(Greek abyssos ).
Abyss is primarily and classically an adjective, meaning deep, very deep ( Wisdom 10:19 ; Job 38:16 ). Elsewhere in the Bible , and once in Diog. Laert., it is a substantive. Some thirty times in the Septuagint it is the equivalent of the Hebrew tehom , Assyrian tihamtu , and once each of the Hebrew meculah , "sea-deep", culah , "deep flood", and rachabh , "spacious place". Hence the meanings: (1) primeval waters; (2) the waters beneath the earth; (3) the upper seas and rivers; (4) the abode of the dead, limbo; (5) the abode of the evil spirits , hell. The last two meanings are the only ones found in the New Testament.
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