by Alan Horvath | AlanHorvath.com
In the First Covenant, Sheol (generally translated as hell or the grave) is a place where everyone expected to go when they died - the righteous and unrighteous alike - and is located in the center of the earth.
Hell / The Pit / Abaddon / Appolyon
"Hell" is an English word which has a tutonic root meaning to hide or to cover. Most English translations of the Scriptures use this singular term in place of Sheol (Aramaic/Hebrew) or Hades (Greek) ... however, both sheol and hades have no singular definition in the Scriptures. Therefore, the word hell, as an English translation of the original texts of The Father's Word, is incorrect - except when it is referring to Abaddon or The Pit (see below).
Sheol or Hades are both defined in The Father's Word as a temporary holding place for those who have died. Sheol/Hades, prior to our Messiah being raised from the dead, had two sides to it - a place for the righteous (believers), known as Abraham's Bosom ... and a place, far more dreadful, for the unrighteous (unbelievers), known as Hell, Abaddon or The Pit ... this "bad side" of Sheol also contains two deeper sections known as The Abyss and Tartarus.
Prior to our Messiah being raised from the dead, there was a great chasm between these two areas of Sheol or Hades which was uncrossable and separated the righteous from the unrighteous - see Luke 16:22-26 ... and it is important to note that it is also a place of consciousness - the dead are not asleep or unconscious - see Isaiah 14:9-10.
Note: When The Father's Word describes those on the unrighteous side of Sheol, it uses an Aramaic/Hebrew term which means "shades" ... nondescript beings in a place of judgment, with a total absence of righteousness and complete separation from Elohim (the Father, the Son, and His Spirit).
Hell, The Pit, Abaddon (Aramaic/Hebrew) and Appolyon (Greek) are terms which refer to a place reserved for the unrighteous (unbelievers) - unsaved humans only - not for fallen messengers (angels) aka Nephilim.
The Greek word Abyss means The Netherworld or Bottomless and is associated only with fallen messengers (angels) aka Nephilim, and with demons, and with the Lawless One (antichrist) - it is never associated with human beings.
Sheol, Hades, Hell, The Pit, Abaddon, Appolyon, and the Abyss are all places of temporary
There is a permanent place of confinement called Tartarus. This Greek term, mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4, is translated most inappropriately as hell. Nevertheless, the original text reads Tartarus and defines a place reserved only for fallen messengers (angels) aka Nephilim in connection with the Great Flood - see Genesis 6:1-2 and also Jude 6 & 7. These fallen messengers will go directly from Tartarus to the Outer Darkness, aka Gehenna or The Lake of Fire as mentioned in Revelation 20:14.
The Outer Darkness / Gehenna / The Lake of Fire
The Greek terms Gehenna and Lake of Fire are synonymous and are also known as the Outer Darkness. This is a place which is completely void of hope ... i.e. total and complete separation from Elohim.
The Location of Those Who Have Died
The term Gehenna is derived from two Aramaic/Hebrew words - gei (say gay) and hinnom (say hee-nome) - meaning the Valley of Hinnom which is a valley outside the south and west walls of Jerusalem. It was a place where kings practiced human sacrifice ... a place for the burning of human beings ... thus, the mention of burning or fire usually associated with Gehenna. Gehenna is the permanent, final and eternal abode of lost souls and bodies; of lost messengers and humans; the Book of Revelation tells us that Death (referring to the body) and Hades (referring to the soul) are finally cast into the Lake of Fire; Gehenna; the Outer Darkness.
The unrighteous (unbelievers) go to Sheol/Hades ... which has always been, and still is, located in the bowels of the earth.
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All unbelievers who have died will remain in Sheol/Hades until the end of the Millennium when they will be removed from that temporary holding place - see Revelation 20:11-15. This is known as the Second Resurrection. At this point, Sheol/Hades will be eliminated and all unbelievers will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment on what is commonly known as Judgment Day. The Judgment is to determine the degree of punishment which will be assigned to each soul ... forever - see Revelation 14:11. After the Judgment, all unbelievers will be cast into the Lake of Fire; Gehenna; the Outer Darkness ... forever. This is also known as the Second Death ... the First Death being physical separation of soul from body and the Second Death being spiritual separation of soul from Elohim - see Daniel 12:2 and Revelation 2:11, 20:14 & 21:8.