The Spiritual Significance of Biblical Locations – Part 2


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The Spiritual Significance of Biblical Locations – Part 2

[Updated and Expanded September 26, 2016]

Hell

Deu 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.

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

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

Introduction

We are continuing our study of Biblical locations and what is their spiritual significance for us today.

Here is how we ended our last study:

“Next week, Lord willing, we will discuss the spiritual significance of a Biblical place called heaven, where we are told, God dwells within His kingdom, which is called “the kingdom of heaven”.

We have already discussed the Biblical opposite of ‘heaven’, which is ‘the earth’. But next week we will discuss what is commonly misunderstood to be the opposite of heaven, a Biblical place called variously, the valley of the son of Hinnom, and Tophet, in the Old Testament, and Gehenna in the New Testament. It is very poorly translated as ‘hell’ in most translations and we will see that there are several Biblical names for this same place, and we will see again that it was the history of this location which gives us its spiritual meaning.”

The fact is there are three Greek words which the King James Version translates with the one English word ‘hell’. They are ‘hades, gehenna and tartaroo’, and while I had intended to cover both heaven and hell in this study, I now realize that I will have to do them as separate studies, and I have chosen to deal first with the place called ‘hell’ by most Christians.

Where is ‘Sheol’?

We will begin our study on the Biblical location of ‘hell’ by looking at the Hebrew word ‘Sheol’, which the King James and many other bible versions translate as ‘hell. Whenever this word was quoted out of the Old Testament by any of the Greek writers of the New Testament, they translated it with the Greek word ‘hades’. So we will start by asking, “exactly where is the Hebrew ‘sheol’ located?” We just read that God’s anger will “burn to the lowest hell”, that “The wicked shall be turned into hell”, and that God “will not leave the soul of [His] holy one in hell”. In all three of those entries ‘hell’ is translated from the Hebrew word ‘Sheol’:

Here is that Hebrew word ‘Sheol’ and the four various way it is translated in the King James Version:

H7585
שׁאל / שׁאול
she’ôl
Total KJV Occurrences: 65
hell, 31
Deu_32:22, 2Sa_22:6, Job_11:8, Job_26:6, Psa_9:17, Psa_16:10, Psa_18:5, Psa_55:15, Psa_86:13, Psa_116:3, Psa_139:8, Pro_5:5, Pro_7:27, Pro_9:18, Pro_15:11, Pro_15:24, Pro_23:14, Pro_27:20, Isa_5:14, Isa_14:9, Isa_28:15 (2), Isa_28:18, Isa_57:9, Eze_31:16-17 (2), Eze_32:21, Eze_32:27, Jon_2:2 (2), Hab_2:5
grave, 30
Gen_37:35, Gen_42:38, Gen_44:29, Gen_44:31, 1Ki_2:6 (2), 1Ki_2:9, Job_7:9, Job_21:13 (3), Job_24:19, Psa_6:5, Psa_30:3, Psa_31:17, Psa_49:14-15 (3), Psa_88:3, Psa_89:48, Pro_1:12, Pro_30:16, Ecc_9:10, Son_8:6, Isa_14:11, Isa_38:10, Isa_38:18, Eze_31:15, Hos_13:14 (2)
pit, 3
Num_16:30, Num_16:33, Job_17:16
grave’s, 1
Psa_141:7

So this word is translated as “grave, pit, and graves” a total of 34 times and as “hell” a total of 30 times in the King James Version. As the years have gone by, the number of times this word is translated as ‘hell’ has diminished with each new translation because the Hebrew scholars are now generally aware that this word ‘sheol’ has much more to do with the dust of the ground than it has to do with the fabled flames of the completely misunderstood “Tophet, which is in Gehenna”, and which is egregiously translated with the same English word ‘hell’.

Notice what Jonah considered ‘sheol‘ translated as ‘hell’ to be:

Jon 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly,
Jon 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.

