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Bible Verses on Sheol, Hades, Hell and The Lake of Fire

 The Bible uses several different words and concepts for the place(s) people go to after death.

In the Old Testament the word is “Sheol.” Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, unbelievers and believers both went to Sheol. Luke 16 shows that the righteous and unrighteous dead did not ‘mix’ in Sheol: there was a great ‘gulf’ or separation (16:23) between them.

Sheol and Hades are the same place. Acts 2:27 – which uses the Greek word for Hades, is a quote of Psalm 16:10 which uses the Hebrew word for “Sheol.”

I believe the Bible teaches that Sheol and Hades are the same place (compare Acts 2:27 and Psalm 16:10).

I also believe that Gehenna (Hell) is the same place as the Lake of Fire.

Hades (Sheol) is not a permanent living place, but a place the unsaved are currently living ‘in’ until the final judgment when all of those in Hades will be thrown in the Lake of Fire (i.e. Hell, see Revelation 20:14). Before Jesus’ death and resurrection the righteous also lived in Hades (though not with the unrighteous). Now the Bible teaches that the saved go to with Jesus when they die.

The exact same Greek word is used to indicate eternal punishment of the unsaved as is used to indicate eternal life for the saved. (See Matthew 25:32-46, especially 25:46). If the unsaved do not experience ‘eternal punishment’ then how can the saved be guaranteed that ‘eternal life’ is really forever and also does not come to an end? The torment and punishment of those who do not worship God is said to go on forever (see Revelation 14:10-11 for an example).

Bible Version Notes:

The NKJV often translates ‘Sheol’ as ‘Hell’ in the Old Testament, which confuses the issues. Almost all mentions of ‘Hell’ in the Old Testament by the NKJV include a translator’s note showing that the word behind ‘Hell’ here is ‘Sheol.’

Old Testament: SHEOL

NAU Deuteronomy 32:22 For a fire is kindled in My anger, And burns to the lowest part of Sheol, And consumes the earth with its yield, And sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.

NKJ Deuteronomy 32:22 For a fire is kindled by my anger, And shall burn to the lowest hell; It shall consume the earth with her increase, And set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

ESV Deuteronomy 32:22 For aa fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to bthe depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains

 

NAU Psalm 9:17 The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.

NKJ Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God.

NET Psalm 9:17 The wicked are turned back and sent to Sheol; this is the destiny of39 all the nations that ignore40 God

 

NAU Psalm 55:15 Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol, For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.

NKJ Psalm 55:15 Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings andamong them.

NET Psalm 55:15 May death destroy them!27 May they go down alive into Sheol! For evil is in their dwelling place and in their midst.

 

NAU Psalm 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.

NKJ Psalm 139:8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

NET Psalm 139:8 If I were to ascend8 to heaven, you would be there. If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be.9

 

NAU Proverbs 5:5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of Sheol.

NKJ Proverbs 5:5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.

ESV Proverbs 5:5 Her feet ago down to death; her steps follow the path to1 Sheol;

 

NAU Proverbs 7
:27
Her house is the way to Sheol, Descending to the chambers of death.

NKJ Proverbs 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of death.

ESV Proverbs 7:27 Her house is athe way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.

 

NAU Proverbs 9:18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

NKJ Proverbs 9:18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell.

ESV Proverbs 9:18 But he does not knowathat the dead1 are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

 

NAU Proverbs 15:11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD, How much more the hearts of men!

NKJ Proverbs 15:11 Hell and Destruction are before the LORD; So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.

ESV Proverbs 15:11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD; how much more athe hearts of the children of man!

 

NAU Proverbs 15:24 The path of life leadsupward for the wise That he may keep away from Sheol below.

NKJ Proverbs 15:24 The way of life windsupward for the wise, That he may turn away from hell below.

ESV Proverbs 15:24 The path of life leads upward afor the prudent, that he may turn away from Sheol beneath

 

NAU Proverbs 23:14 You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol.

NKJ Proverbs 23:14 You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.

ESV Proverbs 23:14 If you strike him with the rod, you will asave his soul from Sheol.

 

NAU Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

NKJ Proverbs 27:20 Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.

ESV Proverbs 27:20 aSheol and Abaddon are bnever satisfied, and cnever satisfied are the eyes of man.

 

NAU Isaiah 14:9 "Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones.

NKJ Isaiah 14:9 "Hell from beneath is excited about you, To meet you at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, All the chief ones of the earth; It has raised up from their thrones All the kings of the nations.

ESV Isaiah 14:9 Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations.

 

NAU Ezekiel 31:15 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, "On the day when it went down to Sheol I caused lamentations; I closed the deep over it and held back its rivers. And its many waters were stopped up, and I made Lebanon mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted away on account of it.

NKJ Ezekiel 31:15 "Thus says the Lord GOD:`In the day when it went down to hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep because of it. I restrained its rivers, and the great waters were held back. I caused Lebanon to mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it.

ESV Ezekiel 31:15 "Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day athe cedar1 went down to Sheol I caused mourning; I closed the deep over it, and restrained its rivers, and many waters were stopped. I clothed Lebanon in gloom for it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it.

 

NAU Ezekiel 31:16 &qu
ot;I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall when I made it go down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit; and all the well-watered trees of Eden, the choicest and best of Lebanon, were comforted in the earth beneath.

NKJ Ezekiel 31:16 `I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to hell together with those who descend into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the depths of the earth.

