. But what about God’s punishment?

  • Wasn’t Cain destined to be a wanderer, a nomad forever?
  • How can a wanderer settle and build a city?
  • Can Cain defy God?
  • How did the life of Cain continue?
New lessons in our Hebrew Bible Academy in June 2022: The original Hebrew Story of Cain and Abel
Screenshot 2022 06 03 at 22.22.57 New Lessons,Hebrew Bible Academy,Sodom and Gomorrah,Cain and Abel,One on One Lessons
Screenshot 2022 06 03 at 22.23.06 New Lessons,Hebrew Bible Academy,Sodom and Gomorrah,Cain and Abel,One on One Lessons
Screenshot 2022 06 03 at 22.23.15 New Lessons,Hebrew Bible Academy,Sodom and Gomorrah,Cain and Abel,One on One Lessons

The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah – New Lessons


On the surface, or at least the way most of us have learned it, it is a simple story: God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for the sins of their people and save Lot, the only righteous person in the city. But delving into the original Hebrew text nothing is simple: What were the sins they were punished for? Why did Lot’s wife had to die?

You might be surprised to learn that the common interpretation that the sin was sexual abomination is only one of many interpretations and based on a single word. The sins of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah may be more horrific, even though they are more subtle.

It is a story divided into 3 episodes.

Lesson #1:
Let the Fair Trial Begin

πŸ—“οΈ 11 June 2022, 11:00 AM CEST

https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net/course/sodom-gomorrah-let-the-fair-trial-begin

We will start with the first episode, the story of a trial, in which Abraham, the defence, is doing all in his power to stop the unavoidable destruction of the two cities. 

The three messengers that visited Abraham are now leaving the court to investigate the situation down in Sodom. Once they have left, Abraham, representing the cities, approaches the bench. Whether it is a human acting as a judge or God Himself, justice and proper trials must come first. 

Lesson #2:
The Outraged People of Sodom and Gomorrah Demand to Knowthe Angels. What does KNOW mean?

πŸ—“οΈ 18 June 2022, 11:00 AM CEST

https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net/course/sodom-gomorrah-furious-people-2-angels-lot-and-law

The second episode of the story takes place in a different setting. Now we see Lot inviting two strangers to his home in Sodom.

  • Did he recognize them as angels?
  • Why did the people of Sodom come to Lot’s house in a rage when they found that Lot was harbouring strangers?
  • What were the real intentions of the people of Sodom when they demanded to know the strangers? Could it have been anything but Sodomy? 
  • What were the angels doing in Sodom? Were they testing Lot to see if he deserves rescuing, or were they in the city to confirm, firsthand, if there is a way to save the city? 
  • How did Lot act? Did he deserve to be saved? 
New lessons in our Hebrew Bible Academy in June 2022: The original Hebrew Story of Sodom and Gomorrah
Screenshot 2022 06 03 at 22.27.01 New Lessons,Hebrew Bible Academy,Sodom and Gomorrah,Cain and Abel,One on One Lessons

Hebrew Bible Private Online Lessons – One on One

πŸ—“οΈ Choose your favourite lesson time

https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net/course/hebrew-bible-one-to-one

One on One we will be going through the Hebrew text. Take the chance to explore the original scripture with an open mind, without assumptions, as if we read and translate the stories for the very first time.

Screenshot 2022 06 03 at 22.27.31 New Lessons,Hebrew Bible Academy,Sodom and Gomorrah,Cain and Abel,One on One Lessons

The Story of Sodom: The Humane Side of the Bible

Sodom and Gomorrah #19 (Genesis 19:14)

How many children did Lot and Lot’s wife have in Sodom? This humane question, although critical to understanding of the story, is mostly ignored by the many who judge Lot’s wife harshly, those who believe she deserved to die. Verse 14, however, reveals the most intriguing fact – Lot’s wife also had married daughters that did not live with them.

I have discussed many times why she had to die. It seems that many of those who, from the comfort of their sofa, judge how a woman escaping for her life should behave, do not even know how many children she had, and how many children she is about to leave in Sodom to die.

