Angels and the Mysterious Sin of Sodom
It is almost an automatic reference to homosexuality and homosexual activity in these days to refer to “Sodomy”. When most Christian clergy refer to “the sin of Sodom”, this is what is normally meant and it is thus usually taught that the wickedness which brought about the destruction of Sodom and the neighboring Gomorrah was sexual immorality of a homosexual nature.
The one, and the only real basis for the connection between homosexuality and the destruction of Sodom is the description of events given in Genesis which follow two angels taking up lodging in Lot’s home. These angels, referred to as simply “men” in certain instances throughout the account, are sought after by the residents of the city (male residents it would seem) for illicit sexual encounters. Obviously the angels were in such a form as to be obviously male… as to whether or not they were obviously not human, that is made less clear.
“Now the two messengers came to Sedom in the evening and Lowt was sitting in the gate of Sedom. When Lowt saw them, he rose to meet them and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my masters, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise early and go on your way.”
And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.” But he insisted strongly, so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a banquet and baked unleavened bread and they ate.
Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sedom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lowt and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”
So Lowt went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not do so wickedly! See now! I have two daughters who have not known a man. I pray, let me bring them out to you and you may do to them as you wish. Only do nothing to these men since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here and he keeps acting as a judge. Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lowt and came near to break down the door.
But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lowt into the house with them and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door”
– Genesis 19:1-11
The difficulty with making a sure case for the sin of Sodom being one of a primarily homosexual nature comes in references to it outside of the initial account, particularly in Jude.
“And the angles who did not keep their proper domain but left their own abode He has reserved in eternal chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day, as Sedom and Amorah and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
There are two important points to notice in these verses in Jude. It would seem at first glance, and without using references outside of the New Testament that we have a very strange comparison being made.
Here is a comparison between fallen angels and the sin for which Sodom and Gomorrah were judged: “AS Sedom and Amorah (Sodom and Gomorrah) …IN SIMILAR MANNER TO THESE (“these” being angels which kept not their first estate), having given themselves over to sexual immorality.”
It would be odd, then, to imagine that the comparison being made had something to do with homosexuality. Did any angels fall into transgression because of homosexual relationships? Most ,i think, could agree that there is no basis anywhere to support a correlation between the fall of angels and a sin of homosexuality, but there is some manner of sexual sin alluded to here.
The exact reference is to “going after strange flesh.” The exact connotation in Greek is: going after strange (heteros – other, different) flesh.
Ironically, the very word in Greek used here: “heteros” is a root used today in the term “heterosexual” to specifically refer to normal, opposite sex relationships, as meaning that the sexes involved are “different” from each other as opposed to “homosexual” where the connotation is that the sexes are the same: homo= same.
The very root words of the text of this verse are diametrically opposed to the correlation of homosexuality and the sin of Sodom.
What the sin is then, in actuality, is not that we have individuals going after same sex partners, but that they are going after a kind of flesh or body which is different than their own.
This would never make sense simply confined to humanity… outside of gender differences which are, of course, an absolute necessity for procreation, not an aberration… what great difference of physicality could there be to constitute a mortal sin should that boundary be crossed?
Furthermore… we still have the problem of the angels. What do they have to do with any of this?
The connection between fallen angels and the sin of Sodom is made again in 2 Peter…
“For if Yahuwah did not spare the angels who sinned, but put them into the deepest abyss of she’owl and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment, and did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the irreverent and turning the cities of Sedom and Amorah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making an example to those who afterward would live impiously and delivered righteous Lowt, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked”
– 2 Peter 2: 4-7
One might just conclude that there is no connection of the two subject matters mentioned here (angels and the sin of Sodom) It is rarely the case in scripture, however, that multiple unrelated concepts are introduced in proximity to each other in this way, and of course coupling that with the Jude verses, which are unambiguous in their comparison of the subjects… the most logical answer is that the same comparison is being made here in 2 Peter.
It goes slightly further in demystifying the underlying reasoning for the comparison than Jude does, in fact. Here, we might not see just two subjects being compared, but three… the third being the world before the flood and the state of wickedness it was in which brought on that flood.
This seeming third subject matter is not, however, a separate reference, and here is where the puzzle pieces are merged to make a clear and obvious picture.
For those already sufficiently familiar with 1 Enoch, there should be no difficulty in coming to the logical answer as to what sin is being punished which applies to both angles and the city of Sodom.
For those believers who have been taught and rigidly accept the teaching that 1 Enoch is not canonical and therefor not true or acceptable as scripture, I challenge you to rigorously test that conviction against the simplest of logical conclusions one can come to on this matter.
I Enoch provides a concise, consistent and thorough background to the verses in Jude and 2 Peter which simply can’t be ignored for it’s blatant treatment of this exact subject matter and it leaves little room to doubt that Jude and Peter were very familiar with the story described in 1 Enoch, and referred back to it.
If it is not enough that the subject matter is exactly the same, one needs to also recall that Jude himself acknowledges Enoch as the original author of an exact 1 Enoch quote in his writings.
