Also see definition of "Hades
" in Word Study
In Bible versions:
the place of departed spirits (NIV notes); the unseen world (YC)
1) name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions
2) Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead
3) later use of this word: the grave, death, hell
In Biblical Greek it is associated with Orcus, the infernal regions,
a dark and dismal place in the very depths of the earth, the common
receptacle of disembodied spirits. Usually Hades is just the abode of
the wicked, Lu 16:23
; Re 20:13,14
; a very uncomfortable place. TDNT.
86 haides hah'-dace
from 1 (as negative particle) and 1492; properly, unseen, i.e. "Hades"
or the place (state) of departed souls:-grave, hell.
see GREEK for 1
see GREEK for 1492
that which is out of sight, a Greek word used to denote the state or place of the dead. All the dead alike go into this place. To be buried, to go down to the grave, to descend into hades, are equivalent expressions. In the LXX. this word is the usual rendering of the Hebrew sheol, the common receptacle of the departed (Gen. 42:38; Ps. 139:8; Hos. 13:14; Isa. 14:9). This term is of comparatively rare occurrence in the Greek New Testament. Our Lord speaks of Capernaum as being "brought down to hell" (hades), i.e., simply to the lowest debasement, (Matt. 11:23). It is contemplated as a kind of kingdom which could never overturn the foundation of Christ's kingdom (16:18), i.e., Christ's church can never die.
In Luke 16:23 it is most distinctly associated with the doom and misery of the lost.
In Acts 2:27-31 Peter quotes the LXX. version of Ps. 16:8-11, plainly for the purpose of proving our Lord's resurrection from the dead. David was left in the place of the dead, and his body saw corruption. Not so with Christ. According to ancient prophecy (Ps. 30:3) he was recalled to life.
derived from the Saxon helan, to cover; hence the covered or the invisible place. In Scripture there are three words so rendered:
(1.) Sheol, occurring in the Old Testament sixty-five times. This word sheol is derived from a root-word meaning "to ask," "demand;" hence insatiableness (Prov. 30:15, 16). It is rendered "grave" thirty-one times (Gen. 37:35; 42:38; 44:29, 31; 1 Sam. 2:6, etc.). The Revisers have retained this rendering in the historical books with the original word in the margin, while in the poetical books they have reversed this rule.
In thirty-one cases in the Authorized Version this word is rendered "hell," the place of disembodied spirits. The inhabitants of sheol are "the congregation of the dead" (Prov. 21:16). It is (a) the abode of the wicked (Num. 16:33; Job 24:19; Ps. 9:17; 31:17, etc.); (b) of the good (Ps. 16:10; 30:3; 49:15; 86:13, etc.).
Sheol is described as deep (Job 11:8), dark (10:21, 22), with bars (17:16). The dead "go down" to it (Num. 16:30, 33; Ezek. 31:15, 16, 17).
(2.) The Greek word hades of the New Testament has the same scope of signification as sheol of the Old Testament. It is a prison (1 Pet. 3:19), with gates and bars and locks (Matt. 16:18; Rev. 1:18), and it is downward (Matt. 11:23; Luke 10:15).
The righteous and the wicked are separated. The blessed dead are in that part of hades called paradise (Luke 23:43). They are also said to be in Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22).
(3.) Gehenna, in most of its occurrences in the Greek New Testament, designates the place of the lost (Matt. 23:33). The fearful nature of their condition there is described in various figurative expressions (Matt. 8:12; 13:42; 22:13; 25:30; Luke 16:24, etc.). (See HINNOM.)
The word used in the King James Version of the O.T. to translate the Hebrew word sheol
, signifying the unseen state, in Deut. 32:22
; 2 Sam. 22:6
; Job 11:8
; Psa. 9:17
; Prov. 5:5
; Isa. 5:14
; Ezek. 31:16
; Amos 9:2
; Jonah 2:2
; Hab. 2:5
See: Hades; Sheol
Translation of the Greek word hades
in N.T. of King James Version, the unseen world, Matt. 11:23
; Luke 10:15
; Acts 2:27
; Rev. 1:18
; of the Greek word gehea
, signifying the place of torment, Matt. 5:22
; Mark 9:43
; Luke 12:5
; Jas. 3:6
; of the Greek verb tartaroÂ¢
, signifying the infernal region, 2 Pet. 2:4
is also translated "grave'' in King James Version in Gen. 37:35
; 1 Sam. 2:6
; 1 Kin. 2:6
; Job 7:9
; Psa. 6:5
; Prov. 1:12
; Eccl. 9:10
; Song 8:6
; Isa. 14:11
; Ezek. 31:15
; Hos. 13:14
; pit, Num. 16:30
; Job 17:16
The English revisers insert the Hebrew word sheol
in places where hell
, grave, and pit were used in the A.V. as translations of the word sheol
, except in Deut. 32:22
; Psa. 55:15
; and in the prophetical books. The American revisers invariably use Sheol
in the American text, where it occurs in the original.
