The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Heaven, Yes - Hell, No

I am reviewing the entire KJV, to demonstrate that Hell is a 404 (not found). I have posted this essay on another UR site, but in earlier drafts. It is ongoing, so what I’m posting here is more up-to-date.


In most matters of great importance, it is best to go back to Genesis, and check what it has to say to us. Sometimes, it has surprises.

Genesis, chapter 1
This records God making the Cosmos, as we see in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This is our first clue, for there is no mention of Him also creating Hell. Looking forward, to the very brief creation account in the Gospel of John (1:3), we read, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Now this is vital, foundational. Genesis implies that God didn’t make Hell, and John states that no one else did either. Further, I find that in the Scriptures, “heaven and earth” are often together as a phrase, without Hell, reinforcing Genesis 1:1 many times over.

Now, further on in the creation account of chapter 1, it is mentioned from time to time that God saw that what He had created was good. At the end of the sixth day, after the creation of man, “…God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” If He had made Hell along with all else, and knew it would, in time, be filled with most of humanity, and suffering in agony forever at that, it could not have been very good, unless the God of Genesis is evil. No, God made evil, but is not evil Himself. His evil is to teach us, but His good lasts forever.

We see, if we read the text correctly, that the cosmos is a hierarchy of God and His creation - not a dualistic Heaven versus Hell, with the creation as a prey between them. Those who believe in the Powers of Darkness (so called) should note that God made darkness too, and it is simply where Light has not penetrated. The rest is superstition reinforced by dangerous animals hunting at night. That there is no mention of God making Hell in the Creation story is quite a lapse if Hell actually exists. Maybe He made it later, but we’ll see.

Chapter 2
God makes Adam and Eve, and tells them not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil lest they die. This creator God placed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden, as well as the Tree of Life. I see this as indicating that if God made good, and He surely did, then He also made evil, rather than Satan making evil. God tells us through His prophet Isaiah, “…I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

God failed to mention the risk of them also going to Hell, that is, if Hell existed. Should He not have brought up such a horrible possibility? Maybe death was the only risk they were taking…

Chapter 3
The fruit is eaten, the fall happens, and the curse is placed on the serpent, Adam, Eve, in fact on the whole creation - still no mention of Hell or the risk of anybody going there, not even the serpent.

Chapter 4
God upbraids Cain for his anger, cautioning him that sin could take him if he does not master his emotions, but fails to mention the possibility of Hell if he does wrong.

Chapters 5 – 9
These chapters record the story of the Great Flood, in which millions of sinful people died. However, there is no mention of anything happening to them except simple death. Note that the Earth (that then was) is destroyed, but also cleansed of sin and violence. We see God say about Himself Deuteronomy 32:39), “…I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal…” Given that, I know of no text stating anything like “I bring to Heaven, and I send to Hell.” Maybe He doesn’t.

Chapters 10 – 19
Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed, along with several smaller towns around them. All the people in them, except Lot and his two daughters, are killed. The text is silent on their ultimate fate, and Hell is not mentioned. Please note that what fell on those cities was literal fire, though its exact nature is a mystery. No Hell - no Hellfire.

Chapter 20
Abimelech takes Abraham’s wife Sarah, and God then threatens him with death. Now, many people believe sinners go directly to Hell if their sins are not repented of, but God, always righteous and honest, fails to mention this risk. Abimelech protests his innocence, and God makes things right, instructing Abimelech to give Sarah back, which he does.

Chapters 21 – 38
In chapter 37, Jacob mourns for his son Joseph, presumed dead: “For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning.” (verse 35) My Strong’s Concordance is of little use here – I looked up “sheol,” the Hebrew word for “grave,” and it said “see Hell.” On finding “Hell,” I noticed that it did not refer back to this verse. Since Stong’s is tied to the KJV, and the KJV uses only the words “grave,” “pit,” and “Hell,” we must look elsewhere to get to the bottom of the matter. Looks like the true meaning is buried under layers of translation, perhaps bad translation. A look at the YLT shows up the use of “sheol,” and Young’s Concordance defines Hell as “The unseen state, sheol.” This was what was believed by the Hebrews in those days, as far as I can find in one source or another – the grave/pit was a place covered over and therefore unknown and unseen, where the Spirit of men departed and the body returned to dust. An afterlife in Heaven or Hell was not a concept to them. “Sheol” is used some 66 times in the Bible, and often mistranslated – only the YLT and CLT are accurate and consistent.

In chapter 38, Judah loses a couple of sons, killed by God for their wickedness, with no mention of them going to Hell.

Chapters 39 – 40
A baker gets hung, but there is no mention of him going to Hell.

Chapters 41 – 42
Jacob/Israel orders his sons to go to Egypt to buy grain, so that they would not die – again, there is no mention of any risk of them also going to Hell.

Chapters 43 – 45
At the very end of chapter 45, Jacob/Israel rejoices that Joseph was not dead, but fails to express thanks that he was not also in Hell. He was also happy that he would see Joseph before he died, but it is just a simple fact: death, not Hell.

Chapters 46 – 50
Jacob/Israel dies, and later Joseph, but there is no mention of Hell.

There is no mention of Hell, then, in the book of Genesis. Genesis is the foundational book of the whole Scripture, so we already have a problem for the fire-forever folks, as Hell lacks a foundation at this point.

Exodus, chapter 1
Lots of Hebrew male babies are killed, but there is no mention of their ultimate fate, not even to Limbo.

Chapter 2
Moses kills an Egyptian, with no mention of Hell for him, nor is Moses threatened with it for the deed.

Chapters 3 – 14
The firstborn of Egypt, and later the whole Egyptian army, are killed by God. Again, it’s just simple death.

