Steaming dump as an image of hell, fiery hell
Even in Canaan times, human sacrifices were made in the valley of Hinnom near Jerusalem. And these traditions were reborn from time to time. Even with the prophet Jeremiah, there is a return to human sacrifice.
After the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, this valley will turn into a place of dumping of sewage, there will always be foul smoking. And the Lord will take this very valley for the image of hell, call it fiery hell. Hinnom is this very valley. By the way, in the 20th century, it was unearthed and tens of thousands of skeletons of children's bodies burned in ancient times were found there. The Lord in the Gospel gives the image of hell: this garbage dump, smoking and smelly, is fiery hell.
“For the sons of Judah do that which is evil in my sight, saith the Lord; They have set their abominations in the house over which my name is called, to defile it; And they built the heights of Topheth in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and that did not come into My heart.For behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when they no longer call this place Topheth and the valley of the sons of Hinnom, but the valley of murder, and in Topheth they will bury for want of space. And the corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to chase them away. And in the cities of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem I will stop the voice of celebration and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; because this land will be desolate ”(Jeremiah, 7, 30-34).
We do not really know what hell is. For example, St. Isaac the Syrian believed that one day everyone would come out of hell and be saved. Lewis said that hell is a paradise with mosquitoes.
The very phrase “hellish existence” is a paradox. Because hell is nothingness. Being in nonexistence. A serious theological problem is how to present it. It is hard to imagine, not because it doesn’t exist, but because it begins on earth and we don’t know how to express it. Questions about crying and gnashing of teeth, about fiery pans - these are all images that only weakly convey the state of flour. The soul falls into the abyss and is tormented, because it is a living soul, whatever it is.
Archpriest Lev Shikhlyarov