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Author: Ron Graham

Glossary Simplybible

Word Study: Hades

Word family: Hades, hadean.

Synonyms: Sheol (Hebrew)

Related ideas: death, "sleep", the grave, resurrection, destiny

Definitions: Hades is the "not seen" nether world where the souls of the dead await the resurrection at the second coming of Christ.

Greek References: `αδης (hades) 86 (Strong) from 1 a- not, and 1492 oida/ideo to see, cf 3700 etc.


  Nature of Sheol/Hades

  • Ecclesiastes 9:10 "...there is no activity or planning or wisdom in Sheol where you are going."

  A Messianic prophecy about Sheol/Hades

  • Psalms 30:3 "You have brought up my soul from Sheol."
  • Psalms 16:8-11 "You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor allow your Holy One to see the pit."
  • Acts 2:27 "You will not abandon my soul to hades, nor suffer your Holy One to undergo decay."

  Christ’s power over Sheol/Hades

  • Matthew 16:18 "I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
  • Revelation 1:18 "I (Jesus) have the keys of death and of Hades."
  • Revelation 20:13-14 "Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire."

Comment: Hades (Sheol in the Old Testament) is sometimes translated or interpreted as "the grave". The Psalmist indeed refers to "Sheol" and then to "the pit" (Psalms 30:3). Some assert that the Psalmist is speaking of the grave where the fleshly body decays at death. The Psalmist, however, speaks of Sheol as a place for the "soul" and nobody's soul has ever been buried in a grave. Another translation of Sheol is "hell" which confuses Sheol with Gehenna, the eternal abode of the wicked. Because of these problems some translators prefer to merely transliterate, thus they put the words Sheol and Hades.

Best lesson: Where Are the Dead?


Webservant Ron Graham

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