88 Facts Proving That Hell is Not

the Grave


  1. In Scripture, Sheol/Hades (hell) is never the place of the body; qeber/mnemeion (grave) is never the place of the soul (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-29).
  2. Sheowl (OT:7585) is never in the plural; qeber (OT:6913) is plural 38 times, and singular 74 times.
  3. Sheowl (OT:7585) is never located on earth; qeber (OT:6913) is located on earth 73 times.
  4. The body never goes to sheowl (OT:7585); the body is mentioned as going to qeber (OT:6913) 75 times.
  5. An individual’s sheowl (OT:7585) is never mentioned; an individual’s qeber (OT:6913) is mentioned 79 times.
  6. Man never puts anyone into sheowl (OT:7585); man puts bodies into a qeber (OT:6913) 40 times.
  7. Man never digs or makes a sheowl (OT:7585); man digs and makes a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
  8. Man on earth never touches a sheowl (OT:7585); he touches a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
  9. Man has never seen a sheowl (OT:7585) on earth; he has seen a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
  10. God alone puts men into sheowl (OT:7585) (Numbers 16:30-33; 1 Samuel 2:6; Ezekiel 31:16; Luke 16:19-31).
  11. God alone will bring men out of sheowl (OT:7585) (1 Samuel 2:6; Rev. 20:11-15).
  12. Hell-bound men descend (Isaiah 5:14) and go down (into the lower parts of the earth) into sheowl (OT:7585) at death (Genesis 37:35; Genesis 42:38; Genesis 44:29,31; Numbers 16:30-33; 1 Samuel 2:6; 1 Kings 2:6,9; Job 7:9-10; Job 17:16; Job 21:13; Psalm 31:16-17; Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 31:15-17; Ezekiel 32:27; Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15).
  13. People go into sheowl (OT:7585) in a moment and quickly (Numbers 16:30-33; Job 21:13; Psalm 55:15; Luke 16:19-31).
  14. People are forced into sheowl (OT:7585) (Isaiah 5:15).
  15. People are cast into sheowl (OT:7585) (Ezekiel 31:15-17).
  16. Sheol is located in the nether parts of the earth (Ezekiel 31:14-18; Ezekiel 32:24), lower parts of the earth (Psalm 63:9; Psalm 68:18; Ephes. 4:8-10), heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40), below the depth of the seas and below the foundations of the mountains (Jonah 2:2-6), beneath like a pit (Proverbs 15:24; Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 31:14-18; Ezekiel 32:18-31), and is too deep to dig into (Job 11:8; Amos 9:2).
  17. Sheol/Hades, unlike the grave, is a place of activity, a place of wrath (Deut. 32:22; Luke 16:19-31).
  18. A place of sorrow (Genesis 42:38; Genesis 44:29,31; 2 Samuel 22:6; Psalm 18:5; Psalm 55:15; Psalm 116:3; Proverbs 7:27; Isaiah 14:9-15).
  19. A place of fire (Deut. 32:22; Song 8:6; Luke 16:19-31).
  20. A place hidden from man, but naked before God (Job 26:6; Psalm 139:8; Proverbs 15:11; Amos 9:2)
  21. A place of power (Psalm 49:15; Hosea 13:14; Matthew 16:18; 1 Cor. 15:51-56; Rev. 1:18; Rev. 6:8).
  22. A place of full consciousness (Isaiah 14:9-15; Ezekiel 32:27-31; Luke 16:19-31).
  23. A place for the soul and spirit, not the body (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 49:15; Psalm 86:13; Psalm 89:48; Proverbs 23:14; Acts 2:25-29).
  24. A place of conversations (Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 32:21; Luke 16:19-31).
  25. A place where many kings and chief ones of the earth live after death (Isaiah 14:9-11).
  26. A place where its inhabitants are stirred up at the coming of others (Isaiah 14:9-11; Ezekiel 32:27-32).
  27. A place where great men acknowledge their defeat (Isaiah 14:9-11).
  28. A place where men recognize and converse with one another (Isaiah 14:16; Luke 16:9-31).
  29. A place where knowledge and memory exist (Isaiah 14:10,16; Luke 16:19-31).
  30. A place for the proud-Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15.  If the grave is hell then the curse of Jesus here is meaningless, for all go to graves physically, the proud and the humble, without such a curse (Hebrews 9:27).
  31. A place of torment (Luke 16:23).
  32. A place of prayer (Jonah 2:2; Luke 16:19-31).
  33. A place of regret over mistreatment of others (Luke 16:24-31).
  34. A place where men still have willpower, though it is too late to accept God’s terms and escape hell (Luke 16:24-31).
  35. A place where men are conscious of life on earth, but cannot visit earth to warn men of the real torments (Luke 16:26-31).
  36. A place where the lost become concious of the need of soul-winning (Luke 16:27-31).
  37. A place so terrible that those who are in it plead for some means of warning others not to come there (Luke 16:26-31).
  38. A place where souls are not burned up by the fire (Luke 16:22-31; 1 Peter 3:4).
  39. A place of cruelty (Song 8:6).
  40. A place that has enlarged itself-it has not been enlarged by men (Isaiah 5:14).
  41. A place that is never full or satisfied (Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:16; Habakkuk 2:5).
  42. A place that receives men in numbers like flocks of sheep (note, Psalm 49:14).
  43. A place from which only salvation can deliver one (Psalm 86:13).
  44. A place of gates and bars (Job 17:16; Isaiah 38:10; Matthew 16:18; Rev. 1:18).
  45. A place of debasement (Isaiah 57:9).
  46. A place of pains (Psalm 18:5; Psalm 116:3; Luke 16:19-31).
  47. A temporary place of torment (Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15).
  48. A place of two compartments-one for the righteous before the resurrection of Christ, and one for the wicked departed souls from Abel’s time to the end of the Millennium-with a great gulf between the compartments forbidding travel but not communication between them (Luke 16:19-31).

