What the Bible Says about Hell
This is a list of bible verses about Hell. I’ve tried to arrange them in order from Genesis to Revelation, but first, I would like to use these verses to answer some common questions about Hell.
What Is Hell?
Hell, also known as Sheol in the Hebrew language and Hades in the Greek language, is a spiritual place created by God. Its function is to receive the spirits of the dead and to hold demons captive. There are at least 2 sections in Sheol. The abyss, which is perhaps the gulf that seperates the 2 sections (Luke 16:26), is a place that demons fear to be (Luke 8:31). The first section is called Gehenna, a fiery place of punishment made for Satan and his angels (Matt 25:41). The spirits of the wicked dead go there (Luke 16:23) and wait for the resurrection of the unjust (Acts 24:15). The second section is a safe place refered to as paradise (Luke 23:43) or “Abraham’s Bosom” (Luke 16:23). It is believed that the spirit of every just person, such as Abraham and David (Ps 18:12), went to the safe section of Sheol as prisoners where they waited for Christ to descend to them and set them free by taking them to Heaven with Him (Ephesians 4:8-10). Now, when a just man dies, his spirit goes to God (2Cor 5:8) in Heaven (Rev 6:9) where they wait for the resurrection of the righteous (1Th 4:16). In the bible, Hell has been called Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, The Pit, The Grave, & The Abyss.
Sheol – H7585 – “Shol” – “The Old Testament designation for the abode of the dead”.
Hades – G0086 – “Hades” – “with Orcus, the infernal regions, a dark and dismal place in the very depths of the earth, the common receptacle of disembodied spirits. Usually Hades is just the abode of the wicked,”
Gehenna – G1067 – “Geenna” – “the place of the future punishment call “Gehenna” or “Gehenna of fire”. This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.”
The abyss – G0012 – “abyssos” – “of Orcus, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and especially as the abode of demons”
The Pit / The Grave – H7845 – “Sahat” – “corruption, destruction, ditch, grave, pit.”
The Grave – H6913 – “Qeber” – “burying place, grave, sepulchre.”
In Old Testament times, “the grave” was symbolic of Sheol because it was a place that everyone went after death. Now, the grave cannot be symbolic of Sheol anymore, because the bodies of the righteous who die go to the grave, but their spirits go to God (2Cor 5:8).
The Lake of Fire Is Not Hell
Revelation 20:14 – “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
[lake of fire] – The Lake of Fire is a physical place in the earth (Isa 66:24) that the bodies of the resurrected unjust will be thrown into (Rev 20:15). Literally, the resurrected righteous saints will be able to walk to the pit in the earth, look down, and see the unjust inside the fire! How horrible to see their loved ones who have rejected Christ burning for eternity! Hell (Hades or Sheol) will be cast into The Lake of Fire… Death and Hell are personified in Revelation 6:8. Hell is not the Lake of Fire, because Hell can’t be cast into itself. Death will be exterminated so that no one will be able to die anymore. All of the wicked who had lived, died, and were resurrected in an immortalized state will be thrown into the Lake of Fire where they will be forever, and never able to die, hence, to die at that time would be equal to being cast into the Lake of Fire. Hell is only for the spirit/soul. The Lake of Fire is for the body. There are a couple ways that I understand “hell being cast into the Lake of Fire”: 1) All of the people who were formerly in Hell will be relocated to the Lake of Fire, 2) The physical place of Hell will be combined with the Lake of Fire so that the two will become one place; after all, you can’t fight fire with fire, so combining Gehenna and The Lake of Fire would just consume Gehenna when they merge. It’s the fire from The Lake of Fire that is the “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41).
Where Is Hell?
In the bible, Hell is down and Heaven is up. It is in “the heart of the earth” (Matt 12:40). Heart = G2588 Strong’s Concordance translation E says“the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate”. Earth = G1083 and is translated, “ground, soil, earth”. That is to say, Hell is inside the earth, down under the crust. It’s interesting that spirits go to a physical place. Hell is not on another planet, dimension, etc. It’s in the core (heart) of the earth.
Deuteronomy 32:22 – “… and shall burn unto the lowest hell”
Proverbs 15:24 – “…that he may depart from hell beneath.”
Isaiah 14:9 – “Hell from beneath is moved for thee…”
Isaiah 14:15 – “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
Amos 9:2 – “Though they dig into hell… though they climb up to heaven…”
Job 11:8 – “…deeper than hell…”
Ephesians 4:9 – “…he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth…
2 Peter 2:4 – “… God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell…
Matthew 12:40 – “…the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Who Goes To Hell?
In Old Testament times, everyone who died went to Sheol/Hades (Ps 16:10), including Jesus (Acts 2:31). Now when just men die, they go to God in Heaven (2Cor 5:8 & Rev 6:9). The people who go to hell are anyone who is not saved by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Eph 2:8).
What is Hell like? What Happens There?
That’s like asking what a furnace is like. It is “…fire that never shall be quenched”. (Mark 9:43), “… darkness … weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 25:30), which is a phrase used to denote extreme pain. How is a place filled with fire and darkness? I do not know, unless it’s because the sun doesn’t shine there and therefore seems like night time, just with flames…? It’s not total darkness, because nothing can be seen without light, and in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, all three people could see each other and what was happening, which requires light (Luke 16:22-26). All other fantasies about Hell being a place full of sinful pleasures are unscriptural.
Old Testament Scriptures about Hell
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.”
Job 11:7-8 – “Can you search out the deep things of God? Canst thou find out the almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?”
Psalms 9:17 – “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Psalms 16:10 & Acts 2:27 – “because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
Psalms 139:8 – “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”
Proverbs 15:11 – “Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”
Proverbs 15:24 – “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath”
Proverbs 27:20 (a) – “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied…”
Amos 9:2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
Scriptures about Hell in Isaiah
Isaiah 5:14 – “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.”
Isaiah 14:9 – “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.”
Isaiah 14:15 – “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
Isaiah 28:15 – “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves”
Isaiah 28:18 – “And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.”
New Testament Scriptures about Hell
Acts 2:31 – “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption”
Ephesians 4:8-10 – “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”
2 Peter 2:4 – “For (if) God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment…”
Revelation 1:18 – “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
Revelation 6:8 – “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Revelation 20:12-14 – “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
Hell in the Gospels
Matthew 5:22 – “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
Matthew 5:29 & 18:9 – “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
Matthew 5:30 – “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
Matthew 10:28 – “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Matthew 12:40 – “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Matthew 16:18 – “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Matthew 23:33 – “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
Matthew 25:30 – “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Matthew 25:41 – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”
Mark 9:43-44 – “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
Mark 9:45 – “And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
Mark 9:47-49 – “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out : it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched . For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.”
Luke 12:4-5 – “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: fear him who after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell – I say unto you fear Him.”
Luke 16:22-26 – “And it came to pass, that the beggar died , and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died , and was buried ; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said , Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said , Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted , and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”