What the scriptures say about
GEHENNA
Abyss, Hell, Hades, Valley of Hinnom, place of eternal torment, Sheol
References:
Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference

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Matthew 23:15, 23:33


GEHENNA [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

(Originally Ge bene Hinnom; i.e., "the valley of the sons of Hinnom"),
a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to Molech (2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; 19:2-6).

This valley afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always burning.

It thus in process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction. In this sense it is used by our Lord in Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43,45,47; Luke 12:5. In these passages, and also in James 3:6, the word is uniformly rendered "hell," the Revised Version placing "Gehenna" in the margin. (See HELL; HINNOM .)


Valley of HINNOM [Smith's Bible Dictionary]

(lamentation ), Valley of, otherwise called "the valley of the son" or "children of Hinnom," a deep and narrow ravine, with steep, rocky sides, to the south and west of Jerusalem, separating Mount Zion to the north from the "hill of evil counsel," and the sloping rocky plateau of the "plain of Rephaim" to the south.

The earliest mention of the valley of Hinnom is in (Joshua 15:8; 18:16) where the boundary line between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin is described as passing along the bed of the ravine. On the southern brow, overlooking the valley at its eastern extremity Solomon erected high places for Molech, (1 Kings 11:7) whose horrid rites were revived from time to time in the same vicinity the later idolatrous kings. Ahaz and Manasseh made their children "pass through the fire" in this valley, (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6) and the fiendish custom of infant sacrifice to the fire-gods seems to have been kept up in Tophet, which was another name for this place. To put an end to these abominations the place was polluted by Josiah, who renders it ceremonially unclean by spreading over it human bones and other corruptions, (2 Kings 23:10,13,14; 2 Chronicles 34:4,5) from which time it appears to have become the common cesspool of the city, into which sewage was conducted, to be carried off by the waters of the Kidron. From its ceremonial defilement, and from the detested and abominable fire of Molech, if not from the supposed ever-burning funeral piles, the later Jews applied the name of this valley -- Ge Hinnom, Gehenna (land of Hinnom) -- to denote the place of eternal torment. In this sense the word is used by our Lord. (Matthew 5:29; 10:28; 23:15; Mark 9:43; Luke 12:5)


GEHENNA [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

ga-hen'-a (geenna (see Grimm-Thayer, under the word)): Gehenna is a transliteration from the Aramaic form of the Hebrew ge-hinnom, "valley of Hinnom." This latter form, however, is rare in the Old Testament, the prevailing name being "the valley of the son of Hinnom." Septuagint usually translates; where it transliterates the form is different from Gehenna and varies.

In the New Testament the correct form is Gee'nna with the accent on the penult, not Ge'enna. There is no reason to assume that Hinnom is other than a plain patronymic, although it has been proposed to find in it the corruption of the name of an idol (EB, II, 2071).

In the New Testament (King James Version margin) Gehenna occurs in Matthew 5:22,29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mark 9:43,15,47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6. In all of these it designates the place of eternal punishment of the wicked, generally in connection with the final judgment. It is associated with fire as the source of torment. Both body and soul are cast into it. This is not to be explained on the principle that the New Testament speaks metaphorically of the state after death in terms of the body; it presupposes the resurrection. In the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) Gehenna is rendered by "hell" (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, I-V ).

That "the valley of Hinnom" became the technical designation for the place of final punishment was due to two causes. In the first place the valley had been the seat of the idolatrous worship of Molech, to whom children were immolated by fire (2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6). Secondly, on account of these practices the place was defiled by King Josiah (2 Kings 23:10), and became in consequence associated in prophecy with the judgment to be visited upon the people (Jeremiah 7:32). The fact, also, that the city's offal was collected there may have helped to render the name synonymous with extreme defilement. Topographically the identification of the valley of Hinnom is still uncertain. It has been in turn identified with the depression on the western and southern side of Jerusalem, with the middle valley, and with the valley to the E. Compare EB ,II , 2071;DCG , I, 636;RE 3,VI.

Geerhardus Vos


GEHENNA [Thompson Chain Reference]
# Greek, The place of Punishment

    * Matthew 5:22
    * Matthew 5:29
    * Matthew 10:28
    * Matthew 18:9
    * Matthew 23:15
    * Matthew 23:33
    * Mark 9:43
    * Luke 12:5
    * James 3:6

# (Greek, Hades)

    * SEE Hades

# (Hebrew, Sheol)

    * SEE Hell
    * SEE Fate of the Wicked
    * SEE Torment

# SEE Retribution 

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