MemberMay 29, 2021 at 2:01 pm
With this thread of discussion being under the “naturalistic-vs-spectacular-supernatural” category I’m raising the possibly helpful in locating Sodom issue of the angels that visited Abraham leaving to walk off towards Sodom at normal speed, rather than spectacularly appearing after flitting in and out of the heavenly dimensions throughout the day in new locations.
Assuming as scripture says “The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day” (Gen. 18:1 NIV) and if I have the general area correct and this is near Mamre and near Hebron and if they stayed with Abraham several hours and then left, walking, and arrived at Sodom in the “evening” or as the men of Sodom said “Where are the men who came to you tonight?” (Being summer “heat of the day” maybe they arrived at 8 or 9 at night maybe having left Abraham some seven hours earlier. They could easily have walked up to 21 miles of road (the result of walking seven hours at three miles an hour).
While angels could materialize, the scripture seems to indicate they walked. They were walking when they left Abraham and they “arrived” at Sodom, rather than “appeared at Sodom.”
Tentatively this doesn’t look good for Steven Collins location of Sodom. (Still I think it was destroyed in the same destruction.) Tall el-Hammam is a bit of a stretch for a normal summer half day or seven hour walk from where I’m seeing Hebron and Mamre located.
Now regarding the timing of the destruction (what year), I’ve come across some information (Encyclopedia Britannica online) but I’m still planning to see what other articles or primary science research has to say about the area being well-watered and fertile and get better dates on when that changed.
"Archaeological evidence indicates that the area was once fertile, in the Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000–1500 bce), with fresh water flowing into the Dead Sea in sufficient amounts to sustain agriculture."
Overtime I’d like to see the sediment record of the Dead Sea, an airburst or impact might leave a sediment record with some unique characteristics. The disturbed sediment might look like an earthquake but maybe also a bit different than a usual earthquake.
In full disclosure, I’m only 96% (guessing) confident that my rather unreliable attempts to place the “great trees of Mamre” (Gen. 18:1 NIV) have me in the right location. “Can’t believe everything you read on the internet,” it is said. Anyway it is funny that I’m on the opposite side of the Dead Sea from where I’ve started, in regards to the location of Sodom.