Of the four words that are often translated “hell,” Gehenna is the only term used in our Scriptures to describe the final fate of the wicked.1 It is used primarily by Jesus in the gospels, once by James and is entirely absent in the writings of Paul. The purpose of this paper is to examine the origin, history and development of Gehenna from the Old Testament (OT) to New Testament (NT), comparing the external evidence seen in the historical rabbinical ideas of Gehenna with the internal evidence seen in exclusively biblical development.

The following questions will be considered: Is there any biblical or historical warrant for accepting the popular idea of Gehenna as a “garbage dump” just south of Jerusalem, into which the city garbage, and dead bodies of animals and criminals, were thrown to be incinerated? Is Gehenna primarily a geographical term giving rise to eschatology cast in spatial language, or is there development that takes us beyond the basic geographical meaning? What this paper hopes to accomplish is to give clarity to the meaning of Gehenna in its historical context, which will help us discern its overall usage throughout the NT.

Origin of Gehenna

The Greek Gehenna is a transliteration of the Hebrew phrase Ge-hinnom which, in a handful of variations throughout the OT, functions primarily as a toponym or “place-name.”2 It is a reference to the valley just outside of Jerusalem “variously designated in the Hebrew text as the valley ‘of the sons of Hinnom (), ‘of the son of Hinnom’ (), or simply ‘of Hinnom’ ().”3 Geographically, this “valley was located south-southwest of Jerusalem, and it adjoined the Kidron valley which lay to the south-southeast of the city.”4 It was a “deep and yawning gorge that never [contained] water,” and a valley that descended “over six hundred feet from its original source.”5 In Jerusalem today, it is known as “Wadi er-Rababi.”6

Ge-hinnom is used a total of thirteen times in our Hebrew Bible: five times it serves “as a purely geographical term” (; ); narratively, it is used three times when describing “historical events that happened in the valley and its environs” (2 Kgs. 23:10; ; ); and the five remaining occurrences are within the Jeremaic text as prophecies “about a war in the valley in which God will punish the apostates of Judah” ().7 In addition to these, there are several other OT texts in which the language and imagery of judgment in a valley are used without using the actual term Ge-hinnom (e.g. ; ). Aside from the plain geographical usage, each of the above categories will be examined in turn.

History of Ge-hinnom

The valley of Hinnom is “the scene of one of Israel’s most terrible lapses into pagan customs” in the history of Judah.8 During the reign of King Ahaz, fire worship was instituted, and in this valley children were burned alive in the fire as a sacrifice to the god Molech. We read in that Ahaz “burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his sons in the fire” (c.f. ).9 Two generations later, Manasseh took the throne, and like his grandfather Ahaz, “he sacrificed his sons in fire, in the Valley of Ben Hinnom” (33:6; c.f. ). tells us that “they built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech,” something the Lord “never commanded, nor did it enter [His] mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.” This demonic act of sacrificial slaughter “filled Jerusalem from end to end” with the blood of innocent children, and provoked the Lord to such anger that he said, “I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle” ().

That this Ge-hinnom valley was chosen as the location for such abominable practices is not hard to imagine. According to Lloyd Bailey, “an altar [or pillar], in the ancient Semitic world served to connect the realm of the worshipper with that of the deity.”10 We see examples of this elsewhere with the story of Jacob and his heavenly dream at Bethel. When Jacob awoke from his dream, he set up a pillar in the place where he lay and proclaimed that “this is the gate to heaven” (). “Underworld deities, on the other hand, could be contacted most efficiently through altars in low places: ravines, crevices, or caves.”11 In fact, Bailey goes on to say that within these Semitic cultures, these “altars were sometimes supplied with pipes so that the sacrificial blood could be channeled to the underworld deities who were thought to dwell just beneath them.”12 This is perhaps why we read in places such as condemnations of “those who sacrificed in valleys and who poured out liquid offerings there to an underworld deity.”12

Manasseh’s grandson Josiah later took the throne, and we read of his sweeping reforms in . He led the nation in her reformation, and “desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech” (v.10). Topheth is the “place of fire” or “fire altar” within the Valley of Ge-hinnom where the child sacrifices took place.13 Josiah’s servants also took all the articles made for Ba‘al-worship and “burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley” (v.4) which was adjacent to the Valley of Hinnom.14 By way of desecration, he took human bones and scattered them in the places used for pagan worship (vv.13-14). Papaioannou points out that the “corpses and the bones of the dead were considered unclean, and this act signified the defilement of the sites so that they would not be used again for any kind of idolatrous worship.”15 The author of 2 Chronicles records the same events but adds that Josiah took the bones of the dead pagan priests and burned them “on their altars, and so he purged Judah and Jerusalem” of their sin (34:1-7). An act of desecration was also an act of purification.

So radical was Josiah’s reformation that it moved the heart of God. “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did – with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength” (2 Kgs. 23:25). But nevertheless, the Lord said that because the great sins of Ahaz and Manasseh “provoked [him] to anger by all that their hands have made, [his] anger will be poured out on [Judah] and will not be quenched” (). As an act of mercy, however, the Lord promised Josiah that he would not witness the disaster that would befall Judah (2 Kgs. 22:20; ).

