Have you protected your copyright yet? Copyright piracy is estimated to cost millions every year. Before letting anyone see your work, make sure you've registered your work for copyright protection. For more information, click here.

The place of eternal punishment for the unrighteous. The NKJV and KJV use this word to translate Sheol and Hades, the Old and New Testament words, respectively, for the abode of the dead.

Hell as a place of punishment translates Gehenna, the Greek form of the Hebrew word that means "the vale of Hinnom"-a valley just south of Jerusalem. In this valley the Canaanites worshiped Baal and the fire-god Molech by sacrificing their children in a fire that burned continuously. Even Ahaz and Manasseh, kings of Judah, were guilty of this terrible, idolatrous practice (2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6).

2 Chronicles 28:3

3 He offered sacrifices in the valley of the son of Hinnom, even sacrificing his own sons in the fire. He imitated the detestable practices of the pagan nations whom the LORD had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. NLT

2 Chronicles 33:6

6 Manasseh even sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the LORD's sight, arousing his anger. NLT


The prophet Jeremiah predicted that God would visit such destruction upon Jerusalem that this valley would be known as the "Valley of Slaughter" (Jeremiah 7:31-34; 19:2,6). In his religious reforms, King Josiah put an end to this worship. He defiled the valley in order to make it unfit even for pagan worship (2 Kings 23:10).

Jeremiah 7:31-34

31 They have built the pagan shrines of Topheth in the valley of the son of Hinnom, where they sacrifice their little sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!

32 So beware, for the time is coming," says the LORD, "when that place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury so many bodies in Topheth that there won't be room for all the graves.

33 The corpses of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away.

34 I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation. NLT

Jeremiah 19:2

2 Go out into the valley of the son of Hinnom by the entrance to the Potsherd Gate, and repeat to them the words that I give you. NLT

Jeremiah 19:6

6 So beware, for the time is coming, says the LORD, when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. NLT

2 Kings 23:10

10 Then the king defiled the altar of Topheth in the valley of Ben-hinnom, so no one could ever again use it to sacrifice a son or daughter in the fire as an offering to Molech. NLT


In the time of Jesus the Valley of Hinnom was used as the garbage dump of Jerusalem. Into it were thrown all the filth and garbage of the city, including the dead bodies of animals and executed criminals. To consume all this, fires burned constantly. Maggots worked in the filth. When the wind blew from that direction over the city, its awfulness was quite evident. At night wild dogs howled and gnashed their teeth as they fought over the garbage.

Jesus used this awful scene as a symbol of hell. In effect he said, "Do you want to know what hell is like? Look at the valley of Gehenna." So hell may be described as God's "cosmic garbage dump." All that is unfit for heaven will be thrown into hell.

The word Gehenna occurs 12 times in the New Testament. Each time it is translated as "hell." With the exception of James 3:6, it is used only by Jesus (Matthew 5:22,29-30; 10:28; 23:15,33; Mark 9:43,45,47; Luke 12:5). In Matthew 5:22; 18:9; and Mark 9:47, it is used with "fire" as "hell fire." So the word hell (Gehenna) as a place of punishment is used in the New Testament by Him who is the essence of infinite love.

James 3:6

6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself. NLT

Matthew 5:22

22 But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. NLT

Matthew 5:29-30

29 So if your eye even if it is your good eye causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

30 And if your hand even if it is your stronger hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. NLT

Matthew 10:28

28 "Don't be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. NLT

Matthew 23:15

15 Yes, how terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn him into twice the son of hell as you yourselves are. NLT

Matthew 23:33

33 Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell? NLT

Mark 9:43-47

43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands.

45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet.

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It is better to enter the Kingdom of God half blind than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, NLT

Luke 12:5

5 But I'll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill people and then throw them into hell. NLT

Matthew 18:9

9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better to enter heaven half blind than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. NLT

In Mark 9:46 and 48, hell is described as a place where "their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched." Repeatedly Jesus spoke of outer darkness and a furnace of fire, where there will be wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12; 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28). Obviously this picture is drawn from the valley of Gehenna

Mark 9:45-48

45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet.

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It is better to enter the Kingdom of God half blind than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,

48'where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out.' NLT

Matthew 8:12

12 But many Israelites those for whom the Kingdom was prepared will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." NLT

Matthew 13:42

42 and they will throw them into the furnace and burn them. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. NLT

Matthew 13:50

50 throwing the wicked into the fire. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. NLT

Matthew 22:13


Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Tool
Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Tool