Chapters 15 - 31
The Song of Moses is sung, without mention of Hell for the Egyptians. The Amalekites are defeated, and there is no mention of Hell for them either, even though God speaks of blotting out any memory of them. The Ten Commandments are given, without mention of Hell. In fact, the whole Law given to Moses (in Exodus) specifies no punishment worse than death.

Chapter 32
The golden calf is made and worshipped. God states that He will destroy all Israel for it, and raise up a new nation out of Moses. Moses talks Him out of it, and Hell is not mentioned. Yet, back at the camp, Moses commands the slaying of 3,000 men after saving the whole nation from destruction. Later, Moses begs God to strike his name from God’s Book, but God tells him that the nation, or parts of it, are struck from His Book instead. The record here is silent on whether or not being struck from the Book means being sent to Hell.

Chapters 33 – 40
Chapter 34 states that God visits the sins of the fathers on three to four generations of the fathers’ descendants. Hell is not mentioned as part of the visitation. The rest of these chapters concern the design and construction of the Tabernacle, and nothing in the design seems symbolic of Hell.

There is no mention of Hell, then, in the Book of Exodus.

Leviticus, chapter 1
Right away, the Hell-olater will probably step forward and declare, “There you are! Burned sacrifices – that’s symbolic of Hell!” Well, maybe not, but let’s take a look at what’s going on here. My father’s father used to say, “It doesn’t mean there’s a nest, just because there’s a gander sitting on the gatepost!” As students of Scripture, we need to rightly divide the Word of God, to look under the surface for deeper meanings, to understand what the text is really saying. Our task may seem daunting due to the subject being “types and shadows,” but some thoughtful study should clear things up.

Except for the fire, the symbology just does not fit with the conventional picture of Hell. Sacrifices are burned up in the tabernacle service, not burned on and on. More importantly, the person bringing the sacrifice transfers his sin or guilt to the animal being sacrificed, just as the sin and/or guilt of the whole world was transferred to the perfect sacrifice, Jesus. The rituals of sacrifice in the books of Moses are symbolic of THAT, not of Hell. Hell symbolism would surely involve human sacrifice in fire, and in fact, it did happen in Christianity, but only after Hell theology had become entrenched. I speak of course, of burning at the stake, and the auto-da-fe’. My understanding of the attendant attitude is, “Well, they’re going to Hell, so let’s give them a good start.” BTW, Hell is not mentioned in the texts having to do with the sacrificial services. Chapter one ends with these words: “…a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto to the Lord.” Do you not see that this cannot have anything to do with Hell, as most think of Hell? If you put the two ideas together, a God who sends people to Hell, and a God of love, a huge dissonance must begin in the human mind. It need not be so.

Chapters 2 – 9
Leviticus 6:13 states, “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” Leviticus 9:24 shows us a literal consuming fire of God. Remember that this fire is not a symbol of eternal punishment, but stands for the nature of God as a cleansing fire, burning up peace, sin, and trespass offerings in order to atone for the sinful and guilty, and restore them to God’s favor. Again, this is a picture of a God of Love, not Punishment. We will see many examples as we go on, of God as a cleansing fire, even as cleansing soap.

Chapters 10 - 16
Nadab and Abihu offer strange fire before God (by accident or by design, we aren’t told), and are killed/consumed by the same fire we saw in chapter 9. The account is silent on their fate beyond death, relating only that their dead bodies were carried outside the camp without ceremony.

Chapters 17 - 19
God says of anyone who eats blood, “I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.” Sending that person also to Hell is not mentioned.

Chapters 20 - 25
Penalties for various immoral acts are prescribed, but even for the one act which merited burning (Whether the offenders were to be burned alive or burned after being killed is not spelled out here, but see Joshua 7:25.), any future punishment in Hell is not threatened or prescribed.

Chapters 26 – 27
Here, blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience are spelled out in some detail. God states more than once that He will punish seven times more if the disobedient do not repent. However, as severe as God’s judgments are, they do not include a future punishment in eternal fire. The consequences, good and bad, are worked out in the world of the living.

There is no mention of Hell, then, in the Book of Leviticus.

Numbers, chapters 1 – 10

These chapters are an account of a census, the setting aside of the tribe of Levi, various duties and tasks, dedications, various Laws, and other matters. This writer finds no mention of Hell.

Chapter 11
In response to complaints, some of Israel are killed by the same fire we read about in Leviticus. No numbers of dead or their afterlife fate are mentioned. This, “the fire of the Lord,” cannot be Hell, as it burns in the material world, among the living. No mention has been made yet that God has created Hell. Later, lots of people in the camp die, smitten by God as soon as they sink teeth into quail (?) from the sea. Even though people were so carefully numbered in past chapters, there is oddly no reckoning here. Those who survived must have buried their dead quickly or fled without bothering to bury or count. With quail two cubits high on the ground, it must have been an unhealthy place, but it was not Hell, or even Hell-on-Earth.

Chapters 12 – 14
Given the prospect of taking the land of Promise, the people respond with, “Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!” (14:2) Notice that Hell is not in their thinking, just simple death, unlike people today who might ask why God doesn’t just kill them and send them to Hell. God’s response is for that generation to die in the wilderness, and ten of the twelve men who went into Canaan as spies die right away. The next day, many of the people tried to take Canaan by the arm of flesh, failed, and many must have died. No assignment to Hell is mentioned for any of them.

Chapter 15
A sabbath breaker is stoned - no mention of Hell.

Chapter 16
Verses 30 to 35 relate God’s judgment on Korah and those who followed him. If I read it right, then, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, their families, and their goods, all fell into an opening in the ground. Korah’s other 250 men were burned alive by the fire we know well by now – well enough to know it wasn’t Hellfire.

