Hell a term which originally corresponded more exactly to HADES, being derived from the Saxon helan, to cover, and signifying merely the covered, or invisible place-the habitation of those who have gone from this visible terrestrial region to the world of spirits. But it has been so long appropriated in common usage to the place of future punishment for the wicked, that its earlier meaning has been lost sight of. In the English Bible it is used in the wider sense.
I. Hebrew and Greek Terms. — The three words, which all but monopolize the subject, are שַׁאוֹל, Sheol', in the O.T.; and ῞Αιδης, Hades, and Γέεννα, Gehenna, in the N.T. שׁאוֹל occurs 65 times; in 61 of these it is rendered in the Sept. By ῞Αδης; twice by θάνατος (2Sa 22:6, and Pr 23:14); and twice omitted in the common text (Job 24:19; Eze 32:21). In the Vulg. שׁאוֹל is translated 48 times by Infernus, and 17 times by Inferus [mostly Inferi (plur.)]. In our A.V. it is represented 31 times by Grave, 31 times by Hell, and 3 times by Pit. In the N. Test. our word Hell occurs 23 times; 12 times it stands for Γέεννα, and 11 times [perhaps the twelfth should be added, see Tischendorf and Bruder (Concord.) on Re 3:7] for ῞Αδης. The Vulg. closely follows the original in its N.T. renderings; in all the twelve passages Γέεννα is simply copied into Ge'henna, while Infernus stands for every occurrence of ῞Αδης, except once (Mt 16:18), where the phrase πύλαι ¯δου ("gates of hell") becomes "portae inferi." Since, therefore, שׁאוֹל, ςΑδης, and Γέεννα, are employed in the sacred original to designate the mysteries of HELL, we proceed to give first their probable derivation, and then their meaning, so far as Holy Scripture assists ῥ in its discovery.
(I.) Their Derivation. —
1. שׁאוֹל '(or, as it is occasionally written, שׁאֹל), םל6השּׂ is by most of the old writers (see Cocceius, Lex. p. 840,841; Schindler, Lex. Pent. 1782; Robinson, Key to Hebrew Bible, 2, 217; and Leigh, Crit. Sacra, 1, 238; 2, 6) referred for its origin to שָׁאִל, to demand, seek, or ask. They are not agreed as to the mode of connecting the derivative with this root; Cocceius suggests an absurd reason, "שׁאוֹל notateum locum in quo quiest in quaestione est" (!) A more respectable solution is suggested by those who see in the insatiableness of שׁאוֹל (Pr 30:15-16) a good ground for connecting it with the root in question. Thus Fagius on Gin. 37; Buxtorf, Lexicon, s.v. referring to Isa 5:14; Hab 2:5; Pr 27:20. (Ernst Meier, Hebr. W-w-b, p. 187, also adopts this root, but he is far-fetched and obscure in his view of its relation to the derived word). (A good defense [by a modern scholar] of this derivation of Sheol from the verb שָׁאִל is given by Giider, Lehre.v. d. Erschein. Jesu Christi unter den Todten [Berne, 1853], and more briefly in his art. Hades [Herzog, 5, 441, Clark's trans. 2, 468]. His defense is based on the many passages which urge the insatiable demand of Sheol for all men, such as those we have mentioned in the text, and Ge 37:35; 1Sa 28; Ps 6:6; Ps 89:49. See also Venema [on Ps 16:10]; J. A. Quensted, Tract. de Sepultura Veterum, 9, 1.) Bottcher (De Inferis, p. 76, § 159) finds in the root שָׁעִל to be hollow, a better origin for our word. Gesenius (Thes. p. 1347), who adopts the same derivation, supposes that שׁעל means to dig out, and so contrives to unite שׁעל and שׁאל, by making the primary idea of digging lead to the derived one of seeking (see Job 3:21). Bottcher goes on to connect the German words Hohl (hollow) and Hohle (cavity) with the idea indicated by שׁעל, and timidly suggests the possibility of Hölle (Hell) coming from Hohle. Whilst decidedly rejecting this derivation, we do not object to his derivation of the Hebrew noun; amidst the avowed uncertainty of the case, it seems to be the least objectionable of the suggestions which have been offered, and, to provide an intelligible sense for the word Sheol, most in harmony with many Biblical passages. Bottcher defines the term to mean "vastus locus subterraneus" (p. 72, § 153). This agrees very well with the rendering of our A.V. in so far as it has used the comprehensive word Hell, which properly signifies "a covered or concealed place."
