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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ha'-dez (Haides, haides, "not to be seen"): Hades, Greek originally Haidou, in genitive, "the house of Hades," then, as nominative, designation of the abode of the dead itself. The word occurs in the New Testament in Matthew 11:23 (parallel Luke 10:15); Matthew 16:18 Luke 16:23 Acts 2:27, 31 Revelation 1:18; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 20:13. It is also found in Textus Receptus of the New Testament 1 Corinthians 15:55, but here the correct reading (Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, the Revised Version (British and American)) is probably Thanate, "O Death," instead of Haide, "O Hades." the King James Version renders "Hades" by "hell" in all instances except 1 Corinthians 15:55, where it puts "grave" (margin "hell") in dependence on Hosea 13:14. the Revised Version (British and American) everywhere has "Hades."

1. In Old Testament: Sheol:

In the Septuagint Hades is the standing equivalent for Sheol, but also translates other terms associated with death and the state after it. The Greek conception of Hades was that of a locality receiving into itself all the dead, but divided into two regions, one a place of torment, the other of blessedness. This conception should not be rashly transferred to the New Testament, for the latter stands not under the influence of Greek pagan belief, but gives a teaching and reflects a belief which model their idea of Hades upon the Old Testament through the Septuagint. The Old Testament Sheol, while formally resembling the Greek Hades in that it is the common receptacle of all the dead, differs from it, on the one hand, by the absence of a clearly defined division into two parts, and, on the other hand, by the emphasis placed on its association with death and the grave as abnormal facts following in the wake of sin. The Old Testament thus concentrates the partial light it throws on the state after death on the negative, undesirable side of the prospect apart from redemption. When in the progress of Old Testament revelation the state after death begins to assume more definite features, and becomes more sharply differentiated in dependence on the religious and moral issue of the present life this is not accomplished in the canonical writings (otherwise in the apocalyptic literature) by dividing Sheol into two compartments, but by holding forth to the righteous the promise of deliverance from Sheol, so that the latter becomes more definitely outlined as a place of evil and punishment.

2. In the New Testament: Hades:

The New Testament passages mark a distinct stage in this process, and there is, accordingly, a true basis in Scripture for the identification in a certain aspect of Sheol-Hades-with hell as reflected in the King James Version. The theory according to which Hades is still in the New Testament the undifferentiated provisional abode of all the dead until the day of judgment, with the possibility of ultimate salvation even for those of its inmates who have not been saved in this life, is neither in harmony with the above development nor borne out by the facts of New Testament usage. That dead believers abide in a local Hades cannot be proven from 1 Thessalonians 4:16 1 Corinthians 15:23, for these passages refer to the grave and the body, not to a gathering-place of the dead. On the other hand Luke 23:43 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23 Revelation 6:9; Revelation 7:9; 15:2 teach that the abode of believers immediately after death is with Christ and God.

3. Acts 2:27, 31:

It is, of course, a different matter, when Hades, as not infrequently already the Old Testament Sheol, designates not the place of the dead but the state of death or disembodied existence. In this sense even the soul of Jesus was in Hades according' to Peter's statement (Acts 2:27, 31 Psalm 16:10). Here the abstract sense is determined by the parallel expression, "to see corruption" None the less from a comparatively early date this passage has been quoted in support of the doctrine of a local descent of Christ into Hades.

4. Revelation 20:13; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 1:18:

The same abstract meaning is indicated for Revelation 20:13. Death and Hades are here represented as delivering up the dead on the eve of the final judgment. If this is more than a poetic duplication of terms, Hades will stand for the personified state of death, Death for the personified cause of this state. The personification appears plainly from 20:14: "Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire." In the number of these "dead" delivered up by Hades, believers are included, because, even on the chiliastic interpretation of 20:4-6, not all the saints share in the first resurrection, but only those "beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God," i.e. the martyrs. A similar personifying combination of Death and Hades occurs in Revelation 6:8 ("a pale horse: and he that sat upon him his name was Death; and Hades followed with him"). In Revelation 1:18, on the other hand, Death and Hades are represented as prisons from which Christ, in virtue of His own resurrection, has the power to deliver, a representation which again implies that in some, not necessarily local, sense believers also are kept in Hades.