But why is this verse hidden when they tell us the story?

Bible Genesis 19:14 talks about the married daughters of Lot in Sodom, those who did not live with them. Why does this humane side of the story of Lot's wife hardly get mentioned? Old Testament in Hebrew with translation and transliteration

Why is this verse kept secret?

Those who follow me regularly know that in the past few months I have been obsessed with Lot’s wife and why she had to die. I have written about it in a previous blog post, discussed it in a video, and yet I have no good answer.  

I have discussed this question with many students and Bible followers. Many seem to have clear answers to why she had to die: “She disobeyed God,” they say. “She could not let go of the past”. And the harshest one: “She was missing the sinful pleasures that Sodom offered.”  

Then I ask, β€œWhat would you have done in her place?”

The answer is nearly always said in great confidence: β€œI would have followed God’s word!”

Unfortunately, I know, firsthand, how impossible it is to know how you would behave when facing real danger, panic, distress, combined with physical exhaustion. I also know that most people need far less than losing their entire city and everyone they know to forgo their commitment to a righteous life. Sometimes, missing a meal or losing some money is enough to throw a person off the path of God. 

But I hardly ever argue it.

Instead, I ask, “And if you left your children behind, what would you do then?”

It seems that most people are not aware that Lot’s wife also had married daughters, daughters who did not live with her, daughters she is about to leave behind to perish in Sodom.   

I can’t help but ask myself why they don’t know?  After all, verse 14 is there for everyone to read together with the rest of the story.

The answer is obvious, most people never delve into the text of the Bible by themselves. They mostly know the Bible second-hand. They mostly know only what those who tell them the Bible want them to know.

But why do theses Bible teachers and leaders do not mention this verse and this fact to us when they tell the rest of the story? What else do they hide from us?

The Human und Humane sides of the Bible

Here I can only guess. And my guess is that telling such details would raise the awareness of how complex the Bible is, and the subtle human existence it describes. It would also highlight the complex decisions we have to make, the pains and suffering that real people undergo. That is, they do not want us to be exposed to the human and humane sides of the Bible.

The people in the Bible are real people, with real feelings, thoughts, ideas and emotions. But when was the last time you tried to think how Abraham felt when he stood in front of God, arguing to save Sodom? Every story of the Bible is about real people, and therefore carries subtle complexities.

This is what many of our religious teachers want us to forget. The Bible is not black and white. It is complex, just the way we, human, are.

So make it a habit to read the Bible carefully by yourself. Put yourself in the mind of the people of the Bible. See what they see, feel what they feel. Only then will you start to understand the true beauty of the Bible and why it is a holy text.  It is not because someone told you so.

DAY 0 – THE VERY FIRST STEP 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 VIDEO EPISODES

DAY 0 – THE VERY FIRST STEP
🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
VIDEO EPISODES

In our short video episodes of 50 Days of Genesis we will delve into one verse of each chapter of Genesis. Join and explore less-known ways of reading the Bible

You’re invited to …

JOIN THE
🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞
JOURNEY!

Get a deeper understanding of the familiar stories of Genesis. 

Once a week you’ll receive a BRAND NEW 5 – 10 minutes video in which we will delve and look at less familiar ways of reading and understanding the Bible verses. 50 days, each for one of the 50 chapters of Genesis.

Hebrew Bible Lessons Insights from researching the Original Scripture.

IF YOU WANT …

to look into the Bible with fresh eyes, this course is for you. Join me and the other Bible followers around the globe for this free Bible Adventure and let’s do 5 – 10 minutes of Bible reading together once a week for 50 weeks.

HI, I AM RAN.

I grew up in Jerusalem absorbed by history, the Bible, and the connection between them. Years of teaching Biblical Hebrew and discussing the Bible with people of all cultures and religions made me realise the value of understanding it in its original language. I am looking forward to sharing this value with you and other Bible followers.