2. Hades. — The universally allowed statement that the N.T. has shed a light on the mysteries of life and immortality which is only in an inferior degree discovered in the O.T., is seldom more distinctly verified than in the uncertainty which attaches to Sheol (the difficulty of distinguishing its various degrees of meaning, which it is generally felt exist, and which our A.V. has endeavored to express by an equal balance between Hell and Grave), in contrast with the distinction which is implied in the about equally frequent terms of Hades and Gehenna, now to be described. The "ΑριΧ of the N.T. was suggested, no doubt, by its frequent occurrence in the Sept. The word was originally unaspirated, as in Homer's Α᾿ϊvδαο πύλαι (II. 5, 646; 9:312), and Hesiod's Α᾿ϊvδεω κύνα χαλκεόφωνον (Theog. 311), and Pindar's Α᾿ϊvδαν λαχεῖν (Pyth. 5, 130). This form of the word gives greater credibility to the generally received derivation of it from a privat. and ἰδεῖν, to see. (The learned authors of Liddell and Scott's Greek Lex. [s.v. ῞Αδης] throw some doubt on this view of the origin of the word, because of its aspirated beginning, in Attic Greek. But surely this is precarious ground. Is it certain that even in Attic writers it was invariably aspirated? AEschylus [Sept. c. Theb. (Paley) 310] has Α᾿ϊvδα προϊάψαι [with the lenis], according to the best editing. It is true that this is in a chorus, but in the Agam. 1505, also a choral line, we read μηδὲν ἐν ῞Αιδου μεγαλαυχείτῳ [with the aspirate], as if the usage were uncertain. Possibly in the elliptical phrase ἐν Α῾ιδου [scil οἴκῳ] the aspirate occurs because the genitive is really the name of the God [not of the region, which might, for distinction, have been then unaspirated]). Plutarch accordingly explains it by ἀειδὲς καὶ ἀόρατου (De Isid. et Osir. p. 382), and in the Etymol. Magn. ]δης is defined as χωριον ἀφεγγές, σκότους αἰωνίου καὶ ζόφου πεπλῃρομένον...ἐν ω οὐδὲν βλέπομεν. Hades is thus "the invisible place or region;" "Locus visibus nostris subtractus," as Grotius defines it.
3. Gehenna (Γέεννα) is composed of the two Heb. words גֵּיא (valley) and הַנּוֹם (Hinnon, the name of the proprietor of the valley). In the Sept. Γαίεννα is used in Jos 18:16 to designate "the valley of the son of Hinnom," the full expression of which is גֵּי בֶןאּהנֹּם The shorter appellation גֵי הַנּם occurs in the same verse. The Rabbinical writers derive הַנּם from נָהִם, "rugire" [to groan or mourn, in Eze 24:23], as if indicative of the cries of the children in the horrid rites of the Moloch- worship (see Buxtorf, Lex. Rab. p. 108; Glassius [ed. Dathii], Philolog. Sacr. i, 806). The etymological remarks have paved our way to the next section of our subject.
