Thursday, January 3, 2008

A little bit about Sheol

In case you didn't know, the Old Testament of the Christian bible was originally written in Hebrew, not English, by Jews, not Christians.
Every single one of the 65 times you see the word "Hell" in the Old Testament, it is translated from a Hebrew word, Sheol.

Sheol, put simply, referred to the grave. But that's not to say that the Hebrew poetry of Psalms, Job, Proverbs, etc., didn't personify Sheol in some way.
A way we do this in English is to say something like, "If he heard that, he'll be rolling over in his grave." Obviously, we know nobody can roll over in their grave.

The Jews initially really had no concept of an afterlife prior to a general resurrection of the dead. They believed that Sheol was a place where your consciousness (or awareness) wavered in and out in a quasi-dreamlike state. But you neither interacted with, nor perceived others in this state. It was, in all respects, like sleeping.


JC Masters

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