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Catholic Dictionary




The Hebrew word for hell, corresponding to the Greek Hades. At first a vague, gloomy place in which departed souls lived, gradually it was looked upon as a place of terrible punishment for unworthy souls. The lesson is vividly taught in the New Testament that Sheol is the destination of souls dying in sin. Luke speaks of the "torment in Hades" (Luke 16:23). The letter to the Hebrews warns of "the dreadful prospect of judgment and of the ragin fire that is to burn rebels" (Hebrews 10:27). Revelation describes "the fire and brimstone in which they will be tortured in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb, and the smoke of their torture will go up forever and ever" (Revelation 14:10-11).