posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 11:39 AM
Hell doesn't fit quite properly in the biblical understanding of hte universe, becuase its not really part of the biblical understanding of the
universe. Hell and "fallen angels" and "the devil" are ideas that, to some degree, are nascent in the early biblical texts, and the semitic
society that created those texts. Those ideas develop along lots of different lines, both inside and outside of the 'orthodox' religious
traditions, long before the new testament is compiled. Even in the new testament, we don't exactly have a 'hell'. The devil is in the world, and
he is a tempter and liar. At the end of hte world, the bodies of the dead are resurrected, like jesus's body after crucifixtion, some ascend to
'heaven', physically, others are thrown into a 'lake of fire'. A 'beast' arises, he is defeated and thrown into 'the pit' (I think leviathan,
the great animal from the old testament, is also destroyed here), the pit is 'locked up', then, after jesus rules as king on earth for a 1,000
years, the universe is destroyed.
We now say 'the pit, its hell, the lake of fire, its hell'. Is that what the original authors intended? Is that what their audeiences understood it
to mean? Who knows.
As far as the angels rebelling, even that is questionable. Amoung the jews, there are traditions that there are 'angels' that are sort of like
guardian angels, but for entire countries. THe angels are the ones that protect the nations during war, if the angel for Persia and the angel for
Israel fight, there is war, and when the angel for israel defeats the persia angel, israel wins the war, or suffers defeats as their angels conflict.
Above all this, is an angel called Samma-el (just like there is an angel called Gabri-el, Micha-el, etc). Samma-el has a special job, he is supposed
to yearly accuse Israel of its crimes against god, just as not keeping the proper religious practices, etc. From this, we get, in part, the idea of
the devil. The name 'satan' is supposed to be derived from these 'accusing' angels, or in some traditions the accusing angel (who is, in a sense,
God's prosecuting attorney in his heavenly court), is called Satan-El.
Along with this, the israelis used to take a goat, and offer it as a sacrifice to an angel nammed Azza-El, in order to keep that powerful angel, who
was given teh job by god to punish the nation of the jews when they were in error or sin, from punishing them. That too adds to the idea of the devil,
and, also, notice the association with a 'goat', which is often the form of the devil.
In some traditions, the 'fallen angels' weren't rebelling agianst god, that idea, ofa war in heaven, is popularized in europe amoung christians,
and especially made famous by milton. The fallen angels had been critical of mankind, saying that they so easily fall into sin. They are rebuked,
told that angels are made different from men, they're more pure, have less free will, and have different stresses on them. The angels scoff, say that
they're better. So they take human form, and instantly lust after human women, and fall victim to all the problems that men have. They become
'heavy', and can't ascend phsyically back to heaven. In some traditions, there are lots of angels that this happens to, and they are the 'sons of
god' that reproduce with women and produce teh 'nefilim', the giants. The word 'nefilim' is supposedly related to the word for 'to fall',
In the muslim traditions, there is a reworking of this. Two angels take human form, they use a magic word to change back and ascend to the heavens.
They fall in love with a woman/lust after her, she steals their magic word, they can't re-ascend, and she uses it so ascend and becomes a star (this
is perhaps noteworthy because in the middle east, astarte is a powerful female goddess, the name itself suggests 'star', like in the word 'asterix,
*, a star).
So yes, the idea of hell and fallen angels and the devil, it looks confusing, because it is confusing.