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Genesis 19:28 "and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the surrounding area; and behold, he saw the smoke (קִיטֹ֣ר) of the land ascended like the smoke (כְּקִיטֹ֖ר) of a furnace." Using an interlinear bible with a concordance the Hebrew word קִיטֹ֣ר means thick smoke and comes from the verb קָטַר meaning to make sacrifices smoke. The denominative verb of this word is קְטֹרֶת and means odor of sacrifice, or incense and it is used like קָטַר is in the scriptures to refer to the incense of the tabernacle. The whole idea surrounding this word is sacrifice and the odor that ascends therefrom which is pleasing to God. There is another Hebrew word used for smoke in Exodus 19:18 "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke (עָשַׁ֣ן), because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke(עֲשָׁנוֹ֙) thereof ascended as the smoke (כְּעֶ֣שֶׁן) of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly." This word for smoke עָשַׁ֣ן is connected to the idea of being angry. Psalm 80:4, Psalm 74:1, Isaiah 65:5,Psalm 18:8, Job 41:20. My question is, why did the Spirit of God inspire the writer of Genesis and Exodus to use two different words for the idea of smoke? Connecting the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to a sacrifice, and the descending of God onto Sinai and even the offerings that Abraham gave in Genesis 15:17 with anger?

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  • The word primarily means the column of smoke that comes from that which is burning. A secondary meaning is the incense which has smoke that rises in a column. In this case the verse uses the primary meaning.
    – N.T.
    Jan 21 at 21:15

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