HADES is the Greek word that refers to the place where the dead dwell before
The Hebrew word is sheol.
According to Luke 16:22-26, prior to Christ's resurrection, Hades was divided
into 3 compartments.
1. Torments: This is for the unbelievers, and is a place of agony.
Verses 23, 28
2. Abraham's bosom: This is for the
believers, and is a place of comfort.
Verses 22, 25.
At Luke 23:43, Jesus called it paradise. Paul calls it
Paradise at 2Cor. 12:1-4.
This part of hades was removed and taken to the third heaven
when Jesus ascended
to the Father's throne after His resurrection.
For details see topic: THE
SAINTS IN HEAVEN
3. The great chasm between: Verse 26, which
is probably to be Identified with -
A. The pit of the abyss of Revelation 9.1-2;
and the abyss at 20.1-3.
B. And tartarus of 1 Pet. 3.19-20; 2 Pet.
2.4; Jude 6
The pit of the abyss is the prison for a group of fallen angels who engaged in gross
immorality and aggression against God's plan for fulfillment of the Messianic
1. 1 Pet. 3:19, spirits in prison
2. 2 Pet. 2:4, in tartarus, ie, pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.
3. Jude 6, preserved in everlasting bonds under darkness.
4. Each of these three passages make it clear that the angels in prison are
the ones involved in Gen. 6:1-13
1 Peter 3:19-20a
After Jesus died physically on the cross, his
soul went into Hades where he joined all believers who had died in the past
and were now dwelling in paradise (Luke 16:22) and where he reunited with the
believing thief who also died on a cross (Luke 23:43).
While in hades, He also made a victorious
proclamation to a group of "spirit beings" who were imprisoned in a separate
compartment. These are specifically identified as some who were disobedient in
the days of Noah, while God's patience was waiting until He would bring the
This group cannot refer to a group of humans
who were disobedient at that time, because ALL unbelievers of the Old
Testament period went without exception to the place of torments (Luke
16:22-23), and no person or group was "set apart" from the others as more evil
than anyone else. They all went to the same place. Accordingly, this group of
spirit-beings must refer to a group of fallen angels, who committed such a
specific and grievous evil that God chose to imprison them as a punishment.
2 Peter 2:4-5
Peter tells us that there was a group of
angels who sinned and were placed in pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.
The Bible makes it clear that the devil and
his angels are not imprisoned, but are "alive and well" and causing much harm
in the world today, both to unbelievers and believers alike.
Accordingly, this specific group of angels
cannot refer to those who rebelled against God at the very beginning in the
revolt led by Satan and which resulted in him being removed from his heavenly
home. Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:1-19
SEE TOPIC: Angelic Conflict
So this must be another and different type of
evil that was committed by a specific group of these fallen angels, and such a
deed that would prompt God to actually imprison them or "tartarize" them as
the Greek indicates. Based on this Greek verb, tartaroō, the place of
imprisonment for these spirits, has been designated as tartarus and should
probably be identified with the "pit of the abyss" (bottomless pit, Rev. 9:1;
20:1) and the great chasm (Luke 16:26).
It is significant that Peter makes immediate
reference to the generation of Noah and the flood judgment as if to give us a
chronological fix on what group of angels he is talking about.
Hopefully, it is clear that the spirits in
prison" of 1 Pet. 3 and the "angels who sinned" of 2 Pet. 2 are one and the
Here we are told of "angels who did not keep
their own domain" which is described as abandoning their proper abode.
The word, domain, is archā and means beginning, and refers to the
"original" sphere of existence in which they were created, Ie, the angelic
sphere of existence.
The word, abode, is oikātārion and means a sphere of "dwelling"
Thus, we learn that these angels left the
sphere of their angelic existence and the sphere of their angelic "function"
and as a result, were imprisoned to await the final judgment.