Development of Ge-hinnom

Aside from the history already surveyed, the term Ge-hinnom shows up in Jeremiah where it is portrayed as a place where the apostate Jews will be completely destroyed by God. The first instance is in where the Lord tells the prophet of his anger that burns against Judah. He is provoked to anger because “the people of Judah…have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire” (7:30-31). Then in language of terror and dread, Jeremiah prophesies the destruction to come: “The days are coming…when the people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room” (7:32). Their corpses will be left to rot, and “will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth” (7:33).16 The intense language of slaughter and of exposed dead give us the imagery of a bloody “battle scene…and one of utmost desolation.”17

This language of Ge-hinnom is picked up again in , and we see a starkly similar picture as we saw in 7:29-34, except with a few additional details. Jeremiah goes out to the Ge-hinnom valley and prophesies directly towards the “kings of Judah and the people of Jerusalem” (19:3a). Interestingly, he seems to employ language similar to the words in , where the Lord says, “I am going to bring such disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle” (b). Again, the prophecy says that the valley will be called the “Valley of Slaughter” (19:6), “where those Israelites who offered their children as sacrifice to false deities will themselves be slaughtered.”18 There won’t be enough room to bury the dead, and the unburied will be left as food for the birds and wild animals (19:7). What Jeremiah says different here is that the people will “fall by the sword before their enemies,” which introduces explicit warfare imagery. Additionally, he says the people will turn on each other in cannibalistic fashion “during the stress of the siege imposed on them” (19:9). By using a visual illustration, as many prophets did to enhance their prophecy, Jeremiah breaks a clay jar in front of the people and says, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired” (19:11). Not only is this a desolation of the people of Judah, but of the entire city of Jerusalem (19:12-13). So great is the destruction that will befall the nation that it will be irreparable.

Our third instance, though absent of the term Ge-hinnom, is an unmistakable allusion to the same valley. In , the prophet refers to the “valley of the dead bodies and the ashes” located near the Kidron Valley, which is right next to the Valley of Ben Hinnom. This Jeremaic reference is different from the prophecies in and 19, for the context here is one of salvation and redemption (31:23-40). It looks ahead to post-exilic times when the Lord brings his people back out of captivity with a “New Covenant,” and they will rebuild the city of Jerusalem. This is when the “valley of the dead bodies and the ashes” will become “holy to the Lord” (31:40).

We know from history recorded outside of Scripture and in and 3 that shortly after Josiah’s death, “Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the people of Judah were taken into exile.”19 Jeremiah the prophet is believed to have been “a younger contemporary of Josiah.”12 In fact, it is likely that he would have been involved in Josiah’s sweeping reforms as a young prophet. Based on what we know from , “the prophet received his prophetic call during Josiah’s thirteenth year, just as the latter had commenced his reform program []. Jeremiah was quite young at the time of his call, which could mean that Josiah’s desecrations of Ge-hinnom would have been deeply impressed upon the young prophet.”20

In light of this background, it is quite likely that the grotesque imagery of a valley filled with dead bodies in and 19:1-15 would have had a deep impact on the people of Judah. The people had just recently been a part of Josiah’s radical reformation, and saw the valley desecrated with the bones of the dead. It is not hard to imagine why Jeremiah calls it “the valley of dead bodies” (31:40). His prophecy would have carried much force in the minds of the people, for it was a call to repentance or else they and the entire populace of Jerusalem “will become as deserted, desecrated and abominable as the valley of Hinnom after the reforms of Josiah” – a valley of slaughter.21

Historically, it seems clear that Jeremiah prophesied the brutal destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and this was fulfilled somewhat off-screen from the text. There seems, however, to be elements within Jeremiah’s prophecy that point to “a greater and more complete destruction brought about God himself…that goes beyond anything the Babylonians did.”12 There will be no room to bury the dead, “the land will become desolate,” and the “sounds of joy and gladness” and the “voices of the bride and bridegroom” will cease (). Coupled with the repeated use of the phrase, “the days are coming” (7:32; 19:6; 31:27,31,38), and with the redemptive tone in , these elements may “suggest an eschatological event in the making.”12 To be sure, the emphasis is immediate fulfillment in the eyes of Jeremiah, but a future fulfillment may be implied, even if it cannot be proven with certainty.

By far the clearest allusion to the Valley of Ge-hinnom outside of Jeremiah is , which happens to be the Ge-hinnom text most alluded to in the teachings of Jesus in the gospels. Contextually, is describing an eschatological battle scene outside of Jerusalem.22 The Lord protects the righteous within the city while utterly slaying the wicked who rebel against Him, by divine fire and sword. Then Isaiah says that the righteous “will go out and look upon the dead bodies” of the wicked, lying just outside of Jerusalem, where “their worm does not die” and the “fire is not quenched” ( – emphasis mine). The image is of “a pile of corpses, victims in battle, ignominiously dumped in a heap and torched.”23 The Ge-hinnom Valley is not mentioned in this text, but the imagery has unmistakably strong ties with Jeremiah: a great battle resulting in massive loss of life, where the dead are left unburied and left to the irresistible consumption by scavengers. Yet, another connection can be made to the “Valley of Slaughter” in Jeremiah from where it speaks of “the salvation of Israel and the destruction of her enemies on the Day of the Lord – ‘the day of great slaughter.’”24

There are other allusions to destruction in a valley within OT texts such as , and , but in each of these cases (as we saw with ), they do not mention Ge-hinnom by name. “This can only mean that the word Ge-hinnom had not yet developed into a byword for the punishment that God would inflict on the wicked in the eschatological future.”25 It seems to be the case, then, that Ge-hinnom in the OT was a term only used in pre-exilic texts. Subsequent to Jeremiah, we do not hear of Ge-hinnom again in the rest of the OT.

