1. Introduction

A few weeks ago I wrote that the saints who died before Jesus did not go to prison. In order to support that statement, I used the reference from 1 Pet 3: which clearly states who he did preach to. The following link will help us to recap and follow the trend of thought.


Following up on an idea that I had, I did a review of the word hell in scripture. I suspect that the belief that hell was an abode for the saints  who died before the Lord may have stemmed from a global application of the word rather than a careful review of its usage. 

2. What is hell? It is a place of destruction

  • prepared for the devil and his angels AND ALSO
  • reserved for the spirits of dead people who did  not obey  God in their lifetimes
  •  where their worm does not die and the fire is never put out. Jesus spoke of “their worm”  in Mark 9: 44, 46 and 48. Skolaks is the Greek word for worm and refers to a worm   which preys upon dead bodies, symbolizing the unending, destructive nature of the  torment (blueletterbible.org). I once  had a vision of serpents waiting to torment some   witches who had died.  I  have seen  that there are other forms of terrible torments in hell. Revelation 9 refers to terrible  locusts arising out of the bottomless pit. They sting like scorpions. Can you imagine the results? These locusts have a king called Abaddon or Apollyon, meaning he is the king of  destruction.
  •  called a prison because demons are bound there in chains forever (Jude 1: 6). Satan will one day be bound in chains and locked in there. It is a maximum security prison for the most dangerous criminal of all times  (Rev 20: 1-2)
  • which  is also called a prison because God holds the key (Rev 9: 1-2; Rev 20: 1-2))
  • located in the lower parts of the earth
  • called the abyssos or bottomless pit
  • and bitter regrets and memories
  • that is dark and gloomy (2 Pet 2: 4)
  • that is a bottomless pit
  • torment and of fire


3. Biblical usage of the word “hell”

I used blueletterbible.com and did a word search on hell. The first verse that came up was Deuteronomy 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.”

I then clicked on the word hell and found that it was translated “sheol” in the  Old Testament


My next action was to follow the link for the word “sheol”. Please follow the  link with me: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7585&t=KJV

You will  see that Sheol is used in several ways:

  • Grave – e.g. Genesis 37: 35; 42: 38; 44: 29; 44: 31

In this context, references were made to Jacob mourning for his sons Joseph and Benjamin all his life until the point of  his burial in the physical grave/sheol.  There are other    references whose usage  give the gist of  hell or sheol being the physical grave where people are buried after they die.

  • Pit –  e.g. Numbers 16: 30, 33

Korah, Dathan and Abiram had rebelled against Apostle Moses who became angry and declared that the earth would swallow them up and that they would go down quickly into the pit/sheol.  Just as he said, the earth opened and swallowed them and all that was related to and belonged to them. They went down into the pit, which seems to be a physical pit in the earth. It seems also that they went down immediately into hell for rebelling against the Lord.

  • Hell – Deuteronomy 32: 22

This appears to refer directly to the bottomless pit itself, because Moses talked in this verse about “the lowest hell“.  Hell does have depths because it is the abyssos, the bottomless pit or the deep(Lk 8: 31; Rom 10: 7). I wonder if there are depths of hell that are specially reserved. Jesus told that God would bear a little more with Sodom and Gomorrah and Tyre on the day of judgement than with the cities which would reject the preaching of the kingdom of God. Would the unbelieving Jews receive a hotter, darker portion of hell? I don’t know yet.

Is it possible for fires to burn inside the earth and to set it on fire? Yes. An active  volcano which erupts is a classical example. What about a pitch lake or hot springs? Hell is like a giant everlasting, active volcano and pitch lake. Read Apostle John’s revelation  of hell’s inferno:

And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit  (Rev 9: 2).

According to Psalm 9: 17, hell or the bottomless pit is the destiny of  the wicked and the nations that forget God. The psalmist could not have been referring to the physical grave since the righteous also die, yet they do not forget God like the wicked.

Some of us might be asking what David meant  in Psalm 16: 10 when he said “… thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”

Are we in trouble? Let’s see. More to come! Blessings