Month 12:15, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5939:340 AM|
2Exodus 2/40, 4th Sh'mittah - Year 49/50
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 23 February 2016
The Daniel Code III
Resurrection for Life or Death
Continued from Part 2
"At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth (land of dust) shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightenss of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be running back and forth, and evil (knowledge) shall increase" (Dan.12:1-4, NRSV).
Shabbat shalom mishpachah and may the grace and shalom (peace) of Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) be in every heart assembled for worship and study.
The Daniel Code Reviewed I - Heart Knowledge
Today we resume our examination of the Daniel Code which we began by looking at the Mystery of Lamed Revealed (Part 1) and saw that the goal of Torah study was not the accumulation of mental factoids but lev meivim da'at or a heart knowledge of Yahweh-Elohim. So it should not surpise us, as we have just seen in today's quotation from Daniel, that "those who are wise shall shine like the brightenss of the sky", for hochmah or wisdom is not the accumulation of mental knowledge but applied knowledge in life itself. And to be in life you must be in the heart of Elohim (God). To have real heart-knowledge implies, not a knowledge of self, but a knowledge of Yahweh, His life-transforning ahavah (love) and His salvation through Messiah.
The Daniel Code Reviewed II - Staying Separate from the Counterfeit
In Understanding Our New Mission (Part 2) we reviewed the substance of the Daniel Revelation in the context of our on-going calling. I shared with you the visions of the Korean orphans followed by that of the counterfeit. About all I can add to that is that we must not only be able to identify the counterfeit but it is equally vital that we remain separate from the counterfeit. We must, of course, interact with it through the individuals and groups within it we are called to minister to but we cannot form soul-ties to it through shared worship or sacraments. That would be fatal because they worship in a different spirit and often serve different elohim (gods). They are filled with spirits that that they know nothing of in terms of identity. For that reason alone Satan will wish us to yield to their claimed authority and the spirits that move them. This will probably be the Remnant's greatest challenge in the early days until the separation is sufficiently wide that there can be no misindentification.
Spirits and Denominations
I became aware of this necessity when I was listening to one of my favourite American theologians the other day whose expertise I have much profited from. But when I saw a video of him in a worship setting with his own people and not with his usual antagonists, I detected a haughty and even mocking spirit which took me aback at first. It was then that Yahweh reminded me of several things I already knew. First, that intellectual brilliance does not automatically equate with spirituality; and second, that there is a spiritual power behind denominational allegiance which, if it is not Yahweh's Remnant of Messianic Israel, is not Him! Because someone in the denominations has blessed us it is the next step to open up to the spirit of the person which then connects you to the spirit of the wider fellowship (and its spirits) that that person belongs to. Many people find themselves caught up in error because of that tricky pathway because it is only natural that we open up to people who have blessed us. Beware! For as it is written:
Organisations as False Messiahs and Prophets
"False messiahs (christs) and false nevi'im (prophets) will appear and produce signs and omens (wonders), to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be alert...!" (Mk.13:22-23a, NRSV).
False "messiahs" and "prophets" obviously carry within them false spirits (which make them false) which are the real danger to the soul. A false "messiah" or "prophet" does not need to be an individual person to be a problem. The Jehovah's Witness organisation, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, refers to its leading counsel as "the prophet" which is a collection of persons operating under a false spirit or set of spirits. Thus an organisation or denomination can also be a "false messiah" or "false prophet". There are collections of spirits who can waylay the elect at different levels:
The Spirit of the World
"We have not received the spirit of the world but the Ruach (Spirit) who is from Elohim (God), that we may understand what Elohim (God) has freely given us" (1 Cor.2:12, NIV).
The "spirit of the world" is, in reality, a collection of millions of demonic spirits viewed collectively as a whole for the purpose of simplification. It includes religious spirits too. One who aspires to be of the Remnant must be entirely separate from that but I must sound a warning too. How many 'groups' like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Adventists, Campbellite Churches of Christ and others are there who institutionally regard themselves as 'separate' from the world in a special, Godf-sanctioned sense (and all other religious groups, Christian as well as non-Christian)? There are many, and there shall be many more, who claim they are the 'remant' in a legalistic way, who play to the spirit of pride and arrogance.
