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SHEOL, HADES, INFERNA.
gains a complete victory over Satan, so Christ's body does not see corruption, as Adam's did, nor does his soul remain in the invisible world without his body, as ours do, waiting for the resurrection of the last day. Our Lord Christ fulfilled the twofold conditions required in man's dying, and then resumed his proper and true character by rising from the dead to die no more--rising before his body could see corruption.
II. Having thus briefly taken an historic view of the Article, let us now investigate, a little after the same manner, the history and meaning of the terms used. The word hell, in the English version of our Creed, corresponds to Inferi or inferna in Latin, Hades in Greek, and Sheol in Hebrew. I do not say it is proper to use these words always as interchangeable. I do not say they are always synonymous, or that there is no shade of difference in their meaning, according to their respective derivations, nor that these terms, in their respective languages, have not undergone considerable changes, meaning sometimes, and in some places, something a little different from what they meant at other times, and in other places. This is true of many words in all languages. It must be true of all languages having words that can be used to convey sense at all. Still, we may venture to say there is a remarkable correspondence between the Hebrew Sheol, the Greek Hades, the Latin-Greek Inferi, and our English or Saxon Hell, 'both in their etymologies and history. Sheol is believed to come from Shaal, “to ask, seek,” especially in reference to finding a place, or ascertaining the nature of a thing-meaning, it is out of the way, and to find it and see it, one must seek for it. The Greek Hades is from a, which is privative-a negative, meaning not, and ide.v, to see--not to see—“the unseen”—“that which is invisible”—and was used among them for the abode, receptacle, or mansion of the dead, and changing what the religious opinions of the two nations requires to be changed. Where the Hebrews used Sheol, the Greeks used Hades. Inferna, Inferi, is Latin, borrowed from the Greeks, having the same general meaning—the unseen, and applied by the Romans to those beneath the earth, the manes, or spirits of the dead. And our English word Hell is from the Saxon hel-an, to hide, or to cover, having the same root as holl, a cavern or a hole, and as Hel-yer, a roofer, one that covers, and hence also that which is covered—the thing or the place that is covered. In some parts of England to this day the slating or tiling of the covers of their houses are called their hel-ings.* There is, then, a remarkable similarity in the etymological meaning of the words Sheol, Hades, Inferni, and Hell, as seen in the roots from which they are derived. agree in signifying hidden, covered, unseen, secret, invisible. And the correspondence between these terms, historically examined, is quite as remarkable, and the more remarkable because the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin are now dead languages. Concerning Sheol, I design to speak in another place. And as we have no use for the Vulgate in this discussion, I say nothing further of the Latin Inferi. But it is well to remember that the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Bible, generally uses Hades as equivalent to Sheol. It is found eleven times, if I am not mistaken, in the Greek Testament, signifying not the past simply, perhaps never, but a dark place, invisible, what is covered, unknown, or known vaguely—a darkness, a place in which one cannot see for the want of light—especially the unknown future state, including the grave, which is the abode of the dead. In the 2d chapter of Acts, Hades
EXTENT OF SHEOL OR HADES.
is the translation of Sheol from the 16th Psalm, and in the places where it is found in the book of Revelation, it is connected with death, and the result of death, namely, the grave. And in the glorious passage : 0 grave, where is thy victory, the original of Paul is Hades.
In considering historically the word Hades among the Greeks, we find them using it for the grave, and also for the place to which the spirits or manes of the dead went after their burial. Their belief was, like that of the Egyptians, that the unburied were detained on the Styx; while the buried passed over and mingled with the souls of men detained there in a state separate from their bodies. Hades was in fact represented by the Greeks as the Deity who presided over these realms, comprising both the happy fields of Elysium and the gloomy realms of Tartarus, Every one who is familiar with classic authors knows that the souls of the good were in Elysium, while such wicked spirits as Ixion, Tantalus, and the Danaids were grievously tormented in Tartarus. So the Odyssey and Æneid everywhere. Quotations are unnecessary.
And so the Hebrew Sheol was applied to the whole region below the surface of the earth, extending downwards indefinitely or inconceivably, and meaning a vast extension, ill-defined, dark, desolate, and dungeonlike, and called a pit, a deep pit, or covered place, an abyss, the darkness, the depths of the earth. Thus Jonah (ii. 2) says: “Out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice." Here hell in Hebrew is Sheol, and the Prophet must have meant out of the whale's stomach, at the bottom of the sea. He was out of human sight, in a terrible place, and in a fearful condition. And not to dwell on other places, take Ps. 16th, ver. 10: For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,
which is explained according to Hebrew idiom by the corresponding clause: neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. That is, thou wilt not leave me under the power of death ; and Ps. cxli. 7: “Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave”-Sheol; and also xlix. 14: “Like sheep, they are laid in the grave Sheol. That is, says, Witsius, they die like sheep, which are not usually buried, and which surely do not penetrate into the hell of the lost, or into what is called a Limbus. And Hezekiah and Jacob both use Sheol for the grave. Is. xxxviii. 10; Gen. xxxvii. 35. “I said, in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave”Sheol. “I will go down into the grave—Sheol--to my son mourning.” Clearly meaning the state of the dead-to be among the dead-equivalent to gathered to one's fathers. According to this usage, anä the old Hebrew idiom, if we wished to say Christ was buried, and was, while He remained in the grave, and in the state of the dead, in the same condition as the Patriarchs and Prophets were when they died, we could not use more appropriate words than He descended into Sheol, Hades. And St. Peter in his discourse on the day of Pentecost quotes from the 16th Psalm, and uses Hades for Sheol, where it must be admitted the meaning is the state or condition of departed spirits--the invisible world where the dead are. True, Hades among the Greeks was a very comprehensive word.
It comprised the place, condition, and state both of the wicked and of the good. It included Tortarus for the wicked, and Elysium for the good. Our Lord, in Matt. xi. 23, says: “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell." Here hell is in opposition to heaven, and both are used figuratively. Great privileges enjoyed but abused lead to utter desolation, and irretrievable ruin. In this text the original word for hell is Hades.
HADES IN REVELATION.
And in Rev. i. 18: “Iam He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."' Here hell is Hades—and means not the place of departed spirits, but the grave, in a general sense. And in vi. 8: “ And his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him.” Here Hades is hell-clearly meaning the grave, the state of the dead, into which the slain entered. And xx. 13, 14: “ 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.” Here it is clear that death is personified, and represented as the keeper or jailer of the dead, and Hades is the general name for the place of the spirits of the dead. The sea and death have the bodies of the dead, and Hades holds their souls, and both give up their wards, and the bodies and souls are united, and enter upon their eternal and unchangeable destiny, after the general resurrection and the judgment of the great day. And as to St. Peter's quotation of the 16th Psalm, it is to be observed that he applies these words, with his own peculiar energy and directness of purpose, in such a way as to prove the resurrection of Christ, by showing that they were not, and could not be true when applied to King David, but that they were emphatically and undeniably true when applied to Jesus; for that “his soul was not left in Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption," where it is plain he means that David's soul did remain in Hades, and his flesh did see corruption. David was not himself the Messiah ; but as Christ fulfilled these requirements, He was the Messiah. And here soul being for person, and Hades for the grave, the last clause is explanatory of the first, in the sense I have attached to the words of the Creed. And the point of the