שְׁאוֹל she'ol
The word she'ol was understood as the place where one goes when they die. Was this simply the grave one is buried in, or a place one goes too after they die? This is a difficult question to answer as the Hebrew Bible never really defines she'ol. There is evidence however that they understood it to be more than just the grave. First, the word qever is the normal Hebrew word for a grave and therefore, it is possible that she'ol was understood as something other than the grave. Second, most scriptures using the word she'ol imply a place other than the grave. An example can be found in Genesis 37:35 where Jacob says "I will go down to my son in she'ol." In this account Jacob believed his son Joseph had been eaten by a wild beast and could therefore not be in a grave, yet Jacob knew that he would be with him somewhere-she'ol. The Ancient Hebrews did not know where, or even what, she'ol was. To them it was an unknown place hence. The word she'ol literally means "unknown." It should also be noted that the Ancient Hebrews never speculated on something unknown, it was simply not known and left at that. It is only the Greek mind that desires to know the unknown. It is our Greco-Roman western mindset that needs to know where and what she'ol is.

Strong's: #7585

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