To Jonah the “fish’s belly” was ‘sheol‘, the grave. He did not associate ‘sheol‘ with either heat or with flames. Nevertheless it is translated as ‘hell’ by the King James and by many other Bible translations.

When we look closely at every single verse where this word is translated as ‘hell’ in the King James Version, including…:

Psa 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [Hebrew: sheol – grave]; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

…we discover that the words ‘grave’ or ‘pit’ would be a much better translation in every case. Psalms 16:10 is much better translated as “For you will not leave my soul in the grave; neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption”.

The apostle Peter quotes this verse of Psalms 16:10, using the Greek word ‘hades‘ for the Hebrew word ‘sheol‘ when speaking of the fact that King David’s sepulcher was still with the Jews to that day:

Act 2:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
Act 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [Greek: hades – the grave], neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Act 2:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Act 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

As far as the apostle Peter was concerned, what King David meant by leaving his soul in hell had to do with being dead and buried in “his sepulchre”. ‘Hades‘, translated from the Hebrew word ‘sheol‘, had nothing at all to do with flames or with fire of any sort. Peter’s point was that since David’s sepulcher was still with the Jews to that day, it was manifested that it was not King David’s own soul which was being referred to when the prophecy says that the soul of His holy one was “not [left] in hell”, ‘sheol‘, the sepulcher, meaning in the grave. King David had not been resurrected from the dead, whereas Christ had been resurrected, and that resurrection took place before His body could “see corruption”.

Out of this mangled translation of the Hebrew word ‘sheol‘, which the New Testament Greek writers translated with the Greek word ‘hades‘, along with a twisted misunderstanding of the Greek words gehenna and tartaroo, has evolved the ridiculous false doctrine of Christ descending into hell to preach to spirits in prison between the time of His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.

Here is one section of scripture which some use to back up that bit of heresy:

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Where in those verses are we told that Christ preached to spirits in prison while He was dead? Oh yes, we are told Christ was “put to death in the flesh, but quickened [given life] by the Spirit: “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison”. But where did it say this happened while Christ was in the grave? Of course it says nothing of the kind, and instead, in the very next verse ,we are told exactly when Christ actually did preach to those spirits in prison to which Peter refers:

1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

It happened “in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing…” As it is today, so it was then. Christ has always spoken through His prophets, and Noah was His prophet through whom He spoke to the spirits which were in prison. When did that take place? It took place “in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing”.

Who were these “spirits in prison”? Here is what we are told:

Isa 24:22 And they [mankind] shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.

That is where we all are until Christ comes into our hearts and leads our spirits out of that ‘prison’ as Isaiah prophesied:

Isa 42:6  I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; [Luk 2:32]
Isa 42:7  To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

In Luke 2:32 we are told by Simeon, the old prophet who was given to know who Christ was as a mere infant, that Isa 42:6 refers to Christ’s coming and to His work with mankind here on earth.

Luk 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
Luk 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
Luk 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
Luk 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luk 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Luk 2:27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Luk 2:28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luk 2:29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
Luk 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luk 2:31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luk 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Luk 2:33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Luk 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
Luk 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

“A light to the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel”. That is the meaning of bringing prisoners out of prison that Isaiah prophesied of when he said:

Isa 42:7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Spiritual prison is “sit[ting] in spiritual darkness and deception. Here are the “blind eyes” Christ came to open while “bring[ing] out the prisoners from the prison”:

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Christ tells us that the Isa 61:1 prophecy about “the opening of the prison to them that are bound” refers to the purpose of His own ministry to all who are “in Adam” as well as the “principalities and powers” in the heavens:

Luk 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
Luk 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives [Hebrew: prisoners], and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

The “spirits in prison” to whom Christ preached through Noah were the captive spirits of the people of Noah’s day “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing“. When Christ died on the cross, He was dead until He was resurrected “on the third day”.

