Hell Part 13

This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Bible Study on Hell

Tophet was an area in the valley of Hinnom where human sacrifices were made to Moloch. Jeremiah 7:31, 2 Kings 23:10 It is first mentioned by Isaiah who declared that a Topheth, a place of burning, was prepared by the Lord for the king of Assyria. Isaiah 30:33 Josiah defiled this place so that it no longer could be used for idolatrous practices. 2 Kings 23:10 The allegorical name of Topheth used in the Old Testament was the place where the sons of Hinnom had a ravine south of Jerusalem. It was thought by those in Jerusalem to be the place of the Last Judgment of God. This place was used by name in the preamble called by the name Gehenna. First mentioned in Joshua 15:8, it was described as the outer boundary of Judah. The pagan god Moloch was erected there. Children were placed in the fires of the idol in sacrifice. It was a place repugnant to God. Jeremiah 7:31-33 declares; “And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded not, neither came it into My mind. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Topheth, till there be no place to bury. And the dead bodies of this people shall be food for the birds of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall frighten them away.” Isaiah adds: “For Topheth is prepared of old; yea, for the king it is made ready; he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.” Isaiah 30:33 It became a reference to what God had in store for the disobedient, a place of corruption that no man would want to enter. From the imagery of the place, from the burning fire of Moloch to the detestable nature of the garbage dump, it becomes a portrayal of Hell.
Gehenna and unquenchable fire became a parallel. The fire spoken of is eternal and unquenchable, and for that matter, the punishment in which they continue became, by usage, the same. To attempt to take the concept of eternal punishment out of God’s Word mocks His intent and warning to those who would disobey His Law. To take the punishment out of Hell, one takes the fear, dread, and contempt from the sinner. If a punishment is not severe, the offender will never fear the Law. How could there be weeping and gnashing of teeth unless there is conscious punishment? Keep in mind that ALL the words used to speak of the punishment of the wicked, every word, and every picture: all the statements presented in the scriptures picture one fact—the eternal conscious punishment of the unredeemable, they sinned away their salvation!!
In Matthew 25:46 Jesus uses another Greek word we need to be familiar with and that is the Greek word kolasis. It is defined as correction, punishment; penalty…brings with it or has connected with it the thought of punishment, (definition Thayer, page 353). It is found in two passages, 1 John 4:18 and Matthew 25:46. “And these shall go away into eternal punishment (kolasis)”. Matthew 25:46 Naturally, those who want to teach the doctrine of annihilation or extinction want to take the “punch” out of this word. The utter repudiation of the New World Translation were it translates kolasis “cutting off” is unconscionable.
Finally, there is one more Greek word used many times referencing Hell, that is the Greek word basanizo. Thayer defines it as “to test, to question by applying torture, to vex with grievous pains (of body and mind), to torment, to be distressed”.

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Joe David Wilson

Joe David Wilson

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