[Paleopsych] Hell Part 2: The Differences between Hades and the Lake of Fire
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Hell Part 2: The Differences between Hades and the Lake of Fire
(One of many Bible articles on the "Wielding the Sword of the Spirit"
web site at www.matthewmcgee.org)
Hell Part 2: The Differences between Hades and the Lake of Fire
Now let's get into a little more detail by becoming familiar with some
Hebrew and Greek words that are key to understanding this topic.
Sheol (Hebrew) - It is the non-permanent place or temporary address of
the disembodied souls of dead. It is not the grave or sepulcher, nor
is it the eternal location of the souls of the dead. It is the same as
the Greek word "Hades", which we will look at in a moment. Prior to
Jesus Christ's resurrection, both the souls of the evil and the
righteous went there after death. It is translated "grave" 31 times,
"hell" 31 times, and "pit" 3 times in King James Version (KJV) of the
Sheol (or Hades) has two separate halves. One side was and is reserved
for the torment of the evil, while the other side, called "Abraham's
Bosom" in Luke 16:22, was for the comfort of the righteous. There is
and impassable canyon, or gulf, between the two halves. When Christ
was resurrected, he led the righteous out of Sheol to Heaven. Many
(probably not all) of the Old Testament saints were resurrected into
their immortal bodies at that time (Matthew 27:51-53). Since then, the
souls of all of the saved people go directly to Heaven when their
bodies die. The lost people still go to Sheol and join the lost people
of the Old Testament in torment on one side of the canyon when they
die. The other side of Sheol formerly known as Abraham's Bosom has
been vacant since Jesus Christ led the saints within it to heaven
after His resurrection.
The English word "Hell" refers to a place of eternal punishment for
the wicked. Its meaning does not distinguish between the two separate
places for the wicked to be punished, one temporary for the soul, and
the other, the Lake of Fire, permanent for the soul and body. Nor does
its meaning include the place of comfort for saints prior to Christ's
resurrection. In normal English conversation, "Hell" is used only in
the negative sense, with no saved people ever going there.
This caused some inadequate translations of "Sheol" and "Hades". Often
these words are translated "Hell", which, as just explained, is rather
ambiguous and non-descriptive. In many other places "Sheol" and
"Hades" are translated as "grave", but the grave is only the place for
the body after death, not the place for the soul. This confusion often
occurs when the verse refers to a righteous man going to "Sheol", such
as men like Jacob, Joseph, (Genesis 37:35) and Job (Job 14:13). Of
course, these men did not go to a place of torment, but to the comfort
side of Sheol (Hades), called Abraham's Bosom.
Hades (Greek) - It is identical to Sheol (Hebrew). It is the
non-permanent place or temporary address of the disembodied souls of
dead. It is not the grave or sepulcher, nor is it the eternal location
of the souls of the dead. Hades is translated "Hell" 10 times and
"grave" once by KJV. It is the place for the soul, not the body.
Gehenna (Greek, but originally from a Hebrew name) - translated "Hell"
all 12 times in KJV It is the permanent place for destruction of the
"... soul and body ..." (Matthew 10:28). It is a place of "... fire
that never shall be quenched" (Mark 9:45). In most of the references,
it is clear from the context that those who enter Gehenna, do so in
their bodies, not merely as bodiless souls. For this to happen, it
must occur after the resurrection of the damned at the great white
throne of judgment. Therefore, Gehenna is the Lake of Fire described
in Revelation 19 and 20. It is presently uninhabited, but the Beast
and the False Prophet will be cast into it at the end of the
tribulation (Revelation 19:20). One thousand years later, Satan will
be cast into it (Rev 20:10) and will be followed shortly by the lost
people of all previous time periods (Revelation 20:15). They will all
enter Gehenna together, in there resurrected bodies, where they will
remain in torment for all eternity.
The future destruction of the wicked is symbolized by the Valley of
Hinnom to which Gehenna refers. It is a place south of Jerusalem where
the bodies of dead animals and rubbish were taken to be burned. The
Valley of Hinnom was also the site of much human sacrifice to the
pagan god Molech (2 Kings 23:10, 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6, Jeremiah
32:35). The fire burned constantly in the valley since additional fuel
was frequently being cast into it.
"And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley
of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the
fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no
more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the
valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no
place" (Jeremiah 7:31-32). Here we see that in the Valley of Hinnom is
a place called "Tophet" whose name means "place of fire".
"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"
limne pur (Greek) - "lake of fire" occurs 4 times, all in Revelation
19 and 20. This is Gehenna, into which the resurrected damned are
cast. Limne means "lake" and is translated as such all 10 times it
occurs by the KJV. Pur means "fire" and is translated so 73 times by
the KJV while being translated "fiery" once.
Other key terms
tartaroo (Greek) - Refers to "Tartarus" and only occurs once in 2
Peter 2:4 where it is translated "hell" "For if God spared not the
angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them
into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment ...." This is
probably a separate place from Hades, and may be a place only for
fallen angels. There are no Biblical references to people going there.
grave (English) - The place for the fleshly body after death,
sepulcher. It is not the abode of the soul or spirit.
abussos (Greek) - Abyss. It is translated "bottomless pit" 5 times,
"deep" twice, and "bottomless" twice by KJV. It is where Satan will be
locked up for the 1000 years of Christ's reign on earth. This is
thought by many to be the same as the impassable gulf described in
chasma (Greek) - a gaping opening, chasm, or gulf. It is translated
"gulf" in its only occurrence in Luke 16:26, where it is the canyon
separating the torment and comfort sides of Hades.
Abraam kolpos (Greek) - Abraham's Bosom (Luke 16:22). Abraam is
translated "Abraham" all 73 times. Kolpos is translated bosom 5 times
and creek once (Acts 27:39).
paradeisos - Paradise. It is translated "paradise" all 3 times by the
KJV. "Paradise" is not the English translation of any other Greek word
in scripture. First we hear the words of the thief and Jesus Christ on
their crosses in Luke 23:42-43, "And he said unto Jesus, Lord,
remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto
him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in
paradise." In 2 Corinthians 12:4, Paul tells how he was "... caught up
into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for
a man to utter." In Revelation 2:7, Jesus told the church of Ephesus
"... To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life
which is in the midst of the paradise of God." The tree of life is
also mentioned in Revelation 22:2, in the new heaven and new earth,
where it appears to be not just one tree, but a type of tree of which
there are more than one. Since the three references show paradise to
be in different places, then either paradise has been relocated once
and will yet be relocated again, or it is a general term.
Sheol (Hebrew) and Hades (Greek) are the temporary place of torment
for the souls of the wicked dead. Prior to Christ's resurrection,
saints were kept and comforted in the now vacant half of Hades, known
as Abraham's Bosom. Gehenna (Greek, but from a Hebrew name) is the
Lake of Fire for the permanent place of torment of the souls of the
wicked dead in their resurrected bodies. Hell is a rather general and
inadequate term that is often used to refer to either Gehenna or the
torment side of Hades, both by those who know the basic difference
between these two specific places and by those who do not.
Roman Road to Salvation How to be saved.
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