Gehenna

Gehenna (Gi-hen´uh)

Hell or hellfire. The word is derived from a Hebrew term meaning “valley of Hinnom.” Located west and south of Jerusalem and running into the Kidron Valley at a point opposite the modern village of Silwan, the valley of Hinnom once formed part of the boundary between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (Josh 15:8; Josh 18:16; Neh 11:30). During the monarchical period, it became the site of an infamous high place, where some of the kings of Judah engaged in forbidden religious practices, including human sacrifice by fire (2Chr 28:3; 2Chr 33:6; Jer 7:31; Jer 32:35). Because of this, Jeremiah spoke of its impending judgment and destruction (Jer 7:32; Jer 19:6). King Josiah put an end to these practices by destroying and defiling the high place in the valley of Hinnom (2Kgs 23:10). Probably because of these associations with fiery destruction and judgment, the word “Gehenna” came to be used metaphorically during the intertestamental period as a designation for hell or eternal damnation. In the NT, the word is used only in this way and never as a geographic place-name. As such, Gehenna is to be distinguished from Hades, which is either the abode of all the dead in general (Acts 2:27; Acts 2:31; Rev 20:13-14) or the place where the wicked await the final judgment. Gehenna is variously described as a fiery furnace (Matt 13:42; Matt 13:50), an unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43), or an eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41). Jesus warned his disciples of committing sins that would lead to Gehenna (Matt 5:22; Matt 5:29-30, Matt 23:33; Mark 9:45; Luke 12:5).

Josh 15:8

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Josh 18:16

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Neh 11:30

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2Chr 28:3

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2Chr 33:6

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Jer 7:31

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Jer 32:35

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Jer 7:32

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Jer 19:6

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2Kgs 23:10

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Acts 2:27

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Acts 2:31

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Rev 20:13-14

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Matt 13:42

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Matt 13:50

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Mark 9:43

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Matt 25:41

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Matt 5:22

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Matt 5:29-30

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Matt 23:33

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Mark 9:45

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Luke 12:5

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