This is where Hell comes in – the KJV states that Korah and company fell alive into “the pit.” (verse 33) The FFV reads “the grave,” while the KJV II and the YLT both use the term “Sheol.” We don’t see the word “Hell” yet in the KJV, but this seems a good point to deal with it. I checked my OED, finding the usual definitions of “Hel,” “Hell,” and “Helle.” “Hel” is also the name of the Norse god/ogress of their under-world. “Hell” as a verb, is derived from an old Germanic word, meaning “to cover.” My father told me about this years ago – if a farmer lacked a root cellar or a cellar under the house, and needed a place to keep veggies or fruits over the winter, he would do the following. First, he would dig a pit or trench to below the local frost line. Then, he would line the bottom with straw. On top of that, he’d place a layer of, say, potatoes. More straw on top of the potatoes, and he would finish the job by shoveling in the dirt previously dug out. Note – it is called “helling the potatoes.” Now in the case of Korah and the others who fell alive into the pit which opened under them, they were helled by God, and died in the pit, in the grave, in sheol. An eternal, conscious abode in the Hell of Dante, Milton, and Baxter is not mentioned or implied, so there is no need or reason to interpret it so. Many passages in the Bible are subject to the same argument.

Chapter 17
After Aaron’s rod budded, people complained to Moses that they risked perishing and dying because of the Tabernacle. Their expressed fear is only of death, not Hell.

Chapter 18
At the end of this chapter we see the phrase “…lest ye die.” It is often seen as God lays down the Law to Israel, but there is no threat of Hell in it, in any instance.

Chapter 19
God speaks of inaction for which, “…that soul shall be
cut off from Israel.” It is not elaborated on, but I see no threat of Hell or even death in it, only a sort of banishment.

Chapter 20
Miriam dies and is buried without comment. Later on,
Aaron dies, or as God tells it, is “gathered unto his people.” His death and non-entry into Canaan are a result of his actions, but no further punishment, such as Hell, is mentioned.

Chapter 21
More death here – the Canaanites are massacred, fiery serpents bite and kill Israelites, the Amorites are massacred, as well as the people of Bashan. Hell is not mentioned.

Chapters 22 – 24
Balaam goes to Balak to curse Israel. He is accosted by an angel sent to kill him, but without threat of Hell. In passing, I note that in 23:19, God says, “God is not a man, that he should lie.” This assures us that God, and God’s Word, do not propagate a falsehood, or by silence, imply one. As Jesus said centuries later, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” (John 14:2) Let us keep up our examination of God’s Word, to show ourselves approved, and to see if the cursing of the threat of Hell is not so, but if, as through Balaam, God has blessings in mind instead.

Chapter 25
A number of Israelites are killed for idolatry, 24,000 die in a plague, Zimri and Cozbi are killed by Phinehas, but Hell is not threatened or mentioned.

Chapter 26
Israel is numbered again, and all men who went out
from Egypt are found to have died, except for Caleb and Joshua. Hell is not mentioned.

Chapter 27
An Israelite, Zelophehad, has died for his own sins, as part of the cursed generation, but Hell is not mentioned.

Chapter 28 – 31
Most of Midian is massacred, including Balaam, but Hell is not mentioned as the destiny of Midian’s dead. Of 12,000 warriors sent by Israel, not one is lost.

Chapter 32 – 36
In these chapters, the only things touching our thesis are statements about cities of refuge, murderers, and bloodshed – but no statements about Hell.

There is no mention of Hell, then, in the Book of Numbers.

Deuteronomy, chapters 1 – 8
Most of the content of the early chapters of this book is a retelling of what was previously in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. In 7:9 – 10, we see this, “…the Lord thy God…repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them…he will repay him to his face.” Nothing is said here about repayment later, in the afterlife or in Hell. In the same way, promises, blessings, warnings, and cursings are all couched in terms of earthly things, in this life – no afterlife consequences are mentioned (I am not suggesting there is no afterlife).

Chapters 9 – 10
Chapter 10 is a second witness to the Genesis story of the creation: “…the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also…” (verse 14). Hell is not mentioned as belonging to the Lord God, or even existing at all.

Chapters 11 – 18
At the end of chapter 18, God tells us through Moses: “…when a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken…thou shalt not be afraid of him.” Based on this statement, if your priest, minister, or preacher teaches and preaches Hell, you are not to fear it or the speaker, IF God has not spoken of it. So far, we have picked up not so much as a hint of Hell in His word.

Chapters 19 – 28
The famous blessings and cursings of chapter 28 are silent on the subject of Hell. In the blessings, there is no mention of safety from Hell as a blessing, though it certainly would be if Hell existed. In the cursings, there is no threat of Hell, or any hint of its possibility in the afterlife. What God spells out as the blessings and cursings, are consequences of obedience or disobedience and they are entirely consequences in the here-and-now temporal world in which we live to this day. God’s most extreme threat to the living is death, and He has no threat against the dead at all.

Chapter 29
What is the worst that God proposes to do to those who will not obey His covenant? In verse 20, He states, “…the anger of the Lord, and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven.” There is no mention of sending that man to Hell after death, which God surely had the power to do, if Hell actually existed.

Chapter 30
Verse 15 sets out “…life and good, and death and evil…” not “…life and good, and Hell and evil.”

Chapters 31 – 32
Here it is, in 32:22 – “…a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” Remember that there is no Biblical record of the creation of Hell, so where is this coming from? First of all, we have hell, the earth, and mountains. Two of the three are part of the here-and-now literal creation. Is this hell any different? Some think Hell is located at the center of the earth, below Jerusalem. Others see Hell as being a metaphysical place, a spiritual place. This is neither – “hell” in this verse is badly translated from sheol, or “the unseen,” which we have dealt with before. Lacking the concept of the Immortality of the Soul, the early Israelites understood that the dead were dead - their state and condition were unseen and unknown. “Grave” would surely be a better translation here, and “sheol” is often translated so.

