|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
An inflammable mineral substance found in quantities on the shores of the Dead Sea. The cities of the plain were destroyed by a rain of fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:24, 25). 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). It is used to express the idea of excruciating torment in Revelation 14:10; 19:20; 20:10.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) Sulphur; also passionate, fiery rhetoric or preaching.
2. (a.) Made of, or pertaining to, brimstone; as, brimstone matches.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
brim'-ston, brim'-stun (gophrith; to theion): The word translated "brimstone" probably referred originally to the pitch of trees, like the cypress. By analogy it has been rendered "brimstone" because of the inflammability of both substances. Sulphur existed in Palestine in early times and was known by most of the ancient nations as a combustible substance. In the vicinity of the Dead Sea, even at the present time, deposits of sulphur are being formed. Blanckenhorn (ZDPV, 1896) believes that this formation is due to the action of bituminous matter upon gypsum, as these two substances are found associated with each other in this district. Travelers going from Jericho to the Dead Sea may pick up lumps of sulphur, which are usually encrusted with crystals of gypsum. Deuteronomy 29:23 well describes the present aspect of this region. That the inhabitants of the land had experienced the terrors of burning sulphur is very probable. Once one of these deposits took fire it would melt and run in burning streams down the ravines spreading everywhere suffocating fumes such as come from the ordinary brimstone match. No more realistic figure could be chosen to depict terrible suffering and destruction. It is not at all unlikely that during some of the disastrous earthquakes which took place in this part of the world, the hot lava sent forth ignited not only the sulphur, but also the bitumen, and added to the horrors of the earthquake the destruction caused by burning pitch and brimstone.
The figurative use of the word brimstone to denote punishment and destruction is illustrated by such passages as Deuteronomy 29:23 Job 18:15 Psalm 11:6 Isaiah 30:33 Ezekiel 38:22; Luke 17:29 Revelation 9:17.
James A. Patch
Brimstone (14 Occurrences)
Luke 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (KJV WEY ASV WBS YLT NAS)
Revelation 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Revelation 9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Deuteronomy 29:23 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Job 18:15 It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Psalms 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 30:33 For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Isaiah 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ezekiel 38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)