In 2 Peter 2:4 (ASV):

  1. For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

2 Peter 2:4 (NHEB): but cast them down to the lower parts of hell.

2 Peter 2:4 (DRB): but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments.

2 Peter 2:4 (GNT):

  1. εἰ γὰρ ὁ Θεὸς ἀγγέλων ἁμαρτησάντων οὐκ ἐφείσατο, ἀλλὰ σειραῖς ζόφου ταρταρώσας παρέδωκεν εἰς κρίσιν τηρουμένους,

Jude 1:6 (ASV):

  1. And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Did God torture (punish) the sinner angels before judgement?

According to the spoken in the two verses, especially the first verse i.e: 2 Peter 2:4, it is clear that the sinner angels cast down to hell before the judgement

Isn't Hell the lake of fire?, I mean, are Hell and the lake of fire two different ways of punishment or torture?

According to the Greek text, the sinner angels were cast down to Tartarus (ταρταρώσας). And this(casting down to Tartarus) is before the judgement. So what is the difference between Hades and Tartarus?, What is the difference between Tartarus and the lake of fire and brimstone?

About Tartarus, Look:

TARTARUS: 2nd Peter 2:4 states, “For if God spared not the angels who had sinned, but having cast them down to the DEEPEST PIT OF GLOOM has delivered them to chains of darkness to be kept for judgment” (DARBY version). The actual word TARTARUS is not found here, yet the word “tartarus” in the Greek means, “a horrible pit of torment,” so the words “the deepest pit of gloom” are the same as “tartarus.” This is NOT the same as HADES, where in the case of lost souls they too suffer torment in “the place of departed spirits/souls.” Tartarus is a special “pit of torment” reserved for a special class of angels who rebelled against God and who are being kept in this pit until the final judgment.

It's clear from Darby Bible, New Heart English Bible (NHEB) and Douay-Rheims Bible (DRB) that Tartarus is the lowest of the Hell.

Again, did God punish or torture or (any kind of suffering) the sinner angels before judgement?

  • They are kept in bonds until judgment. The bonds are a restriction : they are not a punishment.There is no punishment until righteous judgment is pronounced. Where is your evidence for supposing that would be so ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 22:12
  • @NigelJ If you were restrained in chains until being thrown into the lake of fire, you would not consider this punishment? Then murderers on death row are not being punished????
    – user33125
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 22:23
  • Compared to a lake of fire, being in bonds is not a punishment. It is a restraint.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 22:37
  • @NigelJ isn't casting them into Hell before judgement a kind of torture?
    – salah
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 22:46
  • @salah They are not cast into hell. They are in the abyss awaiting judgment. They are "on remand" as we say : they are restrained from doing further evil, awaiting the return of Christ and the end of time. At which juncture he shall judge them and they shall be cast into a lake of fire. That is the punishment. Just being chained up doesn't hurt. But it does prevent a criminal committing further crime.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 23:05

2 Answers 2


So if we try to understand Scripture from a traditional sense the Bible doesn't exactly make sense. So in order to understand Scripture accurately we have to allow the Scripture itself to interpret Scripture, rather than traditional religious beliefs.

For The Hebrew text we have three locations mentioned, Sheol, Theum and Hinnom. In the Greek we know these places as Hades, Abysson and Gehenna. As for the English we call these places The Grave, The Abyss and The Lake or Fire.

Hell on the other hand is not found in true Scripture, it is a word that showed up in 725AD which came from the Proto-Germanic "haljō" the understanding of this word comes from Norse mythology (Not The Bible) it is described as a residences for the dead, not a place of torture. The torture idea itself came from Dante's Inferno around the 1300s.

As for actual places we find in The Bible, we shall turn to Scripture to understand them.

Sheol (The Grave) according to Ecclesiastes 9:10 is a place where "there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom" now each one of these things lacking in Sheol are meant to be understood from a human perspective. Activity here is a deed, a thing done, an act "to do something" Movement if you will. Planning is to think, to account (Thoughts) Knowledge here is defined as Perception "the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses." And lastly Wisdom the discernment between Good And Evil, are ability to Judge.

Sheol (The Grave) robs human beings of their ability to Move, Think, See, Hear, Understand etc: The Grave according to Scripture is to simply be Physically Dead. The Grave is literally The Grave.