The Silence of Gehenna

Interestingly, the Septuagint “does not have Gehenna and Josephus mentions neither the term nor the matter.”26 Within the Second Temple literature leading up to the time of Christ, it is questionable that Gehenna was ever used as a toponym for final punishment. Papaioannou suggests that the relevant mentions of Gehenna in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha are found in the later writings of 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, Apocalypse of Abraham, and the Sibylline Oracles. All of these, he says, “are dated after AD 70, toward the end of the [first] century or even later.”27 The same can be said of the Mishnah and Babylonian Talmud, which are compilations of material written by rabbis from as early as the first century BC until the sixth century AD. In these writings, “the word Gehenna appears well over fifty times,” with a few rabbis being the earliest attributions in the later part of the first century AD.28 But in most cases, “they are attributed to Rabbis of the third and fourth centuries.”29

There exists a large gap between the Ge-hinnom of Jeremaic origin and the Gehenna of the later first century AD. Ge-hinnom, according to Jeremiah, was a valley where the wicked were slaughtered in battle and the dead bodies were left unburied. According to later Jewish writings, Gehenna became an eschatological term referring to an other–worldly place, where “the wicked, sometimes in their bodies, sometimes only as disembodied souls, are sometimes annihilated, but often anguish in fire forever without end.”30 In other words, Jeremiah seems to envision annihilation in Gehenna as the fate of the wicked, whereas later Jewish writings show evidence for prolonged or even eternal torment as the punishment in Gehenna. It is difficult to reconcile or harmonize these ideas when there is such a large historical gap with no evidence showing “a coherent, gradual development of the theme beginning with Jeremiah and continuing down the centuries.”31 This is not to dismiss the fact that there were some texts in the intertestamental period, albeit few and in embryonic form, that warn of eternal torment. But they were not in connection with the geographical Gehenna. Rather, they appear to have sprung forth from non-Jewish philosophy. Based on the evidence that we have, it seems likely that Jesus, in his teaching on Gehenna, continues the Gehenna motif of Jeremiah.32 It is here that we must turn to Jesus and the NT.

Advent of Gehenna

Throughout the NT, Gehenna is mentioned a total of twelve times, eleven from the lips of Jesus. “Twice he addresses the Pharisees. All else that Jesus says about hell is directed to his own disciples.”33 Within the gospels, Matthew generously refers to it a total of eight times, Mark uses it three times all in the span of five verses in chapter nine, and Luke uses it only once.34 The only other occurrence of Gehenna is in . The unified understanding of Gehenna in the NT is that it is the location where the wicked are punished after the final resurrection. Time and space do not permit a detailed exegesis of each of these Gehenna texts, but several general observations are in order.

Among the Gehenna references in the Gospels, it is important to recognize that there is a unique emphasis on the body. In , Jesus draws on the OT context of a murderer receiving a death sentence in court when he speaks of the wicked being “in danger of the fire of Gehenna.” Continuing on, the even more explicit language in , and speaks of mutilated body parts with Gehenna as the context. For example, says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna.” Jesus repeats this phrase twice when he speaks similarly of feet and eyes (vv.45-46). As a parallel between a partial loss and a total loss, Jesus seems to be pointing out that to enter life mutilated is better than being a dead corpse thrown into Gehenna.35 What is more, almost akin to spiritual gangrene, if action is not taken to get rid of sin, it will eventually consume and kill the whole body.36 Thus, it seems a comparison is drawn between the severed limb and the lifeless body in Gehenna.

A corpse thrown into Gehenna is reminiscent of the dead bodies in Jeremiah’s Valley of Slaughter and Isaiah’s scene of massacre. Here we notice that Jesus, a Jewish rabbi immersed in the Hebrew Scriptures (OT), quotes directly from and by inserting Gehenna in his quotation, he brings the imagery of Jeremiah’s Valley of Slaughter () into focus. It is not hard to see how the images complement each other. All of these “depict [gruesome] battle scenes that result in a devastation of mutilated and dead bodies.”37 Additionally, Isaiah’s imagery of the unquenchable fire and undying worm points to the completeness and finality of destruction. By using Scripture to interpret Scripture, it can be pointed out that an unquenchable fire “does not mean ever-burning, but irresistible. Because it cannot be thwarted in its intended purpose, or stopped short of accomplishing its goal, ‘unquenchable’ fire (‘irresistible fire’) fully consumes (Ezek. 20:47-48), reduces to nothing () or burns up what is put into it ().”38 Similarly, the worms (or maggots) chewing on the flesh of the dead bodies “do not die, at least not until they finish their consumptive task.”39

continues this focus on the body when Jesus suggests that “what is thrown in Gehenna [are] the corpses of those whom God has killed [which] remind us of the motif in .”40 Luke’s parallel is , which has its difficulties in translation. There the distinction is drawn between the “body” (sōma) and the psuchē which is most often translated as “soul.” Given Matthew’s Hebraic background, and the fact that Luke avoids this distinction all together, it is doubtful that Matthew is creating a dichotomy between two separate anthropological entities, that is, the body and the soul. In most cases, psuchē is best understood as “life.” It is likely that Jesus’ emphasis is that God is sovereign “over life and death. Men can kill you, but it is God, the one in whom we hope, who can end you forever, not just killing the body temporarily as men can, but ultimately ending your life.”41

