Hell is the abode of the dead. The Jewish had no hell as a distinctive place of punishment; but almost as bad was the Sheol, or "land of darkness" under the earth, which received all the dead, good and wicked alike, except such divine favorites as Moses, Enoch and Elijah. Hell corresponds to the Hebrew Sheol, as the dwelling of the wicked dead, the enemies of good and the kingdom of God, the gates of this Satanic abyss, that is its utmost strength will not prevail against the edifice erected by Jesus and the rock which supports it.

The general idea of Sheol is the place of the dead...not the grave but place of those who have departed from this life, the righteous and the wicked. Hades, like Sheol is comprehensive, and has a quite similar significance as the underworld or region of the departed, the intermediate state between death and the resurrection.

The dwelling place of the dead was imagined as an immense cavern in the subterranean regions of the world. The Jewish creed made little reference to a life beyond the grave, said little of personal immortality, and confined rewards and punishments to this mundane life. Job: "No-one who has descended into Sheol can ever return."

Jesus descended into Hades (into which things the angels desired to look). In this truth is involved nothing less than the extension of Jesus' redeeming work to the dead who died before His coming. Peter: "Christ died for the sins once and for all."

The distinction between Hades (the intermediate state) and Gehenna (eternal hell) is of importance, not only is it necessary to the understanding of quite a large number of passages in the New Testament, but also it may prevent doctrinal mistakes and remove uncertainty as to Jesus' teaching with regard to the future state of the wicked. It also has important bearing upon the doctrine of Christ's descent into hell (Hades), and that of the intermediate state. Hades was still a dark and dreary land beneath the earth, where the spirits of the dead eat dust and drink mud, and from which they sometimes escape like vampires feeding on blood of men.

Hades (Gr. unseen) does not occur in the English Bible but found several times in the original. The ancient Greek view of Hades, and the Roman view of Orcus, or Inferna, is that of a place for all the dead in the depth of the earth; dark, dreary, cheerless, shut up, inaccessible to prayers and sacrifices, ruled over by Pluto. The Hebrew Sheol is the equivalent for Hades, and is likewise the subterranean abode of all the dead until the judgment. It was divided into two departments, paradise or Abraham's bosom for the good, and Gehenna or hell for the bad. At the sinner's judgment of the Great White Throne, Hades will surrender the wicked. They will be judged and thrown into the lake of fire. The Greek Hades is usually translated Hell and often signify the place of departed spirits, most commonly applied to the place of punishment in the unseen world.

The Anti-Christ and the false prophet will be tortured in the lake of fire forever. This fiery lake is a place of eternal damnation and punishment for the wicked, the opponents of God and of the righteous, similar to the Jewish Gehenna or the Greek Hell. In one form or another, this fiery place of eternal punishment is depicted in many Jewish and Christian writings.

Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom, is a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, converted by King Josiah into a place of abomination, where dead bodies were thrown and burnt. In later times it served as a receptacle of all sorts of putrefying matter, and all that defiled the Holy City, and so became the representative or image of the place of everlasting punishment, especially on account of its outer darkness, flame, furnace of fire, unquenchable fire, fire and brimstone, etc., and to this fact the fire is not quenched. Hence the place served as a symbol, and the name was appropriated to designate the abode of lost spirits.

The misery of hell will consist in the privation of the vision and love of God, exclusion from every source of happiness, perpetual sin, remorse of conscience in view of the past, malevolent passions, the sense of the just anger of God, and all other sufferings of body and soul which in the nature of things are the natural results of sin, or which the law of God requires as penal inflictions. The degrees of anguish will be proportioned to the degrees of guilt. And these punishments will be eternal, like the happiness of heaven.
[310, Job, 330, 359, I Peter, 324, BD, 380, 398]

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