My theologian-mentor, though not belonging to an obvious cult, nevertheless believes he belongs to the 'high theological and doctrinal ground' and his view of love and salvation are, frankly, only semi-biblical. Yes, he's a Calvinist. And I saw that false spirit as he let his guard down amongst fellow believers and started looking down at Arminians. It was a warning to me to be careful and to remain both separated from false spirits and separated to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) of Yahweh. What you are separated to is even more important than what you are separated from.
Them and Us
Now I am not saying that there are not true souls in the denominations still, for there clearly are. Many. They haven't come out yet but they will be forced to as they acknowledge more and more of Yahweh's emet (truth). The false spirits that steer masses of their denominations will force them to either recant or leave. So I don't want anyone to fall into the 'them and us' trap. Those who are not of the elect will, as I have warned before, try to slip their way into gatherings of the Remnant. Some may well succed for a while, and the elect may be a deceived by them for a while, but in the end they will be seen and identified.
Only One Tanakh Resurrection Passage
Today's passage is one of the few references to the resurrection in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and, in my view, the only direct one in the Tanakh (Old Testament). The nearest to it would be in Isaiah:
Most Tanakh Resurrection Passages are Allegories of Israel
"Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is radiant dew, and the earth will give birth to those long dead" (Is.26:19, NRSV).
However, upon closer inspection, this is not necessarily a resurrection narrative at all but is to be seen as an allegory of the rebirth of the Israelite community after a period of disaster which you can see in Ezekiel 37:1-14, which speaks of the 'resurrection' of Israel in the Valley of Dry Bones prophecy. In Daniel alone do we have a clear-cut description of individual physical resurrection. And though Job hints at a future resurrection, it is not direct:
The Sole Resurrection Source Text
"And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see Elohim (God); I myself will see Him with my own eyes - I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" (Job 19:26-27, NIV).
We can thererfore say that practically the sum total knowledge about individual physical resurrection in the Tanakh (Old Testament) is to be found in these short verses in Daniel 12. That makes them particularly important because all else about the resurrection in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) flows out from them and must be understood in that context. Always go to source. Given that the Sadducees rejected the Book of Daniel (and indeed all Scriptures outside the Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses) it is not hard to understand why they had no belief in any resurrection. This makes Daniel's statement on the resurrection very important indeed. Let's look at
those words again:
A Compound Alef-Taw Word
"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth (tmda land of dust) shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightenss of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever."
There is one word I want you to notice especially, tmda, which means "land of the dust (soil/earth)" which combines the alef-taw (ta) together with two other letters, dalet (d) and mem (m). (See Mystery of the Alef-Taw for a fuller explanation). In Paleo-Hebrew this word reads as follows:
The Coming Resurrection of 'Common Stuff'
It's important to keep an eye on any alef-taw (ta) words in the biblical texts, whether alone or compounded with other letters, because alef-taw ta always depics eternity and Yah'shua (Jesus) (beginning and end, alpha and omega). It is associated with the physical Creation in Genesis 21:1 and is the hallmark of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) as the alef-taw ta (Rev.1:8; 21:6; 22:13) who is "the resurrection and the life" (Jn.11:25, NIV). The association here with dust, earth or soil is telling us that this common physical material is going to be 'eternalised' or 'resurrected'. The context of the passage - which is also about resurrection - is confirmation not only that the dead will arise one day but that the Messiah will do it and that these raised bodies will be 'eternal' or 'immortal.
A Paleo-Hebrew Translation
Translating the pictograms in Paleo-Hebrew, we arrive at the following:
Identifying Those Who are Resurrected
"He Messiah) will manifest His strength for us (a, oxhead), being that He is the door or point of access, providing a pathway for us to the Father (d, door). He will bring us forth refreshed - washed and cleansed - m, water), being as He is the sign by which He will secure - seal - the covenants, bringing judgments (t, mark)."
