Now to answer some of your other questions.
Everyone who died before Jesus died had no concept of going to heaven. Meaning none of the Israelites in the Hebrew scriptures had a heavenly hope which is why Jews to this day don't believe salvation is in heaven. Modern day Jews believe that they will eventually be in paradise on earth and that's because they follow the Hebrew scriptures or Old Testament only. Paradise being on earth is stated many places in the Hebrew scriptures. For example,
Psalms 37:11, 29 states:
11 "But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.
Verse 29 states:
"The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it."
Isaiah 65:21-25 states:
"And they will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. 22 They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full. 23 They will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance; because they are the offspring made up of the blessed ones of Jehovah, and their descendants with them. 24 And it will actually occur that before they call out I myself shall answer; while they are yet speaking, I myself shall hear. 25 "The wolf and the lamb themselves will feed as one, and the lion will eat straw just like the bull; and as for the serpent, his food will be dust. They will do no harm nor cause any ruin in all my holy mountain," Jehovah has said.
The above passages are future prophecies that will be fulfilled on the earth - not in heaven. This is the paradise that Jesus was referring to when he told the evildoer that he will be with him in paradise. The evildoer was a Jew and he would not have had any concept or understanding of going to heaven. The term paradise means garden like park and this term is NEVER used anywhere in the Bible to describe heaven where a "little flock" of humans have the privilege of going. The only term used in connection to describe where "little flock" of humans go is Kingdom of the heavens. Jesus did not tell the evildoer next to him that he will be with him in his Kingdom which is a heavenly term, instead Jesus told him that he would be with him in paradise which is an earthly term.
So Moses, Abraham, David, Enoch, Elijah and all of the faithful people in the Hebrew scriptures will be part of the people who have the earthly hope because the privilege to go to heaven was not available to them. Paul said this at Hebrews 9:8,11,12 which states:
9"Thus the holy spirit makes it plain that the way into the holy place had not yet been made manifest while the first tent was standing."
10 - 11
"However, when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come to pass, through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, 12 he entered, no, not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time into the holy place and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us.
The holy place Paul referred to was heaven and the first tent that he referred to was the tent that Moses made which had an innermost compartment that was called the Most Holy. Only the High Priest entered this compartment to offer sacrifices on the annual day of Atonement. Jesus became the High Priest and his sacrifice he presented to God in heaven made it possible for others to have a way into the holy place which is heaven.
Jesus clearly stated that no one has went to heaven except him. He states this at John 3:13:
"Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man."
So when Jesus said this no man before him had ever went to heaven.
Luke states that David did not go to heaven at Acts 2:34:
"Actually David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, 'Jehovah said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand."
Jesus said at John 7:28 that there had not been anyone greater than John the Baptizer but a lesser one in the Kingdom of the Heavens will be greater than he. Jesus said that because John died before Jesus therefore he did not have the privilege of going to heaven so a person who is part of the "Little Flock" who has the privilege of going to heaven will be greater than John because they will be immortal, mighty spirit beings who will rule with Jesus as kings and priest.
So according to the Bible none of the faithful who died before Jesus are in heaven. Jesus dying and going to heaven opened up the way for a limited number or "Little Flock" of humans to go to heaven.
Hades is the Greek term and it refers to mankind's common grave. The King James translates this Greek word as Hell. This is the only translation that does this. The word Hades is used in most translations of the Bible and in these translations the term Hell is not found in them. To get a better understanding of what Hades is you can look to Revelation 20:13-15. Verse 13 states that Death and Hades gives up the dead and verse 14 states that both Death and Hades are thrown into the Lake of Fire. So John sees a vision where dead people are resurrected from the grave or Hades and he then sees death and Hades or the grave thrown into the lake of fire which means the second death. What does this mean? Isaiah 25:8 states that God will swallow up death forever and 1 Corinthians 15:26 states that "the last enemy death is to be brought to nothing." This is symbolized by both death and Hades which means mankind's common grave being thrown into a huge lake of fire and sulfur which symbolizes complete destruction. Death and Hades is swallowed up and brought to nothing by being thrown into a lake of fire and the ancient people back in 96 C.E. would have understood that whatever was thrown into a lake of fire would be completely destroyed by it.
Purgatory is not a Bible teaching. Nowhere in the Bible is the word used and the teaching can not be found in the Bible. As a matter of fact those who die are described as sleeping or asleep in death.
What did Jesus mean when he said today he would be with him in paradise? Unfortunately, many people get this completely wrong. I touched on this above but I'll show why the common thinking is incorrect. Unfortunately, the punctuation as we know it today was not used when the Bible writers wrote the Bible and some translators translated Jesus statement at Luke 23:43 to read the following way:
"Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."
By putting the coma after the you instead of after the today, many people think that Jesus was saying that on that very day this person would be with him in paradise. This is not possible because of several reasons. First and foremost Jesus was physically dead for three days and when he was resurrected he remained on earth for forty days before he ascended to heaven. Jesus did not resurrect anyone while he was dead for three days nor did he resurrect anyone when he was on earth for those forty days. By believing that Jesus was alive after he died on the torture stake means that people completely miss the purpose of Jesus coming to earth. All throughout the Christian-Greek scriptures Jesus' death is emphasized as being necessary in order for not only our sins to be forgiven but also to get back what Adam lost which is everlasting life. If Jesus was actually alive after he died on the torture stake then there actually would not have been a sacrifice made because in order for there to be a sacrifice Jesus would have had to have been completely dead. If he was alive then most of the Christian-Greek scriptures would be a complete lie because again all throughout the Christian-Greek scriptures Jesus death is emphasized as being necessary for our sins to be forgiven and so we can have everlasting life.
Second, the resurrection had not taken place the day Jesus died. Acts 24:15 states that there is GOING to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. When Stephen is stoned to death at Acts 7:60 the verse states that he fell asleep in death. The book of Acts was written 28 years after Jesus died and went to heaven.
Paul referred to people who died as being asleep in death. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 states:
"Moreover, brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant concerning those who are [u]sleeping in death[/u]; that you may not sorrow just as the rest also do who have no hope. 14 For if our faith is that Jesus died and rose again, so, too, those who have fallen asleep in death through Jesus God will bring with him. 15 For this is what we tell you by Jehovah's word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death." Paul wrote these letters 17 years after Jesus died and went to heaven. The above scriptures are Biblical proof that the resurrection did not take place so this one individual would not have been resurrected the day Jesus died.
The correct translation of Luke 23:43 is the following:
"Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise."
Here Jesus is saying On this day I am telling you that you will be with me in paradise. Again the paradise which is a term to describe what the earth will soon be like did not take place the day Jesus died in 33 C.E. and to this day has not yet happened. So Jesus could not have meant that the evildoer would be with Jesus that day on Nissan 14, 33 C.E.
Your question number 2 also has some excellent questions and I'll answer those in a later post.