Joh 19:41  Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
Joh 19:42  There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

“There they laid Jesus.” Jesus was dead until He was “resurrected from the dead”. He preached to those poor deceived souls “in the days of Noah” by the same spirit which brought Him back to life after “being put to death in the flesh”.

1Pe 3:18 Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
1Pe 3:19 in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, (ASV)

Where is ‘sheol‘? The Hebrew word ‘sheol‘, from which Jonah and all men are delivered, is the grave to which we are all first condemned and from which all men, “every man in his own order” (1Co 15:23), will be resurrected and given life.

‘Hell’ is the New Testament Gehenna

We will begin with all the verses in the New Testament where the phrase “cast into hell” are found in the King James Version:

Mat 5:29 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.
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it 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.

Luk 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.

These next three verses include the word ‘fire’ right after the word ‘hell’:

Mat 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.

Mar 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:

Mar 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:

Well, there it is in plain English: “…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… 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:”

Yes, there it is. We have the words ‘hell’ and the word ‘fire’ right there together. What is so striking is that no one who believes in a literal hell of literal flames of eternal unquenchable fire believes that the admonitions to “cut off… thy foot, [or] pluck… out… thine eye” are literal admonitions to be followed by all whose feet and eyes have ever caused them to sin.

In all of these six verses containing the phrase ‘hell fire’, the Greek word from which the English word ‘hell’ is translated is the word ‘gehenna‘. So what is really being said here is ‘gehenna fire’, not ‘hell fire’.

Of course it is common knowledge among all of us here that none of the three Greek words – gehenna, hades, and tartaroo, which have been so egregiously translated with the English word ‘hell’ – have anything at all to do with literal fire or with the modern English concept of ‘eternity’.

Here are all the entries for the word Gehenna in the New Testament:
G1067
γέεννα
geenna
Total KJV Occurrences: 12
hell, 12
Mat_5:22, Mat_5:29-30 (2), Mat_10:28, Mat_18:9, Mat_23:15, Mat_23:33, Mar_9:43, Mar_9:45, Mar_9:47, Jam_3:5-6 (2)
While it is always translated with the English word ‘hell’ in the King James Version, notice what Strong’s tells us of the meaning of this word:
G1067
γέεννα
geenna
gheh’-en-nah

Of Hebrew origin ([H1516] and [H2011]); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: – hell.

We have already proven that the Greek noun ‘aion‘ and its adjective form, ‘aionios‘ have nothing whatsoever to do with “everlasting punishment”. Here are two verses which prove the words ‘aion‘ and ‘aionios‘ have a beginning and an end:

Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? [Greek: aion – age, the ‘aion’ has an end.]

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, [Greek for the word ‘world’ is ‘aion‘. The ‘aion‘, whatever it is, has a beginning.]

Here is a link to much more on this subject: What is Aionios Life? And one more here

So what we learn here is that Gehenna is simply “a valley of Jerusalem” of which Wikipedia informs us:

Gehenna

“From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“This article is about the Biblical term that has been interpreted as analogous to the concept of “Hades”, “Hell” or “Purgatory”. For other uses, see Gehenna (disambiguation).

Gehenna (/ɡɪˈhɛnə/; Ancient Greek: γέεννα), Gehinnom (Rabbinical Hebrew: גהנום/גהנם) and Yiddish Gehinnam, are terms derived from a place outside ancient Jerusalem known in the Hebrew Bible as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom (Hebrew: גֵיא בֶן־הִנֹּם or גיא בן-הינום); one of the two principal valleys surrounding the Old City.

“In the Hebrew Bible, the site was initially where apostate Israelites and followers of various Ba’als and other Canaanite gods, including Moloch (or Molech), sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6). Thereafter it was deemed to be cursed (Jer. 7:31, 19:2-6).[1]

“In Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scripture, Gehenna is a destination of the wicked.[2] This is different from the more neutral [emphasis mine] Sheol/Hades, the abode of the dead, although the King James Version of the Bible usually translates both with the Anglo-Saxon word Hell.”