(II.) Biblical Meaning of these three Terms. —
1. Meanings of שׁאוֹל, Sheol. —
(1.) The "Grave." Much controversy has arisen whether within the meaning of Sheoel should be included "the grave;" indeed this is the only question of difficulty. The fact, which we have already stated, that our A.V. translates שׁאוֹל quite as often by "grave" as by the general term "hell," supplies aprima facie reason for including it. Without, however, insisting on the probability that polemical theology, rather than Biblical science, influenced our translators, at least occasionally, in their rendering of the word, we may here adduce on the other side the telling fact that of all the ancient versions not one translates in any passage the Hebrew Sheol by the equivalent of grave. The other Greek translators, like the venerable Sept., so far as their fragments show (see Origen, Hexapla, passim), everywhere give ῞Αιδης for שׁאוֹל (sometimes they use for the locative case the older and better phrase εἰς, ἐν Αιδου, sometimes 'the more recent and vulgar εἰς τὸν ῎Αιδην, ἐν τῷ ῞Αιδῃ). The Samaritan text in the seven passages of the Pentateuch has either שיול (Siol) or שיאול. Onkelos and Jonathan everywhere, except in five passages, retain שׁאוֹל. The Peshito everywhere in both Testaments renders the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hades by [שַׁיוּל] Shiul; and, as we have already seen, the Vulg. translates the same words in both the O.T. and the N.T. by inferus (plur. Inferi mostly), and, above all, Infernus (see above for particulars). It is to the later Targumists (the pseudo-Jonathan and the Jerusalem Targum), and afterwards to the Rabbinical doctors of the Middle Ages, that we trace the version of the "sepulcher" and "the grave" (thus in Ge 42:38; Ge 44:29,31, these Targumists rendered Sheol by בֵּר קבוּרתָא [the house of burial]; similarly did they render Ps 141:7; Job 7:9; Job 14:13; Job 17:13,16; Job 21:13; Ec 9:10, and other passages, in which it is observable how often they have been followed by our translators). See, for more information on this point, archbishop Usher, Works [by Elrington], 3:319-321; and, more fully, Bottcher (p. 68-70, sec. 146-149), who quotes Rashi and Aben Ezra [on Genesis 37 55J; D. Kimchi (Lib. Radia. s.v. שׁאוֹל); and other Rabbis who expressly admit the grave within the scope of the meaning of Sheol; Bottcher also quotes a very long array of commentators and lexicographers [Rabbi Mardochai Nathan, with extravagant one-sidedness, in his Hebr. Concord. gives no other sense to Sheol but קבר, the grave], who follow the Rabbinical doctors herein; and he adds the names of such writers as deny the meaning of the grave to the Hebrew Sheol: among these occur the learned Dutch divines Vitringa and Venema. The latter of these expressly affirms, "שׁאוֹל nullo modo ad sepulchrum pertinebit" (Comment. ad Ps. i, 504). To the authorities he mentions we would add, as maintaining the same view, the learned Henry Ainsworth (on Ge 37:35, Works, p. 135), who draws an important distinction; "שׁאוֹל, the grave, the word meaneth not the grave digged or made with hands, which is named in Hebrew קֶבֶר, but it meaneth the common place or state of death" (a similar distinction is drawn by Luther [Enarr. in Genes. 42:38]; קבר is only the grave in which an actual interment takes place; none that die unburied can have this word used of them; their receptacle is שאול, "commune quoddam raceptaculum non corporum tantum sed et animarum, ubi omnes mortui congregantur." Ann. Seneca [lib. 8, controvers. 4] observes between natural burial and artificial — " Omnibus natura sepulturam dedit," etc. So Lucan, 7:818, says — " Capit omnia tellus Quae genuit; caelo tegitur, qui non habet urnam." Pliny [ Hist. Nat. 7, 54] distinguishes between natural burial by applying to it the Word sepelire, and burial by ceremony by using of it the synonym humare); Nicolaus (De Sepulchris Hebr. i, 8-14), who shows that שׁאוֹל is never used of funeral pomp, nor of the burial of the body in the ground; Eberhard Busmann, who [in 1682] wrote, Dissertatio philol. de Scheol Hebr., makes a statement to the effect that he had examined all the passages in the O.T. and pronounces of them thus — "Nullum eorumu (excepto forsan uno vel altero, de quo tamen adhuc dubitari potest) de sepulchro necessario est intelligendum multa tamen contra ita sunt comparata ut de sepulchro nullo modo intelligi possint neac debeant." Some modern writers, who have specially examined the subject, also deny that שׁאוֹל ever means "the grave." Thus Breecher, On the Immortality of the Soul as held by the Jews (and Pareau, Comment. de Immort. ac vitae fut. notit. 1807).
