At the time of Christ's advent Jew and Pagan held Hades to be a place of torment after death, to endure forever.
"The prevalent and distinguishing opinion was, that the soul survived the body, that ná
vicious souls would suffer everlasting imprisonment in Hades, and that the souls of the virtuous would both be happy there, and, in process of time, obtain the privilege of transmigrating into other bodies." (Campbell's Four Gospels, Diss. 6, Pt. 2§19.) Of the Pharisees, Josephus says: "They also believe that souls have an immortal vigor in them, and that, under the earth, there will be rewards and punishments, according as they lived virtuously or viciously in this life; and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again." (Antiquities, B. 18, Ch. 1, §3. Whiston's Tr.)
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