The Paradise Compartment of Sheol:

  1. A place other than the grave for the righteous who, until Christ came, were captives of the devil against their will (Hebrews 2:14-15).  It was called Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22) and paradise (Luke 23:43).
  2. It was a hiding place from God’s wrath after death (Job 14:13; Luke 16:19-31), a place without fire, but with water and other comforts (Ezekiel 31:16; Luke 16:19-31).
  3. Lazarus went into this place of comfort, but his body went to the grave (Luke 16:19-31).
  4. Christ and the penitent thief went into paradise at death (Psalm 16:10; Matthew 12:40; Luke 23:43; Ephes. 4:8-10).
  5. Jonah also went into this compartment while his body was dead in the belly of the whale (Jonah 2:2,6-7; Matthew 12:40).
  6. Angels carried the righteous souls into this compartment, but men carried their bodies to graves (Luke 16:22-26; Luke 23:43).
  7. Christ, while there, preached to the angels in tartarus, proving that the hell He was in is not the grave (Psalm 16:10; note, 1 Peter 3:19).
  8. Christ, while in Sheol/Hades, liberated the righteous captives of Satan taking them to heaven with Him when He ascended on high (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15).
  9. Paradise is now empty of all the righteous souls (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 12:23); the graves continue to hold bodies of both the righteous and unrighteous.
  10. The righteous were alive in paradise, else Christ could not have preached and liberated the righteous captives; and Lazarus and others in this place could not have been comforted (Luke 16:19-31).

The Torment Compartment of Sheol:

