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Old 05-22-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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Some who deny the clear New Testament declarations of the unbelievers eternal future in the lake of fire, raise the objection that the lake of fire isn't mentioned in the Old Testament. These people say that the Jews had no concept of, or didn't believe in the lake of fire. This is a false assumption. The lake of fire is taught in the Old Testament and the Jews certaintly did understand the reality of that place.

First, in Daniel 12:2 it is clearly taught that the wicked (the unbeliever) will be resurrected to eternal condemnation.

Dan 12:2 ''And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

Anyone who isn't in denial will immediately recognize the contrasts here between everlasting life and everlasting contempt.



Regarding the Hebrew word Tophet or Topheth; it is the equivalent of the Greek word Gehenna which itself is taken from a Hebrew word. Gehenna and Tophet are illustrations of the lake of fire.

Isaiah 30:33 For Topheth has long been ready, Indeed, it has been prepared for the king. He has made it deep and large, A pyre of fire with plenty of wood; The breath of the LORD, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire.


Following is some commentary from Online Parallel Bible: Weaving God's Word into the Web

Genvea Study Bible

For {g} Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the {h} king it is prepared; he hath made it {i} deep and large: the pile of it is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.

(g) Here it is taken for hell, where the wicked are tormented, read 2Ki 23:10.

(h) So that their estate or degree cannot exempt the wicked.

(i) By these figurative speeches he declares the condition of he wicked after this life.


Wesley's Notes

30:33 Tophet - This was a place near Jerusalem, in which the idolatrous Israelites used to offer up their children to Moloch. It may be put, for any place of torment; and particularly it is put for hell. For the king - For the king of Assyria. Fire - He alludes to the ancient custom, of burning sacrifices, and particularly of burning children to Moloch. The breath - The immediate hand of God, or his word of anger. Brimstone - He seems to allude to that shower of fire and brimstone, Gen 19:24.


Scofield Reference Note's

Margin Tophet

See Jer 7:31 19:6 2Ki 23:10

Historically a place in the valley of Hinnom where human sacrifices were offered. The word means "place of fire." The symbolic reference is to the lake of fire and the doom of the Beast. Rev 19:20.


Geneva Study Bible
For {g} Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the {h} king it is prepared; he hath made it {i} deep and large: the pile of it is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.

(g) Here it is taken for hell, where the wicked are tormented, read 2Ki 23:10.

(h) So that their estate or degree cannot exempt the wicked.

(i) By these figurative speeches he declares the condition of he wicked after this life.


Wesley's Notes

30:33 Tophet - This was a place near Jerusalem, in which the idolatrous Israelites used to offer up their children to Moloch. It may be put, for any place of torment; and particularly it is put for hell. For the king - For the king of Assyria. Fire - He alludes to the ancient custom, of burning sacrifices, and particularly of burning children to Moloch. The breath - The immediate hand of God, or his word of anger. Brimstone - He seems to allude to that shower of fire and brimstone, Gen 19:24.


King James Translators' Notes

of old: Heb. from yesterday


Scofield Reference Notes

Margin Tophet

See Jer 7:31 19:6 2Ki 23:10

Historically a place in the valley of Hinnom where human sacrifices were offered. The word means "place of fire." The symbolic reference is to the lake of fire and the doom of the Beast. Rev 19:20.


Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

33. Tophet-literally, "A place of abomination"; the valley of the sons of Hinnom, southeast of Jerusalem, where Israel offered human sacrifices to Moloch by fire; hence a place of burning (2Ki 23:10; Jer 7:31). Latterly Gehinnom or Gehenna, that is, valley of Hinnom, was the receptacle of the refuse of the city, to consume which fires were constantly burning. Hence it came to express hell, the place of torment. In the former sense it was a fit place to symbolize the funeral pyre of the Assyrian army (not that it actually perished there); the Hebrews did not burn, but buried their dead, but the heathen Assyrians are to be burnt as a mark of ignominy. In the latter sense Tophet is the receptacle "prepared for the devil (antitype to the king, Isa 14:12-15) and his angels," and unbelieving men (Mt 5:22; 25:41; Mr 9:43, 44).


Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

30:27-33 God curbs and restrains from doing mischief. With a word he guides his people into the right way, but with a bridle he turns his enemies upon their own ruin. Here, in threatening the ruin of Sennacherib's army, the prophet points at the final and everlasting destruction of all impenitent sinners. Tophet was a valley near Jerusalem, where fires were continually burning to destroy things that were hurtful and offensive, and there the idolatrous Jews caused their children to pass through the fire to Moloch. This denotes the certainty of the destruction, as an awful emblem of the place of torment in the other world. No oppressor shall escape the Divine wrath. Let sinners then flee to Christ, seeking to be reconciled to Him, that they may be safe and happy, when destruction from the Almighty shall sweep away all the workers of iniquity.

The preceding commentary was from Isaiah 30:33 Topheth has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze.


Excerpt:

Quote:
4. "Tophet" (Heb.) --- "Gehenna" (Gk.) --- Place of Fire.

a. A place in the Valley of Hinnom where Sacrifices were offered and the dead bodies burned or consumed.

b. Referred to In the Old Testament:

2 Kings 23:10, "And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech."

Isa. 30:33, "For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it."

Jer. 7:31-32, "And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons, and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart." (Jer. 19:6; 11-14)

c. Referred to in the New Testament:

Matt. 10:28, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).

Matt. 18:9, "And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire (Gehenna)."

Matt. 23:15, "Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell (Gehenna) than yourselves." --- V. 33, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell (Gehenna)?"

Matt. 5:22, 29-30; Mark 9:43-47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6
The above excerpt is from the following website:

FEAST Academy, Travis Case, Bible, Sermons, Church, Creation, Evolution, History, Prophecy, Religion, Love, Sex, Suicide


The preceding commentary and link was for the purpose of showing that the teachng of the lake of fire is not confined to the New Testament. Again, both Topheth and Gehenna are illustrations, of the actual place known as among other things, the lake of fire.

 
Old 05-22-2010, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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If anybody wants a good discussion on Tophet, you can also refer to the thread (linked below) that I started when I first joined City-Data. Tell me what you think.

"TOPHET" anyone?
 
Old 05-23-2010, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Germany
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Quote:
The preceding commentary and link was for the purpose of showing that the teachng of the lake of fire is not confined to the New Testament. Again, both Topheth and Gehenna are illustrations, of the actual place known as among other things, the lake of fire.
according to your own quote, the valley of Hinnom was a place where dead bodies where burned, so how can this valley represent a place of endless suffering after death? - it didn't came in God's heart that children where burned there, so God would not do in much larger scale what never entered His heart. Don't you think so? Gehenna much more symbolizes annihilation or merely death than conscious suffering.

Beside this, Gehenna is a valley, a ravine, not a lake, why should John call it a lake of fire when it had no similarity with a lake at all, he could have called it the ravine of fire if he had Gehenna in mind; that Gehenna and the lake of fire are the same thing is mere speculation without biblical support.

Origen wrote concerning Gehenna:

Quote:
Moreover, Celsus says that the diagram was “divided by a thick black line, and this line he asserted was called Gehenna, which is Tartarus.” Now as we found that Gehenna was mentioned in the Gospel as a place of punishment, we searched to see whether it is mentioned anywhere in the ancient Scriptures, and especially because the Jews too use the word. And we ascertained that where the valley of the son of Ennom was named in Scripture in the Hebrew, instead of “valley,” with fundamentally the same meaning, it was termed both the valley of Ennom and also Geenna. And continuing our researches, we find that what was termed “Geenna,” or “the valley of Ennom,” was included in the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, in which Jerusalem also was situated. And seeking to ascertain what might be the inference from the heavenly Jerusalem belonging to the lot of Benjamin and the valley of Ennom, we find a certain confirmation of what is said regarding the place of punishment, intended for the purification of such souls as are to be purified by torments, agreeably to the saying: “The Lord cometh like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and of gold.” It is in the precincts of Jerusalem, then, that punishments will be inflicted upon those who undergo the process of purification,who have received into the substance of their soul the elements of wickedness, which in a certain place is figuratively termed “lead,” and on that account iniquity is represented in Zechariah as sitting upon a “talent of lead.”
Origen, Contra Celsus

This link is further interesting:

http://www.askelm.com/secrets/sec106.htm

Last edited by svenM; 05-23-2010 at 03:50 AM..
 