“This is different from the more neutral Sheol/Hades, the abode of the dead…”, and as we have shown, the King James Version of the Bible translates all four words, the Hebrew, sheol, along with the three Greek words, gehenna, hades, and tartaroo, all with the same one English word ‘hell’, as if the holy spirit had no reason at all to use so many different Hebrew and Greek words.

But the holy spirit does have a purpose for using all these different words, and it is the purpose for this series of studies to show how the history of Biblical names of various places has given them the meaning they have, and why they are used by the holy spirit to impart that meaning to us. As this entry on Gehenna demonstrates, Gehenna is “a place outside ancient Jerusalem known in the Hebrew Bible as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom (Hebrew: גֵיא בֶן־הִנֹּם or גיא בן-הינום); one of the two principal valleys surrounding the Old City.

In the Hebrew Bible, the site was initially where apostate Israelites and followers of various Ba’als and other Canaanite gods, including Moloch (or Molech), sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6). Thereafter it was deemed to be cursed (Jer. 7:31, 19:2-6).[1]

So that is the location of the ‘hell’ of the New Testament. It was the fact that this valley was where the pagan people of ancient Israel, as well as apostate kings of Israel, sacrificed their children by fire. That is why Christ used this valley as a type of the fiery trials which await those who reject His gospel in this age. He wants us to fear His judgments, and thereby to be motivated and inspired to be willing to endure the persecutions and sufferings of the cross in this age rather than putting it off until a much later, less glorious resurrection.

Luk 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.

But Christ also wants us to look past all the fiery trials and all the suffering we must endure for His name’s sake, and by that means also, He wants us to be encouraged and inspired and motivated to “endure to the end”.

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Notice what the prophet Jeremiah tells us of Gehenna, the valley of the son of Hinnom:

Jer 7:31 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.

Jeremiah informs us that “Tophet… is in the valley of the son of Hinnom”, but then he goes on to tell us that burning anyone in fire never “came… into My heart”. That is the exact opposite of the false doctrine of eternal torment by God in literal, physical flames of fire for all eternity. The fires of Tophet and Gehenna, where God’s apostate people offered their own children to false gods in literal fire, are used by Christ to typify the fiery trials and judgments which come upon all men of all time, including the very “house of God” at this time:

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

The answer to Peter’s question is: they will be “cast into Gehenna” at a time and place which the scriptures call the “great white throne… judgment”.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

That is why God uses a place where children were offered to the pagan gods in fire as a type of that which we are encouraged to avoid when we believe and live by His gospel message. The word ‘fire’ is indeed used throughout scripture to symbolize what the effect is of the Words of God upon all who oppose His Words. It is through this symbolic burning up and destruction of our rebellious old man that life comes to those who are granted to appreciate and partake of this “fiery trial” now, in this age. It is through this symbolic burning process that a new man is birthed into the kingdom of God, as the apostle Peter has demonstrated and as the apostle Paul also demonstrates for us in these verses of scripture:

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The ‘fire’ of the scriptures burn up evil works, not people. In the scriptures it is “yet so as by fire [that we are all] saved”. The apostles all knew that, in scriptural terms, salvation comes only “so as by fire”. Fire has always symbolized the judgments of God, and that is what the scriptures mean by the use of the word ‘fire’ when speaking of God’s judgments. The use of this concept of the word ‘fire’ is revealed throughout the Old Testament:

Deu 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Jer 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

Jer 23:29 Is not my word likeas a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
It is God’s words which judge all men of all time as Christ told us:

Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

And this is what the ‘fire’ of the “judg[ment] of the Word” of God produces:

Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

When we are judged we are “chastened of the Lord [to] learn righteousness”, not to be tormented for all eternity. The “condemnation with the world” is simply being condemned to the later “white throne… judgment [to] learn righteousness” at that later date.

So the ‘hell’ of the New Testament, translated from the word Gehenna, is a valley on the east side of Jerusalem where apostate Israel and pagans offered their children in fire to their false gods. It is used by Christ as a symbol of the fiery trials that await all who in this age resist His words and His works.