5. Luke 16:23:

In distinction from these passages when the abstract meaning prevails and the local conception is in abeyance, the remaining references are more or less locally conceived. Of these Luke 16:23 is the only one which might seem to teach that recipients of salvation enter after death into Hades as a place of abode. It has been held that Hades is here the comprehensive designation of the locality where the dead reside, and is divided into two regions, "the bosom of Abraham" and the place of torment, a representation for which Jewish parallels can be quoted, aside from its resemblance to the Greek bisection of Hades. Against this view, however, it may be urged, that if "the bosom of Abraham" were conceived as one of the two divisions of Hades, the other division would have been named with equal concreteness in connection with Dives. In point of fact, the distinction is not between "the bosom of Abraham" and another place, as both included in Hades, but between "the bosom of Abraham" and Hades as antithetical and exclusive. The very form of the description of the experience of Dives: "In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments," leads us to associate Hades as such with pain and punishment. The passage, therefore, does not prove that the saved are after death in Hades. In further estimating its bearing upon the problem of the local conditions of the disembodied life after death, the parabolic character of the representation must be taken into account. The parable is certainly not intended to give us topographical information about the realm of the dead, although it presupposes that there is a distinct place of abode for the righteous and wicked respectively.

6. Matthew 11:23:

The two other passages where Hades occurs in the teaching of our Lord (Matthew 11:23 parallel Luke 10:15; and Matthew 16:18) make a metaphorical use of the conception, which, however, is based on the local sense. In the former utterance it is predicted of Capernaum that it shall in punishment for its unbelief "go down unto Hades." As in the Old Testament Sheol is a figure for the greatest depths known (Deuteronomy 32:22 Isaiah 7:11; Isaiah 57:9 Job 11:8; Job 26:6), this seems to be a figure for the extreme of humiliation to which that city was to be reduced in the course of history. It is true, 11:24, with its mention of the day of judgment, might seem to favor an eschatological reference to the ultimate doom of the unbelieving inhabitants, but the usual restriction of Hades to the punishment of the intermediate state (see below) is against this.

7. Matthew 16:18:

In the other passage, Matthew 16:18, Jesus declares that the gates of Hades shall not katischuein the church He intends to build. The verb katischuein may be rendered, "to overpower" or "to surpass." If the former be adopted, the figure implied is that of Hades as a stronghold of the power of evil or death from which warriors stream forth to assail the church as the realm of life. On the other rendering there is no reference to any conflict between Hades and the church, the point of comparison being merely the strength of the church, the gates of Hades, i.e. the realm of death, serving in common parlance as a figure of the greatest conceivable strength, because they never allow to escape what has once entered through them.

The above survey of the passages tends to show that Hades, where it is locally conceived, is not a provisional receptacle for all the dead, but plainly associated with the punishment of the wicked. Where it comes under consideration for the righteous there is nothing to indicate a local sense. On 1 Peter 3:19; 1 Peter 4:6 (where, however, the word "Hades" does not occur), see articles ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; SPIRITS IN PRISON.

8. Not a Final State:

The element of truth in theory of the provisional character of Hades lies in this, that the New Testament never employs it in connection with the final state of punishment, as subsequent to the last judgment. For this GEHENNA (which see) and other terms are used. Dives is represented as being in Hades immediately after his death and while his brethren are still in this present life. Whether the implied differentiation between stages of punishment, depending obviously on the difference between the disembodied and reembodied state of the lost, also carries with itself a distinction between two places of punishment, in other words whether Hades and Gehenna are locally distinct, the evidence is scarcely sufficient to determine. The New Testament places the emphasis on the eschatological developments at the end, and leaves many things connected with the intermediate state in darkness.

Geerhardus Vos

86. hades -- Hades, the abode of departed spirits
... 85, 86. hades. 87 . Hades, the abode of departed spirits. Part of Speech:
Noun, Masculine Transliteration: hades Phonetic Spelling ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/86.htm - 7k

2737. katoteros -- lower
... lower. Comparative from kato; inferior (locally, of Hades) -- lower. see GREEK kato.
(katotera) -- 1 Occurrence. 2736, 2737. katoteros. 2737a . ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2737.htm - 5k

5020. tartaroo -- to cast into hell
... cast into hell. From Tartaros (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal
torment -- cast down to hell. (tartarosas) -- 1 Occurrence. 5019, 5020. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5020.htm - 7k

Strong's Hebrew
4194. maveth -- death
... From muwth; death (natural or violent); concretely, the dead, their place or state
(hades); figuratively, pestilence, ruin -- (be) dead((-ly)), death, die(-d). ...
/hebrew/4194.htm - 6k

7585. sheol -- underworld (place to which people descend at death)
... Or shol {sheh-ole'}; from sha'al; Hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean
retreat), including its accessories and inmates -- grave, hell, pit. ...
/hebrew/7585.htm - 6k

9. abedah -- a lost thing
... lost. From 'abad; concrete, something lost; abstract, destruction, ie Hades -- lost.
Compare 'abaddoh. see HEBREW 'abad. see HEBREW 'abaddoh. 8, 9. abedah. 10 ...
/hebrew/9.htm - 6k

