Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy
The picture is by Benjamin West (1738-1820). Source:
'The question was,
According to bible Where does a man go after death if he is an unbeliever?
This is not a simple question. The Place of Death, in most cases, at least for Israelites is referred to as Sheol (Psalms 88:3, 5, 89:48, etc. ). The word â€œSheolâ€ is from the word-root "ShAL" connoting "request, borrow." Sheol is a temporary place of sojourn.
It appears that the Hebrew word "ShEoL" is the source of the English term "soul".
Among the defining terms given by the Online Etymological Dictionary for the word "soul"Â
we find the following:
# Old English sawol "spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence; life, living being,"... Old Saxon seola, Old Norse sala, Old Frisian sele, Middle Dutch siele,... Gothic saiwala), of uncertain origin...
Sometimes said to mean originally "coming from or belonging to the sea," because that was supposed to be the stopping place of the soul before birth or after death [Barnhart];
From the above we see the possibility that the English word soul could once have been pronounced similarly to "Seol" (cf. Old Saxon seola) which is how "Sheol" would have been enunciated in parts of Northern Israel (Judges 12:4-6).
We also see that originally it may have meant "the stopping place of the soul... after death" and this is what Sheol was!
Psalm (NASB) 88:
3 For my soul has had enough troubles,
And my life has drawn near to Sheol.
4 I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit;
I have become like a man without strength,
5 Forsaken among the dead,
Like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom You remember no more,
And they are cut off from Your hand.
cf. 2-Samuel (NASB) 12:
22 He said, '˜While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, '˜Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.'
23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.'
In the Very End of Times there will be a Resurrection of the Dead and a Final Judgment.
'What happens after that is Something Else!
Isaiah (NASB) 25:
'8 He will swallow up death for all time,
And the LORD God will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken.
2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.