Jude 1:7 New International Version

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

People of Sodom and Gomorrah will be burned in eternal fire.

Matthew 10:14

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Isn't eternal fire the ultimate punishment? How can that town be punished even more severely?

  • 1
    The example (in time, on earth) was molten lava falling on people, which caused temporary pain and immediate death. Which is a warning about the future. Those who reject the gospel shall suffer the reality of eternal fire which is far, far, far more than what the two cities suffered. This is perfectly clear. I cannot grasp what your question is expecting.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 4, 2021 at 12:39
  • @NigelJ - except that Jude 7 is explicitly saying that Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the judgement of eternal fire.
    – Dottard
    Feb 4, 2021 at 21:30
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    @Dottard The original reads 'set forth as an example of fire eternal penalty undergoing' (EGNT). The 'example' is demonstrated on earth in time. What it is an example of is an eternal matter, not on this present earth.// προκεινται δειγμα πυρος αιωνιου δικην υπεχουσαι
    – Nigel J
    Feb 4, 2021 at 22:01
  • @NigelJ - interesting interpretation that is not in the text to create a special pleading.
    – Dottard
    Feb 4, 2021 at 22:30
  • @Dottard Seems pretty clear that the temporal punishment of Sodom and Gommorrah is an example of the eternal fire that is to come. I can't see how Jude 7 could be read in any other way.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 5, 2021 at 0:10

1 Answer 1


What can be worse than the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Certainly, there could not be a worse punishment. So it seems that Jesus was showing how bad the city of Capernaum was by using hyperbole.

The Insight on the Scriptures brings this out in the article about Gomorrah:

When reproaching certain first-century Jewish cities, Jesus made reference to grossly wicked Sodom and Gomorrah. He directed such an expression of reproach to unrepentant Capernaum, where he personally had performed many of his powerful works. And regarding any city that would reject his disciples, failing to exercise faith in spite of the powerful works that they performed as evidence of divine backing, Jesus said: “It will be more endurable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than for that city.” (Mt 10:5-15; 11:23, 24) Since Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them had been punished with “everlasting fire,” representing eternal annihilation, Jesus was evidently using a hyperbole in order to emphasize how unlikely it was that such faithless Jews would reform even if they were present on Judgment Day.—Jude 7.

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