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The Hebrew word “Sheol” and the Greek word “Hades” basically refer to the place of the dead. They mean the common grave of mankind, gravedom, or the earthly place where the dead are buried. The Hebrew word that specifically means an individual grave or burial place is “qever.”
(Genesis 23:4, 6, 9,
words do not in any way mean a place where dead people suffer pain.
The idea of eternal torment in Sheol or Hades is not consistant with the true meaning of these words! The only reference in the Holy Scriptures that speaks of someone suffering in the grave is found at Luke 16:23 where Jesus Christ is obviously presenting an illustration, something symbolic, in order to teach a lesson. This was perhaps hyperbole or an exaggeration to emphasize an important spiritual lesson.
HELL: In the seventeenth century, when the King James Version of the Bible was written, people stored their potatoes in hell. Hell was a cellar, a pit where root vegetables were stored, and the grave where dead people were buried. The word hell is not found in the New Simplified Bible. This is because the vast majority of the religious population today thinks hell is a place of everlasting torment. Proper translation of the Hebrew and Greek words lead us to understand that it is simply the grave.
Occurrences translating Hebrew: Sheol to “Grave” in the New
Genesis 37:35) All his sons and daughters came to comfort him. However, he refused to be comforted. He said: “I will go down to the grave still mourning for my son.” So he continued to mourn for his son Joseph.
Genesis 42:38) Jacob replied: “My son will not go with you. His brother is dead, and he is the only one left. If any harm comes to him on the trip you are taking, the grief would drive this gray-haired old man to his grave!”
Numbers 16:30 “But if Jehovah does something totally new, if the ground opens up, swallows them and everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive to their graves; then you will know that these men have treated Jehovah with contempt.”
Number 16:33 They went down alive to their graves with everything that belonged to them. The ground covered them. They disappeared from the assembly.
Deuteronomy 32:22 My anger has started a fire that will burn into the depths of the grave. It will consume the earth and its crops and set the foundations of the mountains on fire.
1 Samuel 2:6 “Jehovah kills and makes alive. He brings down to the grave and brings up.
2 Samuel 22:6 “The danger of death was around me. The grave set its trap for me.
Job 11:8 “They are higher than the heavens. What can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave. What can you know?
Job 14: 13 “If only you would hide me in the grave (Sheol) and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set a time for me and then remember me!
Job 17:13 “Should I look for the grave as my home and make my bed in the darkness?
Job 17:16 “Will hope go down with me to the gates of the grave? Will my hope rest with me in the dust?”
Job 21:13 “They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to the grave.
Job 24:19 “Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters! In the same way the grave takes those who have sinned
Job 26:6 “The grave is naked before God, and destruction has no covering.
Psalm 6:5 No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?
Psalm 9:17 The grave is the destiny of all the wicked, of all those who reject God.
Psalm 16:10 You do not abandon me to the grave or allow your holy one to decay.
Psalm 18:5 The cords of the grave surrounded me. The snares of death confronted me.
Psalm 30:3 O Jehovah, you brought me up from the grave. You kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
Psalm 31:17 O Jehovah, I have called on you, so do not let me be put to shame. Let wicked people be put to shame. Let them be silent in the grave.
Psalm 49:14 Like sheep, they are laid in the grave. Death will shepherd them. The upright will rule them in the morning. Their forms will decay in the grave, far away from their comfortable homes.
Pslam 49:15 But God will redeem me (buy me back) from the power of the grave because he will receive me.
Psalm 55:15 Let death suddenly take them! Let them go into the grave while they are still alive, for evil lives in their homes and within them.
Psalm 86:13 Your loving kindness toward me is great. You have rescued me from the depths of the grave.
Psalm 88:3-5 I am filled with troubles, and my life comes closer to the grave. I am numbered with those who go into the pit. I am like a man without any strength. I am abandoned with the dead, like those who have been killed and lie in graves. I am like those whom you no longer remember, who are cut off from your hand (power) (care).
Psalm 89:48 Can man go on living and never see death? Who can set himself free from the power of the grave?
Psalm 116:3 The ropes of death became tangled around me. The fear of the grave took hold of me. I experienced pain and agony.
Psalm 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in the grave, behold, you are there.
Psalm 141:7 As someone plows and breaks up the ground, so our bones will be planted at the mouth of the grave.
Proverbs 1:12 “Let us swallow them alive and whole just as the grave does, and just as the dead go into the pit.
Proverbs 5:5 Her feet go down to death. Her steps take hold of the grave.
Proverbs 7:27 Her house is the way to the grave, going down to the chambers of death.
Proverbs 9:18 He does not know the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.
Proverbs 15:11 The grave and destruction are before (in front of) (in the presence of) Jehovah. How much more in the hearts of me
Proverbs 15:24 The way of life leads upward for the wise. That he may depart from the grave beneath.
Proverbs 30:16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that does not say: “It is enough.”
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you are going.
Song of Solomon 8:6 (The Shulamite to her Beloved) “Set me as a signature ring seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm. For Love is as strong as death. Zeal (devotion) is as fixed as the grave. And zeal burns like coals of fire, the very flame of Jehovah.
Isaiah 5:14 That is why the grave's appetite increases. It opens its mouth very wide so that honored people and common people will go down into it. Those who are noisy and joyous will go down into it.
28:15 Because you have said: “We have made a covenant with death, and with the grave we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge. We have hidden under falsehood!”
Isaiah 28:18 “I thought that in the prime of my life I would go down to the gates of the grave and be robbed of the rest of my life.
Isaiah 38:18 “For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise. Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.
Isaiah 57:9 “You went to the king with ointment and much perfume. You sent your messengers far off, and descended even to the grave.
Ezekiel 31:15 “The Lord Jehovah says: ‘On the day when it went down to the grave I caused cries of sorrow. I closed the deep over it and held back its rivers. Its many waters were stopped up, and I made Lebanon mourn for it. All the trees of the field wilted away on account of it.
Ezekiel 31:16 “‘I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall when I made it go down to the grave with those who go down to the pit. All the well-watered trees of Eden, the choicest and best of Lebanon, were comforted in the earth beneath.
Hosea 13:14 “I will ransom them from the power of the grave. I will redeem them from death! O death, where are your stings (plagues)? O grave, where is your destruction (devastation)? Compassion will be concealed from my eyes. (1 Co 15:54-57)
Amos 9:2 “Though they dig into the grave my hand will take them. Though they climb to heaven I will bring them down.
Jonah 2:2 He said: “I called to Jehovah because of my affliction. And he answered me! Out of the belly of the grave I cried and you heard my voice.
Hab 2:5 “Wine is treacherous and never allows an arrogant man to rest. He never stays home. He has a large appetite like the grave. Like death he is never satisfied. He gathers all nations and collects all the people.
Occurences translating Greek: Hades to “Grave” in the New Simplified Bible
Matthew 11:23 “Will you, Capernaum, be exalted into heaven? You will go down into the grave. If the mighty works had been done in Sodom, which were done in you, it would have remained until this day.
Matthew 16:18 “You are Peter (Greek: petros: piece of rock), and on this rock-mass (Greek: petra: mass of rock) (referring to Jesus) I will build my congregation. The entrance to the grave (Greek: Hades) will not have power to stop it.
Luke 10:15 “Will you Capernaum be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to the grave.
Luke 16:23 “He was in great torment in the grave (hades). He looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side.
Acts 2:27 ‘“Because you will not leave me in the grave, neither will you allow your Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:10)
Acts 2:31 “He seeing this before spoke about the resurrection of Christ. That he would not be left in the grave and his flesh did not see corruption.
Revelation 1:18 "I am alive! I was dead and, behold, I am alive forever, Amen. I have the keys of death and the grave.
Revelation 6:8 I looked, and there was a pale horse. The name of the one who sat on him was Death. The grave followed him. Power was given to them over a fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with pestilence, and with the beasts of the earth.
Revelation 20:13, 14 The sea gave up the dead in it. Death and the grave delivered up the dead in them. Every man was judged according to his works. Death and the grave were hurled into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
THIS IS AN INDEPENDENT BIBLE TRANSLATION. THE
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The Greek word hades (they pronounced it hah-des) has been translated both as Hell (which is thought of as a place of torture) and as the Grave in other Bible versions (such as the King James). Since one word can’t mean two very different things, which translation is correct?
Hades (like the English word Hell) actually means the place of the dead. However, as pagan Greek philosophy started to develop, then creep into Christianity, the later-day Greek view of hades (a place of torture) was applied to it. Was this a correct application?
An insight into how the ancient Hebrews and the early Christians understood the word can be gained by looking at how it was applied in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the ‘Old Testament’ Bible of Jesus’ day). There, the Hebrew word sheol is translated into Greek as hades in every instance, yet in each case, these are obvious references to the grave (the place of the dead), not to a place of conscious torture (see Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10).
Another revealing application of the word hades is found at Revelation the 20:13. It says there, ‘The sea (gr. he thalassa) gave up its dead, death and the grave (gr. thanatos kai ho hades) gave up those dead in them, and they were all judged by the things they did.’
Notice that those who die at sea are differentiated from those who are buried in graves (hades) and in other places (thanatos). So, Hades is better translated as grave.
For more information, see the linked document Is there a Burning Hell?
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