In addition to the emphasis on the body in the gospels is the “geographical dimension in the development of the Gehenna motif.”40 Within the synoptic gospels, Matthew uses Gehenna most generously, which is unsurprising given the fact that his synoptic is “recognized as the most Palestinian of the Gospels.”42 Not only is Gehenna a geographical term (aka: “the Valley of Hinnom”), it is a thoroughly Jewish term, one that Jews in Jesus’ day would have understood as part of their history. Mark and Luke use the term sparingly, which is explained by their majority Gentile audience. James, like Matthew, was addressing a primarily Jewish readership. When we look beyond the gospels and James, we do not find a reference to the geographical Gehenna in any of the other NT books. Understandably, to a Gentile who was unfamiliar with the geography and history of Jerusalem, the teachings of Jesus and the Hebrew Scriptures, the term Gehenna would have made very little sense.40

This explains the complete absence of Gehenna in the writings of Paul. He does not speak of the fate of the wicked in geographical language akin to Jesus or the other apostles. It would not have made sense for him to do so, since he was writing to a mixed audience in Asia Minor who would not have understood such geography.43 Instead of geography, Paul uses language of teleology. In other words, Paul is interested in the decisive or punctiliar act of destruction as the end (telos) of the wicked. For example, in his letter to the Philippians, Paul encourages believers that the persecution they are experiencing is a “sign to them of [the persecutors’] destruction,” but for the believer it is a sign of salvation (). Later he says that those who live as “enemies of the cross” will find “their end (telos) is destruction” (). In contrast to the “vessels of mercy,” Paul talks about “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” (). In , he describes what will happen on the Day of the Lord when the wicked will be punished “with eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord.”44 Paul warns the person “desiring to be rich” that greed “plunges people into ruin and destruction” (), and he warns that “the one who sows according to the flesh will reap destruction” ().45 Other examples could be explored, but as already mentioned, Paul repeatedly uses non-geographical language whenever he speaks of the fate of the wicked.46

To sum up the evidence of Gehenna language in the NT, it seems clear that Jesus stands much “closer to the original source of the Gehenna tradition – Jeremiah – with [his] strong emphasis on the body,” and that his references to Gehenna “have a coherence that reflects a unified source.”47 In other words, Jesus is very closely tied to the Gehenna of Jeremaic origin. But, as we move further away from Jesus into the later Jewish writings, we see a tendency to move further away from “the body towards an interest in disembodied souls,” which reveals a lack of unity on the consensus of Gehenna.48

Gehenna as a Garbage Dump?

Chief among the modern ideas surrounding Gehenna is that of a smouldering garbage dump south of Jerusalem where perpetual fires consumed the city waste and the dead bodies of criminals thrown into it. Many prominent scholars appeal to this idea, and often without evidence or explanation.49 The most common route by which this idea is adopted is from the suggestion that during Josiah’s sweeping reformation when he declared the valley unclean, it “was subsequently set apart as a place where refuse was discarded and burnt.”50 William Barclay suggests that, consequently, “it was a foul, unclean place where loathsome worms bred on the refuse, and which smoked and smouldered at all times like some vast incinerator.”51 Supposedly, this usage of the valley continued into Jesus’ day where the “sight and smell of the place” would have been familiar to the contemporary Jew.23 John Stackhouse, while questioning this garbage dump motif, says that “given Jesus’ description of Gehenna as a place of removal, burning, and maggots, a garbage dump readily came to mind (i.e. ).52

However, the whole idea of Gehenna as a municipal garbage dump is based on very thin evidence. Among the scholars who question this theory, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle are quite helpful in pointing out that “just because Jesus’ description of hell may have been inspired by the image of a burning garbage dump (if it was), doesn’t mean that He is referring to the actual garbage dump when he uses the word Gehenna.53

To suggest that Jesus is referring to an actual garbage dump in geographic terms is to misunderstand the way language works. Chan and Sprinkle illustrate this misunderstanding:54

I’ve often heard people refer to a gridlocked freeway as a parking lot. The statement is inspired by a literal parking lot, but nobody is claiming that people drive to the freeway, stop, lock their cars, and then go about their business. That’s just the way imagery works.

