she'owl, sheh‑ole', Hebrew 7585; or she'ol, sheh‑ole'; from Hebrew 7592 (sha'al); hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates :‑ grave, hell, pit.


HELL AND HADES. "Hope not ever to see heaven: I come to lead you to the other shore; into the eternal darkness; into fire and into ice." Dante's `Inferno', from which the quotation comes, is perhaps the most vivid depiction in literature of the place of eternal punishment for evildoers. Abodes for the dead have formed a part of the religious belief of most peoples. One reason for such belief has been the reluctance to accept the end of human life on Earth as permanent, as the extinction of individual existence.


The names hell and Hades have generally been understood as places of punishment, either eternal or temporary. Ancient cultures often envisioned an abode for the dead as a reward, or as neutral, rather than always as a punishment. In very ancient primitive religions, as well as among American Indians, the dead went to dwell with their ancestors or to a heavenly location with other souls. Ancient Israel conceived of a place called Sheol, a dark and gloomy place, to be sure, but no elements of punishment were attached to it.


The Greek Hades (originally the name of the god who presided over it) did not suggest punishment either. It was a dark subterranean realm or a distant island. The dead were conducted to Hades by the god Hermes. The way was barred, however, by the River Styx. The dead were ferried across the river by the boatman Charon. Eventually, the Greeks added a place called Tartarus, far below Hades, as a place of torment for the wicked. In time Tartarus lost its distinctness and became another name for Hades.


The word hell comes from an Anglo-Saxon root meaning "concealed," and it suggests a place hidden in the hot regions at the Earth's center. In Norse mythology Hel was the name of the world of the dead as well as of its goddess. It was especially for evildoers and was distinguished from Valhalla, the place to which those who had fallen in battle went. The ancient Greek myth of Elysium, or the Elysian fields, was similar to Valhalla. It was a dwelling place for heroes on whom the gods had conferred immortality. Eventually it came to mean the abode for all the blessed dead, as opposed to Hades.


The concept of hell as a place of punishment is rooted in the idea of justice. Hell was offered as an answer to the question: If evildoers prosper throughout their lives and are never punished, when will they get what is coming to them? The answer must be: after they die.


The modern Western understanding of hell derives from the latest period in ancient Israel's history, and it was more fully developed by early Christianity. The chief suggestion of such a place in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) is a brief reference in Daniel. The place reserved for the wicked dead was called Gehenna by Jews. Early references depict it as a place of temporary punishment, similar to the Roman Catholic purgatory. By the time Christianity was established, it had become a permanent abode. The torments inflicted there were largely imaginative projections of the worst tortures devised in this world. Eternal fire is the most common punishment, though perpetual cold also has been accepted.


There is no fully developed teaching about hell in the New Testament, though there are frequent mentions of it. Only in the course of later church history was it elaborated into official church doctrine. Today the New Testament statements and their later explanations are taken literally by some Christians, regarded as allegory or myth by some, and denied altogether by others.


Islam has no consistent teaching on hell. It is regarded as permanent in some passages of the Koran and temporary in others. In Hinduism, hell is accepted, but it has no permanent significance. It is but a stage in the long career of the soul. For most Buddhist schools, as well, hell is a transitory phase where sins are purged.


HELL - Hell traditionally denotes the place or state of being of unrepentant souls who are damned to eternal punishment after death. Derived from the Old Teutonic word hel, meaning "to conceal" or "to cover," the word hell is used in English translations of the Bible to represent both the Hebrew Sheol, an ethically neutral underworld for the departed, and the Greek Gehenna, the underworld for the punishment of the wicked from which the Christian concept of hell developed.


The characteristics of an underworld pervade descriptions of hell. In Greek mythology, Hades is the underworld ruled by the god of that name, who is also known as Pluto; in Norse mythology, Hel is a cold and

shadowy subterranean realm. The Christian imagery of hell as a fiery underworld comes from the New Testament, where hell is depicted as a "lake that burns with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8). Two of the most famous and extensive descriptions of hell in Western culture come from John Milton's Paradise Lost and Dante's Divine Comedy. While the Western prophetic religions view hell as the Last Judgment of those souls that will be eternally separated from God, most Eastern religions conceive of hell as a stage that souls pass through on their way to a different existence (see transmigration of souls).



