What is…

Hebrew: גָּפְרִית—transliteration: gophrith

Greek: θεῖον —transliteration: theion

Meaning: burning stone or stone that burns

Origin of the word “brimstone”: It comes from the Old English “brynstan,” from “brin” (stem of brinnen “to burn”), plus “stan” (stone).

It is commonly accepted that brimstone is sulphur which is commonly found on the brims (rims) of volcanos. This flammable mineral is found in quantities on the shores of the Dead Sea and to the south nearby.

The cities of the plain were destroyed by a rain of fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:24-25). A great deal of sulphur is today found in the area where Sodom was located, south of the Dead Sea.

In Isaiah 34:9 allusion is made to the destruction of these cities.

This word figuratively denotes destruction or punishment (Job 18:15; Isaiah 30:33; 34:9; Psalm 11:6; Ezek. 38:22).


Brimstone (sulphur) and fire are mentioned in connection with excruciating torment (Rev. 14:10) and the lake of fire which burns with brimstone (19:20; 20:10).


Article Version: November 29, 2018