Theum (The Abyss) or Abysson is place in Scripture described as a Prison for heavenly beings i.e Morning Stars, Sons of God, Demons and even Cherubim. Our first introduction to this place is found in Genesis 1.2 "And The Earth She Became Chaos, Vacancy and Darkness over The Surface of The Abyss (Theum)" from what we see in The Bible is that in the Prison context this place is always in correlation to the Sea, The Ocean, A Lake etc:. Tartarus is only used once in the New Testament 2 Peter 2:4 and is not a correct word to use, so we'll use Abysson instead. We could just make this easy with the definition that Theum is "deep, depths, deep places, abyss, the deep, Sea" but who is to say that Theum and Tartarus and Abysson are even the same places?

Luke 8:30-31 "And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss (Abysson) is this in correlation to the Sea, Ocean or Lake? Luke 8:33 "And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned."

We find the same place in Revelation when Satan is being thrown into The Abyss where he is held under chains, and of course we see the same thing in Jude 1:6 "And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day"

Under these words do we find any understanding of pain or torment? None at all, only a prison for those awaiting judgement.

And last on our list is Hinnom, Gehenna or The Lake of Fire. According to Matthew 10:28 The Lake of Fire is something God uses to Destroy both Body and Soul. Pretty simple stuff, until we ask the question what does God mean by "Destroy"? Typically with the idea of torment and pain being thrown out we would imagine that destroying is to wipe one from existence, which is possible. But it might be asked "wait a minute, doesn't Revelation 20:10 say they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."? In the English yes, but not in The Greek.

The word that is horribly translate "Torment" is the Greek word Strong's G928 - basanizō which is a touchstone "which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal" the imagery the Greek writers were trying to use was that of testing, not torment. And the sulfur imagery here is used to describe gold with corruptions being purified. (That's what Sulfur is used for here)

So is destroying Body and Soul meant to be understood as purifying it? Does One Destroy his enemy when making him into a friend? Possibly so. Which would explain why Romans 8:19-22 says that the whole creation is waiting for the sons of God to be revealed so that they too can share in freedom from its slavery to corruption which they did not subject themselves to. How Mark 9:49 tells us that everyone will be salted with fire. That "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" and what are we told in Philippians 2? That "every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."

So it is possible that God purifies everyone in the end, or maybe we should understand Destroy from a traditional view. Which ever it is, we know with Faith That God will make the right decision, because He is Righteous.

  • could you write a conclusion including summary of your post. I will choose your answer as best.
    – salah
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 9:52

[Christ] went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison who had formerly disobeyed when the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah......God did not spare the angels who sinned but delivered them to gloomy pits, having cast them down to Tartarus, they being kept for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world but guarded Noah...... angels who did not keep their own principality but abandoned their own dwelling place, He has kept in eternal bonds under gloom for the judgment of the great day......The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took wives for themselves from all whom they chose. And Jehovah said, My Spirit will not strive with man forever, for he indeed is flesh; so his days will be one hundred twenty years. The Nephilim were on the earth in those days — and also afterward — when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; these were the mighty men who were of old the men of renown. And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And Jehovah repented that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in His heart. And Jehovah said, I will blot out the man whom I have created from the surface of the ground, from man to beast to creeping things to the birds of heaven; for I repent that I have made them. But Noah found favor in the sight of Jehovah.

the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels......the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, each of them, according to their works. And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

1 Pet 3:19-20; 2 Pet 2:4-5; Jude 6; Gen 6:2-8; Mt 25:41; Rv 20:13-14.

Did God torture (punish) the sinner angels before judgement? did God punish or torture or (any kind of suffering) the sinner angels before judgement? Yes. He didn't "spare" them. See above. In that way it's like jail before prison, everlasting prison. Though their "bonds" now are called "eternal" by Jude, Jesus' brother.

Isn't Hell the lake of fire?, are Hell and the lake of fire two different ways of punishment or torture? In common English it seems that "hell" refers to the unpleasant part of the underworld (cf Lk 16:23-26). I imagine it also may refer to the lake of fire in translations that use it. The unpleasant part of Sheol/Hades precedes the lake of fire. So the first is temporary, the second eternal.

what is the difference between Hades and Tartarus?, What is the difference between Tartarus and the lake of fire and brimstone? Tartarus to me appears to be the lowest part of Hades.

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