Jude tells us what exactly is meant by these
concepts of "domain" and "abode" when he explains at verse 7, that the men of
Sodom and Gomorrah, "since they IN THE SAME WAY AS THESE (the angels) indulged
in gross immorality and WENT AFTER DIFFERENT FLESH. The men of Sodom pursued
sexual activity with "strange" flesh, that is, flesh other than what God
designed for their sexual expression. Ie, men with men. In the same way, the
angels pursued sexual activity with "strange" flesh, in that they went outside
the "angelic sphere of existence" and pursued sexual activity with humans.
That is, they accomplished the angelic infiltration as is described at
Although these fallen angels are in prison awaiting their final judgment and
placement in the lake of fire, it seems that they are released for a short
time in order to oppress the unbelievers who worship the beast. Revelation
There seems to be no other group of creatures that this could refer to other
than those spirits who are described in the above passages.
The RULER of these demons is called DESTROYER (Abaddon and Apollyon, Rev.
9:11). This ruler is probably to be seen as the head demon who is imprisoned
Another reference to the
abyss is at Revelation 17:8. Here we are told that when the beast begins his
rule, he will come up out of the abyss.
At about the mid point of the week, the
benevolent world ruler who established the covenant of peace, will be
assassinated (suffer a fatal head wound). Of course, when he dies, his soul
will go into Hades. It seems that "the abyss" can refer to Hades IN GENERAL,
as well as the "great chasm." After this ruler has been dead for awhile, he
will be raised up by the power of Satan which brings his soul back from the
place of torments in the abyss of hades. It is for this reason that he can be
described as "was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss."
The beast that you saw was and is not,
and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction.
And those who dwell on the earth will wonder,
whose name has not been written in the book of life
from the foundation of the world,
when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.
Notice that the people of the world will
OBSERVE that this person "was and is not and will come." Accordingly, it does
not seem likely that this has reference to the "7 kings" of verse 10, where we
see that "five have fallen, one is and one is to come."
Here, at verse 8, viewed from the perspective
of people alive AT THE TIME -
1. "Was," refers to the life of the world
ruler (#7) as he reigned over the 10-nation confederacy.
2. "Is not," refers to the fact that #7 is
killed and "lies in state" before the eyes of the watching world.
3. And "about to come" refers to the
resuscitation of the world ruler as he comes from Hades in the abyss and
becomes the 8th king.
THE ABYSS AND THE PIT OF THE ABYSS ARE DIFFERENT
At Romans 10:7, abyss is certainly used to describe the place where the dead
"Who will descend into the abyss, THAT IS, to bring Christ up from the
The purpose for the question is to challenge man-made philosophies that
attempt to achieve the righteousness of God on human terms rather than on
Verse 3, the religious Jews held to a human viewpoint philosophy, based on
ignorance of God's righteousness and the true nature of the Mosaic law that
attempted to achieve a right standing before God on their own terms,
"seeking to establish their own righteousness." This is because they did not
pursue righteousness by faith but by human works. Rom. 9:31-32.
The righteousness that is out from faith finds that righteousness on God's
terms and acquires reconciliation to God.
The philosophy that operates on human viewpoint (Isaiah 55:8-9, My thoughts
are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways"),
attempts to produce their own messiah.
1. either by devising a false reincarnation of THE Messiah or "a" messiah or
proclaiming that the messiah or "a" messiah has arrived, "Who will ascend
into heaven, that is to bring messiah down?" (Mat. 24:23-26, "false christs"
or he is here or there).
2. or by manufacturing a false resurrection. "Who will descend into the
place of the dead (abyss), that is to bring Christ up from the dead."
With this use of the word, it serves as a synonym for Hades; the place where
the dead go - and where Jesus went temporarily after He died on the cross.
Eph. 4:9, "into the lower parts of the earth."
Luke 23:43, "today you will be with Me in paradise."
Based on this, it seems that the word, abyss is sometimes used to refer to
Hades in general. According to Luke 16:22-26, Hades is divided into three
sections. (1) the place of comfort for believers, (2) the place of torment
for unbelievers, and (3) the great chasm between the two places.
At the "bottom" of the great chasm is probably the place called Tartarus,
where the fallen angels of Genesis 6 are imprisoned (2 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter
3:19-20; Jude 6).