Here is the comparison of the subject of the sin of the angels in the New Testament and 1 Enoch…
It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamored of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.
– 1 Enoch 7:1-3
“Go, say to the Watchers (angels) of heaven, who have sent you to pray for them, You ought to pray for men, and not men for you. Wherefore have you forsaken the lofty and holy heaven, (Jude: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain but left their own abode”…) which endures for ever, and have lain with women; have defile yourselves with the daughters of men; have taken to yourselves wives; have acted like the sons of the earth, and have begotten an impious offspring? (Jude: “having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh”)
You being spiritual, holy, and possessing a life which is eternal, have polluted yourselves with women; have begotten in carnal blood; have lusted in the blood of men; and have done as those who are flesh and blood do.These however die and perish.Therefore have I given to them wives, that they might cohabit with them; that sons might be born of them; and that this might be transacted upon earth.
But you from the beginning were made spiritual, possessing a life which is eternal, and not subject to death for ever.Therefore I made not wives for you, because, being spiritual, your dwelling is in heaven.
– 1 Enoch 15:1-7
The Punishment of the Angels:
“Again the Lord said to Raphael, Bind Azazyel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and opening the desert which is in Dudael, cast him in there.Throw upon him hurled and pointed stones, covering him with darkness;”
– 1Enoch 10:6,7
“the Lord said, Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment…”
– 1 Enoch 10:15
“From this time forward, never shall you ascend into heaven; He has said, that on the earth He will bind you, as long as the world endures.”
– 1 Enoch 14:4
(2 Peter: “For if Yahuwah did not spare the messengers who sinned, but put them into the deepest abyss of she’owl and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment…”)
(Jude: “…He has reserved in eternal chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day”)
“Then the Most High, the Great and Holy One spoke, And sent Uriel to the son of Lamech (Noah), Saying, Say to him in my name, Conceal yourself. Then explain to him the consummation which is about to take place; for all the earth shall perish; the waters of a deluge shall come over the whole earth, and all things which are in it shall be destroyed.”
– 1 Enoch 10:1-4
“In those days shall punishment go forth from the Lord of spirits; and the receptacles of water which are above the heavens shall be opened, and the fountains likewise, which are under the heavens and under the earth.All the waters, which are in the heavens and above them, shall be mixed together.The water which is above heaven shall be the agent;And the water which is under the earth shall be the recipient: and all shall be destroyed who dwell upon earth, and who dwell under the extremities of heaven. By these means shall they understand the iniquity which they have committed on earth: and by these means shall they perish.”
– 1 Enoch 53:7-11
(2 Peter:”…and did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the irreverent…”)
Here is where we may examine another interesting mention of the circumstances preceding the flood as compared to the sin of Sodom…
Luke 17:26-29: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man. They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Likewise as it was also in the days of Lowt. They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day that Lowt went out of Sedom it rained fire and brimstone from the sky and destroyed them all.”
With these other similar and descriptive verses concerning the same theme of ideas, perhaps there is a clearer idea provided here as to who “they” are in this instance in Luke… a peculiar and pointed list of carnal pleasures which were indulged in by “them” up until the point of the flood (eating, drinking, marriage).
Now returning to the initial description of the angels coming to Sodom where they are put up in Lot’s house prior to Sodom’s destruction… it is easier to understand that the abomination which the residents are about to perpetrate upon the angelic visitors has less to do with gender than it does with an attempted inter-species union.
Though as I mentioned earlier, it is not made abundantly clear whether or not the angels were Obviously angels, the implication is, at least, that Lot knew it and if he was aware there is a fair chance that the residents of the city also knew what sort of creatures they were, and their response to it (unlike the righteous response of Lot) was an unthinkably wicked one… they intended to knowingly sexually molest holy angels.
This is logically followed by the reaction of the angels who, after blinding the perpetrators, make it clear to Lot that it was the last straw as far as YHWH was concerned and he and his family had to get out now… not later.
It is obvious that what had been going on in Sodom for some time which led to it’s destruction was an ongoing practice of species boundary crossing… the question being with whom or what?
Bestiality would fit the bill in some respects and no doubt occurred, yet they were immediately drawn toward angels when they arrived… they were a community very enamored with a “nostalgia” for the wicked, pre-flood world order.
Since nephilim did exist post-flood and thrived in the land which Israel eventually inherited, the objective was not simply to destroy a remnant nephil population, or the destruction would have included more than just a couple of cities.
It might be fair to say that Sodom was involved with an attempt to re-create the conditions prior to the flood socially as well as technologically, a theme which the whole world is set to attempt to achieve in these modern times.
“And I will give to my two witnesses and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the ‘Eloah of the earth.
And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut the sky so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy and they have power over waters to turn them to blood and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that spiritually is called Sedom (Sodom) and Mitsrayim (Egypt) where also our Master was impaled”
– Revelation 11:3-8