(Greek - dhv|hades [ač] , "the unseen world," is revealed as the place of departed human spirits between death and resurrection). The word occurs, Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; Acts 2:27,31; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13,14 and is the equivalent of the O.T. "sheol." (See Scofield "Habakkuk 2:5") . The Septuagint invariably renders sheol by hades.
(1) Hades before the ascension of Christ. The passages in which the word occurs make it clear that hades was formerly in two divisions, the abodes respectively of the saved and of the lost. The former was called "paradise" and "Abraham's bosom." Both designations were Talmudic, but adopted by Christ in Luke 16:22; 23:43. The blessed dead were with Abraham, they were conscious and were "comforted" Luke 16:25. The believing malefactor was to be, that day, with Christ in "paradise." The lost were separated from the saved by a "great gulf fixed" Luke 16:26. The representative man of the lost who are now in hades is the rich man of Luke 16:19-31. He was alive, conscious, in the full exercise of his faculties, memory, etc., and in torment.
(2) Hades since the ascension of Christ. So far as the unsaved dead are concerned, no change of their place or condition is revealed in Scripture. At the judgment of the great white throne, hades will give them up, they will be judged, and will pass into the lake of fire Revelation 20:13,14. But a change has taken place which affects paradise. Paul was "caught up to the third heaven. . .into paradise" 2 Corinthians 12:1-4. Paradise, therefore, is now in the immediate presence of God. It is believed that Ephesians 4:8-10 indicates the time of the change. "When he ascended up on high he led a multitude of captives." It is immediately added that He had previously "descended first into the lower parts of the earth," i.e. the paradise division of Hades. During the present church-age the saved who died are "absent from the body, at home with the Lord." The wicked dead in hades, and the righteous dead "at home with the Lord," alike await the resurrection ; Job 19:25; 1 Corinthians 15:52. (See Scofield "Matthew 5:22") .