Within linguistic studies, D. A. Carson refers to this as confusing the “referent with the sense.”55 Papaioannou helpfully points out that the garbage dump motif is in awkward tension with which draws a contrast between “humans who can kill and then do nothing more [and] God who can kill and then cast into Gehenna. If indeed there was a fire burning in the literal valley of Ge-hinnom, the contrast loses its power – not only God, but humans can also cast into Gehenna.”56

Even when we set aside the functionality of languages, G. R. Beasley-Murray says, “The notion…that the city’s rubbish was burned in this valley, has no further basis than a statement by the Jewish scholar [David] Kimhi (sic) made about A.D. 1200; it is not attested in any ancient source.”57 David Kimhi, a medieval rabbi, wrote in his commentary on : “Gehenna is a repugnant place, into which filth and cadavers are thrown, and in which fires perpetually burn in order to consume the filth and bones, on which account, by analogy, the judgment of the wicked is called ‘Gehenna.’”58 Somewhat ironic is the earliest source of this garbage dump allusion when we notice that Kimhi (who was writing from Europe, and not Israel) himself only saw it as an “analogy” for “the judgment of the wicked.”59

Peter Head is even more terse when he says that, within the primary sources and ancient texts, the evidence for the existence of Gehenna as a “fiery rubbish dump in this location” is nonexistent, but “in any case, a thorough investigation would be appreciated.”60 Furthermore, as an archeologist, Bailey points out that there is no evidence for Gehenna as a garbage dump in the “archeological data from the intertestamental or rabbinic periods.”61 If Gehenna was a fiery garbage dump just south of Jerusalem, we would “be able to dig around and find evidence.”62 But there is none. Gehenna did not become “infamous as a flaming heap of garbage,” rather, it is an explicit reference to the Jeremaic Valley of Slaughter where God severely judged the nation of Judah.63 How is it that the majority of the Christian churches have bought into an idea of Gehenna that has no evidence earlier than 1200 AD, hundreds and hundreds of years after Jesus’ earthly ministry?

Conclusion

The toponym Gehenna has an unavoidable relationship to the Ge-hinnom of Jeremiah where the apostate Jews were utterly slaughtered and left unburied and exposed to the elements and scavengers. Beyond Jeremiah’s usage of Ge-hinnom, it does not appear anywhere else in the OT until Jesus incorporates it into his teaching of the fate of the wicked. Jesus seems to continue the Gehenna motif of Jeremiah by focusing on the body and bringing in the imagery of , thereby giving a stark image of appalling destruction where the wicked are completely destroyed.

The questions that need to be wrestled with are: How does the geographic Gehenna of Jesus point us to the eschatological fate of the wicked? Does Jesus continue the geographic language as though the location of final destruction were important? To be sure, the Jewish hearer would have understood Jesus in a straight forward manner and knew the valley of which Jesus was speaking of. But what is helpful to note is that Gehenna can be considered a partial vision, a type, of the fuller judgment anticipated for the whole world, and indeed the entire cosmos. In other words, what is true of the Jewish Gehenna in its geographical sense is true of the cosmos when God finally comes to destroy all evil. Locality is always part of a punctiliar act of destruction, but what is the focus of Jesus and Paul, and the other NT writers? It seems to be the case, given their particular contexts and environs from which they wrote, stress is placed on the act rather than the locationof destruction. Thus, Hell is not merely a place one goes to, but most importantly, it is the act of being completely destroyed by God when the offer of life is forever removed from their reach.

 

 

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Quarles, Charles, L. “The APO of and the Nature of Eternal Punishment,” WTJ 59 [1997], 201-211.

Quient, Nicholas, R. “Destruction from the Presence of the Lord: Paul’s Intertextual Use of the LXX in ,” (paper presented at the Rethinking Hell Conference in London, UK, 7-8, October 2016), 1-24.

———. “Paul and the Annihilation of Death,” in A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge, edited by Christopher M. Date and Ron Highfield, 90-111. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2015.

Reid, Daniel G. “: ‘Separated from’ or ‘Destruction from’ the Presence of the Lord?” (a paper presented at the ETS Pauline Studies Group, in Colorado Springs, CO, 16, November 2001), 1-18.

Silva, Moisēs (ed). New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis, vol. 1-5. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014.

Stackhouse, John. “Terminal Punishment,” in Four Views on Hell, 2nd Edition, ed. Preston Sprinkle (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016)

Wright, N. T. Matthew For Everyone: Part 1. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.

Yarbrough, Robert W. “Jesus on Hell,” in Hell under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, eds. Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004.