Old 05-23-2010, 03:47 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Get over the eternal torture chamber crap.

Sick sick minds.

Come to Jesus for healing from evil thought sickness.
 
Old 05-23-2010, 04:09 AM
 
Location: SC Foothills
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This is quite a stretch with all the "alluding to's" and "symbolic for's" and "it may be put's".

Poppycock.

What Firstborn888 said.
 
Old 05-23-2010, 04:26 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Actually I believe the Jews at the time of Christ believed there was some underground chamber beneath the Dead Sea (or something to that effect) and a lake of molten lava there, and that was sometimes considered to be the Lake of Fire spoken of in Revelation, which in other words was a compartment of Sheol or Gehenna (some texts may have taught ET in Sheol but interestingly no texts explicitly speak of ET in Gehenna).
 
Old 05-23-2010, 12:33 PM
 
20,292 posts, read 15,638,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svenM View Post
according to your own quote, the valley of Hinnom was a place where dead bodies where burned, so how can this valley represent a place of endless suffering after death? - it didn't came in God's heart that children where burned there, so God would not do in much larger scale what never entered His heart. Don't you think so? Gehenna much more symbolizes annihilation or merely death than conscious suffering.

Beside this, Gehenna is a valley, a ravine, not a lake, why should John call it a lake of fire when it had no similarity with a lake at all, he could have called it the ravine of fire if he had Gehenna in mind; that Gehenna and the lake of fire are the same thing is mere speculation without biblical support.

Origen wrote concerning Gehenna:



Origen, Contra Celsus

This link is further interesting:

Where Is the Lake of Fire?

Do you understand the meaning of illustration and synonomous? Gehenna and Tophet were real places where horrible things were done, child sacrifices and such. Gehenna was a place where there was a continual fire burning to burn up dead bodies as well as trash. It is a picture that people of that time understood the meaning of when used by Christ as an illustration of the actual place called among other things the lake of fire, the furnace of fire, the eternal fire, the place where your worm never dies, etc...

Picture, illustration, synonomous of, and for the real actual place.

Origen was a heretic.
 
Old 05-23-2010, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Gehenna and Tophet were real places where horrible things were done, child sacrifices and such.
Horrible things huh? Would you dare to say - evil? Interesting.
 
Old 05-24-2010, 03:10 AM
 
Location: Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Do you understand the meaning of illustration and synonomous? Gehenna and Tophet were real places where horrible things were done, child sacrifices and such. Gehenna was a place where there was a continual fire burning to burn up dead bodies as well as trash. It is a picture that people of that time understood the meaning of when used by Christ as an illustration of the actual place called among other things the lake of fire, the furnace of fire, the eternal fire, the place where your worm never dies, etc...

Picture, illustration, synonomous of, and for the real actual place.

Origen was a heretic.
God condemned the burning of children, you claim He will do the very same (endlessly) what He condemned.

The things burned up in Gehenna are gone now - also the fire, so how can it be the illustration of something everlasting? To me Gehenna can in the worst case be a symbol of everlasting destruction (i.e. annihilation).

How do you know what the Jews did understand with Gehenna?

This are Jewish sources on the topic:

Quote:
Chagigah, f. 27, I. R. Shimon ben Lakish said the fire of Gehenna has no power over transgressors of Israel.

Eruvin, f. 19, I. Those who have incurred a temporary Gehenna are rescued by Abraham.

Nedarim, f. 8, 2. There is no Gehenna in the world to come according to Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish.

Nishmath Chajim, f. 82, 2. The righteous, who have committed some sins, quickly pass through hell.