Where is ‘Hades’?

The Greek word ‘hades‘ is not associated with the fires of Gehenna in any way. The only thing the words ‘hades‘ and ‘gehenna‘ have in common is that they are both concerned with the destruction of our old man and the death of our flesh. But the only way in which ‘hades‘ is connected with the death of our old man is as the dusty grave to which all men must go, including Christ Himself:

Act 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my [Christ’s] soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Here are all the New Testament entries for this Greek word ‘Hades’, which is most often translated with the English word ‘hell’. It is the one exception to that rule which is so revealing for those who are granted eyes to see and ears to hear:

G86
ᾅδης
hadēs
Total KJV Occurrences: 11
hell, 10
Mat_11:23, Mat_16:18, Luk_10:15, Luk_16:23, Act_2:27, Act_2:31, Rev_1:18, Rev_6:8, Rev_20:13-14 (2)
grave, 1
1Co_15:55

This word is translated as ‘hell’ ten out of eleven times. So let’s look at the one time it is not translated as ‘hell’ and see if we can understand why in this one case the translators did not use the English word ‘hell’ to translate this Greek word ‘Hades’. Here it is:

1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave [Greek: ‘hades‘ – the grave], where is thy victory?

Suddenly it becomes very clear why we have this one exception. “O hell, where is your victory?” simply does not accord with the false doctrine of a place called ‘hell’ which is supposed to be housing the vast majority of mankind in eternally burning flames with no end or purpose in sight other than for God to eternally torment mankind for mistakes made in a life which He Himself calls “a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away”. That false doctrine gives this fabled ‘hell’ the victory over the vast majority of mankind, and we cannot have that being revealed by being honest and translating this words consistently as ‘hell’.

Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

So what is the ‘hell’ of the New Testament which is translated from the word ‘hades‘? It is the ‘sepulchre’ or the grave to which our Lord was taken and to which all men are destined to go except for the few who happen to be alive at the time of the return of Christ to begin His millennial rule over “the kingdoms of this world”.

Where is ‘tartaroo‘?

Of the Greek word ‘tartaroo‘, which appears only once in:

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Greek: G5020 – tartaroo], and delivered [G3860: paradidōmi] them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

This is the Wikipedia entry for this word ‘tartaroo’:

“In the New Testament, the noun Tartarus does not occur but tartaroo (ταρταρόω, “throw to Tartarus”), a shortened form of the classical Greek verb kata-tartaroo (“throw down to Tartarus”), does appear in 2 Peter 2:4.” [Emboldening is mine.]

“In the New Testament the noun Tartarus does not occur“. So this Greek word, ‘tartaroo’ is not even a noun. What that means is that the place ‘tartarus’, which is the noun from which the verb ‘tartaroo’ is taken, is not mentioned anywhere in the New Testament! ‘Tartaroo’ is a verb which the holy spirit has inspired to be used to tell us that we as messengers who have sinned, are “cast down into… chains of darkness…” which typifies the prison we have already discussed in the Old Testament book of Isaiah.

How does Peter inform us these angels that sinned are “delivered into chains  of darkness to be reserved unto judgment”? How exactly is that accomplished? We are not left to guess:

2Pe 2:3  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words [angels, ‘messengers’ that sin] make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels [Greek: messengers] that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; [Here is how that was accomplished:]
2Pe 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2Pe 2:6  And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them [those “messengers that sinned”] an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
2Pe 2:7  And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

That is how the angels that sinned were dealt with. It was all accomplished “in the days of Noah… [when] the sons of God went in unto the daughters of men instead of keeping their original estate as God chosen people before the flood of Noah.

