Hell - derived from the Saxon helan, to cover; hence the covered or the unseen place. In Scripture there are three words so rendered:
(1.) Sheol, occurring in the Old Testament sixty-five times. This word sheol is derived from a root-word meaning "to ask," "demand;" hence insatiableness (Prov. 30:15, 16). It is rendered "grave" thirty-one times (Gen. 37:35; 42:38; 44:29, 31; 1 Sam. 2:6, etc.). The Revisers have retained this rendering in the historical books with the original word in the margin, while in the poetical books they have reversed this rule.
In thirty-one cases in the Authorized Version this word is rendered "hell". The New International Version consistently translates the word "the grave".
Sheol is often figuratively spoken of as deep (Job 11:8), dark (10:21, 22), with bars (17:16).
(2.) The Greek word hades of the New Testament has the same scope of signification as sheol of the Old Testament.
(3.) Gehenna was a physical geographical landmark located outside and to the south of the city of Jerusalem. Translated, it means "the valley of the son of Hinnom." It was used as a symbol by Jesus of a place of future judgment (Matt. 23:33). (See also HINNOM .)
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