These reasons have led learned men, who have especially examined the subject, to exclude the grave (specifically understood as a made or artificial one) from the proper meaning of Sheol. We cannot but accept their view in critical exactness. But there is an inexact and generic sense of Sheol in which the word grave well expresses the meaning of the Scripture passages just mentioned, and (in justice to the A.V. it may be admitted) of most of the others, which our translators rendered by this word. (The passages in which the A.V. renders שׁאוֹל by grave are these — Ge 37:35; Ge 42:38; Ge 44:29,31.; 1Sa 2:6; 1Ki 2:6,9; Job 7:9; Job 14:13; Job 17:13; Job 21:13; Job 24:19; Ps 6:5 [Hebr. 61; 30:3 ; 31:17 ; 49:14 , twice; 49:15 ; 88:3 ; 89:48 ; 141:7; Pr 1:12; Pr 30:16; Ec 9:10; Song 8:6;
Isa 14:11 [marg. of 5:9 has grave]; 38:10, 18; Eze 31:15; Ho 13:14, twice; and in Jon 2:2  the maryin has "grave.") Of this more vague sense Usher (Works, 3:324) says-" When Sheol is said to signify the grave, the term grave must be taken in as large a sense as it is in our Savior's speech (John 5, 28), and in Isa 26:19, according to the Sept. reading; upon which passage writes Origen thus--'Here and in many other places the graves of the dead are to be understood, not such only as we see are builded for the receiving of men's bodies-either cut out in stones, or digged down in the earth; but every place wherein a man's body lieth either entire or in part' otherwise they which are not committed to burial, nor laid in graves, but have ended their life in shipwrecks, deserts, and such like ways, should not seem to be reckoned among those which are said to be raised from the grave' (In Esai. lib. 28 citatus a Pamphilo, in Apol.)" We have here, then, the first meaning of the Hebrew שׁאוֹל largely applied, as we have seen, in our A.V. to "the grave," considered in a universal sense (see the passages in the last note), commensurate with death itself as to the extent of its signification. (Comp. "the grave and gate of death" of the English Liturgy, Collect for Easter Even.) Though we carefully exclude the artificial grave, or קֶבֶר, from this category, there is no doubt, as bishop Lowth has well shown (De Sacra Poesi Hebr. Prael. 7 [ed. Oxon. with notes of Michaelis and Rosenmüller, 1821], p. 65-69), that the Hebrew poets drew all the imagery with which they describe the state and condition of the dead from the funeral rites and pomp, and from the vaulted sepulchers of their great men. The bishop's whole treatment of the subject is quite worth perusal. We can only quote his final remarks: "You will see this transcendent imagery better and more completely displayed in that noble triumphal song which was composed by Isaiah (Isa 14:4-27), previous to the death of the king of Babylon. Ezekiel has also grandly illustrated the same scene, with similar machinery, in the last prophecy concerning the fall of Pharaoh (32:18-32)." For an excellent vindication of the A.V. in many of its translations of the grave, we refer the reader to the treatise of archbishop Usher '(Answer to the Jesuit's Challenge, Works [ed. Elrington], 3, 319-324 and 332-340). We doubt not that, if grave is an admissible sense of' שׁאוֹל, our translators have, on the whole, made a judicious selection of the passages that will best bear the sense: their purpose was a popular one, and they accomplished it, in the instance of uncertain words and phrases, by giving them the most intelligible turn they would bear, as in the case before us.
