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The Bilingual Mary Magdalene
Nice post gregglaser, but I don't know if "sheol" means the same thing as "underworld." Sheol means grave or place for the dead. Now the underworld, or Abaddon, could be seen as a type of grave for spirit entities but there is no clear indication it is for men. It's already a complex issue without all the mistranslations muddying things up here -- it would be really helpful if we had a proper translation of the Peshitta OT to compare notes. The underworld, or Abaddon, is where fallen spirits of angels or watchers are imprisoned since the days of Noah. Abaddon and sheol is referred to by Job, however he is speaking of the Rephaim and some "inhabitants" (watchers?) in this context (26.5-6) and does not specify men; is he making parallels or contrasts? Either way Job does not mention men in this context. Isaiah mentions the Rephaim in connection with kings in sheol (14.9), but bear in mind he is weaving together what happens to earthly authorities with spiritual authorities as we see in the famous lines that follow about a Babylonian antichrist figure who sets himself up as glorious Hellel ("Lucifer" in latin) son of the morning reaching for the heights of heaven, but instead falls to the pit with the Rephaim (counterparts to earthly kings, literally "he-goats" in the verse, reminiscent of the Azazel/scape goat ritual* on the Day of Atonement which we see fulfilled in Rev 20.1-3) showing that he is not the true morning star ushering in a new day -- you could say this is Nebuchadnezzar but he is really just a type of the final antichrist, and so this prophecy has cycles of fulfillment like most prophecy. I suppose it's not hard to see why sheol (for men) got conflated with the underworld/Abaddon/bottomless pit for fallen spirits and the whole "hell" myth got rolling. There are many more verses to help out on this line of thought but I don't want it to get too messy with myriad rabbit trails for now.


The English "hell" itself comes from the Anglo-Saxon "hel" referring to a hidden place and is where the English "hole" derives. Probably not the best source for biblical scholarship but to get the idea the Oxford dictionary on my computer has this:

Hell - "ORIGIN Old English hel, hell, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hel and German H?lle, from an Indo-European root meaning ?to cover or hide.?"

Hole - "ORIGIN Old English hol (noun), holian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hol (noun) ?cave,? (adjective) ?hollow,? and German hohl ?hollow,? from an Indo-European root meaning ?cover, conceal.?"

"Hell" was used to translate the Hebrew and Aramaic "sheol" (grave) and the Greek "hades," for lack of a better term. Hades is simply used in the Greek to replace sheol (Acts 2.27 quoting Psalm 16.10) and shouldn't carry over all the pagan baggage it is loaded with, but there is a kernel of truth in it. There's also "Gehenna" translated as hell in the NT, which was the valley of Hinnom (actually located in the valley of the Rephaim, cf Josh 15.8, 18.16) south of Jerusalem where garbage was dumped and continually burned and where worms or maggots would have been in perpetuity because of the continuous supply of waste (where the worm dieth not). Gehenna also had once been a place where apostate Judea sacrificed their children to the fires of Moloch as they started to follow hellish pagan doctrines and were judged for and exiled to Babylon -- as some newly discovered ancient cuneiform tablets show. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/wink1.gif" alt="Wink" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> Gehenna became an idiom for fires of judgement for apostasy as when Yeshua warned of it before the temple and city were sacked with fire 40 years after the crucifixion. Fire was a symbol of judgement and is used to renew and cleanse, taking away sin.

The first biblical instance of sheol (Deut 32.22-4) uses fire/burning symbolically, ie. "burnt with hunger" speaking of a famine and death kindled by God's anger that will consume the land, God is a consuming fire (Deut 4.24; Heb 12.29) as the sacrificial fire from coals on the altar was to burn forever consuming sins as enacted by priests eating sacrificial offerings. Is it any wonder judgment/suffering (fire) and death (grave/hell) are often mentioned together? By extension sheol is associated with sorrow, pain, suffering and bitterness, "for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave (sheol): the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame" --Song of Songs 8.6

"Hell" is also used to translate the Greek "tartarus" in 2Peter 2.4 -- this is the only "hell" referring to the underworld prison for fallen angelic entities, but it's not anywhere indicated to be for men. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell (tartarus) and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter... --2Peter 2.4-6

Revelation refers to the bottomless pit where Abaddon is released, in Greek "Apollyon." Revelation 9.11: They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. Sometimes an angel associated with authority over a phenomenon is named after it, such as two of the horsemen of the apocalypse named Death and Sheol (Rev 6.8 ) who are thrown into the lake of the fire (Rev 20.14), the Dead Sea (Salt Sea), which was burning from all the bitumen and pitch it contains, the lowest place on earth's surface, on the Jordan rift valley, where the source of the Jordan river from Mt. Hermon terminate, near Sodom and Gomorrah, burning even in the time of the apostles which Jude like Peter used as an example of fiery eternal judgement: And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. --Jude 6-7. Jude also quotes something we find in a book credited to Enoch which is where we find an account of where, why and for who the underworld exists, and it's not for men. (Portions of the book of Enoch are found in Aramaic and Hebrew among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The complete scroll of Enoch written in Aramaic is in private hands and has not been published.)

The Lake of the Fire itself is healed and made holy (Ezekiel 47) but later a new heaven and earth is made and all former things are passed (Rev 21.1-5; Matt 5.18). Today the Dead Sea is a major attraction for its HEALING properties and its minerals can be found in many medicinal and cosmetic products.

Some may point to the parable of Lazarus and the rich man as an illustration of life in hell (an oxymoron as the wages of sin is death), but it is just that, A PARABLE. When this story is understood as such and biblical symbols are decoded, deep insights can be gleaned from it. Here is an interesting report on this:

It seems the pagan nations all have legends of an underworld of gods. This makes perfect sense if indeed all nations really spoke one language before the splitting of the tongue and are descendents of Noah and his sons and their wives who passed on knowledge from, say, Enoch and Adam. All peoples had universal ancient knowledge of the signs of heaven, a golden era of long lifespans, titans, fallen gods, beings of light, snakes associated with wisdom, a major flood, temples, sacrificial systems, and an underworld. Abraham was called out of the chaos to set the record straight for the nations and to be blessed in him and his promised seed would be a nation of priests through which this knowledge was preserved, and the priest Melchizedek blessed him in this mission. Thank God for that!

By the way, the Hebrew word "repha" (rephaim singular) also means "to heal." <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/wink1.gif" alt="Wink" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->
"All that openeth the matrix is mine" -Exodus 34.19a

Messages In This Thread
The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by gregglaser - 02-15-2015, 12:50 AM
Re: The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by aux - 02-16-2015, 06:20 AM
Re: The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by gregglaser - 02-17-2015, 12:19 AM
Re: The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by distazo - 02-22-2015, 07:37 PM
Re: The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by gregglaser - 02-22-2015, 09:00 PM

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