  1. It is the lowest part of Sheol, even lower than paradise, and therefore could not be the grave (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 86:13; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 57:9).
  2. The greater number of people (not all) go into it at death (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 9:17; Isaiah 5:14; Luke 16:19-31), whereas all men go into a grave, watery or otherwise, at death.
  3. The fire in it is as literal as the mountains (Deut. 32:22; Luke 16:19-31).
  4. The fire is kindled in God’s wrath (Deut. 32:22)
  5. Entrance into it is down, deeper than a grave, through the earth to its center (Numbers 16:30-33; Matthew 12:40; Ephes. 4:8-10).
  6. Bodies of men are buried at the mouth of it on the earth’s surface only (Psalm 141:7).
  7. Men go alive into it (Numbers 16:30-33; Psalm 88:3; Proverbs 1:12; Ezekiel 32:27-31; Luke 16:19-31).
  8. The wicked only are tormented in it (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 9:17; Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 14:9-16; Luke 16:19-31).
  9. Its depth is contrasted with the height of heaven, which could never be so of the grave (Job 11:7; Isaiah 57:9; Amos 9:2).
  10. Christ now has the keys of Sheol/Hades (Rev. 1:18).
  11. Chastening can help men to be godly and escape it (Proverbs 23:14), but chastening will not keep men from graves.  All go to graves, but all do not go to hell.  In fact, no saved man goes there since Christ conquered hell (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).
  12. The gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against the church in this age (Matthew 16:18), but they did prevail against O.T. saints, for they all went down into the paradise compartment of sheowl (OT:7585) and were held captive by Satan against their will (Hebrews 2:14-15).  Since the resurrection of Christ, saints do not go to Sheol/Hades as before He conquered hell and liberated the righteous souls from Satan, leading them captive to heaven (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15).  Saints of this age now go to heaven at death instead of to Sheol (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11), which proves that hell is not the grave.  No such change regarding graves has ever been made.  The bodies of both the righteous and the wicked continue to be put into graves.
  13. Every man in Sheol/Hades will be brought out and judged 1,000 years after the righteous have been resurrected (Rev. 20:4-6,11-15).  If men at death are extinct or unconscious in graves, why bring them back into existence or consciousness just to judge them and send them into extinction of being again, as false cults teach?  This would make the Bible a lie, for conscious punishment of sins would then be impossible.  Unconsciousness in graves now, and unconsciousness and extinction of being in eternity, would not meet the demands of the law of eternal punishment for eternal rebellion, as we shall see below.
  14. Sheol/Hades held the captives that were captured by Christ and taken to heaven when He ascended on high (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15).  How could extinct or unconcious men be held captive?  Why would Christ even attempt to capture extinct beings?  What would He want with them?  Those He captured must have been real and living, for God is not the God of the dead bodies of men but of their living souls (Luke 20:38).  If the captives were brought back into being again when their captivity by Christ took place, then the resurrection of the righteous has already taken place and many scriptures stating the future resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked are without meaning (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; 1 Thes. 4:16; Rev. 20:4-6).
  15. Qeber/mnemeion, the proper words for grave, are never translated “hell.”  Sheol/Hades should never have been translated “grave.”  To prove this, let us substitute hell where burial, grave, tomb, and sepulchre are found and see how ridiculous it would be:

Examples of Using “Hell” for “Grave”:

(1)  Choice of our hells (Genesis 23:6)

(2)  Jacob set a pillar upon her hell (Genesis 35:20)

(3)  In my hell which I have digged (Genesis 50:5)

(4)  Because … no hells in Egypt (Exodus 14:11)

(5)  Whosoever touches a hell shall be unclean seven days (Numbers 19:16,18)

(6)  Buried by the hell of my father (2 Samuel 19:37)

(7)  Carcass in his own hell (1 Kings 13:30)

(8)  The hell of Elisha (2 Kings 13:21)

(9)  Hell of the man of God (2 Kings 23:17)

(10)  Remain among the hells (Isaiah 65:4)

(11)  Bones out of hells (Jeremiah 8:1)

(12)  Hells of the prophets (Matthew 23:29)

(13)  Hells of the righteous (Matthew 23:29)

(14)  Dwelling among the hells (Mark 5:3)

Examples of Using “Grave” for “Hell”:

(1)  Fire burning in the lowest grave kindled by God’s wrath (Deut. 32:22)

(2)  Sorrows of the grave (2 Samuel 22:6)

(3)  Wicked and all nations that forget God turned into the grave (Psalm 9:17)

(4)  Soul in the grave (Psalm 16:10)

(5)  Pains of the grave (Psalm 116:3)

(6)  The grave is never full (Proverbs 27:20)

(7)  The inhabitants of the grave move to welcome you at your coming (Isaiah 14:9)

(8)  Speak out of the grave (Ezekiel 32:21)

(9)  Shall be in danger of grave fire (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43-49)

(10)  Fire of the grave never quenched (Mark 9:43-49)

(11)  God only has power to cast in the grave (Luke 12:5)

(12)  In the grave he lift up his eyes, being in torments in fire … flame (Luke 16:19-31)

(13)  Angels cast down to the grave (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7)

Other Ridiculous Conclusions:

(1)  They shall look into the grave on sinners where their worm does not die and their fire shall not be quenched (Isaiah 66:22-24).

(2)  Cast into the grave where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:11-12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 24:51; Matthew 25:30).

