What Are Sheol and Hades?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by mee, May 30, 2006.

  1. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    IN ITS original languages, the Bible uses the Hebrew word she’ohl´ and its Greek equivalent hai´des more than 70 times. Both words are related to death. Some Bible translations render them as "grave," "hell," or "pit." However, in most languages there are no words that convey the precise sense of these Hebrew and Greek words. The New World Translation therefore uses the words "Sheol" and "Hades." What do these words really mean? Let us note how they are used in different Bible passages.
    Ecclesiastes 9:10 states: "There is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, the place to which you are going." Does this mean that Sheol refers to a specific, or individual, grave site where we may have buried a loved one? No. When the Bible refers to a specific burial place, or grave, it uses other Hebrew and Greek words, not she’ohl´ and hai´des. (Genesis 23:7-9; Matthew 28:1) Also, the Bible does not use the word "Sheol" for a grave where several individuals are buried together, such as a family grave or a mass grave.—Genesis 49:30, 31.
    To what kind of place, then, does "Sheol" refer? God’s Word indicates that "Sheol," or "Hades," refers to something much more than even a large mass grave. For instance, Isaiah 5:14 notes that Sheol is "spacious and has opened its mouth wide beyond bounds." Although Sheol has already swallowed, so to speak, countless dead people, it always seems to hunger for more. (Proverbs 30:15, 16) Unlike any literal burial site, which can hold only a limited number of the dead, "Sheol and the place of destruction themselves do not get satisfied." (Proverbs 27:20) Sheol never becomes full. It has no limits. Sheol, or Hades, is thus not a literal place in a specific location. Rather, it is the common grave of dead mankind, the figurative location where most of mankind sleep in death.

    The Bible teaching of the resurrection helps us to gain further insight into the meaning of "Sheol" and "Hades." God’s Word associates Sheol and Hades with the sort of death from which there will be a resurrection. (Job 14:13; Acts 2:31; Revelation 20:13) God’s Word also shows that those in Sheol, or Hades, include not only those who have served Jehovah but also many who have not served him. (Genesis 37:35; Psalm 55:15) Therefore, the Bible teaches that there will be "a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous."—Acts 24:15
     
  2. lucius

    lucius New Member

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    Altough the word 'Hades' is mis-used to indicate a kind of hellish realm of the dead, it actually refers to its ruler, the greek god Hades, otherwise called Dis or Pluto, brother of Zeus. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity, or at least Bible Christianity.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Seems to me our Jeswish members would be able to help with this question...as I believe the references are mostly old testament or new testament relating to old testament words and thoughts...
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The Greek underworld is a continuation of being in a discorporeal state (this is variable according to different understandings) but basically the person continues his or her journey in another state - all being mythological representations of eschatalogical states of being.

    As I understand it, unlike the Greek underworld, the Hebrew notion of Sheol is a place of cessation of consciousness as such, rather than being or consciousness in another realm. The dead, in this context, are in a kind of limbic or perhaps better a coma state, 'put on ice', or in suspended animation, as it were, until the final judgement.

    Thomas
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    In other words, everyone is dead "sleep", except for a select few...isn't that what you are getting at?
     
  7. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    no , i think most people who are dead are in sheol, and will have a resurrection. some to heavenly life 144,000 ,who will rule with Jesus , but most people who are dead will be resurrected into a paradise earth
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Based on your theological view as noted, what would be the purpose of even bothering to be a Christian? That would be like trying to win the lottery, except the lottery is rigged, because the winners are already chosen. And I thought God hates gambling, and contesting one against another, so why would He propose and enact such actions as a means to get close to Him?

    I don't really understand that way of thought. Maybe I'm just numbnuts I guess, because if I'm going to commit to Christ, I would want the whole enchalada, not just the pita bread.

    Even being Heaven's gate keeper would be infinitely better than walking through an earthly paradise...:eek:

    just my thoughts.

    v/r

    Q
     
  9. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    living forever on an earthly paradise, and learning things in line with Gods purpose is something that really appeals to me . but not everyone wants it, i know i do, the way things are done now on the earth is out of line with Gods purpose, in fact we are ruining the earth, at least when the resurrection of people happens, things will be done according to Gods ways not mans ways.
    (Revelation 7:17) because the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them, and will guide them to fountains of waters of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.
    And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. revelation 21;4
    it was God’s purpose to have an earthly Paradise in which humankind would enjoy everlasting life in peace and security. Do you think that God will permit this purpose of his to go unfulfilled? Never! "Everything that is my delight I shall do," he says. "I have even spoken it; I shall also bring it in." (Isaiah 46:10, 11) Yes, God will do what he purposes! And his promise is: "The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it."—Psalm 37:29.
     
  10. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    The Bible declares that the dead are "conscious of nothing at all." At death there is no torment in hellfire, no agonizing wait in Limbo, but simply a return to the dust. Therefore, God’s Word advises the living: "All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, the place to which you are going." (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; Genesis 3:19) "Sheol" is an unfamiliar term to many. It is a Hebrew word of uncertain derivation. Many religions teach that the dead are still alive, but as the inspired Word of God shows, those in Sheol are dead, without consciousness. Sheol is the common grave of mankind
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Remember that Christ 'moved on' the eschatalogical horizon of man, He fulfilled the scripture of both the Prophetic and Wisdom traditions of the Jews - we cannot let our entire outlook be governed by the Old Testament alone.

    Having said that, we must also make sure that our notions of hell are not conditioned by Greco-pagan mythology.

    Thomas
     
  12. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Once we've left the "womb" we do not return to it. If life on earth is the second stage in our growth as human beings, I doubt we will return to it after all is said and done. As I recall the old heaven and old earth pass away, and a new heaven and new earth come into existence, and there is no "veil", or seperation between the two.

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     

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