11. abaddon -- (place of) destruction or ruin, Abaddon
... destruction. Intensive from 'abad; abstract, a perishing; concrete, Hades --
destruction. see HEBREW 'abad. 10, 11. abaddon. 12 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/11.htm - 6k


Discourse to The Greeks Concerning Hades
Discourse to The Greeks Concerning Hades. <. Discourse to The Greeks Concerning
Hades Flavius Josephus. Produced by David Reed Table of Contents. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/josephus/discourse to the greeks concerning hades/

The "Gates of Hades" and the "Gates of Zion" Contrasted.
... Book XII. 13. The "Gates of Hades" And the "Gates of Zion" Contrasted.
In this place, then, the gates of Hades are spoken of; but ...
/.../origen/origens commentary on the gospel of matthew/13 the gates of hades.htm

When Hades Held the Lord of Life,
... EASTER When Hades held the Lord of Life,. 8,8,8,8 tr., John Brownlie. I. When Hades
held the Lord of Life,. The boast of sin was vaunting high; ...
/.../brownlie/hymns from the east/when hades held the lord.htm

To-Day the Groans of Hades Rise, --
... To-day the groans of Hades rise,". tr., John Brownlie 8,6,8,6,8,6,8,6,8,8. Semeron
ho Hades stenon boa. (stichera idiomela of the Holy and Great Sabbath). I. ...
/.../brownlie/hymns of the greek church/to-day the groans of hades.htm

I See! the Gates of Hades Shaken;
... EASTER I See! the gates of hades shaken; 8,7,8,7,8,8 'Epi tes theias phulakes. ...
See! the gates of hades shaken; Burst asunder is the prison; ...
/.../brownlie/hymns of the russian church/i see the gates of.htm

While Satan and Hades were Thus Speaking to Each Other...
... While Satan and Hades were thus speaking to each other� ... [1943] When Hades heard,
he said to Satan: Go forth, if thou art able, and withstand him. ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 5 21 while satan.htm

Concerning the Descent to Hades.
... Book III. Chapter XXIX."Concerning the Descent to Hades. The soul [2245]
when it was deified descended into Hades, in order that ...
/.../exposition of the orthodox faith/chapter xxix concerning the descent to.htm

Then Satan Said to Hades: Make Thyself Ready to Receive Him whom I ...
... Part II."Christ's Descent into Hell. Latin. Second Version. Chapter 3 (19). Then
Satan said to Hades: Make thyself ready to receive him whom I shall bring� ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 3 19 then satan.htm

While Hades was Thus Discoursing to Satan, the King of Glory ...
... Part II."The Descent of Christ into Hell. Greek Form. Chapter 8 (24). While Hades
was thus discoursing to Satan, the King of glory stretched out His right� ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 8 24 while hades.htm

And, Behold, Suddenly Hades Trembled, and the Gates of Death and ...
... Latin. Second Version. Chapter 8 (24). And, behold, suddenly Hades trembled,
and the gates of death and the bolts were shattered� ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 8 24 and behold.htm

Smith's Bible Dictionary

in Revised Version. [See HELL]

Easton's Bible Dictionary
That which is out of sight, a Greek word used to denote the state or place of the dead. All the dead alike go into this place. To be buried, to go down to the grave, to descend into hades, are equivalent expressions. In the LXX. this word is the usual rendering of the Hebrew sheol, the common receptacle of the departed (Genesis 42:38; Psalm 139:8; Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 14:9). This term is of comparatively rare occurrence in the Greek New Testament. Our Lord speaks of Capernaum as being "brought down to hell" (hades), i.e., simply to the lowest debasement, (Matthew 11:23). It is contemplated as a kind of kingdom which could never overturn the foundation of Christ's kingdom (16:18), i.e., Christ's church can never die.

In Luke 16:23 it is most distinctly associated with the doom and misery of the lost.

In Acts 2:27-31 Peter quotes the LXX. 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.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) The nether world (according to classical mythology, the abode of the shades, ruled over by Hades or Pluto); the invisible world; the grave.
Hades (11 Occurrences)
... All the dead alike go into this place. To be buried, to go down to the grave, to
descend into hades, are equivalent expressions. In the LXX. ...HADES. ...
/h/hades.htm - 23k

Hell (53 Occurrences)
... 31:15, 16, 17). (2.) The Greek word hades of the New Testament has the
same scope of signification as sheol of the Old Testament. ...
/h/hell.htm - 29k

Sheol (64 Occurrences)
...Hades, "the unknown region"), the invisible world of departed souls. (see HELL.). ...
(n.) The place of departed spirits; Hades; also, the grave. Int. ...
/s/sheol.htm - 34k