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This πƒπ€π˜ 𝟎 π•πˆπƒπ„πŽ is an introduction to the video series:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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You’ll get access to the first video as soon as you sign up!

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Our lessons are not affiliated with any formal religious or church, and are 100% free. Hebrew language skills are not necessary.

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All videos will be available on YouTube. No expiration date, no catch.

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For 50 weeks you’ll get one email a week from me with the link to a video that will give you inspiration to contemplate and find your interpretation and truth of the verse.

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10 minutes of reading the Bible regularly can change your life. Seriously!

βœ… SUBSCRIBE AND JOIN OUR 🌞 50 DAYS OF GENESIS 🌞 JOURNEY HERE:
πŸ‘‰ https://hebrew-bible.net/50-days-of-genesis-video-series/

βœ… SUBSCRIBE TO SUPPORT FREE HEBREW BIBLE LESSONS ON THE INTERNET

πŸ”” Don’t forget to click on the bell to turn on post notifications!

Share your insights and comments on YouTube or on our blog.

Thanks for watching,
πŸ™πŸΌ Ran

πŸŽ“ Study with us in our Online Hebrew Bible Academy! New lessons in June 2022
HEBREW BIBLE ACADEMY ➑️ https://www.academy.hebrew-bible.net

You can see here the text of the Bible both in Hebrew and in English: https://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0101.htm

The Story of Sodom: Morality is it Absolute or Relative?

Sodom and Gomorrah #18 (Genesis 19:13)

I have now returned from the Italian Alps. So, this time the photo for this post is from there – for your enjoyment – and not, as normal, related to the story of the chapter. I hope you are ready to go back to the Bible and discuss morality in our story, the story of Sodom.

We will continue with verse 13 in chapter 19.  As we have seen in verse 12, the angels are warning Lot and asking him to leave the city. We know that they did not have to give Lot any explanation. After all, Lot already knows they are God’s angels, and he will obey them with or without a reason. Still, they explain. They know that if a person understands the reason for an order, they will obey faster and better. This is a simple secret that many in command nowadays have forgotten. God’s angels remembered.

The angels explain to Lot why they are destroying Sodom. Translation and transliteration of Genesis 19:13. We learn that morality is absolute, not relative.

Is Morality absolute or relative?

During my years of travels, I have met different people from various cultures. Each culture has its own morals, habits, and customs.  Some habits and customs acceptable in one culture can be unacceptable or even considered abomination by another. For example, while in some cultures telling lies is an acceptable behaviour (and when you are caught you simply shrug your shoulders and laugh) in other cultures it is a big shame to be caught lying. In some cultures, killing for the honour of the family is not only acceptable, but demanded; other places will consider it like any other murder.

Every time I encounter such a discrepancy, or when I see behaviours that deeply bother me – like the way women are treated by some cultures – I cannot help but ask myself if I am sure I am right, and whether morality should be judged relative to the culture, or whether it absolute and universal.  The story of Sodom clearly gives us an answer. At least some morals are absolute.

The people of Sodom will be punished, even though they are not familiar with the laws of the Bible, maybe not even with the morals and behaviour code of the desert. Ignorance of morality will not save them.

The angels do not ask if the people of Sodom abide by the laws of their country or the laws of their city – the city of Sodom. It does not matter. The cry coming from the city is sufficient justification for the severe punishment they are going to face – the destruction of their city. In the words of the angels:

Because their cry has grown in the face of God, they will be punished, and Sodom will be destroyed. 

Translation of Genesis 19:13

According to this verse, a sufficient criteria of moral judgement is that many people suffer in the hands of others, that many people cry and beg for God’s help because no human is going to help them. The prophets kept warning that it is how we treat others that God cares the most about and judges us by. To quote Isaiah (1:17). Justice and compassion is what God is asking of us:

Learn to do good.
Devote yourselves to justice;
Aid the wronged.
Uphold the rights of the orphan;
Defend the cause of the widow.

Is this the morals our society is built upon? Is that how WE see our duty to God?