Chapters 33 – 34
Moses dies, but Hell is not mentioned, only that God buried him.

We find only one mention of “hell” in the Book of Deuteronomy, but it is a translation error. Hell, then, is not in the Book of Deuteronomy.

Hell, as a place of eternal torment in fire, is not to be found in the five books of Moses.

Joshua, chapters 1 – 8
Jericho is taken and its people mostly slaughtered, but their fate after being killed is not given. Achan commits a sin costing the armies of Israel the lives of 36 men. Achan is stoned and burned, but no mention of him then going on to Hell is made. Ai is treated as Jericho was, again with many dead, just dead.

Joshua, chapters 9 – 10
The ambassadors/deceivers of Gibeon explain their actions as fear of death, with no reference to Hell. In addition to Jericho and Ai, a list of cities, with all slaughtered, is the subject of chapter ten, with lots of death, but no Hell.

Joshua, chapters 11 – 22
The whole land of Promise is taken by war and death, but Hell is not mentioned.

Joshua, chapter 23
Verse 7 tells us, “…neither make mention of the name of their gods…” The Bible does a good job of following this rule up to this point, but note, reader, that later on the names of various pagan gods begin to be mentioned in the text of the Holy Scripture. I can only surmise that this particular commandment had been mostly forgotten by the time the events of the book of Judges (and later books) were written down. I try to use this formula if the situation comes up: [name of pagan god, deleted by command of God]. I see a very real problem with so many Bible translations using the title “LORD” for the God of Israel, instead of His real name, but on the other hand, using the proper name of every pagan god mentioned in the text. A translator should convey the original text with accuracy, but I believe a translator of the Bible should also follow the instructions of the God of that Bible, YHVH by name. This is off the track of our Subject, but I do have my pet Biblical peeves…

Facing death, Joshua says, in verse 14, “…I am going the way of all the earth…” His concern is not with his own afterlife destiny, but he speaks of the promises of God, and of Israel’s necessary obedience.

Chapter 24
Joshua and Eleazar die and the bones of Joseph are buried without mention of Hell.

There is no mention of Hell, then, in the book of Joshua.

Judges, chapters 1 - 2
Chapter 1 details more war and death, but no Hell.

Just as I predicted in my commentary on the 23rd chapter of Joshua, chapter 2 of Judges records the apostasy of Israel, and in the same breath, names a pagan god for the first time. God is angry, punishes them in the real world by means of foreign nations, but says nothing about also sending them to Hell when they die.

Judges, chapters 3 - 21
These chapters are a litany of oppressions, judges, deliverances, war, and death, but Hell is nowhere mentioned. Israel’s first king, Abimelech, and the men who follow him, are brought to justice in the real world, and killed. Samson dies a violent death, as do his Philistine victims, but the text is silent on their fate after death. The tribe of Benjamin is nearly wiped out over a minor incident – men, women, and children are killed without mercy, but nothing is said beyond that.

There is no mention of Hell, then, in the Book of Judges.

Ruth, chapters 1 – 4
This is a nice, quiet, likable, interlude in the tumult of Israel’s history. The worst thing happening is that a father and two sons die, but their state in death is not described.

There is no mention of Hell, then, in the Book of Ruth.

I Samuel, chapters 1 – 2
The Song of Hannah tells us in 2:6, “The Lord killeth, and maketh alive; he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.” Here is one of many examples of Hebrew parallelism, and “killeth” lines up with “bringeth down to the grave.” “Grave” here is that word “sheol” again, so often (mis)translated as “Hell,” but don’t you see that hell = grave? Note that sheol or the grave is as far as God brings down, not further down to some literal or metaphysical Hell. Note also the parallel “maketh alive” and “bringeth up,” and this is an early hint of the coming resurrection.

Later in the chapter, God tells Levi the fate of his two evil sons: death – as usual, just death.

Chapters 3 – 7
4,000 of Israel fall in battle, then 30,000. The Ark is captured by the Philistines, and they pass it from city to city like a hot potato, many dying, and the rest cursed with hemorrhoids. They send it back on a cart to Israel, but it is not treated with respect and 50,070 men die for looking into it. On the other hand, the Philistines are smitten by God and Israel in battle, but the body count is not given. Lots of death (just death) here.

Chapters 8 – 14
Saul becomes king, and defeats the Ammonites, with an army numbering 330,000 – an army much smaller than that which conquered the Land of Promise some centuries before. The Philistines and other peoples are also warred against, with death the only risk mentioned.

Chapter 15
Saul musters his army to fight Amalek, but now it only numbers 200,000, plus 10,000 men of Judah, down from the 300,000 plus 30,000 of Judah which showed up to fight Ammon. We can only wonder, for the ancient writer does not elaborate. The Amalekites are wiped out, and even for these evil people, Hell is not mentioned.
Chapters 16 – 24
David kills Goliath and lots of other Philistines are killed in battle, but there is no body count or mention of Hell for them.

Later, the priests of Nob are killed along with their families. Nothing is said of these righteous, innocent people going to Heaven or Hell. David is pursued by Saul in plot after plot, but there is no hint that any danger but simple death faced him or his men.

Chapter 25
Nabal dies (25:38), “…the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.” As ever, simple death.

Chapter 26
(26:16) “As the Lord liveth, ye are worthy to die…” There is none of that “Go to Hell” phrasing so common in modern epithets.

Chapter 27
David and his men, in service to the king of Gath, engage in extermination of some of the people Israel was charged to drive out. No fate for them after death is given.