The Future Abode of the Wicked
; Prov. 5:5
; Prov. 9:13-17
; Prov. 15:24
; Prov. 23:13
; Isa. 30:33
; Isa. 33:14
; Matt. 3:12
; Matt. 5:29 v. 30.
; Matt. 7:13 v. 14.
; Matt. 8:11
; Matt. 10:28
; Matt. 13:30
; Matt. 16:18
; Matt. 18:8
; Matt. 22:13
; Matt. 25:28-30
; Mark 9:43
, 44 vs. 45-48.
; Matt. 5:29
. Luke 3:17 Matt. 3:12
. Luke 16:23
, 26 vs. 25,28;
; Acts 1:25
. 2 Thess. 1:9
; 2 Pet. 2:4
; Jude 6
; Rev. 9:1
, 2 Rev. 11:7
. Rev. 14:10
; Rev. 19:20
; Rev. 20:10
; Rev. 21:8 Rev. 2:11
. See: Wicked, Punishment of
In the Old Testament this is the word generally and unfortunately used by our translators to render the Hebrew Sheol
. It really means the place of the dead, the unseen world, without deciding whether it be the place of misery or of happiness. It is clear that in many passages of the Old Testament Sheol
can only mean "the grave," and is rendered in the Authorized Version; see, for example, (Genesis 37:35
; 1Ã‚Â Samuel 2:6
; Job 14:13
) In other passages, however, it seems to Involve a notion of punishment, and is therefore rendered in the Authorized Version by the word "hell." But in many cases this translation misleads the reader. In the New Testament "hell" is the translation of two words, Hades
. The word Hades
, like Sheol
sometimes means merely "the grave," (Acts 2:31
; 1Ã‚Â Corinthians 15:55
; Revelation 20:13
) or in general "the unseen world." It is in this sense that the creeds say of our Lord, "He went down into hell," meaning the state of the dead in general, without any restriction of happiness or misery. Elsewhere in the New Testament Hades is used of a place of torment, (Matthew 11:23
; Luke 16:23
; 2Ã‚Â Peter 2:4
) etc.; consequently it has been the prevalent, almost the universal, notion that Hades is an intermediate state
between death and resurrection, divided into two parts one the abode of the blest and the other of the lost. It is used eleven times in the New Testament, and only once translated "grave." (1Ã‚Â Corinthians 15:55
) The word most frequently used (occurring twelve times) in the New Testament for the place of future punishment is Gehenna
or Gehenna of fire
. This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their destruction. [See HINNOM
- ha'-dez (Haides, haides, "not to be seen"): Hades, Greek originally Haidou, in genitive, "the house of Hades," then, as nominative, designation of the abode of the dead itself. The word occurs in the New Testament in Mt 11:23
(parallel Lk 10:15
); Mt 16:18
; Lk 16:23
; Acts 2:27,31
; Rev 1:18
f. It is also found in Textus Receptus of the New Testament 1 Cor 15:55
, but here the correct reading (Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, the Revised Version (British and American)) is probably Thanate, "O Death," instead of Haide, "O Hades." the King James Version renders "Hades" by "hell" in all instances except 1 Cor 15:55
, where it puts "grave" (margin "hell") in dependence on Hos 13:14
. the Revised Version (British and American) everywhere has "Hades."
1. In Old Testament: Sheol:
In the Septuagint Hades is the standing equivalent for Sheol, but also translates other terms associated with death and the state after it. The Greek conception of Hades was that of a locality receiving into itself all the dead, but divided into two regions, one a place of torment, the other of blessedness. This conception should not be rashly transferred to the New Testament, for the latter stands not under the influence of Greek pagan belief, but gives a teaching and reflects a belief which model their idea of Hades upon the Old Testament through the Septuagint. The Old Testament Sheol, while formally resembling the Greek Hades in that it is the common receptacle of all the dead, differs from it, on the one hand, by the absence of a clearly defined division into two parts, and, on the other hand, by the emphasis placed on its association with death and the grave as abnormal facts following in the wake of sin. The Old Testament thus concentrates the partial light it throws on the state after death on the negative, undesirable side of the prospect apart from redemption. When in the progress of Old Testament revelation the state after death begins to assume more definite features, and becomes more sharply differentiated in dependence on the religious and moral issue of the present life this is not accomplished in the canonical writings (otherwise in the apocalyptic literature) by dividing Sheol into two compartments, but by holding forth to the righteous the promise of deliverance from Sheol, so that the latter becomes more definitely outlined as a place of evil and punishment.