The recipients of this literal, physical resurrection in which the body acquires immortality are, according to the Daniel revelation, are as follows:
Identifying the Wise
- 1. The wise; and
- 2. Those who lead many to righteousness.
We are told who the "wise" are in the previous chapter:
Touch and Go for the Wise Leaders
"The wise among the people shall give understanding to many..." (Dan.11:33a, NRSV).
In other words, these are the leaders who have true knowledge, by emunah (faith), in the Davar Elohim (Word of God). Not all have an easy time of it, though:
"Some of the wise shall fall, so that they may be refined, purified and cleansed (made white), until the time of the end, for there is still an interval until the time appointed" (Dan.11:35, NRSV).
These 'wise ones' are said to "shine like the brightness of the sky" (Dan.12:3a, NRSV) which is the privilege of all the saved. These leaders, like Paul, are in the business of "urging and encouraging you and pleading with you to lead a life worthy of Elohim (God), who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (1 Thes.2:12, NRSV), or like Peter, encouraging those who "have suffered a little while, the Elohim (God) of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Messiah, will Himself restore, support, strengthen and establish you" (1 Pet.5:10, NRSV).
Graded Salvation in Daniel
So any who influence others for righteousness shine "like the stars forever and ever" (Dan.12:3b, NRSV). Notice that way back in Daniel's time Yahweh is giving strong hints of graded salvation and different kinds of resurrection, like stars in varying capacities of light (1 Cor.15:41-42). Likewise, Yahweh's servants will be rewarded according to their field of labour:
Faithfulness is Related to Glory
"The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labour" (1 Cor.3:8, NIV).
Thus the faithfulness of the believer's witness will determine his eternal capacity to reflect Elohim's (God's) glory.
Resurrected to Shame and Contempt
A word of caution in reading Daniel's resurrection witness which, in most English translations, might be interpreted to reinforce certain popular teachings about eternal hell-fire and damnation :
Everlasating vs. Aeonian
"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth (land of dust) shall awake (arise), some to everlasting (aeonian, LXX) chayim (life), and some to shame and everlasting (aeonian, LXX) contempt" (Dan.12:2, NRSV).
As explained in great depth in many extensive articles , the Hebrew expression, le olam va ed, commonly translated "everlasting/eternal" (without end), has the sense of "age-long" or aeonian (in the Greek Septuagint, LXX), that is to say, for a fixed period of time.
Two Broad Groups of the Resurrected
So to summarise the teaching of Daniel about who will be in the resurrection, two broad groups will arise from the dead and constitute the "many":
Two Resurrection Categories of Those Raised to Life
"...the hour is coming when all who are in the graves will hear [Yah'shua's/Jesus'] voice and will come out - those who have done good, to the resurrection of chayim (life), and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (Jn.5:28b-29, NRSV).
Thus at the moment when Elohim (God) calls forth the dead from the grave (a metaphor for death ), those of emunah (faith) will rise to chayim (life) and those not of emunah (faith) to shame and contempt. There are two categories of those raised to chayim (life), the wise (who shine in glory like the daytime) and the rest (who shine like the stars in all their several glories), confirming the three categories of resurrection spoken of by Paul whom he likens in glory to the sun, moon and stars. And it surprises many that Yahweh would resurrect the wicked along with the righteous - why? Why not resurrect demons, who are spirit-beings, too? or the nephilim? .
What the West Believes About Life After Death
I have been led today to talk about resurrection in part because there is such confusion as to the fate of the dead, even in former Christian nations such as the USA and UK. And this confusion is rampant in the churches and messianic congregations themselves. You'd be surprised to learn just how much Buddhism, Hinduism and paganism has crept into Christianity and into the popular non-atheistic  mindset. Reincarnation is widely believed which ends (eventually) not in resurrection but in absorption into a personless spiritual sea, though I suspect, along with Tom White, that belief in reincarnation is simply "a way of pursuing psychoanalysis by other means"  in that endless (and ultimately impossible) quest to try and discover who you are. We are, beyond a doubt, now part of a New Age Culture "in which bits and pieces of esoteric belief and mixed with dreams of self-help and self-fulilment" .
