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It's the afterlife of afterlife. Unlike heaven or hell or any pagan afterlife, the dead of Sheol are just, well, dead. They lack all forms of consciousness. They don't eat nor sleep nor think nor desire. They plainly just don't exist anymore.
Matt Wright.

Sheol also known as Hades (not to be confused with the realm of the same name), is the final destination of a human being's soul when he dies. It's a realm of total non-existence, it's dark, sad and silent. It is also the eternal prison of the Watchers for rebelling against their sacred duties by taking human wives and spawning the Nephilim.

Overview

Sheol is the place of "the afterlife of the afterlife", it is a place that exists (or does not exist) outside the limits of the universe. It's not just another place the soul goes to after dying, it's the very absence of any kind of consciousness, here the dead are just that, dead. They don't think, they don't speak, they don't interact, they don't have the will or the desire, they just don't exist. This is because once the soul dies there is no longer anything "existing" of its essence in the universe, causing it to become just non-existent. Although some believe that God does not exist here, reality is different, God is not only present here, but is the creator of Sheol.

Sheol is symbolically characterized in the Old Testament as the opposite of the Promised Land. To put it geographically, it is the ultimate place of exilic wilderness, a place from which one cannot return to the land flowing with milk and honey. Instead, the only meal one can eat in Sheol is dust and ash. Further, instead of God being praised in the sanctuary — an act which of necessity is bodily — there is no praise of God in Sheol, and the dead do not remember him. Most striking is Psalm 6:5: "In death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?" Likewise, Isaiah 38:18 reads, "Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness."

Description

There can't be an exact description of Sheol, due to the fact that "no one ever came back" to tell you what's on the other side. Most of the information held is given by the writer of the Holy Bible, the Holy Spirit. It is likely that he is similar to The Empty, only with humans instead of angels and demons. What's more, some believe that people in this place are simply "sleeping", an eternal, never-ending sleep from which they will never wake up.

Some even say that the only one who was in this place besides God was Jesus Christ and that at the Last Judgment, all the dead who are in Sheol will be revived. Isaiah mentions that Lucifer will be cast into the depths of Sheol, though whether this is literal or not is unknown.

In the Old Testament, the most common way of describing Sheol is as the house of death. It is the realm of the dead, where all the dead go. This is even personified in Proverbs 1–9, where Lady Folly's house, and the meal she serves there, is characterized by death. Humanity’s accuser, Satan, is prince over this house of the dead. Death is his hangman and his jailer. The dragon, the great serpent, has been cast down to eat dirt for the rest of his days, and the dirt he eats is that of his realm, the grave (Genesis 3:14). The place of the dead is enemy territory, ruled by the first and greatest enemy of humankind, the accuser.

Speaking of meals, the Old Testament speaks of Sheol as one who is never satisfied, always attempting to fill its belly but never achieving its goal. Nothing less than all of humanity will satiate it (Proverbs 30:15; Habakkuk 2:5). Its mouth is an open pit, swallowing all eventually. This insatiable gluttony is one of the reasons why it is often characterized as the abode of humanity’s final enemy, death itself, and why death is even called humanity’s shepherd (Psalm 49:14).

Myths and Legends

Sheol (/ˈʃiːoʊl/ SHEE-ohl, /-əl/; Hebrew: שְׁאוֹל‎ Šəʾōl), in the Hebrew Bible, is a place of darkness to which the dead go. When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Koine Greek in ancient Alexandria around 200 BC, the word Hades (the Greek underworld) was substituted for Sheol.

While the Hebrew Bible describes Sheol as the permanent place of the dead, in the Second Temple period (roughly 500 BC – 70 AD) Sheol is considered to be the home of the wicked dead, while Paradise is the home of the righteous dead until the Last Judgement (e.g. 1 Enoch 22; Luke 16:19–31). In some texts, Sheol was considered a place of punishment, meant for the wicked dead, and is equated with Gehenna in the Talmud. This is reflected in the New Testament where Hades is both the underworld of the dead and the personification of it.

Quotes

When a person dies, they go to Heaven or Hell. When an angel or demon dies, they go to the Empty. But when souls die, where do you think they go? They go to Sheol, a place of silence.
John Constantine.
Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the sheol who shall give thee thanks?
King David, Psalm 6:4-5.
For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Ecclesiastes 9:5.
And taken you will be taken to Sheol, to the depths of the abyss.
Isaiah to Lucifer, Isaiah 14:15.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Sheol (Hebrew: שאול; transl.: Sheh-ól or She'ol, lit. "Grave") is the world of the dead in Abrahamic pantheon. According to the biblical scriptures, everyone goes to Sheol when they die, both the righteous and the wicked.
  • Sheol was created as a prison for the Levians, and it is believed that God is keeping it to serve to bury the bodies of the Old Ones after the Final Conflict.
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