Footnotes

  1. See also: OT Sheol (63x), NT Hades (11x) and Tartarus (1x). It is important to note that all men (wicked and righteous) go to Sheol and Hades upon death, but only the wicked are finally destroyed in Gehenna after the final Resurrection. []
  2. See Kgs. 23:10; ; ; . []
  3. Kim Papaioannou, The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2013), 3-4. []
  4. Ibid., 4. []
  5. Edward Fudge, The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment, Third Edition (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2011), 117. []
  6. Moisēs Silva, “γέεννα,” in New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDNTTE), eds. Moisēs Silva, vol.1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014), 548. []
  7. Papaioannou, 4. []
  8. William I. Barclay, The New Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Mark (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), 268-269. []
  9. Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984). []
  10. Lloyd R. Bailey, “Gehenna: The Topography of Hell,” Biblical Archeologist 49 (September, 1986): 189-190. []
  11. Ibid., 190. []
  12. Ibid. [] [] [] [] []
  13. Papaioannou, 5n8. Kim Papaioannou further suggests that “Topheth (תֹּ֫פֶת) etymologically probably means ‘hearth,’ ‘fireplace’ or fire altar.’” See . []
  14. Ibid., 5. []
  15. Ibid., 5-6. []
  16. Denny Burk, “Eternal Conscious Torment,” in Four Views on Hell, 2nd Edition, ed. Preston Sprinkle (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016), 22-23. []
  17. Papaioannou, 7. []
  18. W. R. Domeris, “הֶ֫רֶג” in New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDOTTE), eds. William A. VanGemeren, vol.1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1997), 1056. []
  19. Papaioanno, 8. []
  20. Ibid., 8n22. []
  21. Papaioannou, 9. []
  22. Daniel I. Block, “The Old Testament on Hell,” in Hell under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, eds. Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 60-61. []
  23. Block, 60-61. [] []
  24. Domeris, 1056. []
  25. Papaioannou, 12. []
  26. Joachim Jeremias, “γέεννα,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), eds. Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, and Geoffrey W. Bromiley, vol.­1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964), 657-658. []
  27. Papaioannou, 19. []
  28. Ibid., 21. Kim lists the Rabbi’s as: Akiba ben Joseph, Johanan ben Zakkai, and the School of Shammai. []
  29. Ibid. For an excellent survey of later Jewish writings and their influence on the doctrine of final punishment, see Glenn Peoples, “Worms and Fire: The Rabbis or Isaiah?” in Rethinking Hell: Exploring Evangelical Conditionalism. August 17, 2012. Accessed December 4, 2017. http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/08/worms-and-fire-the-rabbis-or-isaiah/. See also, David Instone-Brewer, “Eternal Punishment in First-Century Jewish Thought,” in A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge, eds. Christopher M. Date and Ron Highfield. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2015. []
  30. Ibid., 22. []
  31. Papaioannou, 21. Kim goes on to say, “It simply does not make sense to assume that the tradition developed from the simple battle-language of the Hebrew Scriptures to the otherworldly hell of bodies and/or, more often, souls of the ‘Apocrypha’ and ‘Pseudepigrapha,’ all at once” (p.22). []
  32. Papaioannou suggests that “the first to revive Ge-hinnom out of its resting place was Jesus who used the term extensively in his preaching”(25). []
  33. Fudge, The Fire that Consumes, 286. []
  34. See ; ; . []
  35. My thanks to William Tanksley, Chris Date, Darryl Klassen and Peter Grice for comments on my original draft of this article, which has helped clarify my thinking on how to articulate what some might refer to as a “escalating parallel.” []
  36. See . While Mark emphasizes the “cutting off the hand” (9:43), with no further explanation, Matthew goes further by saying, “…and throw it away” (5:29,30). []
  37. Papaioannou, 22. []
  38. Fudge, The Fire that Consumes, 77. []
  39. Fudge, 76. []
  40. Papaioannou, 23. [] [] []
  41. Glenn Peoples, “ and dualism: Is the soul Immortal?” in Afterlife. July 14, 2013. Accessed December 6, 2017. http://www.afterlife.co.nz/2013/theology/body-and_soul/matthew-1028-and-dualism-is-the-soul-immortal/. []
  42. Ibid. Even though James mentions Gehenna only once, it is well recognized that his audience was Jewish. []
  43. In an email conversation, Richard Middleton pointed out to me that “different contexts (and conceptual training, etc.) lead different people to use different ideas/images, etc. to communicate the same basic idea.” []
  44. See http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/11/annihilation-in-2-thessalonians-19-part-1-destroyed-by-the-glory-of-his-manifest-presence; and http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/12/annihilation-in-2-thess-1-9-part-2-separation-or-obliteration/. See also Charles L. Quarles, “The ἀπό of and the Nature of Eternal Punishment,” WTJ 59 [1997], 201-211. []
  45. Nicholas Rudolph Quient, “Paul and the Annihilation of Death,” in A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge, eds. Christopher M. Date and Ron Highfield (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2015), 99. []
  46. For an excellent study on Paul’s language of destruction as dependent upon the LXX, see Nicholas Rudolph Quient, “Destruction from the Presence of the Lord: Paul’s Intertextual Use of the LXX in ” (paper presented at the Rethinking Hell Conference in London, UK, 7-8, October 2016), 1-24. See also, Daniel G. Reid, “: ‘Separated from’ or ‘Destruction from’ the Presence of the Lord?” (a paper presented at the ETS Pauline Studies Group, in Colorado Springs, CO, 16, November 2001), 1-18. []
  47. Papaioannou, 24. []
  48. Ibid., []
  49. Some examples: N. T. Wright, Matthew For Everyone: Part 1 (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), 211-12 (see also his commentaries: Part 2 of Matthew; Mark; Luke; 1st and 2nd Corinthians; The Early Christian Letters; and Revelation); Robert A. Morey, Death and the Afterlife (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1984), 87–88. []
  50. Larry Dixon, The Other Side of the Good News: Confronting The Contemporary Challenges To Jesus’ Teaching On Hell (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992), 122-123. See also, William V. Crockett, “The Metaphorical View,” in Four Views on Hell, ed. William Crockett (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 58. []
  51. Barclay, 268-269. []
  52. John Stackhouse, “Terminal Punishment,” in Four Views on Hell, 2nd Edition, ed. Preston Sprinkle (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016), 63. Other scholars who express hesitance with the garbage dump motif are: R. T. France, “The Gospel of Matthew, NICNT (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2007), 202; Robert W. Yarbrough, “Jesus on Hell,” in Hell under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, eds. Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 79; Christopher W. Morgan, “Biblical Theology: Three Pictures of Hell,” in Hell under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, eds. Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 146n17; and Denny Burk, “Eternal Conscious Torment,” in Four Views on Hell, 2nd Edition, ed. Preston Sprinkle (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016), 22-23. []
  53. Francis Chan and Preston M. Sprinkle, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity and the Things We Made Up (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2011), 59. []
  54. Ibid., 59. []
  55. D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1996), 63-64. []
  56. Papaioannou, 6n13. []
  57. G. R. Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom of God (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986), 376-77n.92. []
  58. As cited in Bailey, “Gehenna: The Topography of Hell,” 188. []
  59. Chan and Sprinkle, 60, italics mine. []
  60. Peter M. Head, “The Duration of Divine Judgment in the New Testament,” in Eschatology in Bible & Theology: Evangelical Essays at the Dawn of a New Millennium, eds. Kent E. Brower and Mark W. Elliott (Downers Drove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1997), 223. []
  61. Bailey, 189. See also, “The Myth of the Burning Garbage Dump of Gehenna,” BiblePlaces.com blog: News and analysis related to biblical geography, history and archeology. April 7, 2011. Accessed November 25, 2017. http://blog.bibleplaces.com/2011/04/myth-of-burning-garbage-dump-of-gehenna.html. []
  62. Chan and Sprinkle, 59. []
  63. Burk, 22-23. []

