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Greek: ᾍδης —transliteration: hadés —meaning: the abode of departed souls

This Greek word is equivalent to the Hebrew sheol.

In Old Testament times (before Christ’s atonement for sin and resurrection from death), all the dead went into Hades (sheol).

Henry M. Morris explains,

“This is not the ultimate hell (Greek: gehenna) referred to in Matthew 10:28, the same as the “lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Hades is another compartment in the pit… where the spirits of the unsaved dead are confined until the day of judgment. They were not set free when Christ freed the spirits of the faithful, but are still there.” —Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Defenders Study Bible

Hades is mentioned in these verses…

  • Matt. 16:18 NKJV— “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
  • Luke 10:15 NKJV and Matt. 11:23 NKJV— “…Capernaum…will be brought down to Hades…”
  • Luke 16:23 NKJV— “…torments in Hades…”

    In Christ’s parable (not a literal event) in Luke 16, He said,

    “And being in torments in Hades, he [the rich man] lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom” —NKJV

    Henry Morris explains,

    “Although the two compartments [of Hades] were impassable and separate from each other, they were within the range of mutual sight and sound. This also reveals that disembodied spirits are somehow still recognizable and capable of inter-communication, even though such phenomena are presently beyond our limited understanding.” —Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Defenders Study Bible

  • Acts 2:27 NKJV, speaking of Christ— “…You will not leave my soul in Hades…”

    “In Acts 2:27-31 Peter quotes the Septuagint version of Psalm 16:8-11, plainly for the purpose of proving our Lord’s resurrection from the dead. David was left in the place of the dead, and his body saw corruption. Not so with Christ. According to ancient prophecy (Psalm 30:3) he was recalled to life.” —Matthew G. Easton

  • Acts 2:31 NKJV, speaking of Christ— “…His soul was not left in Hades…”
  • 1 Cor. 15:55 NKJV— “…O Hades, where is your victory?”
  • Rev. 1:18 NKJV— keys of Hades
  • Rev. 6:8 NKJV— “…behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth”…
  • Rev. 20:13 NKJV— “…Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them…”
  • Rev. 20:14 NKJV— “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

“The keys of Hades”

…“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” —Revelation 1:17-18 NASB excerpt

Henry M. Morris writes,

“Philosophers and occult religionists are always searching for the keys to life and death, but only Christ has them. ‘Hell’ [in the King James Version of Rev. 1:18] is actually ‘Hades,’ the abode of departed souls… . When Christ died, His spirit descended into Hades, proclaiming victory to the evil spirits incarcerated there, then returned with the souls of those who had died in faith… The unsaved dead will be delivered up from Hades for judgment at the great white throne (Revelation 20:13).” —Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Defenders Study Bible


Article Version: October 2, 2019