Brandon, S. G. F., The Judgment of the Dead (1967); Mew, James, Traditional Aspects of Hell (1903; repr. 1971).



In Norse mythology, Hel, the daughter of Loki, was the goddess of death who ruled over the cold, dark underworld of Niflheim. She had a hideous body, half black and half blue. Her table was Hunger, her knife Starvation, her bed Care, and her attendants Delay and Slowness. Her domain was also sometimes called Hel in later mythology, probably through the influence of Christian belief.


Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright



Hell in Christian theology, eternal abode of those damned by God. Souls in hell are led by SATAN and deprived forever of the sight of God. In legend it is a place of fire and brimstone, where the damned undergo physical torment. Islam has a similar hell. In the ancient Jewish Sheol or Tophet, souls wander about unhappily, but Sheol later became much like the Christian hell. The ancient Greeks believed souls went to an underworld called Hades.


Genesis 37:35 - And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.


Genesis 42:38 - And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. 


Genesis 44:29 -  And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. 


Genesis 44:31 - It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 


Numbers 16:30 - But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord. 


Numbers 16:33 - They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. 


Deut. 32:22 - For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.  (Could this be Tartarus, far below Hades (the "lowest" hell?)


1 Samuel 2:6 - The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 


2 Samuel 22:6 - The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; 


1 Kings 2:6 - Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace. 


1 Kings 2:9 - Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood. 


Job 7:9 - As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.


Job 11:8 - It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? 


Job 14:13 - Oh that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 


Job 17:13 - If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. 


Job 17:16 - They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust. 


Job 21:13 - They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. 


Job 24:19 - Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned. 


Job 26:6 - Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering. 


Psalm 6:5 - For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? 


Psalm 9:17 - The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.


Psalm 16:10 - For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 


Psalm 18:5 - The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. 


Psalm 30:3 - O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that i should not go down to the pit. 


Psalm 31:17 - Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for i have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. 


Psalm 49:14-15 - Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.  15But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. 


Psalm 55:15 - Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them. 


Psalm 86:13 - For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.  (Tartarus, far below Hades)


Psalm 88:3 - For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. 


Psalm 89:48 - What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.


Psalm 116:3 - The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. 


Psalm 139:8 - If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 


Psalm 141:7 - Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth. 


Proverbs 1:12 - Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 


Proverbs 5:5 - Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 


Proverbs 7:27- Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. 


Proverbs 9:18 - But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell. 


Proverbs 15:11 - Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men? 


Proverbs 15:24 - The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. 


Proverbs 23:14 - Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. 


Proverbs 27:20 - Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.


Proverbs 30:16 - The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough. 


Eccles. 9:10 - Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.


Song 8:6 - Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.   (JEALOUSY HAS A FLAME??)


Isaiah 5:14 - Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. 


Isaiah 14:9 - Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. 


Isaiah 14:11 - Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. 


Isaiah 14:15 - Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 


Isaiah 28:15 - Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 


Isaiah 28:18 - And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. 


Isaiah 38:10 - I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. 


Isaiah 38:18 - For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.


Isaiah 57:9 - And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell. 


Ezekiel 31:15-17 - Thus saith the Lord God; in the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.  16I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.  17They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen. 


Ezekiel 32:21 - The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword. 


Ezekiel 32:27 - And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living. 




Hosea 13:14 - I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. 


Amos 9:2 - Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: 


Jonah 2:2 - And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 


Habakkuk 2:5 - Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: 





hades, hah'‑dace, Greek 86; from Greek 1 (a) (as a negative particle) and Greek 1492 (eido); properly unseen, i.e. "Hades" or the place (state) of departed souls :‑ grave, hell.


