What is Sheol Other than a Place Away from God?

I’m gonna ask what may seem like a ridiculous question, but Google is not being cooperative and giving me the information that I need…

Sheol; from what I understand, is the closest thing resembling hell that the Jewish faith has. But it’s not a place of torment, fire and brimstone, right?

What is Sheol other than a place away from God?

And also, is it eternal like Biblical damnation? I recall hearing something about it being something of a prison sentence, but once it was served you were given another chance? Interesting stuff!

Asked by Robyn

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  1. Hey Robyn,

    Not hell, more like purgatory (catholic version). It’s a waiting place .. in the arms of Abraham if you are good, and a dark place if they have been naughty, depending on who you read. Purgatory is where you are ‘corrected’ for bad behaviour, if you are not sent straight to hell, until you are good enough to get into heaven.

    Quite truthfully, given my theories on things, it was the home of demons, humans condemned there to wait on the pleasure of the dark, until Jesus brought a little Light into the situation .. he threw open the prison doors and let everyone out again, including Adam and Eve. LOL There’s some substantiation in the bible where it says, after the resurrection, that the ‘saints’ from thousands of years before walked among the people again? Who know?

    Love & Peace

    • I have Jewish ancestry running through my veins, but know so little about this fascinating faith. I so need a rabbi that is willing to sit down with me and allow me to ask questions! Unfortunately, this rural little area I’m in is full of nothing but Baptists, Pentecostals and Catholics. Darn it, I already know what’s up with that religion – well a lot of what’s up with it…lol.

      It seems to me that the whole idea of Sheol is kind of like time out, but not really torment? I like that idea far better than hell…lol.

      • So do I.

        You find a Rabbi who will chat, I’ll piggy back on your shoulder. I have questions. LOL

        Love & Peace

        • Oops, no Jewish ancestory, just a Jewish lifetime or two, and if I cover my head with a scarf people think I am Jewish? That’s happened any number of times. I gave up scarves for a while there. LOL

          Love & Peace

  2. Sheol is said to be the the intermediary place souls go between life and death. They are sent there to wait for divine judgment. I suppose in essence you could say that it is believed to be the world of the dead. Before Jesus’ death and resurrection the saints of the OT were sent to sheol, just as others not in a convenant with God were sent to there. But then, I’m not sure how that would relate to Judaism, as Jesus is regarded as a false messiah. I’m confusing myself, so I’m not sure if this will in any way help you… ;) Perhaps a rabbi could explain it in depth and in a way that is easier to understand.

  3. As an afterthought, there is a website called askmoses.com that lets readers submit questions to people knowledgeable in religious studies. You might find an answer there, and if not, you could always ask it!

  4. Sheol is the World of the Dead. ALL the dead including (righteous people)go there. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death, right? So all who sinned go to Sheol. And when you’re dead, are you conscious? Can you think, or feel? Can you be tortured? No. You are unconscious, or “sleeping” as Jesus liked to put it (John 11:11). And Paul a couple of times.
    But when Jesus defeated death he “woke” up all the “righteous” from Sheol. So whoever puts there faith in Him has eternal life. Death has no hold on them.
    But when Jesus comes back he will wake up/resurrect ALL the dead. They will have spiritual bodies that cannot die. (Just like Christians) They will be judged and if they’re not found in the Book of Life (which they aren’t), they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire ALIVE. That is the second death. Sheol was the first death. The Lake of Fire is Hell. Eternal torment.

  5. I’m with James in my understanding, that She’ol is a place of sleep. There is no knowledge, love, hate, jealousy, or wisdom among the dead (no ghosts) and as Jesus described Lazarus as ‘sleeping’..no torment, no hell, nothing. This is the way it is to be unstill the resurrection. My understanding of the second death is not torment or firey pits of hell, but death…no more, no second chances (or third really) and you are removed from God..that is hell, the removal. The inability to be in the presence of God. If God is loving and merciful, why would eternal tornment be apart of it? A just God as he is would cut them off forever…non-existance, while the rest of us get to live forever in his presence.

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