Brimstone (גָּפרַית, gophrith'; θεῖον, sulphur). The Hebrew word is connected with גֹּפֶר, go'pher, rendered "gopher-wood" in Ge 6:14, and probably signified in the first instance the gum or resin that exuded from that tree; hence it was transferred to all inflammable substances, and especially to sulphur a well-known simple mineral substance, crystalline and fusible, but without a metallic basis. It is exceedingly inflammable, and when burning emits a peculiar suffocating smell. It is found in great abundance near volcanoes and mineral wells, more particularly near hot wells, and it is spread nearly over the whole earth. In Ge 19:24-25, we are told that the cities of the plain were destroyed by a rain (or storm) of fire and brimstone. There is nothing incredible in this, even if we suppose natural agencies only were employed in it. The soil of that region abounded with sulphur and bitumen; and the kindling of such a mass of combustible materials through volcanic action or by lightning from heaven, would cause a conflagration sufficient not only to engulf the cities, but also to destroy the surface of the plain, so that "the smoke of the country would go up as the smoke of a furnace," and the sea, rushing in, would convert the plain into a tract of waters. SEE SODOM. Small lumps of sulphur are still found in many places on the shores of the Dead Sea. SEE SULPHUR. The word brimstone is often figuratively used in the Scriptures (apparently with more or less reference to the above signal example) to denote punishment and destruction (Job 18:15; Isa 30:33; Isa 34:9; De 29:23; Ps 11:6; Eze 38:22). Whether the word is used literally or not in the passages which describe the future and everlasting punishment of the wicked, we may be sure that it expresses all which the human mind can conceive of excruciating torment (Re 14:10; Re 19:20; Re 20:10; Re 21:8). SEE HELL.

Bible concordance for BRIMSTONE.

Definition of brimstone

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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