Avoda Zara, I. Gehenna is nothing but a day in which the impious will be burned.

Gibborim, f. 70, I, Nishmath Chajim, p. 83, I, Jalkuth Shimeoni, f. 83, 3, &c., all say that twelve months is the period of punishment in Gehenna.

Emek Hammelech, f. 138, 4: “The wicked stay in Gehenna till the Resurrection, and then the Messiah, passing through it, redeems them.” The same treatise (f. 16, 2), says even of the worst sinners, like those of Sodom, and spies who betray Jews, that they are punished “till the time decreed is expired,” and then allowed to transmigrate.

Midrash Rabba, I, 30. Avoda Zara, 3. “After the last judgment Gehenna exists no longer.”

Zijoni, f. 69, 3: “There is only a thread's thickness between Paradise and Gehenna.”

Asarah Maamaroth, f. 85, I: “There will hereafter be no Gehenna.”

Jalkuth Shimeoni, f. 46, I: Gabriel and Michael will open the 8,000 gates of Gehenna and let out Israelites and righteous Gentiles.

Jalkuth Chadash, f. 57, I: “The righteous bring out of Gehenna imperfect souls.”

Jalkuth Koheleth: “God created Paradise and Gehenna, that those in the one should deliver those in the other.”

Jalkuth Tehillin: “The praises of God that ascend from Gehenna are more than those that ascend from Paradise, for each one that is a step higher praises God.”

Rabbi Bar Nachman: “The future world (the Olam habba) will have its Gehenna, but the last times will have it no more.”

Joreh Deah ad fin.: “As is commonly said, ‘The punishment of wicked Israelites in Gehenna is twelve months.'”*(1)

*(1) Other passages may be found quoted in Windet's learned book, De Vita functorum statu, pp. 154-157 (1663).

Rabbi Akiba, “the second Moses, the second Ezra.” “The duration of the punishment of the wicked in Gehenna is twelve months.” Edyoth, ii. 10.

In the Othjoth, which is attributed to him, the dead say the Amen to the Kaddish (prayer for the dead) of Zerubbabel; and Gabriel and Michael set them free through the 40,000 gates of Gehenna.

Zohar: “Noah stayed twelve months in the Ark because the judgment of sinners lasts so long.”

So too Rabbi Jose, Rabbi Jehudah, Rabbi Eliezer, Buxtorf, s.v. [ please insert Hebrew text from the book here ] R. Kimchi on Ps. I: “Their soul shall perish with their body in the day of death.”

Bartolocci (Bibl. Rabbinica, ii. 128-162), after elaborate examination, concludes that the Jews did not believe in a material fire, and thought that such a fire as they did believe in would one day be put out.

R. Jacob Chayif in En Jacob: “Some, after they have been punished in Gehenna, will perhaps be deemed worthy of the life to come.”

R. Menahem on Sam. xxv. 29: “The wicked are in chains till the time when they go out hence.”

Maimonides, “the eagle of the doctors,” makes Gehenna in its worst form equivalent to Kareth, “excision,” and explains it not of endless torments but of annihilation. The “future age” (Olam Habba) is absolute universal bliss and holiness (Preface to the Thirteen Articles of Faith).

R. Moses Almosny, in Tephillah Mosheh, says even of the extremely wicked – “If any one have sinned much he shall be punished much; afterwards however he shall gain his rest.”

Rabbi Albo gives three grades to Gehenna: I. Gehenna for a year, and then blessedness. 2. Gehenna for a year, and then annihilation. 3. Aeonian (which does not necessarily mean “endless”) chastisement for none but the worst renegades. – Ikkarim, iv. 30, 40. [See p. 208, n. 2.)

Midrash on Koheleth: “What is the distance between Paradise and Gehenna? According to Johanan a wall; according to Acha a palm-breadth; according to other Rabbis only a finger-breadth.”

Rabbi Abarbanel in Miphaloth Elohim, viii. 6: “The soul will only be punished in Gehenna for a time proportionate to the extent of its faults; and then annihilated.”