Bosom (47 Occurrences)
... "Abraham's bosom" is not spoken of as in "Hades," but rather as distinguished from
it (Luke 16:23)-a place of blessedness by itself. ... See HADES; PARADISE. ...
/b/bosom.htm - 26k

Power (862 Occurrences)
... Jesus goes on to say: "And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter ("a stone"),
and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not ...
/p/power.htm - 66k

Punishment (417 Occurrences)
... parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31: Lazarus is carried by the
angels to Abraham's bosom; the rich man lifts up his eyes in Hades, being in ...
/p/punishment.htm - 62k

Underworld (87 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) The lower of inferior world; Hades. 2.
(n.) The mythological place of departed souls; Hades. 3 ...
/u/underworld.htm - 31k

Lifted (466 Occurrences)
... Thou shalt be driven down as low as Hades. ... Luke 16:23 In Hades, he lifted up his
eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. ...
/l/lifted.htm - 36k

Gates (156 Occurrences)
... Matthew 16:18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build
my assembly, and the gates of Hades (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV). ...
/g/gates.htm - 40k

Gulf (3 Occurrences)
... This is very different from, though it probably reflects, the rabbinical conception
of the separation between the two compartments of Hades (Sheol) by "a ...
/g/gulf.htm - 9k

Bible Concordance
Hades (11 Occurrences)

Matthew 11:23 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day.

Matthew 16:18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades

Luke 10:15 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades.

Luke 16:23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.

Acts 2:27 because you will not leave my soul in Hades, neither will you allow your Holy One to see decay.

Acts 2:31 he foreseeing this spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was his soul left in Hades, nor did his flesh see decay.

1 Corinthians 15:55 "Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?"

Revelation 1:18 and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

Revelation 6:8 And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him.

Revelation 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works.

Revelation 20:14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.



Hades: The Realm (State) of the Dead

Hades: The Unseen World, Translated "Hell" in Av, But in the RV the Word "Hades" is Retained

Related Terms

Hell (53 Occurrences)

Sheol (64 Occurrences)

Bosom (47 Occurrences)

Power (862 Occurrences)

Punishment (417 Occurrences)

Underworld (87 Occurrences)

Lifted (466 Occurrences)

Gates (156 Occurrences)

Gulf (3 Occurrences)

Wast (84 Occurrences)

Tartarus (1 Occurrence)

Exalted (126 Occurrences)

Depths (56 Occurrences)

Decay (18 Occurrences)

Caper'na-um (16 Occurrences)

Abyss (11 Occurrences)

Abraham's (34 Occurrences)

Skies (36 Occurrences)

Grave (128 Occurrences)

Soul (554 Occurrences)

Everlasting (192 Occurrences)

Raised (267 Occurrences)

Keys (2 Occurrences)

Lake (45 Occurrences)

Gate (248 Occurrences)

Lazarus (19 Occurrences)

Capernaum (16 Occurrences)

Immortal (3 Occurrences)

Immortality (6 Occurrences)

Yielded (28 Occurrences)

Victory (71 Occurrences)

Zeus (3 Occurrences)

Key (8 Occurrences)

Occurred (23 Occurrences)

Laz'arus (16 Occurrences)

Gracious (106 Occurrences)

Forevermore (27 Occurrences)

Foresaw (3 Occurrences)

Foreseeing (2 Occurrences)

Foreseen (3 Occurrences)

Torment (19 Occurrences)

Triumph (52 Occurrences)

Rider's (1 Occurrence)

Resting (117 Occurrences)


Rider (26 Occurrences)

Evermore (44 Occurrences)

Declare (346 Occurrences)

Descend (34 Occurrences)

Driven (128 Occurrences)

Miracles (65 Occurrences)

Mighty (514 Occurrences)

Paradise (6 Occurrences)

Prison (131 Occurrences)

Performed (110 Occurrences)

Pit (110 Occurrences)

Pale-colored (1 Occurrence)

Powers (43 Occurrences)

Pestilence (57 Occurrences)

Pale (16 Occurrences)

Cool (8 Occurrences)



Abandon (31 Occurrences)

Ashen (1 Occurrence)

Animals (224 Occurrences)

Abandoned (45 Occurrences)

Assembly (371 Occurrences)

Astarte (2 Occurrences)


Ashtoreth (3 Occurrences)

Slay (189 Occurrences)

Sting (5 Occurrences)

State (51 Occurrences)

Spirits (129 Occurrences)

Sees (135 Occurrences)

Distance (75 Occurrences)

Low (216 Occurrences)

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