2. In the New Testament: Hades:
The New Testament passages mark a distinct stage in this process, and there is, accordingly, a true basis in Scripture for the identification in a certain aspect of Sheol--Hades--with hell as reflected in the King James Version. The theory according to which Hades is still in the New Testament the undifferentiated provisional abode of all the dead until the day of judgment, with the possibility of ultimate salvation even for those of its inmates who have not been saved in this life, is neither in harmony with the above development nor borne out by the facts of New Testament usage. That dead believers abide in a local Hades cannot be proven from 1 Thess 4:16; 1 Cor 15:23, for these passages refer to the grave and the body, not to a gathering-place of the dead. On the other hand Lk 23:43; 2 Cor 5:6-8; Phil 1:23; Rev 6:9; 7:9 ff; 15:2 ff teach that the abode of believers immediately after death is with Christ and God.
3. Acts 2:27,31:
It is, of course, a different matter, when Hades, as not infrequently already the Old Testament Sheol, designates not the place of the dead but the state of death or disembodied existence. In this sense even the soul of Jesus was in Hades according' to Peter's statement (Acts 2:27,31--on the basis of Ps 16:10). Here the abstract sense is determined by the parallel expression, "to see corruption" None the less from a comparatively early date this passage has been quoted in support of the doctrine of a local descent of Christ into Hades.
4. Rev 20:13; 6:8; 1:18:
The same abstract meaning is indicated for Rev 20:13. Death and Hades are here represented as delivering up the dead on the eve of the final judgment. If this is more than a poetic duplication of terms, Hades will stand for the personified state of death, Death for the personified cause of this state. The personification appears plainly from 20:14: "Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire." In the number of these "dead" delivered up by Hades, believers are included, because, even on the chiliastic interpretation of 20:4-6, not all the saints share in the first resurrection, but only those "beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God," i.e. the martyrs. A similar personifying combination of Death and Hades occurs in Rev 6:8 ("a pale horse: and he that sat upon him his name was Death; and Hades followed with him"). In Rev 1:18, on the other hand, Death and Hades are represented as prisons from which Christ, in virtue of His own resurrection, has the power to deliver, a representation which again implies that in some, not necessarily local, sense believers also are kept in Hades.
5. Lk 16:23:
In distinction from these passages when the abstract meaning prevails and the local conception is in abeyance, the remaining references are more or less locally conceived. Of these Lk 16:23 is the only one which might seem to teach that recipients of salvation enter after death into Hades as a place of abode. It has been held that Hades is here the comprehensive designation of the locality where the dead reside, and is divided into two regions, "the bosom of Abraham" and the place of torment, a representation for which Jewish parallels can be quoted, aside from its resemblance to the Greek bisection of Hades. Against this view, however, it may be urged, that if "the bosom of Abraham" were conceived as one of the two divisions of Hades, the other division would have been named with equal concreteness in connection with Dives. In point of fact, the distinction is not between "the bosom of Abraham" and another place, as both included in Hades, but between "the bosom of Abraham" and Hades as antithetical and exclusive. The very form of the description of the experience of Dives: "In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments," leads us to associate Hades as such with pain and punishment. The passage, therefore, does not prove that the saved are after death in Hades. In further estimating its bearing upon the problem of the local conditions of the disembodied life after death, the parabolic character of the representation must be taken into account. The parable is certainly not intended to give us topographical information about the realm of the dead, although it presupposes that there is a distinct place of abode for the righteous and wicked respectively.
6. Mt 11:23:
The two other passages where Hades occurs in the teaching of our Lord (Mt 11:23 parallel Lk 10:15; and Mt 16:18) make a metaphorical use of the conception, which, however, is based on the local sense. In the former utterance it is predicted of Capernaum that it shall in punishment for its unbelief "go down unto Hades." As in the Old Testament Sheol is a figure for the greatest depths known (Dt 32:22; Isa 7:11; 57:9; Job 11:8; 26:6), this seems to be a figure for the extreme of humiliation to which that city was to be reduced in the course of history. It is true, 11:24, with its mention of the day of judgment, might seem to favor an eschatological reference to the ultimate doom of the unbelieving inhabitants, but the usual restriction of Hades to the punishment of the intermediate state (see below) is against this.
