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Sodom meaning

סדם
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🔼The name Sodom in the Bible

Sodom is one of the destroyed cities of the plain near the Salt Sea (the others are Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim; Genesis 19; Deuteronomy 29:23). Before it was swallowed up, it probably was situated in the valley of Siddim (Genesis 14:3).

Sodom extended its hospitality to Lot, the nephew of Abraham, but the men of Sodom famously took their hospitality duties to allow the rape of Lot's visitors (Genesis 19:5). The proverbial "sin of Sodom," however, was not, as is often understood, of a sexual nature but rather that it had "abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy" (Ezekiel 16:49).

In the New Testament the name Sodom (Σοδομα, Sodoma) appears either in illustrative recounts of the old story (Luke 17:29, 2 Peter 2:6, Jude 1:7) or else is evoked to illustrate sin that's bad nonetheless but still royally surpassed by the generation of Christ (Matthew 10:15, 11:23).

🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Sodom

Most sources refer to an unused verb shadam meaning to burn. The city's name is rendered by Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names as Flaming, and by NOBSE Study Bible Name List as Burnt. The only Hebrew word that comes close to this name is the noun סד (sad), which is a loan-word itself, and which denotes penal constrictions around the ankles (Job 13:27).

Because the letters samekh (ס) and sin (שׂ) are somewhat similar in sound, they have been known to interchange. Hence BDB Theological Dictionary suggests relations with the name שׂדים, Siddim. The name Siddim is also very difficult to interpret but it may have to do with the word שד, meaning demon:

Thus the name Sodom may also mean Demons, or Fields.

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