Gen 6:2  That the sons of God [“angels that sinned”] saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Gen 6:4  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God [“angels that sinned”] came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

The timing of all of this is given us in the first epistle of Peter:

1Pe 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1Pe 3:19  By which [spirit] also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; [Just as mankind was when Christ came to this earth in a body of flesh and blood [Luk 4:18-21 and Isa 42:6-7 and Isa 61:1].
1Pe 3:20  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

All of this explains why we are informed that the only person on earth of Seth’s line who “was perfect in His generations”, was Noah, whose genealogy was not corrupted by “[going] in unto the daughters of men”.

Gen 6:9  These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

The next thing which is of utmost importance to understand is that the word ‘angel’ does not necessarily mean ‘a spirit being’. The Hebrew word ‘malak‘, which is often translated as ‘angel’, simply means ‘a messenger’. It is the context which determines whether the Hebrew word ‘malak‘ is speaking of a messenger who is a spirit being or a messenger who is a physical man as this event demonstrates:

Num 20:14  And Moses sent messengers [H4397: malak] from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:
Num 20:15  How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers:
Num 20:16  And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel [H4397: malak], and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border:

In Numbers 20:14 the Hebrew word ‘malak‘ is translated as “messengers”, but in verse 16, the exact same Hebrew word is tranlated as ‘angel’, referring to Christ Himself as the Lord’s angel who ‘brought Israel forth out of Ebypt’.

One has to believe that Christ had an immortal soul which went and preached to spirits in prison to believe that the messengers He preached to were spirit beings. That is of course not true because Christ was dead when He died, and “the dead know not anything” (Ecc 9:5).

Here is a verse in which the Greek word translated as “delivered” in 2Pe 2:4, is translated into the whole English phrase “was cast into prison”:

Mat 4:12  NowG1161 when JesusG2424 had heardG191 thatG3754 JohnG2491 was cast into prisonG3860 he departedG402 intoG1519 Galilee;G1056

Clark’s Commentary agrees with Wikipedia that ‘tartaroo’ is a verb, yet Clark’s Commentary clings to the false idea that the ‘angels that sinned’ in 2Pe 2:4, must be “applied to spirits”. I would just ask, Where is the scripture for that assumption? We have just demonstrated the fallacy of that asssumption, and we have demonstrated that the angels that sinned were the sons of Seth who married into the line of Cain “in the days of Noah” (Gen 6:2-4).

Here is Clark’s Commentary on 2Pe 2:4:

“On the whole, then, ταρταρουν, in St. Peter, is the same as ῥιπτειν ες Ταρταρον, to throw into Tartarus, in Homer, only rectifying the poet’s mistake of Tartarus being in the bowels of the earth, and recurring to the original sense of that word above explained, which when applied to spirits must be interpreted spiritually; and thus ταρταρωσας will import that God cast the apostate angels out of his presence into that ζοφος του σκοτους, blackness of darkness, (2Pe 2:17; Jud 1:13), where they will be for ever banished from the light of his countenance, and from the beatifying influence of the ever blessed Three, as truly as a person plunged into the torpid boundary of this created system would be from the light of the sun and the benign operations of the material heavens. By chains of darkness we are to understand a place of darkness and wretchedness, from which it is impossible for them to escape.”

Concerning “the beatifying influence of the ever blessed Three”, the trinity, read this article we have on that ‘trunk of the tree’ false doctrine: The Trinity.

Concerning being “forever banished” I will quote but three verses of scripture out of the dozens which could be quoted, which give the lie to that monstrous false doctrine:

2Sa 14:14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Anyone in whom Christ dwells, and anyone to whom Christ is only now approaching, will rejoice and will identify the voice of the True Shepherd of His sheep in those words which really are “good news” to all men.

So where is the New Testament ‘hell’ which is translated from the Greek verb ‘tartaroo‘? It is once again the prison of the grave to which all men are destined as prisoners even as we think we are alive, until we are called forth from these prisons of darkness into the glorious light of the kingdom of God, which will in time include every man and woman who have ever lived upon this earth.

Joh 5:28  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

Luk 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

[The next study in this series is here.]

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