The Cultural Belief System
Christendom has been quite badly infected by the beliefs of the wider culture which is why we not only need to understand biblical teaching but also what the culture believes in and why. Most who claim to be Christians, if you asked them about life after death, speak not of resurrection but of some kind of spirit world into which one effortlessly - called "heaven" - where they remain forever. And a basic assumption behind this belief is that we have an immortal soul that at death simply moves from from earth life to a disembodied life. Another common assumption is that 'God' will decide which part of 'heaven' we will inhabit based on our good deeds though many don't believe the afterlife is divided into 'heaven' or 'hell' (because they don't believe their 'God' would ever make such a place) and simply believe we all basically go to a 'good place' forever.
Heaven is Not Our Final Destiny
It comes as a surprise not only to the theistic culture in general, but also to most nominal Christians, that the Bible nowhere teaches anything like this. THE BIBLE DOES NOT TEACH THAT 'HEAVEN' IS OUR FINAL DESTINY AT ALL. It does not teach that 'getting away from this world' and going to a bodiless 'spiritual dimension' is the 'great hope'. We aren't trying to escape life on this planet. Yes, we want to escape injustice, cruelty, sickness and death but the solution to these things is not a disembodied state. That's gnostic heresy. The consummate goal of all Bible-believers is that Yahweh's rule will come to EARTH "as it is in heaven" (Mt.6:10). In short, the grand goal and consummation of history is earth and heaven combining together as one.
The Curse of Neo-Platonism
Christianity has been badly infected with Greek pagan neo-Platonic thinking which wishes us to devalue this present world and view our bodies as shabby and shameful so much that we will never want to return here. We have been accustomed to think in terms of floating around in a psychodelic New Age-type spiritual paradise instead of always having our feet on the ground of a transformed terra firma.
The esoteric 'heaven' of the New Agers
The Future Earth is Not For Everyone
This neo-Platonism is not the heavenly teaching. The Bible's view of eternity is perfect, immortal, physically resurrected life here on earth forever, a restoration of pre-Fall Garden of Eden-type conditions. But this world in its future, glorified state, is not for everyone. It is not for disobedient believers or wicked unbelievers for whom worlds of lesser glory await at some point in the future.
Why Satan Hates This Planet
Can you understand why Satan wants rebellious mankind to poison and destroy this planet? He knows that this is the future habitation of the righteous and that he will never have a part of it. Indeed, he once lived here with his fellow malakim (angels) before he rebelled and Yahweh was forced to wipe everything out - Noah's flood was not the first time such a method of judgment had been carried out. The reason "the earth was a formless void" (Gen.1:1, NRSV) covered with water was precisely because its previous civilisation had been wiped out. The planet was dead. The Ruach (Spirit) had "to sweep over the face of the waters" (v.2, NRSV) to commence the reconstruction of the world as a new habitation for man created to replace the fallen demonic hosts, another reason for Satan's rage against the global kingdom that was removed from him. The Platonic and Gnostic hatred of earth and earth-life is an inheritance and manifestation of the demonic rage against Elohim (God) Himself. It's unnatural.
Cultural Confusion About the Next Life
We have been so indoctrinated for so long in Christendom with a Biblical-Platonic mix that our culture doesn't really know what to think about the next life. The hatred of the human body, fostered by Catholicism and inherited by the traditional Protestant Churches, with its morbid and fear of sex and marriage that has led to so much dysfunctionality across the centuries, has only served to fuel the atheist and pagan causes which do not have an anti-body view of life. A deadly gnostic seed was planted in the early Church that has caused so much confusion and a human preference for 'heaven' over resurrection.
