The following are only a few of the reasons why Sheol-Hadees in the Old Testament denotes a condition of temporal punishment:
1. Hell is in this world. The Lowest Hell is on earth. Deut. 32:22,24,25. "For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest Hell (Sheol—Hadees) and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains." See Jonah 2:2; Rev. 6:8.
2. Hence David, after having been in Hell, was delivered from it. Ps. 30:3; 2 Sam.20:5,6. "O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of Hell (Sheol—Hadees) compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me," so that there is escape from Hell. Ps. 18:5,6; 116:3; 86:12,13; Rev. 20:13; Ps. 17:5, 30:3.
3. Jonah was in the fish only seventy hours, and declared he was in hell forever. He escaped from Hell. Jon. 2:2, 6: "Out of the belly of Hell (Sheol—Hadees) cried I, and thou heardest my voice, earth with her bars was about me forever." Even an eternal Hell lasted but three days.
4. It is a place where God is, and, therefore, must be an instrumentality of mercy. Ps. 139:8: "If I make my bed in Hell (Sheol—Hadees) behold thou art there."
5. Men having gone into it are redeemed from it. 1 Sam. 2:6: "The Lord killeth and maketh alive; he bringeth down to the grave (Sheol— Hadees) and bringeth up."
6. Sheol is precisely the same word as Saul. If it meant Hell would any Hebrew parent have called his child Sheol? Think of calling a boy Hell!
7. Nowhere in the Old Testament does the word Sheol, or its Greek equivalent, Hadees, ever denote a place or condition of suffering after death; it either means literal death or temporal calamity. This is clear as we consult the usage.
8. Jacob wished to go there. Gen.38:35: "I will go down into the grave (Sheol—Hadees) unto my son mourning."
9. If the word means a place of endless punishment, then David was a monster. Ps. 55:15: "Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into Sheol—Hadees."
10. Job desired to go there; 14:13: "Oh that thou wouldst hide me in Sheol—Hadees."
11. Hezekiah expected to go there. Isa. 38:10: "I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of Sheol—Hadees."
12. Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Numbers 16:30-33) not only went there, "but their houses, and goods, and all that they owned," "and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into Sheol—Hadees, and the earth closed upon them; and they perished from among the congregation."
13. It is in the dust. Job 17:19: "They shall go down to the bars of Sheol—Hadees, when our rest together is in the dust."
14. It has a mouth, is in fact the grave. See Ps. 141:7: "Our bones are scattered at Sheol's—Hadees' mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth."
15. The overthrow of the King of Babylon is called Hell. Isa. 14:9-15, 22-23: "Hell (Sheol—Hadees) from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming; it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from the thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave and the noise of thy viols; the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. For I will rise up against them saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts." All this imagery demonstrates temporal calamity, a national overthrow as the signification of the word Hell.
16. The captivity of the Jews is called Hell. Isa. 5:13-14: "Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore Sheol—Hadees hath enlarged herself and opened her mouth without measure; and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it."
17. Temporal overthrow is called Hell. Ps. 49:14: "Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in Sheol—Hadees, from their dwelling." Ezek.32:26-27: "And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to Sheol—Hadees, with their weapons of war, and they have laid their swords under their heads." Men are in hell with their swords under their heads. This cannot mean a state of conscious suffering.
18. All men are to go there. No one can escape the Bible Hell, (Sheol— Hadees) Ps. 89:48.
19. There is no kind of work there. Eccl. 9:10.
20. Christ's soul was in Hell (Sheol—Hadees) Acts 2:27-28.
21. No one in the Bible ever speaks of Hell (Sheol—Hadees) as a place of punishment after death.
22. It is a way of escape from punishment. Amos 7:2.
23. The inhabitants of Hell (Sheol—Hadees) are eaten of worms, vanish and are consumed away. Job. 7:9-24. Ps. 49:14.
24. Hell (Sheol—Hadees) is a place of rest. Job 17:6.
25. It is a realm of unconsciousness. Ps. 6:5. Is 38:18. Eccl. 9:10.
26. All men will be delivered from this Hell (Sheol Hadees). Hos. 13:17.
27. This Hell (Sheol—Hadees) is to be destroyed. Hos 13:14: "Oh grave I will be thy destruction." 1 Cor.15:55: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Rev. 20:13-14: "And death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire."
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