Levels of Hell

Levels of hell are equivalent to layers of the Earth

For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

(Psalms 86:13) KJV

The levels of hell aren’t what you think. However, they’re what we would expect. The Hebrews had a well developed idea of life after death. For them physical death, the grave, was a portal into a complex underworld realm: sheol.

It’s Not What You Think

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

(James 2:10) KJV

The levels of hell are not, as Dante Alighieri envisioned, successively worse torments for progressively worse sin. This is utterly ridiculous given that, in the eyes of God, sin is sin. As far as God concerned there’s no difference: everyone is a sinner. The only difference is between those who know God and those who don’t. In the Old Testament knowing God was to have faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the New Testament, our time, we know God by believing in Jesus Christ.

It’s What We Would Expect

And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

(Luke 16:26) KJV

We find that the Hebrew words used for Earth, erets, and life beyond the grave, sheol, are both modified in ways that are compatible with the zones of Earth’s internal structure.

Levels of Hell

Grave (sheol)
Pit (sahat/bowr)
Earth (erets)World (tebel)
Mantlemibbeten sheol
tavek sheol
yerekah bowr
tachti erets
erets tachti
mowcadah tebel
Great Gulf
(outer core)
bad sheolerets beriach
matsuq erets
mayim tachath erets
(inner core)
sheol tachti
tachti erets
bowr, shachath
missahat beli
mowcadar erets
– The levels of hell correspond to the four zones of the interior of the Earth.
Download a .PDF summarizing how Hebrew words are used to describe the different zones of the interior of the earth with their scripture references.