The Reality of Heaven as as a Temporary Holding Station
Now please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying there is no Heaven or no spirit world! There is, but is is a intermediate state, not the goal or final destination. Neither am I saying, along with Jehovah's Witnesses, Armstrongites, Christadelphians, Seventh-Day Adventists and very many Messianics (who have been infected by an entirely different heresy) that we are not conscious after death. (For more on this important subject, see the many important articles on Soul Sleeping). We most certainly are conscious after death, and remain so until the resurrection. However, we are not 'unconditionsally immortal' either. We can't just 'drift off' into a separate spiritual sphere without reference to Elohim (God), accounatbility or His Final Judgment either as most who believe in life-after-death would like to believe. Not at all. In fact, we don't have a 'soul' at all because we are 'souls'. Body plus spirit equals soul - that is the plain Bible teaching. However, we are not impersonal 'breath' as the Jehovah's Witnesses and others believe for our spirits are persons - they are our essential serlves, our identities. But they are not unconditionally immortal either. Everything in the created order is connected to Yahweh-Elohim because He made everything, so He could as well remeove the life principle from us and our spirits would die along with our physical bodies. Only He won't.
Only Yahweh Has Immortality!
To be clear, then, ONLY ELOHIM (GOD) HAS IMMORTALITY:
Immortality is Conditionally Available
"It is He (Elohim/God) alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to Him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen" (1 Tim.6:16, NRSV).
Furthermore, immortality is only made available to man - conditionally - by the Messiah:
We are Not Independent Beings in the Spirit World
"This grace (undeserved loving-kindness, unmerited favour) was given to us in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Deliverer (Saviour) Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), who abolished death and brought chayim (life) and IMMORTALITY to light through the Besorah (Gospel)" (2 Tim.1:9b-10, NRSV).
Please note this and underline it with a thick marker; YAH'SHUA (JESUS) ALONE BRINGS IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT AND IT IS ONLY AVAILABLE THROUGH THE BESORAH (GOSPEL), that is to say, the message or good news of salvation. The idea that human beings possess immortal souls finds no support in the Bible anywhere. However, this doesn't mean, as Jehovah's Witnesses and others teach, that we cease to exist in any form after physical death save as a 'memory' in 'God's mind' from which He 'recreates' us 'later'; nor does it mean that we are literally 'asleep' after physical death, an error that has come to be believed because of confusing a metaphor with literalness. It means, quite simply, that as disembodied spirits we can't just wander off into the aether and 'do our own thing' apart from Elohim (God)! There are laws in the spirit world just as there are in the physical and we have to obey them.
What is a Soul?
We are living souls - we don't 'have' a 'soul' 'in' us and the underlying Hebrew and Aramaic words make that plain: we are living souls, complete persons or personalities with spirit and body:
Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna
"And Yahweh-Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (ruach chayim); and man became a living soul (being, nefesh )" (Gen.2:7, KJV).
The witness of the Besorah (Gospel) - and therefore our witness as believers - is not of the spirit world (real though it is) but of the RESURRECTION and what happens after that. Now, of course, it's important that we know what happens to us in the Spirit World after physical death and the Bible tells us all we need to know about that too. The Spirit World is called Sheol in Hebrew (wrongly translated as 'hell') and Sheol is divided into Paradise ('Heaven' - for the saved) - Lk.23:43; 2 Cor.12:4; Rev.2:7) and Prison (for the unsaved and wicked - 1 Pet.3:19). Sheol is a temporarily 'holding place' for disembodied spirits prior to the Final Judgment and Resurrection. Once Sheol  is emptied at the General Resurrection it remains permanently empty and, one supposes, is abolished along with death itself and Hades (Rev.20:14; 21:4).
The Fate of all Mankind
So that we have the Timeline clear, I should point out that the Righteous Saved are resurrected first (hence it is called the 'First Resurrection' - Rev.20:5-6) and come down to earth for the Millennium. The rest - the disobedienrt believers and the unsaved/wicked - remain disembodied in Sheol. At the end of the Millennium, the disobedient believers and the unsaved/wicked are also resurrected, the disobedient believers being sent to a place of lesser glory (not the earth, though we don't know where this is yet) and the unsaved/wicked being sent to hell until the end of their sentence at the Cosmic Jubilee whence they inherit a third-rate 'glory' that is dim like the distant stars seen from earth.
Timeline of existence from the pre-existence to eternity
Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
The Ancients Weren't Interested in Sheol
"Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!" (Mt.13:43, NRSV).
