Hell

Concise Bible Dictionary:

In the AV this is the translation of
1. sheol, which is often translated “grave,” and three times it is “pit.” It refers to an invisible place or state, which may have several applications, according to the connection of each passage. Korah and his company and their houses went down into “sheol” (Num. 16:3333They, 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. (Numbers 16:33)). Jonah said, “Out of the belly of ‘sheol’ cried I” (Jonah 2:22And 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. (Jonah 2:2)). “The wicked shall be turned into sheol” (Psa. 9:1717The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17)). “Let them go down quick into ‘sheol,’ for wickedness is in their dwellings” (Psa. 55:1515Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them. (Psalm 55:15); Prov. 7:2727Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:27)). But for the redemption which faith looked for “sheol” must have had to Old Testament saints the character of eternal punishment, and so finally “hades” will be cast into the lake of fire. The word also refers to the place of departed spirits. The Lord said, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in ‘sheol’” (Psa. 16:1010For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:10)). This signification corresponds with
2. ἄοης, hades, which occurs where this last passage is quoted in Acts 2:27,3127Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Acts 2:27)
31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. (Acts 2:31)
; and has the same meaning in other passages: (Matt. 11:2323And 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 11:23); Matt. 16:1818And 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. (Matthew 16:18); Luke 16:2323And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luke 16:23); Rev. 1:1818I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:18); Rev. 6:88And 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. (Revelation 6:8); Rev. 20:13-1413And 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. (Revelation 20:13‑14)).
3, γέεννα, Gehenna, the Greek equivalent for two Hebrew words, signifying “valley of Hinnom.” It was the place near Jerusalem where the Jews made their children pass through fire to heathen gods, and which was afterward defiled (2 Kings 23:1010And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. (2 Kings 23:10)). A continual fire made it a fit emblem of the place of eternal punishment (Matt. 5:22, 29-3022But 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 5:22)
29And 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 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. (Matthew 5:29‑30)
; Matt. 10:2828And 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 10:28); Matt. 18:99And 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 18:9); Matt. 23:15,3315Woe 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 23:15)
33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)
; Mark 9:43,45,4743And 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 9:43)
45And 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 9:45)
47And 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: (Mark 9:47)
; Luke 12:55But 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. (Luke 12:5); James 3:66And 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. (James 3:6)). The above named place of defilement and fire is also called in the Old Testament TOPHET or TOPHETH (2 Kings 23:1010And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. (2 Kings 23:10); Isa. 30:3333For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. (Isaiah 30:33); Jer. 19:1313And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods. (Jeremiah 19:13)).
Whatever figurative meaning there may be in the use of any of the above words, it is plain and certain from scripture that there is a place of everlasting punishment. It is awfully described as the LAKE OF FIRE, “the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 19:2020And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20); Rev. 20:10, 1510And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
; Rev. 21:88But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)). It was prepared for the devil and his angels, but into it the wicked also will be cast (Matt. 13:40, 4240As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. (Matthew 13:40)
42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:42)
; Matt. 25:4141Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41); 2 Pet. 2:44For 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; (2 Peter 2:4); Jude 66And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. (Jude 6), and others).
See ETERNAL.

