What the Hell…Sheol/Hades, Part 1

1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

torment

Per Strong’s Concordance, Sheol is the Old Testament designation for the abode of the dead. It means: underworld (place to which people descend at death); place of no return; grave; or the pit.

It is the unseen world. Sheol is the equivalent of the Greek Hades (word translated in the Septuagint, Greek Old Testament). Hades is a synonymous term used in the New Testament.

Per Strong’s Concordance, Hades means: Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead; later use of this word: the grave, death, hell.

Sheol is synonymous with the Pit. Proverbs 1:12: Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, even whole, as those who go down to the Pit.

God is present in Sheol as noted by the Psalmist.  Psalm 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.

Even though God is present in Sheol, there is no discussion of Him there. Psalm 6:5 For there is no mention of You in death; in Sheol who will give You thanks?

Despite His presence, God’s reliability and stability are absent in the grave. God’s truth and sureness are nowhere to be found. Isaiah 38:18 For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.

Per David, God apparently does not respond or speak to those in the Pit. Psalm 28:1 To You, O LORD, I call; my rock, do not be deaf to me, for if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit.

The grave is a very quiet place. Psalm 115:17 The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence…

Sheol is a place of darkness, physically and mentally. One cannot clearly remember or think in the grave. There is an absence of sensory stimulation. There is no kindness or goodness, only shame and reproach.

Job 17:13 If I look for Sheol as my home, I make my bed in the darkness…

Psalm 88:10-12 Will You perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah. Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon? Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

Jesus spoke of the outer darkness. Sounds like angst and despair. Matthew 25:30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When you are dead there is nothing to do. There is no work. There is no thinking. There is no pondering. There is no way to put information to work. To those of you who want to sit on your butt and do nothing, you will get your wish. Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.

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