We undertake not to decide whether it would be better to leave the broad and generic word Sheol, as the great versions of antiquity did, everywhere; whether, e.g., Jacob's lament (Ge 37:35; Ge 42:38) and like passages would be more suitably, if not correctly, rendered by the simple retention of the original word, or the equally indefinite hades. There is some force in the observation often made (see Corn. a Lapide, on Ge 37:35; Bellarmine and others, adduced by Leigh, Crit. Sacrae, 1, 239) that "it was not the grave of Joseph which Jacob meant, for he thought indeed that his Son was devoured of wild beasts, and not buried." See more on this passage in Pearson, Creed [ed. Chevallier], p. 437; Fulke, Translations, etc., p. 314; both which writers defend the version of grave. Ainsworth ad loc. (among the older commentators) and Knobel (among the moderns) contend for the general word hell [Knobel, Schattenreich ]. Rosenmüller learnedly states both views, and leans in favor of "locum, ubi mortui umbrarum instar degunt" (Scholia, 1, 576).
(2.) The other meaning of שׁאוֹל, "Bell," so rendered in thirty-one passages of A.V., according to the more ancient and, as it seems to us, preferable opinion, makes it local, i.e. the place of disembodied spirits. (῞Αιδης δὲ τόπος ἡμῖν ἀειδής, ἤγουν ἀφανὴς καὶ ἄγνωστος, ό τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν ἐντεῦθιν ἐκδημούσας δεχόμενος, Andr. Caesaricus in Apocal. c. 63.) A later opinion supposes the word to indicate "not the place where souls departed are, but the state and condition of the dead, or their permansion in death," as bishop Pearson calls it (Creed [ed. Chevallier], p. 439). On this opinion, which that great divine "cannot admit as a full or proper exposition," we shall say nothing more than that it is at best only a deduction from the foregoing local definition. That definition we have stated in the broadest terms, because, in reference to Dr. Barrow's enumeration (Serm. on the Creed [Art. "He descended into Hell"], Works [Oxford, 1830], 5, 416, 417) of the questions which have arisen on the subject before us, we believe that Holy Scripture warrants the most ample of all the positions suggested by that eminent writer, to the effect that the Sheol or Hell of which we treat is not merely 'the place of good and happy souls," or "that of bad and miserable ones," but "indifferently and in common, of both those." We propose to arrange the Biblical passages so as to describe, first, the state of the occupants of Sheol, and, secondly, the locality of it, in some of its prominent features. As to the first point, Sheol is (a) the receptacle of the spirits of all that depart this life. (Among the scriptural designations of the inhabitants of Sheol is רבָּאים [קהִלר in (in Pr 21:16) is rendered "congregation of the dead" (or departed) in the A.V. This is better than the Sept. rendering συναγωγὴ γιγάντων, and Vulg. "coetus gigantum." There is force in the word קהל thus applied, derived from the use of the word to designate the great "congregation" of the Jewish nation; SEE CONGREGATION. For the use of the word רפאים as applicable to the dead, see especially Bottcher, De Infe. p. 94-10, § 193-204. The word occurs in this sense also in the grand passage of Isaiah 14. [In ver. 9 "Sheol stirs up its Rephaim" on the entrance of the spirit of the king of Babylon.] רפאים is met with in six other places in the same sense of departed spirits. It is connected with רָפֶה, "weak," which occurs in Nu 13:18, and other passages [see Furst, Hebr. W. — b. ii, 383]. The gentile noun [mentioned in Ge 14:5 and elsewhere, and rendered Rephain and Giants] is of the same form, but probably of a different origin [see Gesenius, Thes. p. 1302].) This general signification appears from Psalm 89:47, 48, and Isa 38:18-19 (in which latter verse the opposition in its universal sense between sheol and the state of life in this world is to be observed). We do not hesitate, with archbishop Usher (Works, 3:318), to translate שַׁאוֹל in these passages "hell" or "sheol," instead of "grave," as in the A.V. Sheol, therefore, is (b) the abode