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Does the word "hell" in Acts 2:27 and Acts 2:31 refer to the grave?

There are people who would like to believe it does, but it doesn't. The Greek word for "grave" is "mnemeion," meaning a "tomb," usually cut out in a rock. It is the place the body lies in physical death until the resurrection. There will be a bodily resurrection of both the saved, and the lost. "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." Acts 24:15.

The Greek word for "hell" is "hades," and it means, "lower regions," the [place of disembodied spirits]. The rich man in Luke 16:22-23, was buried (his body), and he "lifted up his eyes in hell." He was in a conscious state, yet apart from (his body).

In Acts 2:31, "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." You will notice the distinction in this verse between His soul, His flesh and his body. The latter laid in the tomb for three days, while His soul went down into "hades."

In Luke 16:23, it is clear there were two compartments there, one for the saved and one for the lost. The saved were in a place of comfort and happiness, while the lost were in a state of torment.

Jesus referred to the saved state as "Paradise." "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:42-43. The Lord, and the saved thief went to Paradise that very day. It was in Abraham's bosom, (Luke 16:22), where Lazarus was.

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated March 9th, 2014 by Sandra Felix