Christian Pilgrim


32. Tartarus

"Tartarus" (Greek) is equivalent to "The Bottomless Pit" or "The Deep."

This is a place where fallen angels are chained, reserved for the Last Day, when they will be judged and cast into the "Lake of Fire" ("Gehenna").

In the Authorised Version of the Bible, it occurs once and is translated as "hell":

2 Peter 2:4 - "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment..."

Two times the same place is referred to as "The Deep":

Luke 8:31 - the demons cry not to be cast into the deep (lit. "abyss") - i.e. this is Tartarus, the holding place of demons (fallen angels).

Romans 10:7 - "Who shall descend into the deep" (lit. "abyss") (translated "sea" in Deuteronomy 30:13). This is contrasted to "heaven" (v.6), and is said to be like bringing "Christ up from the dead" - i.e. it is not a place mere men go to, only spirits can enter there.

Seven times the same place is referred to as "The Bottomless Pit":

Revelation 9:1,2,11 - The star fallen to earth (i.e. Satan) was given the key to the "Bottomless Pit." This is the place of chained fallen angels. Their power was let loose (under God's providential control) for "five months" as a part of God's judgment. "Abaddon" or "Apollyon" is the head of these angels (v.11).

Revelation 11:7 - The beast ascends out of the "Bottomless Pit."

Revelation 17:8 - The beast will ascend out of the "Bottomless Pit" and go to perdition, i.e. out of "Tartarus" and into the "Lake of Fire" ("Gehenna").

Revelation 20:1-3 - An angel from heaven has the key to the "Bottomless Pit," chains Satan there for a thousand years, after which he is loosed for a while. (Note that in Revelation 12:9 he is cast down to the earth, which is a completely different event).