Chapter 28
Saul consults a witch to bring up Samuel, but was it really Samuel? Remember that Samuel was dead, and that his body was decomposing in the grave, his spirit had returned to God (who gave it), and his soul no longer existed. We must view this incident as a deception – the witch, Saul, and even the one who wrote the account - all seem to believe Samuel had been brought up. I know that the ancients believed in shades, ghosts, and the like, but I view them as the manifestations of demons. Think – did the witch, or her familiar spirit, or demons have the power to make the dead speak? I must say, no. God did, and I don’t care to limit Him, but I am not about to say that God resurrected Samuel for a few minutes to chide Saul, just to deliver much the same message He had given to Saul before. Anyway, the text had already stated that God was not answering Saul, so why would God cooperate with a witch? I am just not going there – Saul had stepped into forbidden territory, and got information demons might have been well aware of. A real Samuel takes us into dangerous theological waters, and contradicts what God tells us elsewhere in His word.

Chapters 29 – 31
David and his men kill more Amalekites - Saul, his sons, and his army are wiped out by the Philistines. As ever, all receive simple death.

Hell, then, is not to be found in the book of I Samuel.

II Samuel, chapters 1 - 2
David has an Amalekite killed, who claimed to have killed Saul, probably expecting a reward for doing so. A civil war develops between David, who is king of Judah at this point, and Ishbosheth, who rules the rest of Israel. At one point in the conflict, Abner asks, “Shall the sword devour for ever?” If it does, then the grave devours also, but nothing is said on the order of modern parlance, such as “Hell ain’t half full yet!”

Chapters 3 – 6
Abner and Ishbosheth are assassinated. David has the killers of Ishbosheth killed, saying, “Shall I not…require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?” They were not taken to Heaven, Hell, or even to the grave, for their bodies were hung up in Hebron.

Uzzah angers God by touching the Ark, and God smites him, but the result is only his death.

Chapter 7
God says of David, “…when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee…” Even David, the “man after God’s own Heart,” will not proceed to Heaven, but only to the common destiny of all men until the resurrection: the grave. See Acts 2:34.

Chapters 8 – 10
David fights more wars with more death, but with no mention of any fate for the dead.

Chapters 11 - 12
David plots the death of Uriah to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. Note how the seed of this may have been planted in David’s mind by the incident of Nabal and Abigail – another man dies, and David gets his wife. God levies a heavy punishment on David, but being sent to Hell for his sin is not part of it.

Chapters 13 – 19
Amnon is killed, and later Absalom and 20,000 other men in battle. Their fate is just death.

Chapter 20
Having previously killed Abner, Joab kills Amasa – Joab must have had a low tolerance for military rivals. Sheba is killed and a whole city is spared. No fate but death is stated for Amasa or Sheba.

Chapter 21
Seven descendants of Saul are delivered to the Gibeonites to be killed, and more Philistine giants are killed in battle - simple death for all.

Chapter 22
See the comments on Psalm 18.

Chapters 23 - 24
God, having something against Israel, causes David to order a census. Israel has 1,300,000 warriors, of which 500,000 are from Judah, and that seems an overly big portion of the whole. If we look at ten-tribed Israel (minus Levi and Judah) we would expect something like ten times the warriors of Judah – about five million, not a mere 800,000. There again, seems to be a drain of population, and I am guessing colonization. There is no explanation for it in the text, nor any explanation as to the fate of the 70,000 killed by the plague associated with the census. David protests their innocence to God, along with his own guilt. Hell is not mentioned.

There is no mention of Hell, then, in the Book of II Samuel.

I Kings, chapters 1 – 2
The dying David instructs Solomon to not let the aged Joab die a natural death, but to have him killed: “…let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.” (2:6) Solomon extends mercy to Shimei, but he disobeys instructions, and is put to death. Nothing, as usual, is said about their fate after death except burial and the grave, which is always a limit beyond which no more punishment or suffering is possible

Chapers 3 – 22
Compared with the books of Samuel, the narrative stretches out here, and points us forward to the Books of Chronicles. We see the usual accounts of battles, death, and burial, but nothing relevant to our thesis.

Hell is not to be found in the book of I Kings.

II Kings, chapter 1
King Ahaziah sent 102 men to summon Elijah, but the prophet called fire down from heaven to consume them. As I pointed out in an earlier instance of fire from heaven, this cannot be Hell-fire, and should not be used by the fire-forever advocates.

Chapters 2 – 25
More history, but there is no mention of an afterlife, or Hell.

Hell is not to be found, then, in the book of II Kings.

I Chronicles and II Chronicles
The books of Chronicles cover much the same history as the books of Samuel and Kings. We see kings following kings, the kingdom of Israel producing not a single good king, and the kingdom of Judah being blessed with a few. Perhaps as a result of those few good kings, the Judah kingdom is carried off into exile much later than ten-tribed Israel. We see death and the grave, but nothing beyond – therefore,

Hell is not to be found in the books of Chronicles.

This book is concerned with the return of a few thousand of Judah and Benjamin from exile. They were charged to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, on orders of the Persian king Cyrus, who was probably a Zoroastrian. Nothing relevant to our thesis is present in the book, so,

Hell is not to be found in the book of Ezra.

As with the book of Ezra, this book is mainly an historical account not touching on our pressing issue, so,

Hell is not to be found in the book of Nehemiah.

Quite a few people die here, but as usual, it’s just death. Hell, the afterlife, and God are not mentioned.

Hell is not to be found in the book of Esther.

Job, chapters 1 - 2
Now, this is unexpected – Satan shows up among the “sons of God” in both chapters, and tells God that he has come before God, not from Hell, but from running around on the earth. This happens twice, so it’s not an isolated incident. We see two things here – one is that, as we saw in Genesis, the creation is not a prey between God and Satan, but a hierarchy of God, the cosmos, the heavens, the earth, man, etc. Also, note that Satan did NOT ask God if he could just drag Job down to Hell. Now what kind of lapse is that? Lots of folks would tell you that that is what Satan wants to do all the time with everyone. Oh, maybe there was no Hell to drag Job down to? Maybe Satan is only the Prince of Heck…

For his part, after his wife tells him to “curse God, and die,” Job upbraids her: “What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:9 – 10) Satan is evil, but we see him here conferring with God, the Author of both Good and Evil. Is it just possible that Satan is a servant of God, of the “Evil Division”?

