This is the fifth part in a series: The destructive effects of Hell teachings by Dennis Rhodes.
It’s about time the church of Jesus Christ stood up and said enough to the blasphemous message of eternal punishment in a literal burning fire. Those who call God Father yet imagine that this loving Father created a special place to roast his creatures in forever and ever and ever while everyone who somehow chose Jesus of their own will celebrates His love and mercy just across the chasm while still being able to see their lost loved ones and to hear their pleas for help. Come on church think!! Come on…can’t you see the contradiction?
In this part we shall look at Sheol because as we saw at the end of the last study that Hades spoken by Jesus in Matthew is the counterpart of Sheol. Both are translated as Hell but what are they really?
The Hebrew word she’ôl appears 65 times in the Old Testament. Hades in the New Testament is said to be the closest Greek equivalent word.
James Strong who lived in the 18th century A.D says that Sheol means:
From H7592; hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranian retreat), including its accessories and inmates: – grave, hell, pit.
Total KJV occurrences: 65
I WANT TO SHOUT OUT TO YOU my dear friend that Strong is repeating propaganda which he was taught all his life by parents and church who were also propagandised like he was.
Look at his entry again.
It says: she’ôl From H7592;!!!
He skips right over the actual root meaning of Sheol and tells us the supposed , figurative meaning of the word. That figurative meaning was handed down to him from way back but not from the BIBLE!!
What word is she’ôl from which Strong failed to use in his definition? H7592(Strong assigned numbers to each word in the King James Version, the H stands for Hebrew)
Hebrew 7592 is
A primitive root; to inquire; by implication to request; by extension to demand: – ask (counsel, on), beg, borrow, lay to charge, consult, demand, desire, X earnestly, enquire, + greet, obtain leave, lend, pray, request, require, + salute, X straitly, X surely, wish.
Total KJV occurrences: 172
So from Strong we learn that Sheol may be a place where the dead go and it has in its meaning a questioning.
If you have lost a loved one you will have experienced this questioning. Little children are the first to ask their parents–
WHERE HAS DADDY GONE? (if their daddy has died) What has happened to him?
There is a questioning….this is a part of what she’ôl means.
But the King James Translators and others have decided for everyone that Sheol means a place of torment and punishment.
Sheol appears in the KJV 65 times and the translators were confused and when it suited them they interpreted Sheol as Hell or grave or pit.
Total KJV Occurrences: 65
Deu 32:22, 2Sa 22:6, Job 11:8, Job 26:6, Psa 9:17, Psa 16:10, Psa 18:5, Psa 55:15, Psa 86:13, Psa 116:3, Psa 139:8, Pro 5:5, Pro 7:27, Pro 9:18, Pro 15:11, Pro 15:24, Pro 23:14, Pro 27:20, Isa 5:14, Isa 14:9, Isa 28:15 (2), Isa 28:18, Isa 57:9, Eze 31:16-17 (2), Eze 32:21, Eze 32:27, Jon 2:2 (2), Hab 2:5
Gen 37:35, Gen 42:38, Gen 44:29, Gen 44:31, 1Ki 2:6 (2), 1Ki 2:9, Job 7:9, Job 21:13 (3), Job 24:19, Psa 6:5, Psa 30:3, Psa 31:17, Psa 49:14-15 (3), Psa 88:3, Psa 89:48, Pro 1:12, Pro 30:16, Ecc 9:10, Son 8:6, Isa 14:11, Isa 38:10, Isa 38:18, Eze 31:15, Hos 13:14 (2)
Num 16:30, Num 16:33, Job 17:16
We are supposed to trust these men to choose the right meaning for Hebrew words. Sheol according to James Strong means “hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranian retreat), including its accessories and inmates: – grave, hell, pit”
Think of that …see those little commas there above in between grave, hell, pit?
Those commas mean that Strong thinks every time a person is lowered into the grave he has gone to Hell.
The translators were just as confused as Strong, which to me shows that the whole Hell teaching is suspect.
What is it to be?…sheol is Hell 31 times …but then it is the grave 30 times…oh and sometimes(3) it means pit.
I am of the opinion –because I think I am every bit as filled with God’s Spirit as those translators were, that Sheol should be translated EVERY TIME AS GRAVE or leave it every time as the Hebrew word Sheol and do not put your propaganda word(Hell) in its place!
An example to conclude with
Job 17:16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit,(sheol) when our rest together is in the dust.
Job was considered to be a righteous believer. The King James says that when Job goes down to Sheol he shall rest together with others in the dust.
What shall rest? Job shall rest in the dust.
His body shall rot away to dust…but we know that we are more than a body.
1Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The body returns to the dust for from it it was made.
The soul dies and is said to rest in sheol –the grave..or hell if you follow Strong’s logic. Yes, rest in Hell!
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”
The spirit returns to God who gave it.
Ecc 12:7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
The prophet Daniel clears it all up and points to the same hope Job had–the resurrection of the dead.
Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;
Job 19:26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,
Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The Grave is not the end….nor is hell the end of the story for anyone. There will be a resurrection of the dead.
I shall explore this more next time.
Love and grace!