This page is a listing of evidences for the model by which an underworld existed, inhabited by angel-type beings who oversaw its operation. What you will find below is excerpts from scripture with a few notes.
Luke 16:22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
The dead could not have been carried by angels to the various sections of Hades/Sheol unless angels had access thereunto.
Hebrews 2:5 For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.
Under the age that was then about to change over, the Earth was subject to the rule of angels. This included Hades/Sheol. This was the order of things.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into Tartarus and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
As we shall see, angels were in charge of such incarcerations. See also Jude 6 below:
Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—
Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit (Lit: pit of the abyss).
Here a fallen angel has the key to a section of the underworld.
2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. 3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.
I doubt that these were literal locusts. They were likely evil spirits.
4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. 6 And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them. 7 In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, 8 their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; 9 they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10 They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. 11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.
The pit had a “king”. Abaddon/Apollyon was used both as the name of the person and the name of the region of the underworld he oversaw:
Job 26:6 Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering.
Here Sheol and Abaddon are associated.
Job 28:20 “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the air. 22 Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’
Here Abbadon and Death (Maveth) speak. So now we have Abaddon, Sheol, and Death linked together.
Job 31:12 for that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my increase.
Psalm 88:10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in Sheol,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
Here Abaddon is associated with Sheol, the departed, and darkness.
Proverbs 15:11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord; how much more the hearts of the children of man!
Once again, Abaddon is associated with Sheol.
Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
This could be figurative language, or it could be an indication of the character of these two beings.
Revelation 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit (Lit: the abyss. No word for “pit” here in the Greek) and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
Here an angel has the key to the pit of the abyss.
Revelation 1:18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Here Jesus has the keys to Death and Hades. He had once promised to give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19). Then Jesus was granted all authority in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18ff) At this point, all kingdoms were in subjection to him. This is why he would have the keys to the underworld.
2 Esdras 7:85 The fifth reason—because they will see the dwelling places of others, guarded by angels in great silence.
This is a reference to that section of Sheol that was reserved for the righteous. It was guarded over by holy angels, and remained in great peace, unlike the rest.
2 Esdras 7:86 The sixth reason—because they see the torment coming upon them from now on.
This torment was administered by angels, as we shall see.
2 Esdras 7:95 The fourth order—understanding the peaceful rest that they now enjoy, gathered in their resting chambers, guarded by angels in deep silence, and understanding the glory that awaits them in their last days.
Again, we see the righteous under guard in Sheol.
The following is an extended passage from Isaiah, foretelling the destruction of Satan’s fortress in the underworld:
Isaiah 24:1 Behold, the LORD will empty the earth (erets) and make it desolate (empty),
and he will twist its surface (turn it inside out) and scatter its inhabitants.
2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
as with the slave, so with his master;
as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller;
as with the lender, so with the borrower;
as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
3 The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered;
for the LORD has spoken this word.
Matthew 12:29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
The following verses tell of how the Earth had been destroyed by those who were soon to be destroyed themselves
Revelation 11:18 The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
The reference to “the nations raged” will be important later.
4 The earth mourns and withers;
the world languishes and withers;
the highest people of the earth languish.
5 The earth lies defiled
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
and few men are left.
7 The wine mourns,
the vine languishes,
all the merry-hearted sigh.
8 The mirth of the tambourines is stilled,
the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
9 No more do they drink wine with singing;
strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
10 The wasted city is broken down;
every house is shut up so that none can enter.
This is Satan’s city in the underworld. See verse 13
11 There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
all joy has grown dark;
the gladness of the earth is banished.
12 Desolation is left in the city;
the gates are battered into ruins.
Christ would free the captives–the prisoners. See Matthew 27:52-53
13 For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth
This is something that was to happen inside the earth, and not on its surface. Examine these passages, which are all references to the underworld.
among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.
14 They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west.[b]
15 Therefore in the east[c] give glory to the LORD;
in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
of glory to the Righteous One.
But I say, “I waste away,
I waste away. Woe is me!
This is Israel speaking from Sheol, in a common theme of being cut off in Sheol. For example:
Psalm 79:Do not remember against us our former iniquities;[a]
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and atone for our sins,
for your name’s sake!
10 Why should the nations (That is, the dead of the nations who are around us in Sheol) say,
“Where is their God?”
Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
be known among the nations before our eyes!
11 Let the groans of the prisoners (there is much talk in scripture about the prisoners in Sheol needing to be set free) come before you;
according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die!
12 Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors
the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!
13 But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
For the traitors have betrayed,
with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.”
Those in charge of Sheol had somehow betrayed the faithful dead.
17 Terror and the pit and the snare
are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
This is a reference to the binding of Satan and the other Sons of God (bene` `elohim) who were with him.
18 He who flees at the sound of the terror
shall fall into the pit,
and he who climbs out of the pit
shall be caught in the snare.
For the windows of heaven are opened,
and the foundations of the earth tremble.
19 The earth is utterly broken,
the earth is split apart,
the earth is violently shaken.
See Matthew 27:50ff
20 The earth staggers like a drunken man;
it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
and it falls, and will not rise again.
21 On that day the LORD will punish
the host of heaven, in heaven,
and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
22 They will be gathered together
as prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
and after many days they will be punished.
Revelation 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
We see from Isaiah that this incarceration was not only for Satan himself, but for the rest of the “kings of the earth” who had rebelled with him.
23 Then the moon will be confounded
and the sun ashamed,
Acts 2:20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
for the LORD of hosts reigns
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and his glory will be before his elders.
God Will Swallow Up Death Forever
Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
25 O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
2 For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
Satan’s domain in the underworld was destroyed. Note that it was a “city”, and not just a single house. It also had a “palace”, signifying that Satan ruled over many.