Chapter 3
Job laments that he is not dead, but depicts death as simple rest from woe, not a place of fiery suffering. He is speaking of Sheol, where all go: the grave.

Chapters 4 – 5
Job 5:20 states, “In famine he shall redeem thee from death…” God redeems from death, not Hell or even Purgatory. Job 5:26 says, “Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age…” Again, as before, the grave is depicted as man’s final destination, the resurrection seeming not to be much in people’s awareness in those days.

Chapters 6 - 10
Looking further on the theory of man’s final place, we see in Job 7:9 “…he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.” Also see Job 10:21 “…I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death…”

Chapters 11 – 18
Job 11:8 contains the word “Hell” in the KJV, but again, it should have been translated as Sheol, the grave, or the unseen.

Job 18:15 mentions “…brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation,” and the Helliolater is grasping at straws if he thinks this indicates Hellfire – in Job’s time and place, sulfur (brimstone) was used to purify, either scattered like salt or burned. No Hell here.

Chapter 19
Key verse here: “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” We can rejoice here to see that Job foresaw a new life beyond the grave, even though he had earlier said that he would not return from it. This is surely one of the earliest hints of the resurrection of the dead.

Chapters 20 – 37
Job shows us the ultimate outcome of God’s dealings with us: “…he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (23:10)

“Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.” (26:6) “Hell” here should be translated as the grave, sheol, the unseen.

Chapters 38 - 42
God speaks at last and mentions the gates of death and the shadow of death in verse 17, but there is no mention of conscious torment in fire – just death, as He had Adam, Eve, and many others of.

Hell is not to be found in the book of Job.

Psalm 1
“…the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Note that it does not say that the ungodly shall perish, but the ways of the ungodly. Consider if God in His infinite, tender mercy, does not destroy the wicked, but brings their wicked ways to an end. I propose that is why there are no wicked in the Kingdom. I admit to verses indicating otherwise, but all too often they are the cries of carnal men (often David) begging God to deal harshly with personal enemies. The final answer to this is still a long ways off.

Psalm 5
Here, we have this from David, “indicating otherwise”: “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing…” Leasing, in the above means falsehood. However, it is not said that God destroys them in Hell – so far, all such destructions have happened in the land of the living. Again, the final answer is ahead of us.

Psalm 6
Eternal torture in Hell implies consciousness after death, but verse 5 contradicts it: “For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?”

Psalm 7
David asks God, not to bring an end to the wicked, but to “…let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end.”

Psalm 9
Hell again – verse 17: “The wicked shall be turned into hell…” It should be sheol, the grave, the pit, the unseen.

Psalm 16
Verse 10 gets the same comment as Psalm 9:17.

Psalm 18
Verse 5 gets the same comment as Psalm 9:17.

Psalm 30
Verse 3 mentions the grave and the pit – these could just as well have been translated as “Hell,” for it is the same word in Hebrew. Some may not agree, but I see inconsistent translation as bad translation.

Psalm 49
Verses 7-9, “…none…can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (for the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) that he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.” seem a bit obscure, but the YLT renders it better: “A brother doth no one at all ransom, He doth not give to God his atonement. And precious is the redemption of their soul, and it hath ceased – to the age. And still he liveth for ever, He seeth not the pit.”

There it is, made plain, at least a lot plainer than the KJV – death is temporary, for an age, but life in the resurrection is truly forever.

Verse 15 is very plain: “…God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.”

Psalm 55
David says in verse 15, “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell…” Now in the English of the KJV, “quick” means alive, and of course “hell” should have been rendered as sheol, etc. What David is really saying is that his enemies should go alive into their graves. Hell theology says those who go to Hell, go there after they are dead, but David flatly contradicts this. He is merely wishing a fate for some much like happened to Korah and his followers in Numbers, chapter 16.

Psalm 63
In verse 9, David states that his enemies “…shall go into the lower parts of the earth.” Given what we have seen so far, this is better interpreted as a deep grave or “six feet under,” versus a shallow grave. I know a strong tradition exists of Hell being deep in the so-called bowels of the Earth. In fact the Earth is hotter deep down, but no one, no matter how deep he has drilled or mined, has found Hell. Sound recordings of things in deep drill cores - interpreted as being the screams of the damned - are unconfirmed and may just be fraudulent. God has a term for such things, and that would be “vain imaginings.” Things are what they are, and are most probably not Hell.

Psalm 69
Verse 15 gives us “…neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.” My comments on Psalm 63 apply here. I’ll just add that the Psalmist giving the pit (grave) a mouth is just the usual kind of poetic imagery we see in all the Bible’s poetry.

Psalm 86
Hell again, in verse 13: “…thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” My KJV, in the reference & translation section between the two text columns, gives this as “depths of Sheol,” and that is just the way it should be – sheol, grave, pit.

Psalm 88
Verses 3 to 6: “For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength. Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.” If we keep in mind the parallelism of Hebrew poetry, it should be obvious that grave, pit, darkness, and deeps are all used to convey the same idea, and the horrors of Hell are not a part of it. Christians should read the Word with their inner eye, not through the filter of theology. Dig to the bottom in the Hebrew, so to speak, and it’s always Sheol, the unseen. Hell was inserted much later.

Psalm 92
Verse 7 tells us “…the wicked…and…the workers of iniquity…shall be destroyed for ever.” This seems to lean toward annihilationism, and in fact it reminds me of the second death experience in the Lake of Fire in the Revelation. That fate seems final and sad, but it is not the end of the story. Stay tuned.

