follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

Gehenna

[gi-hen-uh] /gɪˈhɛn ə/
noun
1.
the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, where propitiatory sacrifices were made to Moloch. II Kings 23:10.
2.
hell (def 1).
3.
any place of extreme torment or suffering.
Origin
< Late Latin < Greek Géenna < Hebrew Gē-Hinnōm hell, short for gē ben Hinnōm literally, valley of the son of Hinnom
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for Gehenna

Gehenna

/ɡɪˈhɛnə/
noun
1.
(Old Testament) the valley below Jerusalem, where children were sacrificed and where idolatry was practised (II Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 19:6) and where later offal and refuse were slowly burned
2.
(New Testament, Judaism) a place where the wicked are punished after death
3.
a place or state of pain and torment
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin, from Greek Geena, from Hebrew Gê' Hinnōm, literally: valley of Hinnom, symbolic of hell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for Gehenna

gehenna

n.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Gehenna in the Bible

(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.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for Gehenna

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.

Learn more about Gehenna with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for Gehenna

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with Gehenna

Nearby words for gehenna