From the New York Chronicle.
"The derivation of this word, like all other words, becomes important only as it regards the reason of its original use or primeval application. The etymological meaning was its only meaning at first. Its usage must determine its meaning in after-times.
"It is derived from the Greek a, negative, signifying not, and eido, to see. Etymologically, therefore, it means an invisible place. In Pagan mythology it comprehends all the fabulous mansions of the dead. Among the Jews who used it, it signified the region allotted to the souls of men after the death of their bodies and prior to their resurrection. It is in this sense the Messiah and the apostles employ it. The word is not expressive of either a place of happiness or misery. The condition of its inhabitants is revealed by other words; for it is the region of all the departed, good and bad; and happiness and misery depend on the character of the beings themselves.
"It has been thought by some that it sometimes signifies the grave. After a careful examination of all the places of its occurrence in the New Testament, I am satisfied that in that volume it never has that signification. In Acts 2: 27 we read, ‘Thou wilt not leave my soul in the invisible state, neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.’ Here hades is regarded as the place, not of the body, which goes to corruption, but as the place of the soul. The body for the grave, the soul for hades till the resurrection."
S. E. SHEPARD.
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