of the wicked, Nu 16:33; Job 24:19; Ps 9:17 (Hebr. 18); 31:17 (18); Pr 5:5; Pr 9:18; Isa 57:9; and (g) of the good [both in their "disembodied" condition], Ps 16:10, comp. with Ac 2:27,31; Ps 30:3 (4); 49:15 (16); 86:13; Isa 38:10, compared with Job in, 17-19; Ho 13:14, comp. with 1Co 15:55. — With regard to the second point, touching some local features of Sheol, we find it described as very deep (Job 11:8); dark (Job 10:21-22); (yet confess and open to the eye of God, Job 26:6); with "valleys" (Gesenius, Thes. p. 1348) or depths of various gradations (Ps 86:13 [compared with De 32:22]; Pr 9:18); with bars (Job 17:16, comp. with Jon 2:6) and gates (Isa 38:10); situated beneath us; hence the dead are said "to go down" (יָרִד) to Sheol, Nu 16:30,33; Eze 31:15-17 (compared with Job 7:9; Ge 42:38). Comp. Josephus (Ant. 17:1, 3), who, when describing the tenets of the Jewish sects, attributes to the Pharisees the belief of a future state, in which "rewards and punishments" will be dealt out "to men in their disembodied state" (ταῖς ψυχαῖς) "under the earth" (ὑπὸ χθονὸς δικαιώσεις τε καὶ τιμάς, κ. τ. λ.). On the phrase of the creed
"descended into hell," and sundry uses of יָרִד and κατελθεῖν as not necessarily implying local descent, but rather "removal from one place to another," see Usher (Works, 3:392, 393). We have seen how some have derived the name of Sheol from its insatiability; such a quality is often attributed to it: it is all-devouring (Pr 1:12); never satisfied (Pr 30:16; Isa 5:14), and inexorable (Song 8:7).
2. There is in the Hades (῞Αιδης) of the N.T. an equally ample signification with the Sheol of the O.T., as the abode of both happy and miserable beings. Its characteristics are not dissimilar; it is represented as "a prison" (comp. 1Pe 3:19, where inhabitants of hades are called τὰ ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύματα); with gates and bars (πύλαι ]δου, Mt 16:18; comp. with the phrase εἰς ῞Αδου of Ac 2:27,31, with the ellipsis of δῶμα, οϊvκον); and locks (the "keys" of Hades, αἱ κλεῖς τοῦ ῞Αιδου, being in the hands of Christ, Re 1:18); its situation is also downwards (see the ῞εως ¯δου καταβιβασθήσῃ of Mt 11:23, and Lu 10:15). As might be expected, there is more plainly indicated in the N.T. the separate condition of the righteous and the wicked; to indicate this separation other terms are used; thus, in Lu 23:43, Paradise (παράδεισος no doubt different from that of Pali, 2Co 12:4, which is designated, in Re 2:7, as ὁ παράδεισος τοῦ θεοῦ, the supernal Paradise; see Robinson, Lexicon, N.T., p. 13,547; Wahl, Clavis, N.T., p. 376; Kuinol [ed. London] on N.T. 2, 237; and especially Meyer, Kommentar u. d. Neue Test. [ed. 4] 6:292, and the authorities there quoted by him) is used to describe that part of Hades which the blessed dead inhabit — a figurative expression, so well adapted for the description of a locality of happiness that the inspired writers employ it to describe the three happiest places, the Eden of Innocence, the Hades of departed saints, and the heaven of their glorious rest. The distinction between the upper and the lower Paradise was familiar to the Jews. In Eisenmenger's Entdecktes Judenthun, 2, 295-322, much of their curious opinions on the subject is collected. In p. 298 are given the seven names of the heavenly Paradise, while in the next three are contained the seven names of the lower Paradise of Hades. SEE PARADISE.
Another figurative expression used to designate the happy part of Hades is "Abraham's bosom," ὁ κόλπος Α᾿βρααμ, Lu 16:22. (St. Augustine who says [Quaest. Evang. 2, 38] "Sinus Abrahn e requies est beatorum pauperim in quo post harc vitam recipiuntur," yet doubts whether hades is used at all in N.T. in a good sense: He says [Ep. 187, Works, 2, 689], "Whether the bosom of Abraham, where the wicked Dives was, when in his torment he beheld the poor man at rest, were either to be deemed the same as Paradise, or to be thought to pertain to hell or hades, I cannot define [non facile dixerim];" so also he writes on Psalm 85 [Works, 4:912]). For an explanation of the phrase, SEE ABRAHAM'S BOSOM.