Then the boundary goes up by the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the southern shoulder of the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem). And the boundary goes up to the top of the mountain that lies over against the Valley of Hinnom, on the west, at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim.

Joshua 18:16

16 Then the boundary goes down to the border of the mountain that overlooks the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is at the north end of the Valley of Rephaim. And it then goes down the Valley of Hinnom, south of the shoulder of the Jebusites, and downward to En-rogel.

Joshua 18:2

There remained among the people of Israel seven tribes whose inheritance had not yet been apportioned.

and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

2 Chronicles 33:6

And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, and Azekah and its villages. So they encamped from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom.

31 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 did not command, nor did it come into my mind.

Jeremiah 7:32

32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere.

Jeremiah 19:2

and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you.

Jeremiah 19:6

therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

Jeremiah 32:35

35 They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.

and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you.

30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, and Azekah and its villages. So they encamped from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom.

Then the boundary goes up by the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the southern shoulder of the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem). And the boundary goes up to the top of the mountain that lies over against the Valley of Hinnom, on the west, at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim.

Joshua 18:16

16 Then the boundary goes down to the border of the mountain that overlooks the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is at the north end of the Valley of Rephaim. And it then goes down the Valley of Hinnom, south of the shoulder of the Jebusites, and downward to En-rogel.

30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, and Azekah and its villages. So they encamped from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom.

and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

2 Chronicles 33:6

And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

35 They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

31 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 did not command, nor did it come into my mind.

Jeremiah 7:32

32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere.

Jeremiah 19:2

and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you.

Jeremiah 19:6

therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore forever.”

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

35 They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

12 therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.

2 Kings 21:16

16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

you who burn with lust among the oaks,
under every green tree,
who slaughter your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?
Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;
they, they, are your lot;
to them you have poured out a drink offering,
you have brought a grain offering.
Shall I relent for these things?
On a high and lofty mountain
you have set your bed,
and there you went up to offer sacrifice.

23:1 Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.

And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel. And he deposed the priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and the moon and the constellations and all the host of the heavens. And he brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people. And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes who were in the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from Geba to Beersheba. And he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one’s left at the gate of the city. However, the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech. 11 And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts. And he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12 And the altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, he pulled down and broke in pieces and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. 13 And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 14 And he broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with the bones of men.

15 Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, that altar with the high place he pulled down and burned, reducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah. 16 And as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar and defiled it, according to the word of the Lord that the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things. 17 Then he said, “What is that monument that I see?” And the men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted these things that you have done against the altar at Bethel.” 18 And he said, “Let him be; let no man move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria. 19 And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. 20 And he sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

21 And the king commanded all the people, “Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24 Moreover, Josiah put away the mediums and the necromancers and the household gods and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 25 Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.

31 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 did not command, nor did it come into my mind.

25 Because they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore my wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.

28 Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants.’” And they brought back word to the king.

29 “‘Cut off your hair and cast it away;
raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
the generation of his wrath.’

30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31 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 did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. 34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.

19:1 Thus says the Lord, “Go, buy a potter’s earthenware flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests, and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds. And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.’

10 “Then you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who go with you, 11 and shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury. 12 Thus will I do to this place, declares the Lord, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah—all the houses on whose roofs offerings have been offered to all the host of heaven, and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods—shall be defiled like the place of Topheth.’”

14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people: 15 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words.”

12 therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.

You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.

40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore forever.”

7:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.

16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19 Is it I whom they provoke? declares the Lord. Is it not themselves, to their own shame? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26 Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

27 “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

29 “‘Cut off your hair and cast it away;
raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
the generation of his wrath.’

