Thursday, February 15, 2024


Every once in a while the topic of "hell" comes up in a conversation, with some insisting "there is no such place," or attempting to describe it via their own opinions. Many have even tried to tell me that "hell" is simply a Christian idea which cannot be found in the Tanach (Old Testament).

If that's true, then what do we do about passages such as these?

Ezekiel 26:19 "For here is what Adonai ELOHIM says: 'When I make you a ruined city, like other uninhabited cities; when I bring the deep sea over you, and its mighty waters cover you; 20 then I will bring you down with those who descend to the pit, to the people of long ago, and make you live in underworld places like those who were ruined long ago, with those who descend to the pit, so that you will be uninhabited when I give glory to the land of the living. 21 I will make you horrible; you will cease to exist. People will seek you but never more find you,' says Adonai ELOHIM." (CJB)

There is no specific mention in Torah of "Hell", but Old Testament prophets repeatedly speak of a time when YHWH would have His "day" ("The Day of ADONAI") - a day of justice in which He would express His anger toward sin and visit judgment on sinners. (See Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi. 4:5).

Daniel 12:2 Many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and abhorrence. (CJB)

"Shame and abhorrence" are NOT what people in "heaven" experience!

What we can know for sure is that "Hell" seems to be "eternal separation from God, where one simply no longer exists." For instance, in Numbers 16, Korach and his entire family and all those who had sided with him against Moshe (Moses) were swallowed up into the earth alive.

Numbers 16:30 But if ADONAI does something new - if the ground opens up and swallows them with everything they own, and they go down alive to Sh'ol - then you will understand that these men have had contempt for ADONAI." 31 The moment he finished speaking, the ground under them split apart - 32 the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all the people who had sided with Korach and everything they owned. 33 So they and everything they owned went down alive into Sh'ol, the earth closed over them and their existence in the community ceased. (CJB)

The New Testament makes many references to "Hell" throughout its pages. "Hell" is:

(1) A place of physical agony, mental suffering, loneliness and emotional sorrow. Yeshua described it as a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.(Jude 6; Matt 8:12; Matt 13:42, 50; Matt 25:30;).

(2) A place of insecurity and fear. The Bible describes it as a bottomless pit, an abyss. (Revelation 20:1).

(3) A place of instability. It is described as a lake of fire. Hell is a place where every moment is lived in uncertainty (Matthew 5:21-23; Revelation 20:15).

(4) A pit of darkness; totally devoid of light. It is pitch black in hell; there's nothing to distract people from their suffering, sorrow, fears, insecurities, and instability. (2 Peter 3-5).

(5) A place of dissatisfaction. Yeshua described it as a fire; a fiery furnace. It may be a literal fire that creates a physical sensation of burning or just an overwhelming yearning for God, for love, for joy, for peace, for life that will never be. (Matthew 5:22; Matt 13:42 and 50; Matt 18:8-9; Matt 25:41; Mark 9:43, 47-48) .

(6) A place of eternal separation from YHWH. Each person who "goes to hell" will be separated forever from the source of life, the heart of love, the very One for Whom they were created.

(7) Hell is a place where your soul will be destroyed (Matthew 7:23 and 10:27-29). And since the soul/nephesh can die (Ezekiel 18:4, etc.) you will no longer exist - which seems to suggest there is eternal punishMENT, but not eternal punishING!

The bottom line is: Hell MAY OR MAY NOT BE a real "place"! We simply can't know for sure. What we DO know is that those who are rejected "in Heaven" (wherever that might be - either in another dimension or even right here on earth - Revelation 21:1-4) will end up "ceasing to exist"... which will certainly feel like "eternal punishment" to those who are rejected, in the moments before they are "separated from God!"

Regardless, here are some more examples describing "hell":

Matthew 11:23 - 23. And you Capurnakhum which has been raised to heaven will be brought down to Sheol (grave, or pit)....

Luke 16:23 - 23. And while he was tormented in Sheol, he lifted up his eyes and gazed from afar upon Awraham and upon Lazar at his bosom....

Numbers 16:31-33 - ...the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened up and swallowed the men...So they went down alive into [the grave]....

Matthew 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 13:3...unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

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