3. We need not linger over the Biblical sense of our last word Γέεννα. Gehenna. We refer the reader to a "Discourse" by the learned Joseph Mede (Works, p. 3133) on Gehenna, which he shows was not used to designate "hell" before the captivity. He, in the same treatise, dwells on certain Hebrew words and phrases, which were in use previous to that epoch for designating Hades and its inhabitants-among these he especially notes רפאום and קהל ר8, on which we have observed above. As Παράδεισος is not limited to the finite happiness of Hades, but embraces in certain passages the ultimate blessedness of heaven, so there is no violence in supposing that Γέεβννα (from the finite signification which it possibly bears in Matthew 5, 29, 30; 23:15, equivalent to the Τάρταρος referred to by Peter, 2Pe 2:4, as the place where the fallen angels are reserved unto judgment, or "until sentence," comp. Jude 1:6) goes on to mean, in perhaps most of its occurrences in the N.T., the final condition of the lost, as in Mt 23:33, where the expression ἡ κρίσις τῆς γεέννης probably means the condemnation [or sentence] to Gehenna as the ultimate doom. SEE GEHENNA.
IV. Synonymous Words and Phrases. — (Most of these are given by Eisenmenger, Entdeck. Jud. 2, 324, and Galatinus, De Arcanis, 6:7, p. 345.)
1. דּוּמָה, Dumah, in Ps 115:17, where the phrase כָּלאּירדֵי דּ, all that go down into silence," is in the Sept. παντες οἴ καταβαίνοντες εἰς ]δου, while the Vulg. has "omnes qui descendunt in infe rum" (comp. Ps 94:17).
2. אֲבִדּוֹן, Abaddôn, in Job 26:6, is in poetical apposition with שׁאוֹל (comp. Pr 27:20 [Kethib], where אֲ is in conjunction with שׁ, forming an hendiadys for destructive hell; Sept. ῞Αιδης καὶ ἀπώλεια; Vulg. Infernus et perditio; A.V. "Hell and destruction").
3. בּאֵר שִׁחִת, Beer Shachath, Ps 55:23; A.V. "pit of destruction "Sept. Φπέαρ διαφθορᾶς; Vulg. Puteus interitus (see also passages in which בּוֹר and שִׁחִת occur separately).
4. צִלמָוֶת Tsalmaveth, with or without חֹשֶׁך, in Ps 107:10, and other passages; Sept. Σκία θανάτου; Vulg. Umbra smortis; A.V. "shadow of death."
5. תִּחתַּיּוֹתאּאֶרֶוֹ, Tachtiy6th Erets, in Isa 44:23; A.V. "lower parts of the earth" [Sheol or Hades, Gesen.]; Sept. Τὰ θεμέλια τῆς γῆς; Vulg. Extrema terrce (comp. Eze 26:20, etc., where the phrase is inverted, ארוֹאּתחתיות); of similar meaning is בּוֹר תִּחתַּיּוֹת, Ps 88:6 (7).
6. תָּפַתּה, Tophteh, in Isa 30:33 [according to Eisenmenger]; for another application of this word, see Gesenius, Thes. s.v.; and Rosenmüller. ad loc.
7. The phrase first used of Abraham, Ge 25:8 (where it occurs, in the solemn description of the holy patriarch's end, midway between death and burial), "He was gathered to his fathers," is best interpreted of the departure of the soul to Hades to the company of those who preceded him thither (see Cajetan, ad loc., and Gesen. Thes., s.v. אָסִŠ [Niphal], p. 131, col. 1).
8. Τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον, "the outer darkness" of Mt 8:12, et passim, refers probably to what Josephus (War, 3, 25) calls •δης σκοτιώτερος, "the darker Hades."