ESV Ezekiel 31:16 aI made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, zwhen I cast it down to Sheolwith those who go down to the pit. cAnd all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, bwere comforted in the world below.

 

NAU Ezekiel 31:17 "They also went down with it to Sheol to those who were slain by the sword; and those who were its strength lived under its shade among the nations.

NKJ Ezekiel 31:17 `They also went downto hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and those who were itsstrong arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations.

ESV Ezekiel 31:17 They also went down to Sheol with it, ato those who are slain by the sword; yes, bthose who were its arm, cwho lived under its shadow among the nations.

 

NAU Ezekiel 32:21 "The strong among the mighty ones shall speak of him and his helpers from the midst of Sheol, ‘They have gone down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’

NKJ Ezekiel 32:21 The strong among the mighty Shall speak to him out of the midst of hell With those who help him:`They have gone down, They lie with the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’

ESV Ezekiel 32:21 The mighty chiefs ashall speak of them, bwith their helpers, out of the midst of Sheol: ‘They have come down, they lie still, cthe uncircumcised, yslain by the sword.’

 

NAU Ezekiel 32:27 "Nor do they lie beside the fallen heroes of the uncircumcised, who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war and whose swords were laid under their heads; but the punishment for their iniquity rested on their bones, though the terror of theseheroes was once in the land of the living.

NKJ Ezekiel 32:27 They do not lie with the mighty Who are fallen of the uncircumcised, Who have gone down to hell with their weapons of war; They have laid their swords under their heads, But their iniquities will be on their bones, Because of the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.

ESV Ezekiel 32:27 And athey do not lie with the mighty, the fallen from among the uncircumcised, who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war, whose swords were laid under their heads, and whose iniquities are upon their bones; for the terror of the mighty men was in the land of the living.

 

NAU Amos 9:2 "Though they dig into Sheol, From there will My hand take them; And though they ascend to heaven, From there will I bring them down.

NKJ Amos 9:2 "Though they dig into hell, From there my hand shall take them; Though they climb up to heaven, From there I will bring them down;

ESV Amos 9:2 a"If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; bif they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down.

 

NAU Habakkuk 2:5 "Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied. He also gathers to himself all nations And collects to himself all peoples.

NKJ Habakkuk 2:5 "Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, He is a proud man, And he does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples.

ESV Habakkuk 2:5 "Moreover, wine1is aa traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest.2 His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death bhe has never enough. cHe gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples."

 

New Testament: Hell (Gehenna)

NAU Matthew 5:22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into
the fiery hell.

NKJ Matthew 5:22 "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother,`Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says,`You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

 

NAU Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

NKJ Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

 

NAU Matthew 5:30 "If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

NKJ Matthew 5:30 "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

 

NAU Matthew 10:28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

NKJ Matthew 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

 

NAU Matthew 18:9 "If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.

NKJ Matthew 18:9 "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

 

NAU Matthew 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

NKJ Matthew 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

 

NAU Matthew 23:33 "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

NKJ Matthew 23:33 "Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?

 

NAU Mark 9:43 "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,

NKJ Mark 9:43 "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched

 

NAU Mark 9:45 "If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell,

NKJ Mark 9:45 "And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—

 

NAU Mark 9:47-48 "If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, awhere THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND bTHE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.

NKJ Mark 9:47-48 "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire—"where`Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.

 

NAU Luke 12:5 "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!

NKJ Luke 12:5 "But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

 

NAU James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, the veryworld of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

NKJ James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

 

NAU 2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;

NKJ 2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

 

New Testament: Hades

NAU Matthew 11:23 "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.

NKJ Matthew 11:23 "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

 

NAU Matthew 16:18 "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

NKJ Matthew 16:18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

 

NAU Luke 10:15 "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!

NKJ Luke 10:15 "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades.

 

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

NKJ Luke 16:23 "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

 

NAU Acts 2:27 BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.

NKJ Acts 2:27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

 

NAU Acts 2:31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.

NKJ Acts 2:31 "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh
see corruption.

 

NAU 1 Corinthians 15:55 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?"

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

 

NAU Revelation 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

NKJ Revelation 1:18 "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

 

NAU Revelation 6:8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

 

NKJ Revelation 6:8 So I looked, and 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, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

 

New Testament: The Lake of Fire

NAU Revelation 19:20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

NKJ Revelation 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

 

NAU Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

NKJ Revelation 20:10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

 

NAU Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of themaccording to their deeds.

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

 

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

NKJ Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

 

NAU Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

NKJ Revelation 20:15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

Eternal Punishment:

NAU – Revelation 14:10 he also will drink of the awine of the wrath of God, which is mixed 1in full strength bin the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with cfire and 2brims
tone in the presence of the dholy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

11 "And the asmoke of their torment goes up forever and ever;bthey have no rest day and night, those who cworship the beast and his cimage, and 1whoever receives the dmark of his name."

 

NAU Daniel: 12:2 "aMany of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, bthese to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting 1contempt.

 

NAU Matthew 25:46 "These will go away into aeternal punishment, but the righteous into beternal life."

 

NAU Mark 9:47-48 "If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, awhere THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND bTHE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.

 

CSB Isaiah 66:24 "As they leave, they will see the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against Me; for their maggots will never die, their fire will never go out, and they will be a horror to all mankind."

ESV Isaiah 66:24 "And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. Foratheir worm shall not die, btheir fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." (see also: Matt. 18:8; Matt. 25:41; Jude 7,

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