`Get ye up from the wrath of God's terrible day!
Ungirded, unsandalled, arise and away!
'Tis the vintage of blood, 'tis the fullness of time,
And vengeance shall gather the harvest of crime!
The warning was spoken; the righteous had gone,
And the proud ones of Sodom were feasting alone;
All gay was the banquet; the revel was long,
With the pouring of wine and the breathing of song.
'Twas an evening of beauty; the air was perfume,
The earth was all greenness, the trees were all bloom;
And softly the delicate viol was heard,
Like the murmur of love, or the notes of a bird.
And beautiful maidens moved down in the dance,
With the magic of motion and sunshine of glance;
And white arms wreathed lightly, and tresses fell free
As the plumage of birds in some tropical tree.
Where the shrines of foul idols were lighted on high,
And wantonness tempted the lust of the eye;
Midst rites of obsceneness, strange, loathsome, abhorred,
The blasphemer scoffed at the name of the Lord.
Hark! the growl of the thunder—the quaking of earth!
Woe, woe to the worship, and woe to the mirth!
The black sky has opened—there's flame in the air—
The red arm of vengeance is lifted and bare!
Then the shriek of the dying rose wild where the song
And the low tone of love had been whispered along;
For the fierce flames went lightly o'er palace and bower,
Like the red tongues of demons, to blast and devour!
Down—down on the fallen the red ruin rained,
And the reveller sank with his wine-cup undrained.
The foot of the dancer, the music's loved thrill,
And the shout and the laughter grew suddenly still.—John Greenleaf Whittier
(Gen. 19. 24, 25; Jer. 50. 40; 2 Pet. 2. 6; Jude 7)
Dent. 29. 23—`And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Adamah and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath.'
From these words we can understand that Moses, writing about 500 years after the destruction of the cities of the plain, was narrating the fact that the salt, the brimstone and the burning that took place in this area centuries before his time, had left very apparent results upon the face of the earth, and he was able to draw the attention of the people of his day to the evidences of the judgment, that could be observed by them whilst passing through that area.—Walter J. Beasley
Now the ruins of the catastrophe, and indeed, all the remaining undisturbed materials are right here at Jebel Usdum. Here is the stratum of rock-salt, here the overlying marl mixed with free sulphur, and the whole region round about attests the disruptive character of some event that scattered the salt and the sulphur far and wide, encrusted the mountain peaks and so blasted the earth that it took twenty-five hundred years of climatic influences to wash out, and make the plain again 'as the garden of the Lord'.—Professor Kyle
(Gen. 19. 24-26; 13. 10)