Apologetics to the Glory of God

Gill on Sheol

Another name or word by which it is expressed, is Sheol, which is often rendered the “grave”; as in Genesis 42:38 and 44:31 and should be where it is sometimes translated “hell,” as in Psalm 16:10 yet in some places it seems as if it could not be understood of that, but of the state or place of punishment of the wicked; as in Psalm 9:17. “The wicked shall be turned into hell”: now to be turned into the earth, or to be laid in the grave, is not peculiar to wicked men; it is the common lot of all, good and bad; it is the house appointed for all living (Job 30:23), but to be enveloped with all darkness, and consumed in a fire, not blown, and an horrible tempest rained on them, is the peculiar portion of wicked men from God (Job 20:26,29; Ps. 11:6). Besides, the phrase being “turned” into it, denotes indignation, contempt, and shame; and is the same with the New Testament phrase, so often used, of being “cast into hell” (Matthew 5:29,30; 8:12) so when this word is used of the adulterous woman, and her ways, that her steps take hold of hell, and her house is the way to it; and that her guests are in the depths of it (Prov. 5:5; 7:27; 9:18) to understand it of the grave, seems not to be strong enough, and to give too low a sense of it; and does not sufficiently express the danger persons are in through her; and into which they are brought: as well as it is not ascribing enough to the way of life, above to the wise, that it secures a person from the grave beneath; and which yet it does not; but rather that it delivers him from the punishment of hell (Prov. 15:24), in like manner, when it is said of hardened and desperate sinners, that they with hell are at an agreement; they seem to outbrave, deride, and bid defiance to more than death and the grave; even to mock at hell, and its torments they give no credit to. It has its name, “Sheol,” from lav because it asks and has, and is never satisfied; and applied, whether to the grave or hell, denotes the insatiableness thereof, (Prov. 27:20 30:16; Isa 5:14; Hab 2:5).[1]

  1. [1]Gill, A Body of Doctrinal Divinity, Bk. 7, Ch. 10, 1b1b.


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