(3)  Who has warned you to flee from wrath in the grave (Matthew 3:7)?

(4)  Killed and cast into the fire of the grave (Matthew 3:10).

(5)  Burn in unquenchable fire in the grave (Matthew 3:12; Matthew 7:19; Luke 3:17).

(6)  Tares are burned in the grave fire (Matthew 13:40,50).

(7)  Cast them into the grave of fire:  there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42).

(8)  A two-fold child more of the grave than yourselves (Matthew 23:15).

(9)  Be cast into everlasting fire in the grave (Matthew 18:8-10).

(10)  Depart from Me, you cursed, into the grave of everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).

(11)  These shall go away in the grave of everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46).

(12)  The angels that sinned have been reserved in everlasting chains and set forth for an example of suffering the eternal fire of the grave (Jude 1:6-7).

(13)  He opened the grave and out of it came forth smoke of a great furnace that darkened the sun (Rev. 9).

(14)  The smoke of the grave rose up forever and ever (Rev. 19:3).

(15)  Satan shall be cast into the grave of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:7-10).

(16)  Death and the grave were cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).

(17)  All sinners shall have their part in the grave that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15).

(18)  Are you come to torment us (demons) in the grave before it is time to be tormented (Matthew 8:29)?

(19)  Warn my five brethren lest they also come to this grave of torment in fire (Luke 16:19-31).

(20)  He (Lazarus) has comfort in his grave but you have torment in yours (Luke 19:25).

(21)  He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the grave and they shall have no rest day or night forever and ever (Rev. 14:9-11).

Many other statements just as ridiculous could be made if we, like false cults, forced a meaning into Scripture that is not there-that hell is the grave; that there is no consciousness after death; that eternal fire and eternal punishment in hell are false.

  1. Hades (NT:86) is spoken of as being completely defeated (1 Cor. 15:55).  This is sufficient proof that it isn’t the grave.
  2. The fact that the soul is immortal proves that it remains in consciousness some place between death and resurrection (note, 1 Peter 3:4). Since it does not go to the grave, but to hell (Isaiah 14:9-16; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15) or heaven (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11), then hell is not the grave.
  3. Since the soul is immortal and the body mortal (Genesis 3:19; Eccles. 3:19-21), then it is clear that only the body goes into the grave to see corruption until its resurrection to immortality when (if wicked) it will be punished in hell with the soul or (if righteous), will be permitted to enjoy eternal bliss.
  4. Since only the body is to be changed in the future resurrection of the dead, then only the body will come out of unconsciousness in the grave so it can be made as immortal as the soul and spirit, and be rewarded in heaven or punished in hell, according to its deeds (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:11-15). See notes on the resurrection, Daniel 12:2.
  5. Since soul-sleep is not taught in Scripture and body-sleep is, then it is the body only that is unconscious in the grave. See No Soul-Sleep Taught in Scripture. The soul goes to hell or heaven at death, as seen in the many scriptures above.
  6. Since the bodies of the wicked as well as the righteous will become immortal in the resurrection, then it is impossible to burn them up, consume them, annihilate them, or cause them to become extinct through fire or any other means. Where are immortal wicked beings going to spend eternity as everlasting monuments of God’s wrath and examples of eternal punishment for rebellion (as in Isaiah 66:22-24; Rev. 14:9-11; etc.), if not in hell?
  7. Because there is full consciousness in the intermediate state between death and resurrection, souls of the wicked as well as the righteous must go to some place of waiting to remain until the resurrection of the body. See pt. (14), The Doctrine of Man. Where would the wicked go to await their bodies and receive judgment and their degrees of punishment, if not to hell?
  8. Since the word “hell” is never in the plural, and since it is always clear, not only from the original words but from the subject matter of the texts, that bodies are put into graves and souls go to heaven or hell, then we must acknowledge that hell is not the grave.
  9. Of the 65 places where sheowl (OT:7585) is used, 11 where Hades is used, 12 where gehenna (NT:1067), 5 the lake of fire, and the 1 time where tartaros (the verb form tartaroo (NT:5020)) is used in Scripture, only 2 places seem to teach that hell is the grave and that there is no consciousness in Sheol (Psalm 6:5; Eccles. 9:10).

