Skip to comments.What is the Difference between Sheol, Hades, and Gehennah?
Posted on 10/20/2010 5:23:03 PM PDT by wmfights
This month I would like to explain the difference between the immediate state of the dead (what happens after death) and the ultimate destiny of the human race (Lake or Fire or New Jerusalem).
In the Bible, various words are used to describe the state of the dead. The terms Sheol, in the Hebrew Bible, and Hades, in the Green New Testament, are EQUIVALENT. This is very important to understand. They mean the same thing-the place of Departed Spirits! In Psalm 16:10, we read these words of David:
For thou (YHVH) will not leave me soul in Hell (Sheol)
neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one (Jesus) to see
corruption. Psalm 16:10
David says that GOD will not leave his soul in SHEOL. Sheol is the PLACE OF DEPARTED SPIRITS. Prior to the resurrection of Christ, Sheol was under the earth and had TWO COMPARTMENTS (Luke 16:22-24).
The verse that we quoted in Psalm 16 is REPEATED in the New Testament. In Acts 2:27, Peter quoted from Psalm 16. When we read the word hell it is really HADES (in Greek). Thus HADES and SHEOL are EQUIVALENT.
Prior to Christ, everyone went to SHEOL. No one went directly to heaven except Elijah and Enoch. Even Christ went to SHEOL, for the Scripture says, He (Christ) also DESCENDED first into the lower parts of the earth (Ephesians 4:9). We must understand that Christ and the righteous dead of the Old Testament went to the UPPER COMPARTMENT of Sheol, which is called PARADISE, or Abrahams bosom. The unrighteous dead (i.e. the rich man in Luke 16, etc.) went to the LOWER COMPARTMENT of Sheol.
When Christ died on the cross, he told the thief, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43). He took this man to paradise, or Upper Sheol. Some churches have creeds that state that Christ DESCENDED INTO HELL. This is actually HADES (SHEOL). After His resurrection, He emptied Upper Sheol (Paradise) and took the righteous dead to heaven (Ephesians 4:8). Only LOWER SHEOL remains in the earth and is the destination for the lost. LOWER SHEOL will be emptied into the LAKE OF FIRE (GEHENNAH) at the final judgment (Revelation 21:14).
And death and HADES were cast into the LAKE OF
FIRE (Revelation 21:14).
The term GEHENNAH is different from SHEOL (Hades), for it refers to the FINAL ABODE of the unrighteous dead. One place where it is used is Matthew 5:22: Thou fool, shall be in danger of GEHENNA fire. The confusion comes because GEHENNA is also translated hell in the King James Bible. GEHENNA IS NOT SHEOL but the FINAL JUDGMENT, which is often called the Second Death! (Revelation 21:14-15).
Between UPPER and LOWER Sheol, there was a great gulf or some kind of division (Luke 16). The righteous dead went to the upper compartment
Often I ask of my Christian breathern, “Who do you hate so badly that you do not want them to even have a chance at heaven?” To which the normal reply is “no one”.
Then why have you not told them about Christ? If you truely beleive in the scriptures, and you know in your heart that Christ is the way to salvation.... how can you NOT tell someone? Can’t you have enough compasion to just offer them the chance to come to church to hear a message?
Wow, this is quite timely. I’ve been doing some research for my own interest. From what I can gather, Sheol and Hades is basically an abode for the dead. Not ethically or morally based.
Gehenna, on the other hand is where people/souls pay for sins they have committed.
only two are towns in Ohio
Well, not exactly. As the article correctly states, there was a place for the unrighteous (unbelieving) dead and a place for the righteous (believing) dead.
We see this clearly in the story Jesus told about Lazarus and the rich man. The believing side of Sheol is referred to there as "Abraham's Bosom."
"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day; and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table; moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried: and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And 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. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you, cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
"Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."
Yes. It's the eternal Lake of Fire described in the book of Revelation.
Good article. Right on the mark.
Gehenna was the garbage dump outside Jerusalem obviously this is what we think of as hell where you burn the refuse. Sheol was were Jesus descended to preach to the prisoners 1 Peter 3:19 or so and relates also to the apostles creed and you can throw Eph 4:8-10 and Psalm 68:18 into that thought and Hades is where you go if you vote democrat. Hell we don’t know and neither does anyone else for sure.
“David says that GOD will not leave his soul in SHEOL. Sheol is the PLACE OF DEPARTED SPIRITS. Prior to the resurrection of Christ, Sheol was under the earth and had TWO COMPARTMENTS (Luke 16:22-24).”
David says his soul, not his spirit and the Scriptures make a distinction between the two at Heb. 4:12,
“For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
In speaking of those who ascended to heaven John said only Christ had (John 3:13) and indeed Elijah didn't die and go to heaven as he was alive and well, some time later writing as a prophet. (2 Chron. 21:12-15)
But what of the rich man and Lazarus of Luke 16?
Jesus was speaking a parable that involved the Pharisees, who were listening closely. They were money lovers (Luke 16:14) and considered themselves the spiritual heirs of Abraham, “father Abraham”, (John 8:39), and having as a Father; God. (John 8:41)
But the group that like the man Lazarus, poor and diseased and counting on the little crumbs of spiritual food from the religious leaders tables, end up in a position of favor, “in the bosom position”, with Abraham in the parable.
The Pharisees considered anyone who put faith in Christ ignorant of the Law and cursed,
“Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him ?
But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.”
So this parable was about the attitude of the Pharisees and how a change of fortunes was going to occur and expose them for what they were in God's sight.
I would add more but I have to go now.
This is what got me interested in looking at this topic. It also gives a clearer understanding of:
Matt. 16:18 ...and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
IOW, the gates of Hades can not stop Christ from going in and taking His people home.
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1) Paradise or Abraham’s Bosom for all OT believers. (Hades)
2) a Great Gulf Fixed between 1) & 3)
3) The Torments, for all OT and NT unbelievers after death until the Great White Throne Judgment. (Hades)
4) Tartarus, or a place where demons are chained in thick darkness until the Judgment on the Great Day, where then they will be sent to the Lake of Fire. (Hades)
5) The Abyss or bottomless pit, where the great demon Apollyon also is chained until the Great Tribulation.
The ultimate misunderstanding in the Christian faith is the timing of when we are saved. If we were to ask 10 Christians when a person is saved we would get 10 totally different answers. But there is one truth which Ihttp://antinomianism-salvation.blogspot.com/p/when-are-you-saved wrote here.
The ultimate misunderstanding in the Christian faith is the timing of when we are saved. If we were to ask 10 Christians when a person is saved we would get 10 totally different answers. But there is one truth which I wrote here — http://antinomianism-salvation.blogspot.com/p/when-are-you-saved
Excellent article. Things changed at the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Old Testament upper Sheol is where the Catholics get the errant idea of Purgatory.
All we have to do is remember:
2Cor. 5:6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord...(8)...to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.