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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Hades

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1: ᾅδης
(Strong's #86 — Noun Location — hades — hah'-dace )

"the region of departed spirits of the lost" (but including the blessed dead in periods preceding the ascension of Christ). It has been thought by some that the word etymologically meant "the unseen" (from a, negative, and eido, "to see"), but this derivation is questionable; a more probable derivation is from hado, signifying "all-receiving." It corresponds to "Sheol" in the OT. In the AV of the OT and NT; it has been unhappily rendered "hell," e.g., Psalm 16:10 ; or "the grave," e.g., Genesis 37:35 ; or "the pit," Numbers 16:30,33 ; in the NT the revisers have always used the rendering "hades;" in the OT, they have not been uniform in the translation, e.g. in Isaiah 14:15 "hell" (marg., "Sheol"); usually they have "Sheol" in the text and "the grave" in the margin. It never denotes the grave, nor is the permanent region of the lost; in point of time it is, for such, intermediate between decease and the doom of Gehenna. For the condition, see Luke 16:23-31 .

The word is used four times in the Gospels, and always by the Lord, Matthew 11:23 ; 16:18 ; Luke 10:15 ; 16:23 ; it is used with reference to the soul of Christ, Acts 2:27,31 ; Christ declares that He has the keys of it, Revelation 1:18 ; in Revelation 6:8 it is personified, with the signification of the temporary destiny of the doomed; it is to give up those who are therein, Revelation 20:13 , and is to be cast into the lake of fire, ver. 14.

Note: In 1 Corinthians 15:55 the most authentic mss. have thanatos, "death," in the 2nd part of the verse, instead of "hades," which the AV wrongly renders "grave" ("hell," in the marg.).


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Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Hades'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ved/h/hades.html. 1940.

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