This was an echo of Daniel 12:3, "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens" (NIV) and anyone who was learned in Torah listening to Yah'shua (Jesus) would have known this was a reference to the resurrection. So whenever the Master spoke of the reward awaiting Yahweh's people, He was speaking of "the resurrection of the righteous" (Lk.14:14, NRSV). The people in His day were not interested in what happened in Sheol - whether the heaveny, paradisaical or prison part (they really didn't know much about either anyway) - but in the resurrection. Every Israelite knew, with the exception of the Sadducees who denied the resurrection, that they would one day be returning to earth in perfect physical bodies.
Paradise is a Temporary Resting Place
Now I am not saying thsat Paradise or Heaven isn't a wonderful place. There are many who have seen it, myself included, and we can testify that it is beautiful and glorious. But it is not the same as the glorified earth where the righteous will spend eternity to which the New Jerusalem shall descend out of Heaven to earth and remain forever. What, then, is the difference between Paradise/Heaven and the Glorified Earth? The former is a place of rest - a walled garden, and a time to await the resurrection - and the latter is a place, one supposes, of great and glorious activity! We will most certainly not be idle in eternity! Precisely what we will be doing I do not know (I have some ideas of my own) though we will not be playing harps on clouds. It will be something to look forwards to with great anticipation where your heightened creative skills will increase by many orders of magnitude with which you may serve the Creator with joy!
I had hoped to speak more of the resurrection in detail but time has overtaken me and this has already gone on long enough. At another time I would like to compare the resurrection ideas of the Judahites just before Yah'shua (Jesus) came with the ones taught by the Master Himself. In the meantime, I hope this very general overview of 'everything' has been helpful. Understanding the grand scheme of things is important as it provides a mental framework in which to construct ones life more precisely. Daniel knew all about the resurrection at a time when no one else had much of an inkling of what awaited Yahweh's people after death. He was told to "keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end" (Dan.3:4a, NRSV). What I have shared with you today has taken me my whole life to unearth but we can be absolutely sure there is much more to come. This is most certainly "the time of the end" foretold by the navi (prophet) Daniel and I have little doubt that the last generation - the generation that succeeds our one - will be shown far greater things than this that we, now, only have an inkling of. But like the seekers of my generation, you have got to work hard and shed all the false traditions of our fathers before you will be able to see clearer that you may "shine like the brightness of the sky (heavens)" (Dan.3:3a, NRSV). May your Sabbath rest be like Paradise. Amen.
 For important orientation on this subject, please see The Fire of Yahweh: I. Refinement, Hellfire and the Jubilee and The Fire of Yahweh: II. Olam, Aeons and Eternity.
 Obviously not all the dead are in literal graves, and their original elements have long since been dispersed back into nature.
 Nephilim are cross-breeds between humans and fallen malakim (angels). Depending on the degree of genetic corruption involved, there is a point at which human 'flesh' is distinguished from the artitifical kind which become incarnated by demons rather than by human spirits.
 Answers to these questions are dealt with in the many articles on the Hell website.
 Atheists are nihilists who believe in the complete annihilation of the human self at death. Interestingly, the Jehovah's Witnesses and a few others are partial-nihilists inasmuch as they believe that the wicked will be annihilated too. I have never quite figured out why, in their theology, the wicked would be resurrected prior to their complete destruction.
 Tom Wright, Surprised by Hope (SPCK, London: 2007), p.16
 See The Bible Teaching on Soul
 You will find the best, scholarly translations (like the NRSV) no longer translate Sheol as 'hell' but leave the word untranslated. Simply staded, Sheol is the domain of all the dead, the righteous and the wicked, and is so used also of the Greek word Hades. Only later on in Hebrew literature is a distinction made between the righteous and wicked dead in Sheol. By contrast, the Greek Tartarus is the place of punishment for fallen malakim (angels) awaiting final judgment (2 Pet.2:4). Only the Hebrew Ge-Hinnom (Greek Gehenna) is used as a metaphor to describe the place of incarceration of the wicked dead, this being the ancient Jerusalem garbage tip south-west of the city that was continually on fire. It was also where dead criminals were thrown to either rot or burn.