Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
"hell," 1620s, from Church Latin, from Greek geenna, from post-biblical Hebrew gehinnom, "Hell, place of fiery torment for the dead," figurative use of the place name Ge Hinnom "the Valley of Hinnom," southwest of Jerusalem, where, according to Jer. xix.5, children were sacrificed to Moloch.
(originally Ge bene Hinnom; i.e., "the valley of the sons of Hinnom"), a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to Molech (2 Chr. 28:3; 33:6; Jer. 7:31; 19:2-6). This valley afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always burning. It thus in process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction. In this sense it is used by our Lord in Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5. In these passages, and also in James 3:6, the word is uniformly rendered "hell," the Revised Version placing "Gehenna" in the margin. (See HELL ØT0001731; HINNOM.)
abode of the damned in the afterlife in Jewish and Christian eschatology (the doctrine of last things). Named in the New Testament in Greek form (from the Hebrew Ge Hinnom, meaning "valley of Hinnom"), Gehenna originally was a valley west and south of Jerusalem where children were burned as sacrifices to the Ammonite god Moloch. This practice was carried out by the Israelites during the reigns of King Solomon in the 10th century BC and King Manasseh in the 7th century BC and continued until the Babylonian Exile in the 6th century BC. Gehenna later was made a garbage centre to discourage a reintroduction of such sacrifices.