Hades_in Greek mythology.  1The ruler of the underworld, commonly called PLUTO.  2The world of the dead, ruled by Pluto and PERSEPHONE. Guarded by CERBERUS, it was either underground or in the far west and was separated from the land of the living by five rivers. One of these was the STYX, across which the dead were ferried. Three judges decided the fate of souls; heroes went to the ELYSIAN FIELDS, evildoers to TARTARUS.


HADES - {hay'-deez}


In Greek mythology, Hades, also known as Pluto, was the god of the underworld. The son of Cronus and Rhea, he ruled over the souls of the dead with the aid of his wife, Persephone. Later, Hades became better known as a place, the underworld itself--the world of the dead, separated from the world of the living by the rivers Styx, Acheron, Lethe, Cocytus, and Phlegethon. New arrivals were ferried across the Styx by Charon; unwelcome visitors were deterred from entering Hades by the multiheaded dog, Cerberus. The judges of the dead decided whether a soul would go to the Elysian Fields, for the virtuous; or to Tartarus, a place of punishment; or to the Asphodel Meadows, for those neither virtuous nor evil. In the Greek Old Testament, Hades, a translation of the Hebrew Sheol, refers to the place of departed souls.


Matthew 11:23 - And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.


Matthew 16:18 - And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


Luke 10:15 - And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.


Luke 16:23 - And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.


Acts 2:27 - Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.


Acts 2:31 - He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.


1 Cor. 15:55 - O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 




Rev. 1:18 - I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.


Rev. 6:8 - And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. 


Rev. 20:13-14 - And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 




Tartaroo, tar‑tar‑o'‑o, Greek 5020; from Tartaros (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal torment :‑ cast down to hell.


Tartaros in Greek mythology, lowest region of HADES, where the wicked, e.g., SISYPHUS, TANTALUS, were punished.


TARTARUS -  {tahr'-tuh-ruhs}


In Greek mythology, Tartarus was variously the lowest region of the underworld or synonymous with the underworld (Hades), where Uranus banished his rebellious sons, the Cyclopes, and according to Homer, Zeus later confined the defeated Titans. According to one creation myth, based on Hesiod, Tartarus was born of the union of air and mother earth; the giants, of the union of Tartarus and earth. A grove of black poplars along the ocean stream marks the entrance to Tartarus, which is bounded on the west by the Styx.


2 Peter 2:4 - 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; 


geenna, gheh'‑en‑nah, Greek 1067; of Hebrew origin [Hebrew 1516 (gay') and Hebrew 2011 (Hinnom)]; valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge‑Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figurative) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment :‑ hell.


Gehenna (Greek Geenna; Hebrew Ge Hinnom), Valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, where Solomon, king of Israel, built “a high place,” or place of worship, for the gods Chemosh and Moloch, according to 1 Kings 11:7. Because some of the Israelites are supposed to have sacrificed their children to Moloch there (see 2 Kings 23:10), the valley came to be regarded as a place of abomination. In a later period it was made a refuse dump, and perpetual fires were maintained there to prevent pestilence. Thus, in the New Testament, Gehenna became synonymous with hell.


Moloch, in the Old Testament, deity at one period associated with Baal, probably as a sun god, but differing from him in being almost entirely malevolent. The worship of Moloch embraced human sacrifice, ordeals by fire, and self-mutilation. The Hebrew form of the word is invariably Molech, meaning “king” or “counselor.” The first recorded instance of a worshiper of Jehovah who “burned his son as an offering” (that is, to Moloch) is that of Ahaz (see 2 Kings 16:3). The same story is told of Manasseh, eponymous ancestor of one of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel (see 2 Kings 21:6). The practice is also alluded to in the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Leviticus. The ritual of Moloch worship was probably borrowed by Judah from one of the surrounding nations; it was practiced by the Moabites (see 2 Kings 3:27) and Ammonites.


Matthew 5:22 - But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.


Matthew 5:29-30 - And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.  30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 


Matthew 10:28 - And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 


Matthew 18:9 - And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. 


Matthew 23:15 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 


Matthew 23:33 - Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?


Mark 9:43 - And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 


Mark 9:45 - And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 


Mark 9:47 - And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 


Luke 12:5 - But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 


James 3:6 - And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.