Many Rabbinic legends point in the same direction. Thus, when the wicked Rabbi Acheer – surnamed Ben Zoma – died, and the smoke which issued from his grave was taken as a proof that he was in Gehenna, Rabbi Johanan vowed that at his death, he would take Acheer by the hand and lead him to Paradise, in sign of which the smoke should cease to issue, from the grave. It did so, and one of the mourners exclaimed, “Even the doorkeeper of Gehenna could not stand before thee, our Rabbi!”

In Sotah, f. 10, I: “We are told that at the death of Absalom, Gehenna burst upwards at the feet of David, who eight times exclaimed, ‘My Son,' and rescued him from the seven regions of Gehenna and raised him to the world to come.”*(1)

*(1) Stories of deliverance from Gehenna may be found in Mr. Hershon's Talmudic Miscellany, pp. 305-312.

Rabbi Marks: “The upshot is, that the Jewish doctrine laboured rather to adorn the future of the good than to describe the destiny of the wicked. Stronger than their fear of justice is their belief in the divine mercy, ‘He will not contend for ever, neither will He retain His anger to eternity' (Ps. ciii. 9), which is a powerful argument against the modern Christian doctrine of everlasting woe.”

Editor of the Jewish Chronicle: “Endless torment has never been taught by the Rabbis as a doctrine of the Jewish Church.”

Hamburger, author of the Talmudisches Worterbuch: “As to this point, the Talmudic teachers declare themselves distinctly against the supposition of the endlessness of the torments of hell.” – Talm. Worterb. S. v. “Holle.”

I will close the series with a passage from a tract especially devoted to Gehenna – namely the Masseketh Gehinnom – which has been several times published, and lately by Dr. Jellinek in his Beth Hammedrash. “After all this, the Holy One, blessed be He, hath pity upon His creatures, even as it is written, ‘For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth.' And these words are applied to the case of the heathen Gentiles.”

Basnage, Hist. Des Juifs, iv. 32, f. 7: “This punishment is not generally acknowledged to be everlasting.”

Philippson, Israel. Religionslehre, ii. 255: “The Rabbis teach no eternity of hell torments; even the greatest sinners were punished for generations. This they express allegorically by saying that between hell and paradise there is only a breadth of two fingers, so that it will be very easy for the purified sinner to reach from the last unto the first.”

Dr. Deutsch: “Of this you may be quite sure, that there is no a word in the Talmud that lends any support to the damnable dogma of endless torment.” – Letter to Rev. S. Cox.

“There is no everlasting damnation according to the Talmud. The sinner has but to repent sincerely and the gates of everlasting bliss will spring open.” – Remains, p. 53.

Chief Rabbi B. Mosse, of Avignon, has written against the doctrine of endless torments in his journal, La Famille de Jacob.

Chief Rabbi Michel A. Weill, after explaining Gehenna figuratively, says, “Would there not be a flagrant contradiction between endless torments and the goodness of God, so magnificently celebrated in Biblical annals? Nothing therefore seems more incompatible with the true Biblical tradition than an eternity of suffering and chastisement.” – Le Judaisme, iv. 590.

Rabbi H. Adler: “With respect to the Rabbis of the present day, I think it would be safe to say that they do not teach endless retributive suffering. They hold that it is not conceivable that a God of Mercy and Justice would ordain infinite punishment for finite wrong-doing.” – Letter to Dr. Farrar.

Rabbi Loewe says: “Olam simply signifies for a long time. The Hebrew Scriptures do not contain any doctrine referring to everlasting punishment.”
Source: Mercy And Judgment by Canon F.W. Farrar
 
Old 05-24-2010, 03:18 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstborn888 View Post
Get over the eternal torture chamber crap.

Sick sick minds.

Come to Jesus for healing from evil thought sickness.
Or at the very least, stop perpetuating it into the world! You have faith in eternal torture? Have it unto thyself! For the love of God, stop using fear as a control weapon. Please.

Heartsong
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