7. Mt 16:18:
In the other passage, Mt 16:18, Jesus declares that the gates of Hades shall not katischuein the church He intends to build. The verb katischuein may be rendered, "to overpower" or "to surpass." If the former be adopted, the figure implied is that of Hades as a stronghold of the power of evil or death from which warriors stream forth to assail the church as the realm of life. On the other rendering there is no reference to any conflict between Hades and the church, the point of comparison being merely the strength of the church, the gates of Hades, i.e. the realm of death, serving in common parlance as a figure of the greatest conceivable strength, because they never allow to escape what has once entered through them.
The above survey of the passages tends to show that Hades, where it is locally conceived, is not a provisional receptacle for all the dead, but plainly associated with the punishment of the wicked. Where it comes under consideration for the righteous there is nothing to indicate a local sense. On 1 Pet 3:19; 4:6 (where, however, the word "Hades" does not occur), see articles ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; SPIRITS IN PRISON.
8. Not a Final State:
The element of truth in theory of the provisional character of Hades lies in this, that the New Testament never employs it in connection with the final state of punishment, as subsequent to the last judgment. For this GEHENNA (which see) and other terms are used. Dives is represented as being in Hades immediately after his death and while his brethren are still in this present life. Whether the implied differentiation between stages of punishment, depending obviously on the difference between the disembodied and reembodied state of the lost, also carries with itself a distinction between two places of punishment, in other words whether Hades and Gehenna are locally distinct, the evidence is scarcely sufficient to determine. The New Testament places the emphasis on the eschatological developments at the end, and leaves many things connected with the intermediate state in darkness.
- hel (see SHEOL; HADES; GEHENNA):
1. The Word in the King James Version:
The English word, from a Teutonic root meaning "to hide" or "cover," had originally the significance of the world of the dead generally, and in this sense is used by Chaucer, Spenser, etc., and in the Creed ("He descended into hell"); compare the English Revised Version Preface. Now the word has come to mean almost exclusively the place of punishment of the lost or finally impenitent; the place of torment of the wicked. In the King James Version of the Scriptures, it is the rendering adopted in many places in the Old Testament for the Hebrew word she'ol (in 31 out of 65 occurrences of that word it is so translated), and in all places, save one (1 Cor 15:55) in the New Testament, for the Greek word Hades (this word occurs 11 times; in 10 of these it is translated "hell"; 1 Cor 15:55 reads "grave," with "hell" in the margin). In these cases the word has its older general meaning, though in Lk 16:23 (parable of Rich Man and Lazarus) it is specially connected with a place of "torment," in contrast with the "Abraham's bosom" to which Lazarus is taken (16:22).
2. The Word in the Revised Version:
In the above cases the Revised Version (British and American) has introduced changes, replacing "hell" by "Sheol" in the passages in the Old Testament (the English Revised Version retains "hell" in Isa 14:9,15; the American Standard Revised Version makes no exception), and by "Hades" in the passages in the New Testament (see under these words).
Besides the above uses, and more in accordance with the modern meaning, the word "hell" is used in the New Testament in the King James Version as the equivalent of Gehenna (12 t; Mt 5:22,29; 10:28, etc.). the Revised Version (British and American) in these cases puts "Gehenna" in the margin. Originally the Valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, Gehenna became among the Jews the synonym for the place of torment in the future life (the "Gehenna of fire," Mt 5:22, etc.; see GEHENNA).
In yet one other passage in the New Testament (2 Pet 2:4), "to cast down to hell" is used (the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)) to represent the Greek tartaroo, ("to send into Tartarus"). Here it stands for the place of punishment of the fallen angels: "spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits (or chains) of darkness" (compare Jude 1:6; but also Mt 25:41). Similar ideas are found in certain of the Jewish apocalyptic books (Book of Enoch, Book of Jubilees, Apocrypha Baruch, with apparent reference to Gen 6:1-4; compare ESCHATOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT).
On theological aspect, see PUNISHMENT, EVERLASTING. For literature, see references in above-named arts., and compare article "Hell" by Dr. D. S. Salmond in HDB.
Also see definition of "Hades
" in Word Study