30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31 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 did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. 34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.

25:1 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon.

In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month—that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. And he burned the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 10 And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 And the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the multitude, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.

13 And the pillars of bronze that were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the bronze sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 And they took away the pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service, 15 the fire pans also and the bowls. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver. 16 As for the two pillars, the one sea, and the stands that Solomon had made for the house of the Lord, the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and on it was a capital of bronze. The height of the capital was three cubits. A latticework and pomegranates, all of bronze, were all around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with the latticework.

18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold, 19 and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and five men of the king’s council who were found in the city, and the secretary of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the city. 20 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.

22 And over the people who remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, he appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, governor. 23 Now when all the captains and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came with their men to Gedaliah at Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite. 24 And Gedaliah swore to them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid because of the Chaldean officials. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.” 25 But in the seventh month, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with ten men and struck down Gedaliah and put him to death along with the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces arose and went to Egypt, for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

27 And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. 28 And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived.

15 The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place.

1:1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”

For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and the metal images.

29 “‘Cut off your hair and cast it away;
raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
the generation of his wrath.’

30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31 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 did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. 34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.

34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.

27 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the Lord. 29 In those days they shall no longer say:

“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’

30 But everyone shall die for his own sin. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

35 Thus says the Lord,
who gives the sun for light by day
and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the Lord of hosts is his name:
36 “If this fixed order departs
from before me, declares the Lord,
then shall the offspring of Israel cease
from being a nation before me forever.”

37 Thus says the Lord:
“If the heavens above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
for all that they have done,
declares the Lord.”

38 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore forever.”

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

66:1 Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.

“He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man;
he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood;
he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways,
and their soul delights in their abominations;
I also will choose harsh treatment for them
and bring their fears upon them,
because when I called, no one answered,
when I spoke, they did not listen;
but they did what was evil in my eyes
and chose that in which I did not delight.”

Hear the word of the Lord,
you who tremble at his word:
“Your brothers who hate you
and cast you out for my name’s sake
have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified,
that we may see your joy’;
but it is they who shall be put to shame.

“The sound of an uproar from the city!
A sound from the temple!
The sound of the Lord,
rendering recompense to his enemies!

“Before she was in labor
she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her
she delivered a son.
Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor
she brought forth her children.
Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?”
says the Lord;
“shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”
says your God.

10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her;
11 that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
from her glorious abundance.”

12 For thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
13 As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bones shall flourish like the grass;
and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,
and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.

15 “For behold, the Lord will come in fire,
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire will the Lord enter into judgment,
and by his sword, with all flesh;
and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord.

18 “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.

22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
so shall your offspring and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the Lord.

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

33 For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

11 “On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers, east of the sea. It will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land will bury them, and it will bring them renown on the day that I show my glory, declares the Lord God. 14 They will set apart men to travel through the land regularly and bury those travelers remaining on the face of the land, so as to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make their search. 15 And when these travel through the land and anyone sees a human bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog. 16 (Hamonah is also the name of the city.) Thus shall they cleanse the land.

3:1  “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.

“What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily. For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples. You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border. Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will return your payment on your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away, for the Lord has spoken.”

Proclaim this among the nations:
Consecrate for war;
stir up the mighty men.
Let all the men of war draw near;
let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruning hooks into spears;
let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”

11 Hasten and come,
all you surrounding nations,
and gather yourselves there.
Bring down your warriors, O Lord.
12 Let the nations stir themselves up
and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
for there I will sit to judge
all the surrounding nations.

13 Put in the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Go in, tread,
for the winepress is full.
The vats overflow,
for their evil is great.

14 Multitudes, multitudes,
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.

16 The Lord roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth quake.
But the Lord is a refuge to his people,
a stronghold to the people of Israel.

17 “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God,
who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain.
And Jerusalem shall be holy,
and strangers shall never again pass through it.

18 “And in that day
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
and the hills shall flow with milk,
and all the streambeds of Judah
shall flow with water;
and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord
and water the Valley of Shittim.

19 “Egypt shall become a desolation
and Edom a desolate wilderness,
for the violence done to the people of Judah,
because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20 But Judah shall be inhabited forever,
and Jerusalem to all generations.
21 I will avenge their blood,
blood I have not avenged,
for the Lord dwells in Zion.”

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Matthew 5:29

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.

Matthew 5:30

30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Matthew 10:28

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 18:9

And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

Matthew 23:15

15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

Matthew 23:33

33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?

43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

Mark 9:45

45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.

Mark 9:47

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,

But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Matthew 18:9

And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

29 “‘Cut off your hair and cast it away;
raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
the generation of his wrath.’

30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31 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 did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. 34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.

Jeremiah 19:1-14

19:1 Thus says the Lord, “Go, buy a potter’s earthenware flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests, and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds. And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.’

10 “Then you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who go with you, 11 and shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury. 12 Thus will I do to this place, declares the Lord, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah—all the houses on whose roofs offerings have been offered to all the host of heaven, and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods—shall be defiled like the place of Topheth.’”

14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people:

but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beersheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.”

Seek the Lord and live,
lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire.

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,