Psalm 115
Verse 17, “The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.” contradicts the common belief in life after death, or more accurately, life during death. Surely there is life after death, due to the resurrection, but this psalmist agrees with Solomon, that the dead are really dead. There is no way to reconcile this with conscious torment in Hell, as many churches declare as being true.

Psalm 116
Here’s that pesky “hell” word in verse 3 – as ever, it’s Sheol. Just death here, folks, and the realm of death – the grave, the pit, dust, decay, and worms.

Psalm 139
Verse 8 gives us “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there…” Well and good so far, but here heaven is not paired with the earth, for “…if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” As ever, “hell” here is better translated as “Sheol.” That is not all – there are here issues deeper and darker. As I explained elsewhere, to think that anyone can exist in Hell is close to blasphemy, for the simple reason that for you to be alive here, there, anywhere, even Hell, you must have the spirit/breath of Life in you, otherwise Hell is just kicking a dead horse, so to speak. Since the Spirit of Life comes from God, and since it is one of the Seven Spirits of God, the Hell theory is saying that part of God must be condemned to Hell with the damned – millions, billions of parts of God, each one contained in a “lost soul.” God forbid!

However, back in Psalm 136 I just read (26 times!) this: “…his mercy endureth for ever.” Compare this God of mercy to the Hell theory god, who grants us our precious Free Will, and then when we exercise it, even in ignorance, relegates us to Hell with no chance of reprieve. Compare the real Jesus, Who prayed to His Father for the sinners who were killing Him, to the Jesus of Mary K. Baxter who tells the damned in so many words, “Too bad, you screwed up, and here you are.” (Yes I did read her book.) For that matter, take a look at the behavior of Jesus’ early followers, in the days when universal reconciliation (or whatever term they used at the time) was orthodoxy, versus the violence, torture, and bloodshed which later set in after the Hell theory became dominant. I know that during this period, entire nations disappeared from history, and others nearly did, for what the Church considered heresy. You see, gentle reader, either the Hell theory is correct, or God’s mercy endures forever – both cannot be true at the same time. If God’s mercy does endure forever, and I believe it does, then people cannot be sent to eternal torture, whatever excuses some may make for it – burning the wicked to ashes is, in a way, merciful, but as we shall see, God has more mercy in store for us than that. Let say it again, for it bears repeating: universal reconciliation is mercy, annihilation is mercy (sort of), BUT eternal torture cannot be mercy. Psalm 136 and Hell cannot both be true, and Psalm 136 is true.

Hell is not to be found in the Psalms.

At the end of Ecclesiastes (12:12), Solomon states “…of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” Job was tiring, but these Proverbs add a whole new dimension, as Solomon seems to use every possible permutation of:

pursue wisdom, understanding, prudence, favor with God, that-which-is-good; work hard, be diligent;

avoid the wicked, fools, the unwise, the angry, strange women, evil, sloth, and strong drink.

For all the wisdom presented, I dare say that Solomon here makes Shakespeare’s Polonius seem taciturn. The other two writers of Proverbs, Agur and Lemuel, are happily much less verbose.

I note here a new wrinkle on “hell.” In two places, Proverbs 15:11 and 27:20, we see the phrase “Hell and destruction.” Harking back to the Hebrew, it would read sheol and abaddon. Looking up meanings, I see that abaddon is properly translated as “destruction,” but instead of a proper translation of sheol as “grave,” it is rendered as “Hell.” I suspect theological bias, so just think “The grave and destruction are never full,” and leave it at that.

Here’s a list of chapters and verses of Proverbs, with “sheol” mistranslated as “hell”: 1:12, 5:5, 7:27, 9:18, 15:11 & 24, 23:14, 27:20, and 30:16.

This writer could not find Hell in the Proverbs.

Solomon has much to say here about life, death, and futility, but what touches our subject is in Chapter 9, verses 5-10: “…the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun…for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

Do you see? Do you grasp that there is no reward, good or ill – just non-existence? Conscious survival after death is here excluded. Further, Solomon tells us (12:6-7) “Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” He is, through poetic language, describing the moment of death and the fate of body and Spirit, the soul already having ceased in its existence. That is why Solomon does not mention the soul here as such. As I wrote elsewhere, when the living person (soul) dies, the body returns to dust, and the breath/spirit (one of the seven Spirits of God) returns to God.

An honest translator cannot let this perishing in the grave (and it can be found in other places as well) go by, and at the same time, use the word “hell” with its implication of the dead living in conscious torment. To paraphrase Mark Twain, it’s “Lies, damned lies, and bad translation.”

Hell is not to be found, then, in Ecclesiastes.

Song of Solomon
We read of love, fruit, spices, fragrances, and so on, but not of Hell in this book.

That’s not saying much. “God” is not found there either.

Nineteenth-century Universalist leader Hosea Ballou was riding the circuit in New Hampshire hills with a Baptist preacher one afternoon. They argued theology as they travelled. At one point, the Baptist looked over and said, “Brother Ballou, if I were a Universalist and feared not the fires of hell, I could hit you over the head, steal your horse and saddle, and ride away, and I’d still go to heaven.”

Hosea Ballou looked over at him and said, “If you were a Universalist, the idea would never occur to you.”

—told by the Rev. Elizabeth Strong

Thank you for the responses, Paidion! I think I noted that God was absent from the book of Esther. I would not mind that book being missing from the Bible, and and reading it I can’t but think that it shows Purim to be a hate crime, that is, if you can criminalize an emotion.

I love that story about the Universalist and the Baptist ministers - a classic, and a classy comeback. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

The word “hell” first appears in this book in chapter 5, verse 14. My KJV dutifully notes “Or Sheol.” We see hell/sheol again in 14:9 & 15, 28:15 & 18, and 57:9.

