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Vine of Sodom

VINE OF SODOM (גֶּ֤פֶן סְדֹם). Deuteronomy 32:32 says: “For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom.”

The plant is prob. Citrullus colocynthus—a wild vine that clambers and climbs. The fruits are round and look like oranges, sometimes mottled with green. The pulp inside is poisonous and bitter. This plant was found around the Dead Sea.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(gephen cedhom):

"For their vine is of the vine of Sodom,

And of the fields of Gomorrah:

Their grapes are grapes of gall,

Their clusters are bitter" (De 32:32).

This must be distinguished from the "Apples of Sodom" (which see), described by Josephus (BJ, IV, viii, 4), which appear to have been an actual species of fruit, probably either the colocynth or the fruit of the Usher tree, Calotropis procera. It would appear, however, from the above, the only passage referring to the Vine of Sodom, that this expression is metaphorical and does not refer to any particular plant.

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