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In the narrative, Bera joins 4 other Canaanite city kings in rebelling against Chedorlaomer, an Elamite king and his allies who rule a vast area. In the Battle of the Vale of Siddim, the combined imperial forces plunder Sodom and nearby cities, taking many people captive and also much plunder. Bera and the king of Gomorrah, Birsha, flee the battle and fall into one of Siddim's many tarpits while other survivors escape into the mountains (14:10).
The Genesis account is written in narrative form and alluded to by several other Old Testament writers. Jesus Himself obviously believed it (Matthew 10:15). A mountain with fossil salt at the present day is called Hagv Usdum; and Galen also knew of a Sodom mountain. Extra-biblical writings (including tablets unearthed at Ebla) mention Sodom and even give specific references to its location along the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea.