Consult the passages in which the word is rendered grave, and substitute the original word Sheol, and it will be seen that the meaning is far better preserved: Gen. 37: 34-35: "And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sack-cloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him." It was not into the literal grave, but into the realm of the dead, where Jacob supposed his son to have gone, into which he wished to go, namely, to Sheol.
Gen. 42:38 and 44: 31, are to the same purport: "And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave" "It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave" The literal grave may be meant here, but had Sheol remained untranslated, any reader would have understood the sense intended.
1 Samuel 2: 6: "The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up." 1 Kings 2: 6-9: "Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down r
to the grave in peace. Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood." Job 7: 9: "As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more." Job 14: 13: "Oh that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me."
Of Korah and his company, it is said, "They and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the congregation." Num. 16: 33, Job 17: 13-14: "If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister." Job 21: 13: "They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave." Job 33: 21-22: "His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen: and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his lie to the destroyers." Ps. 6: 5: "In the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Ps. 30: 3: "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." Ps. 88: 3: "For my soul is full of troubles, and my soul draweth nigh to the grave." Prov. 1: 12: "Let us swallow them up alive as the grave." Ps. 20: 3: "In the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Ps. 141: 7: "Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth." Song Sol. 8: 6: "Jealousy is cruel as the grave." Ecc. 9: 10: "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Isa. 38: 18: "For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth." Hos. 14: 14: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave - O grave, I will be thy destruction." Job 33: 22: "His soul (man's) draweth near unto the grave." 1 Kings 2: 9: "But his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood." Job 24: 19: "Drought and heat consume the snow-waters; so doth the grave those which have sinned." Psalm 6: 5: "For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks." Psalm 31: 17: "Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave." Psalm 89: 48: "What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Prov. 30:16: "The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not. It is enough." Isa. 14: 11: "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." Isa. 38: 18: "For the Grave (Sheol, Hadees) cannot praise thee; death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth."
Prof. Stuart says: "I regard the simple meaning of this controverted place (and of others like it, e.g., Ps. 6: 5; 30: 9; 88: 11; 115: 7; Comp. 118: 17) as being this namely, "The dead can no more give thanks to God nor celebrate his praise among the living on earth, etc." And he properly observes (pp. 113-14): "It is to be regretted that our English translation has given occasion to the remark that those who made it have intended to impose on their readers in any case a sense different from that of the original Hebrew. The inconstancy with which they have rendered the word Sheol even in cases of the same nature, must obviously afford some apparent ground for this objection against their version of it."
Why the word should have been rendered grave and pit in the foregoing passages, and hell in the rest, cannot be explained. Why it is not grave or hell, or better still Sheol or Hadees in all cases, no one can explain, for there is no valid reason.
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