In Chapter six we read of Isaiah’s vision of seeing God, where one of the Seraphim touches his lips with a live coal and declares “…thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” (6:7) This is just another instance of fire serving as God’s instrument to refine men, not to punish them. We will see this theme again.

Chapter 14 is mostly about Israel, Babylon, Assyria, and God’s judgment on each. In the midst of all this are some verses about “Lucifer.” Now we met up with Satan in the book of Job, and my KJV noted there that the name means “the adversary,” which strikes me as a title, not a name. Yet here in Isaiah, most folks think it is the same person being referred to, but no this time it’s Lucifer, and my KJV states that it literally means “Day Star.” Going from the Adversary to the Day Star is quite a leap, and it’s not likely to be the same person. Note that the context for this passage begins in verse 4: “That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon…” Then in verse 13, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.” Two verses later, however, judgment is given: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell [sheol], to the sides of the pit [grave].” In verse 16 the question is raised, “…is this the man…?” Now most of us have been taught that Satan is a spirit being, but this passage shows this person to be mortal. For this reason I believe the person referred to in this passage to be NOT Satan, but the king of Babylon. I don’t care to stretch every text I can find to promote my thesis, unlike some. By the end of this essay, I think we will have found that Satan is a fairly minor character in the story, as he should be.

Now for the serious Bible student, I’d like to add a note of caution, to stay alert for the sleight-of-hand we so often find. First, as we saw above, is the bad translation: Adversary to Satan and Day Star to Lucifer. Then we get the bad interpretation, usually taken in a verse or two ripped from its proper context - in the present case, to point out the Devil wherever possible. Often, a look at the surrounding text will support the given interpretation, or not. If you understand the message and themes of the whole Word of God, you will tend to notice when “theo-illogical” tricks are being pulled.

After several chapters of the judgment of this nation or that, Isaiah tells us in 25:7 & 8, “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away the tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.” With death at that time swallowed up in victory, how can anyone be still dead, or for that matter, in Hell? Now if we can think of the “covering” and the “vail” above in terms of graveclothes, I think we can see what God is trying to tell us here. It all hinges on His intentions, and thus far He has not spoken of eternal torture in a fiery Hell.

Hope here, in 26:19, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” I see here no distinction between the righteous and the wicked dead. On the other hand, in chapter 28, we see an early reference, if we read between the prophetic lines, to the first and second resurrections of the dead. Isaiah writes of the planting of cumin, which is then threshed with a simple rod or staff. It’s just like the twenty-third Psalm, in which David is comforted by God’s rod and staff. The wheat, barley, and rye get a rougher treatment in the threshing here, needing a cart, an ox (Deuteronomy 25:4), or various threshing instruments to separate the grain (good) from the chaff (bad). It may be a bit off topic, but it is worth mentioning, as long as we are covering other theories on Hell, to also offer another view of the parables God offers us concerning the afterlife and the resurrection. You see, most folks are taught that the wheat and tares are good and bad people, as are the wheat and chaff, or the sheep and goats. Others contend the good parts of the individual person are represented by wheat, barley, and rye grains; and also by the gold, silver, precious gems left by the refining fire of God. The bad parts of us are typified by the chaff, blown away by the wind; by the tares, gathered together and burned; by the goats, culled from the sheep; or by the wood, hay, and stubble burned up by the same fire of God.

We arrive at 33:14 - “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” Now, this looks like a picture of Hell, but hold on, for remember that up to this point God has NOT ever threatened anyone with Hellfire. Yes, we have seen some killed with fire from God, but it was always fire in the real world, not in an unknown Hell. We today have an advantage over Isaiah, for we know of the Lake of Fire in the Revelation. We also know that the wicked, including sinners and hypocrites, are thrown into it, and that it is the second death. As I’ve said before, that is not the end of the story, and it all hinges on whether “everlasting burnings” is correct. The YLT renders the Hebrew here as “of the age,” For reasons I will go into more detail later, “of the age” or “age-long” are more correct than “everlasting” simply because eternity does not begin for a very long time. The Lake of Fire itself takes place before the ages (as such) have expired, but that topic will have to wait until we cover the Revelation. A hint of what lies ahead is at the end of chapter 33 – “…the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” This is said of Zion, in a future time when no one is sick, and everyone in Zion, is given forgiveness, without conditions or exceptions. It does look like universal reconciliation…

Moving forward, among God’s complaints of His people, Israel, either being lax in their devotions to Him, or practicing idolatry, we find that He fails to threaten them with Hellfire for these things. Many religious folks would relegate the wicked to Hell, but God continues to speak of forgiveness: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” (43:25) “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” (44:22) “Drop down ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and [not swallow up the wicked, but] let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.” (45:8)

God says of the House of Israel: “Behold, I have refined thee, but not … [as] … silver; I have … [tested] … thee in the furnace of affliction.” (48:10) There is no point in God saving and forgiving His people unless He refines them, for He would just have the same pack of sinners. He admits this much, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” (48:22) No peace for them, yet no mention of Hell, either.

In 65:17, God foretells His re-creation: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” As in Genesis there is no mention of a new Hell, so we see it is excluded in the future as well as the past. Again, in 66:22, He tells us: “…the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord…”

The very last verse of the book pulls us up short: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases [sic] of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh.” This sounds very much like Jesus’ warning to His listeners in the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus actually quoted Isaiah. I will treat this more fully later, but “Hell” in Mark 9 is footnoted as “Gehenna” in my KJV, and Gehenna is a place in the real world, so I question that Jesus could have been referring to Hell. Isaiah 66:24 also seems to be relating something to happen in the real world.

Isaiah writes much of the wicked, the ruin of the Israel/Judah of his day, but also much of the glorious future of God’s people, the city of Jerusalem, and the world in general. Therefore, I think I can say with some confidence that Hell cannot be found in the book of Isaiah.