Gehonnim: A place of hell for repentance of bodily sins. Rabbi David Kimhi’s commentary of Gehenna, Circa 1200 CE. Psalm 27:13.

gehennaThe traditional explanation that a burning rubbish heap in the Valley of Hinnom (lamentations) south of Jerusalem gave rise to the idea of a fiery Gehenna of judgment is attributed to Rabbi David Kimhi’s commentary on Psalm 27:13 (ca. 1200 CE). He maintained that in this loathsome valley fires were kept burning perpetually to consume the filth and cadavers thrown into it on which account, by analogy, the judgment of the wicked is called, “Gehenna.” Hinnom is unto the south side of Jerusalem. Borders went up to the top of the mountain that lay before the valley of Hinnom westward which is at the end of the valley of the giants.  The Book of Isaiah does not mention Gehenna by name, but the “burning place” 30:33 in which the Assyrian army is to be destroyed, may be read “Topheth”, and the final verse of Isaiah which concerns of those that have rebelled against God.

The valley of Hinnom, c1900.

The valley of Hinnom, c1900.

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