V. Biblical Statements as to the Condition of those in "hell." — The dreadful nature of the abode of the wicked is implied in various figurative expressions, such as "outer darkness," "I am tormented in this flame," "furnace of fire," "unquenchable fire," "where the worm dieth not," the blackness of darkness," "torment in fire and brimstone," "the ascending smoke of their torment," "the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone" (Mt 8:12; Mt 13:42; Mt 22:13; Mt 25:30; Lu 16:24; comp. Mt 25:41; Mr 9:43-48; Jude 1:13; comp. Re 14:10-11; Re 19:20; Re 20:14; Re 21:8). The figure by which hell is represented as burning with fire and brimstone is probably derived from the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as that which describes the smoke as ascending from it (comp. Re 14:10-11, with Ge 19:24,28). To this coincidence of description Peter also most probably alludes in 2Pe 2:6. SEE FIRE.
The names which in many of the other instances are given to the punishments of hell are doubtless in part figurative, and many of the terms which were commonly applied to the subject by the Jews are retained in the New Testament. The images, it will be seen, are generally taken from death, capital punishments, tortures, prisons, etc. And it is the obvious design of the sacred writers, in using such figures, to awaken the idea of something terrible and fearful. They mean to teach that the punishments beyond the grave will excite the same feelings of distress as are produced on earth by the objects employed to represent them. We are so little acquainted with the state in which we shall be hereafter, and with the nature of our future body, that no strictly literal representation of such punishments could be made intelligible to us. Many of the Jews, indeed, and many of the Christian fathers, took the terms employed in Scripture in an entirely literal sense, and supposed there would be actual fire, etc., in hell. But from the words of Christ and his apostles nothing more can with certainty be inferred than that they meant to denote great and unending miseries.
The punishments of sin may be distinguished into two classes:
1. Natural punishments, or such as necessarily follow a life of servitude to sin.
2. Positive punishments, or such as God shall see fit, by his sovereign will, to inflict.
1. Among the natural punishments we may rank the privation of eternal happiness (Mt 7:21,23; Mt 22:13; Mt 25:41; compare 2 Thessalonians 1, 9); the painful sensations which are the natural consequence of committing sin, and of an impenitent heart; the propensities to sin, the evil passions and desires which in this world fill the human heart, and which are doubtless carried into the world to come. The company of fellow-sinners and of evil spirits, as inevitably resulting from the other conditions, may be accounted among the natural punishments, and must prove not the least grievous of them.
2. The positive punishments have already been indicated. It is to these chiefly that the Scripture directs our attention. "There are but few men in such a state that the merely natural punishments of sin will appear to them terrible enough to deter them from the commission of it. Experience also shows that to threaten positive punishment has far more effect, as well upon the cultivated as the uncultivated, in deterring them from crime, than to announce, and lead men to expect, the merely natural consequences of sin, be they ever so terrible. Hence we may see why it is that the New. Testament says so little of natural punishments (although these, beyond question, await the wicked), and makes mention of them in particular far less frequently than of positive punishments; and why, in those passages which treat of the punishments of hell, such ideas and images are constantly employed as suggest and confirm the idea of positive punishments" (Knapp's Christian Theology, § 156).
As the sins which shut out from heaven vary so greatly in quality and degree, we should expect from the justice of God a corresponding variety both in the natural and the positive punishments. This is accordingly the uniform doctrine of Christ and his apostles. The more knowledge of the divine law a man possesses, the more his opportunities and inducements to avoid sin, the stronger the incentives to faith and holiness set before him, the greater will be his punishment if he fails to make a faithful use of these advantages. "The servant who knows his lord's will and does it not, deserves to be beaten with many stripes:" "To whom much is given, of him much will be required" (Mt 10:15; Mt 11:22,24; Mt 23:15; Lu 12:48), Hence Paul says that the heathen who acted against the law of nature would indeed be punished; but that the Jews would be punished more than they, because they had more knowledge (Ro 2:9-29). In this conviction that God will, even in hell, justly proportion punishment to sin, we must rest satisfied. We cannot now know more; the precise degrees, as well as the precise nature of such punishments, are things belonging to another state of being, which in the present we are unable to understand. For a naturalistic view of the subject, with a copious review of the literature, see Alger, Doctrine of a Future Life (Bost. 1860). For the theological treatment of this topic, SEE HELL PUNISHMENTS.