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More than 1,700 years before Jesus walked the earth the ancient city of Tall el-Hammam was on the rise. It was located at the northeast end of the Dead Sea between what is now Israel and Jordan. At the time of Abraham, this city was ten times larger than Jerusalem and five times larger than Jericho.

Then something cataclysmic and inexplicable happened. The city was virtually blown away by a force equal to 1,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs. But it wasn’t only the force which amazed the archeologists who’ve recently uncovered the city’s ruins. It was the intense heat, a heat far too intense to be manmade (greater than 2,000 C or 3,650 F degrees). The heat was so severe that it melted pottery into glass, bubbled mudbrick, and “shocked” minerals as durable as quartz.

Since the evidences of this city’s destruction mirror that of the Tunguska 12-megaton cosmic burst and an earlier Stone Age burst, scientists are wondering if an exploding meteor was to blame in Tall el-Hammam as well.

There’s something else they’re wondering. Is Tall el-Hammam to be identified with ancient Sodom? Many archaeologists and biblical scholars are seriously considering this question. Even skeptics are admitting that Tall el-Hammam’s destruction may have inspired the biblical story in Genesis 19.

Of course, even if Tall el-Hammam is not Sodom, Sodom’s destruction could have easily affected all the surrounding cities, including Tall el-Hammam. Note Genesis 19:25, Thus (God) overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.” Sodom’s destruction might have been so total that not a trace of the city was left. But surrounding cities, like Tall el-Hammam, would have left some evidence of destruction behind.

What struck me about this story is the way archaeologists of today take the historical narratives of the Bible far more seriously than they did in earlier times. Toward the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century archaeologists questioned many things mentioned in the Bible. The existence of many cities (e.g. Nineveh), kingdoms (e.g. Hittites), kings (e.g. David, Omri, Jehu, Hezekiah, Josiah), and thousands of other locations and people were previously doubted. Yet they’ve all since been confirmed by archaeology. Even until just recently, the domestication of camels (mentioned in Genesis 24) was held in suspicion. Then, in September 2021, a statue of a domesticated camel in Saudi Arabia was found to be 2,000 years older than the pyramids (between 7,000-8,000 years ago).

Another biblical account, which covers three chapters in the book of Genesis, is the great flood of Noah. This story also has accumulating evidence to back it up. From the angle of anthropology, there are more than 300 similar flood legends from around the world, suggesting that they spring from one common global event.

From a geological perspective, only the universal and cataclysmic flood could have created the vast sedimentary rock formations that span entire continents – and in some cases are inter-continental in range. And only the biblical flood could have killed and rapidly buried the trillions of living things on such a vast scale. Many of these fossil plants and animals reveal the most delicate soft parts, showing they were entombed in water-laid sediment before they had time to decay. And in some cases organisms were buried so rapidly that they were literally “captured in time” eating and giving birth.

It’s worth noting that Jesus pointed to both of these cataclysmic events when foretelling His own sudden appearance and judgment. “As it was in the days of Noah,” said Jesus, and “as it happened with Lot (in Sodom and Gomorrah),” so shall it be when the Son of Man comes (Luke 17:26-36). Jesus’ coming will take everyone by surprise and bring an abrupt and sudden end to all their dreams and schemes. Only those who are ready – by being reconciled with God through Christ – will be welcomed into heaven. The rest of humanity will be swept away in judgment. It will take them completely off guard – as did the destruction of those poor souls in Tall el-Hammam. Therefore, we must be ready to meet the Lord.


PRAYER:  Lord Jesus, please forgive my sins, wash me in Your blood, and write my name in Your book of life. Come into my heart and rule there forever. From this moment onward, let me be an instrument of Your peace, healing, and salvation in the lives of others. Amen.


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