It is this "prison" that is probably in view as "THE PIT of the abyss" at
Rev. 9:1 and 2a, which occurs ONLY here. This PIT has apparently been LOCKED
from the time of the flood until now, and should be viewed as different from
the abyss in general. And it will not be unlocked until the 5th trumpet
At the 5th trumpet judgment (Rev. 9:1-12) the first woe will plague the
The "star" who was given the key to the pit of the abyss is probably Satan
himself. He is seen as "having fallen" (perfect active participle) from
heaven, which corresponds with Rev. 12:7-9, 13 where Satan is cast down to
the earth after losing the war in heaven with Michael. This will occur
shortly before the midpoint of the week.
There is a different person in view at Rev. 9:1, who is the one who
temporarily GIVES the key to Satan. He obviously takes the key back for he
is seen at Rev. 20 where this time it is HE who opens the pit and throws
The "locusts" (demons) who will be released at that time are probably the
fallen angels who were imprisoned there in connection with the flood. The
angel of the abyss at Rev. 9:11 refers to the ranking demon who leads the
others when they are released for a short time at the 5th trumpet judgment.
The PIT in front of abyss is not repeated because the immediate context
indicates that it is indeed the same pit of the abyss that is in view.
His name is "the one who ruins" or "destroys; Abaddon and Apollyon, which is
what he and his buddies do for 5 months; a ruination or "torment" that
causes people to have a death wish, but which wish will not be granted. Rev.
This KING of the abyss is best seen as ONE OF THEM who was imprisoned there
with them. He is there leader. Satan is NOT the king over the abyss or over
Hades. It is a place of judgment for him; not a domain over which he rules.
(Hebrews 2:14 is a whole different issue and need not be discussed at this
The release of the demons at the 5th trumpet judgment cannot occur until the
pit is unlocked. And that will occur only AFTER the midpoint of the week,
and AFTER the world ruler (the beast out of the sea) is empowered by Satan,
which will occur at the midpoint of the week.
According to Rev. 17:8 (and 11:7) the beast will "come out of the abyss."
At Rev. 13:3, 12, we learn the beast will be killed and then healed.
If the human ruler dies, then he must go to Hades to the place of torment.
Since the abyss is used for Hades, AND "the pit of the abyss" is locked
until many months after the death of the human ruler, It should be clear
that upon death, this ruler will not go into the PIT of the abyss; but
rather into Hades (the abyss in general). And accordingly, when he is healed
from his fatal wound, he will be brought back up from Hades; that is from
the abyss. And that is exactly what is in view with the phrase, "the beast
that comes out of the abyss" at Rev. 11:7 and 17:8, "about to come up out of
After the battle of Armageddon, Satan will be chained temporarily in the
abyss for 1000 years. Rev. 20:1-3. This is done by the same angel who
temporarily gave Satan the key at Rev. 9:1; an angel of such a stature and
power that he is ABLE to grab Satan and throw him into the abyss. And that
suggests that it is Michael who earlier succeeded in casting Satan onto the
earth at the midpoint of the 70th week after the war in heaven of Rev.
Here, the "pit" is simply described as the abyss, but probably refers to the
pit of the abyss. This is not inconsistent since the pit of the abyss is
PART of the abyss in general.
At this time it is also Satan's angels (demons; unclean spirits) who will be
cast into the "pit of" the abyss. Zechariah 13:1, "and I will remove the
(false) prophets and the unclean spirits from the land."
Since this is the established fate of Satan and his angels, the demons are
all aware of their destiny. Of course, they are disoriented to the true
time-line of God's intended plan for them; IE. after the battle of
Armageddon. Accordingly, when faced with exorcism at the hands of Jesus they
express their KNOWLEDGE of their destiny, but also their disorientation.
Mat. 8:29, "Have you come here to torment us (in the abyss) BEFORE the
Luke 8:31, "and they were entreating Him not to command them to depart into
the abyss (torment before the time)."
Since the abyss is sometimes uses as a
synonym for Hades in general, and includes the pit of the abyss which is in
the great chasm, when DEATH and HADES are cast into the lake of
fire after the last judgment, the abyss will of course be included. Revelation