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What Does the Bible Say About..The Bottomless Pit?

I think there is a difference in the bible between the bottomless pit and what will be hell at the end of life as we know it. I would appreciate your opinion


The abyss (bottomless pit) was the source of the locusts in Revelation 9. It was also the source of a beast in Revelation 11, and (another?) beast in Revelation 17. The locusts in Revelation 9 probably represent an army (if those in Joel do so), which would be the Roman army. The beast in Revelation 11 persecuted the early church. The beast in Revelation 17 is clearly identified as the Roman Empire which was about to persecute the church. In Revelation 20 the serpent (the power behind the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early church) was sealed in the abyss for a long period of time, and then released. Based on these references the abyss is a symbol for the source of evil.

Just as “heaven” in the Revelation sometimes is the church rather than the abode of God, the abyss seems to represent everything that is not the church. In the sense that the spiritual realm is possibly only divided into heaven/hell (presence/absence of God; reward/punishment), the abyss would be equivalent to hell if “heaven” represents the abode of God.

The abyss is apparently not hell in the sense of the realm of eternal punishment. After the serpent was released from the abyss we read no more about it. The serpent was subsequently cast into the lake of fire, where also are the beast and the false prophet (Rome and some representative of the Roman government, possibly the Emperor). It would be illogical to think that he was cast back into his home at that point.

Since all of these things were written to first century Christians about things that were going to happen within a few years of the writing, whatever the bottomless pit symbolized, it was probably not something in our future. It is definitely symbolic, and probably symbolic of the entire political system of the Roman and pre-Roman world, from which Rome arose.