The first passage is simply the statement of a man in great distress.  He could not see how the inhabitants in sheowl (OT:7585) could remember God’s goodness and give thanks to Him while in torment such as the rich man suffered in Luke 16.  It is easily conceivable how such tormented rebels against God would not give thanks to Him, so this would not prove anything regarding hell being the grave.  David did not believe that hell was the grave and that there was no life in sheowl (OT:7585), for in many places he taught that Sheol was the place of the immortal soul (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-29); a place of sorrows and pains (Psalm 18:5); and a place of full consciousness where the wicked go at death (Psalm 9:17; Psalm 31:17; Psalm 68:18; Psalm 88:3).

In the second passage, Eccles. 9:10, Solomon merely expresses the idea that all human activity under the sun ceases at death, as proved by the next verse where he speaks of profit under the sun.  The phrase “under the sun” is found 29 times in this short book.  Solomon does not mean that hell is the grave in Eccles. 9:10, for elsewhere he teaches that the righteous do not go to the same compartment of Sheol as the wicked do (Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 15:11,24; Proverbs 23:14; Proverbs 27:20).

  1. The confinement of angels and demons to prisons under the earth because of sin proves that others-the immortal souls and spirits of the human race and of giants-can also be confined to material prisons in the underworld (Isaiah 24:21-22; 1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7; Rev. 9:1-21; Rev. 20:1-10).
  2. Examples of continued consciousness after death prove that hell and heaven are real places of life and not the grave where there is no life (Matthew 17:5; Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).
  3. The Bible refers to life after death in many places.  See pt. (14), The Doctrine of Man.
  4. Degrees of punishment in eternal hell prove that neither Sheol/Hades nor the lake of fire is the grave (Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:22-24; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 23:12-15; Rev. 20:11-15).  How could there be any kind of eternal punishment, much less degrees of punishment, if the wicked are extinct?
  5. The eternal length of punishment of the wicked proves hell is not the grave.  All bodies in graves will be resurrected and graves will be no more, but hell and eternal punishment will never end.

Fourteen Fallacies about Hell:

  1. Hell is the grave. This is abundantly disproved above.
  2. Fire in hell is figurative.  The word fire is found in Scripture 549 times and is used figuratively only a few times.  It is always clear when it is used figuratively, as of anger (Psalm 89:46); jealousy (Psalm 79:5); zeal (Psalm 104:4; John 2:17); shame (Romans 12:20); trials (1 Peter 1:7); judgment (Zech.13:9); Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29); tongue (James 3:5-6); and God (Hebrews 12:29).  Fire is used in plain literal descriptive language in the following statements of hell:

(1)  Set on fire the foundations of mountains in the lowest Sheol (Deut. 32:22).

(2)  Neither shall their fire be quenched (Isaiah 66:22-24; Mark 9:43-49).

(3)  Unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:10,12).

(4)  Hell fire (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43-49).

(5)  Cast into the fire (Matthew 7:19).

(6)  Furnace of fire (Matthew 13:40-50).

(7)  Cast into everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41,46).

(8)  Fire that never shall be quenched (Mark 9:43-49; Luke 3:17).

(9)  The vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:6-7).

(10)  Tormented with fire and brimstone (Rev. 14:9-11).

(11)  Lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 21:8).

(12)  Lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:14-15).

  1. Punishment of hell not eternal. If language means anything the torments of hell are proved to be eternal in the following:

(1)  Danger of eternal damnation (Mark 3:29)

(2)  Eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:2)

(3)  Vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7)

(4)  Shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29)

(5)  Everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41)

(6)  Everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46)

(7)  Everlasting destruction (2 Thes. 1:9)

(8)  Everlasting chains (Jude 1:6-7)

(9)  The smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever (Rev. 14:9-11).

(10)  Tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:10)

The same words translated “eternal,” “everlasting,” and “forever and ever,” which are used to state the eternity of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, life, etc., are also used of hell and punishment.  Therefore, if these persons and things are eternal, then hell and punishment are eternal.  Some teach that forever means age-long.  This may be true when used in a limited and qualified sense of temporary things, as in Exodus 21:6, but when used literally of God’s plan it always means eternal.  The Hebrew word: (owlam (OT:5769) and the Greek word aionios (NT:166) mean time out of mind, past or future; eternity; always; forever; everlasting; perpetual; without end.