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For the Naglfar album, see Sheol (album).

She'ol (/ˈʃl/ SHEE-ohl or /ˈʃəl/ SHEE-əl; Hebrew שְׁאוֹל Šʾôl), in the Hebrew Bible, is a place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of the moral choices made in life, a place of stillness and darkness cut off from life and from the Hebrew God.[1]

The inhabitants of Sheol are the "shades" (rephaim), entities without personality or strength.[2] Under some circumstances they are thought to be able to be contacted by the living, as the Witch of Endor contacts the shade of Samuel for Saul, but such practices are forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:10).[3]

While the Old Testament writings describe Sheol as the permanent place of the dead, in the Second Temple period (roughly 500 BC–70 AD) a more diverse set of ideas developed. In some texts, Sheol is considered to be the home of both the righteous and the wicked, separated into respective compartments; in others, it was considered a place of punishment, meant for the wicked dead alone.[4] When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek in ancient Alexandria around 200 BC, the word "Hades" (the Greek underworld) was substituted for Sheol, and this is reflected in the New Testament where Hades is both the underworld of the dead and the personification of the evil it represents.[5]

Judaism[edit]

According to Herbert C. Brichto, writing in Reform Judaism's Hebrew Union College Annual, the family tomb is the central concept in understanding biblical views of the afterlife. Brichto states that it is "not mere sentimental respect for the physical remains that is...the motivation for the practice, but rather an assumed connection between proper sepulture and the condition of happiness of the deceased in the afterlife".

According to Brichto, the early Israelites apparently believed that the graves of family, or tribe, united into one, and that this unified collectivity is to what the Biblical Hebrew term Sheol refers, the common Grave of humans. Although not well defined in the Tanakh, Sheol in this view was a subterranean underworld where the souls of the dead went after the body died. The Babylonians had a similar underworld called Aralu, and the Greeks had one known as Hades. For biblical references to Sheol see Genesis 42:38, Isaiah 14:11, Psalm 141:7, Daniel 12:2, Proverbs 7:27 and Job 10:21,22, and 17:16, among others. According to Brichto, other Biblical names for Sheol were: Abaddon (ruin), found in Psalm 88:11, Job 28:22 and Proverbs 15:11; Bor (the pit), found in Isaiah 14:15, 24:22, Ezekiel 26:20; and Shakhat (corruption), found in Isaiah 38:17, Ezekiel 28:8.[6]

Most Jewish ideas about the after-life developed in postbiblical times. The Hebrew Scriptures themselves have few references to existence after death. Sheol, the grave, is portrayed as the place of the dead, but Sheol is a metaphor for oblivion and not an actual place where the dead "live" and retain consciousness. The notion of resurrection appears in two late biblical sources, Daniel 12 and Isaiah 25-26.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rainwater 1996, p. 819
  2. ^ Longenecker 2003, p. 188
  3. ^ Knobel 2011, pp. 205–206
  4. ^ Longenecker 2003, p. 189
  5. ^ Longenecker 2003, p. 189
  6. ^ Herbert Chanon Brichto "Kin, Cult, Land and Afterlife – A Biblical Complex", Hebrew Union College Annual 44, p.8 (1973)
  7. ^ Life After Death - My Jewish Learning - Retrieved 10 July 2014.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Sheol entry in Jewish Encyclopedia

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheol — Please support Wikipedia.
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1118 news items

 
Los Tiempos
Sat, 09 May 2015 21:07:30 -0700

El Antiguo y el Nuevo Testamento dicen que van al Sheol, que equivale al Hades de los griegos. Es el depósito de almas. La resurrección de los cuerpos es eso de que en el juicio final las almas saldrán del Sheol para recuperar corporeidad e ir a ...

Algemeiner

Algemeiner
Wed, 20 May 2015 21:37:14 -0700

When the world has become Desert, man is at last in the solitude in which he can hear thunderingly the voice of the spirit that with its urgent whispering has already driven and rescued him from Sheol [the domain of death]. In the Desert God spoke to ...

The Times of Israel (blog)

The Times of Israel (blog)
Wed, 20 May 2015 02:22:30 -0700

When the world has become Desert, man is at last in the solitude in which he can hear thunderingly the voice of the spirit that with its urgent whispering has already driven and rescued him from Sheol [the domain of death]. In the Desert God spoke to ...
 
Beauregard Daily News
Sun, 17 May 2015 08:11:15 -0700

If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.” (139:7-8). The greatest joy I have had is to share the journey with my wife Renee. She has stood by me every step of the way, wherever we went. She never complained ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Fri, 08 May 2015 00:00:00 -0700

During the late 1980s, I attended a conference on this subject and became convinced that that is not the teaching of the Bible; rather, it came from Greek philosophy. The word Sheol appears 67 times in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as the the name ...
 
Chabad.org
Thu, 14 May 2015 11:45:00 -0700

When the world has become Desert, man is at last in the solitude in which he can hear thunderingly the voice of the spirit that with its urgent whispering has already driven and rescued him from Sheol [the domain of death]. In the Desert G‑d spoke to ...

New Voices

New Voices
Thu, 14 May 2015 12:07:30 -0700

When I envision the rituals that will someday characterize my family's Judaism, singing “Eishet Chayil“, or “A Woman of Valor” to my future wife is not among them. However beloved and time-worn a tradition the singing of this particular chapter of ...

First Things (blog)

First Things (blog)
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 05:00:00 -0700

“The dead do not praise Yahweh, nor do any who do down into silence” (Psalm 115:17). It's a refrain in the Psalms: Death marks the end of the life of praise. The dead cannot give thanks to God. Sheol isn't just dark; it's silent. But then Revelation ...
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