From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

Hell("Ghenna" in the Greek) is the eternal abode of the damned (Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 3322But 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 5:22)
29And 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 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. (Matthew 5:29‑30)
28And 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 10:28)
9And 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 18:9)
15Woe 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 23:15)
33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)
; Mark 9:43, 45, 4743And 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 9:43)
45And 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 9:45)
47And 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: (Mark 9:47)
; Luke 12:55But 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. (Luke 12:5); James 3:66And 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. (James 3:6)). It is where the lost will be eternally punished for their sins. All persons who have their end in Hell will be consigned there alive, and thus will suffer in that place not only in their souls and spirits, but also in their bodies (Matt. 10:2828And 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 10:28); Mark 9:43-4743And 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: 44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45And 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: 46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47And 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: (Mark 9:43‑47)). This is different from the “torments” of the lost in the intermediate state in Hades (Luke 16:2323And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luke 16:23)), where suffering is in the soul and spirit, but not in the body. (Luke 16:23-2423And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (Luke 16:23‑24) mentions the lost in Hades as having eyes and a tongue—which are parts of the human body—but the Lord was referring to them symbolically. He couldn’t have been speaking of their bodies literally, because their bodies were in the grave.) (See Hades.)
The lake of fire is symbolic of Hell, the eternal place of the damned (Rev. 19:20; 20:13-1520And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20)
13And 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. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:13‑15)
). It is not a literal lake burning with fire. “Fire,” in Scripture, is a symbol of judgment. A “lake” is a place of confinement, into which water drains through various creeks and rivers and is confined there. Hence, the lake of fire is a place of confinement under the judgment of God. It is where the lost pay the price for their sins in “eternal punishment (Matt. 25:4646And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:46)). The suffering in this horrific place will be just and “according to their works (Rev. 20:1313And 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. (Revelation 20:13)). The degree of light that men have had from God will have a part in determining their actual judgment, and thus the suffering of the lost in Hell will be graduated (Luke 12:47-4847And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:47‑48)). God, being righteous and just, will not allow anyone there to suffer for something that he or she didn’t do. Since “the Judge of all the earth will only do what is right (Gen. 18:2525That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25); Heb. 12:2323To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23)), He will not allow children or mentally handicapped persons to end up in Hell—they are not accountable for their sins (Matt. 18:1010Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)).
Contrary to popular and conventional teaching, no man or devil is in Hell today. It has been “prepared for the devil and his angels,” but there is nobody there now (Matt. 25:4141Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41)). While it has been prepared specifically for the devil, sad to say, all who follow the devil will have their end there. The devil will be one of the last creatures to be put there at the end of time (Rev. 20:1010And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)).
There are at least four different groups of persons who will be cast into Hell, on four different occasions:
Firstly, at the Appearing of Christ, which will occur after the Great Tribulation, the “angels” of God will go throughout “the kingdom of the heavens”—the realm on earth that has professed the rule of the heavens (Christendom) and will cast all unbelievers into Hell, the lake of fire (Matt. 13:41-42; 22:13; 24:36-41; 25:3041The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:41‑42)
13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 22:13)
36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Matthew 24:36‑41)
30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)
). These persons will be merely professing believers who have abandoned their professed faith in God (apostates), atheists, etc. The work of the angels at that time will be to cleanse the kingdom of the heavens of the mixture of believers and unbelievers that has existed for centuries. Those who have believed the gospel of the kingdom that will be preached in the Tribulation period, and those who have not shown animosity against it, will be left on earth to enter the millennial kingdom of Christ. Those whom the angels cast into Hell at this time are the most responsible persons in the world for they have had the greatest degree of light from God—having known the gospel of His grace but have rejected it (Luke 12:47-4847And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:47‑48)). They do not die, but are cast alive into Hell. The first persons in this group will be the Beast and the Antichrist (Rev. 19:2020And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20)). This is a judgment of the living within the prophetic earth.
(The soldiers in the armies who attack the land of Israel after the Lord appears will be killed in the judgments of the Lord – Jeremiah 25:3333And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. (Jeremiah 25:33); Ezekiel 39:11-1211And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog. 12And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. (Ezekiel 39:11‑12). They are not cast into the lake of fire at that time, but having been killed, their souls and spirits will suffer in Hades. They will be resurrected later at “the great white throne and then cast into Hell. Also, those who are judged every morning during the millennial kingdom of Christ for evil-doing will also die and will be raised at “the great white throne” judgment (Psalm 101:88I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord. (Psalm 101:8); Zechariah 5:1-41Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. 2And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. 3Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. 4I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof. (Zechariah 5:1‑4)“cut off” refers to death).
Secondly, after the warrior judgments of the Lord are executed on the armies that will gather to battle at His Appearing, the Lord will establish “the throne of His glory on earth and will carry out a sessional judgment of the nations that are outside the prophetic earth (Matt. 25:31-4631When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:31‑46)). The Lord will have His “holy angels” with Him and they will act as His executors in this judgment on those nations that will show animosity to the messengers of the gospel of the kingdom. The individuals in these nations will be consigned straight to everlasting fire” (Hell) without dying.
Fourthly, the second resurrection, which is a “resurrection of damnation(John 5:2929And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:29); Acts 24:1515And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. (Acts 24:15); Rev. 20:55But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:5)), will take place at that same time (Rev. 20:11-1511And 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. 12And 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. 13And 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. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11‑15)). Unbelievers who have died in their sins throughout the long range of time, who are presently in “torments” in Hades (Luke 16:2323And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luke 16:23)), will be resurrected to stand before “the great white throne” and to be judged according to their sins. These will also be cast alive into Hell, the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-1511And 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. 12And 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. 13And 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. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11‑15)).