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Isaiah 38:10,18 Hezekiah’s Expectations of Sheol

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Isaiah 38:10 – I said, In the noontide of my days I shall go into the gates of Sheol: I am deprived of the residue of my years.

King Hezekiah here speaks of his expectancy of dying and entering the gates of sheol, due to his health. By his early death, he would have been deprived the remainder of his years. Hezekiah does not give any indication that he would be rejoicing in paradise in sheol, but laments that he will be deprived of the remainder of his years. Hezekiah’s words confirm the thought that sheol represents the oblivious condition of death. — Ecclesiastes 9:10.

Isaiah 38:18 – For Sheol can’t praise you, death can’t celebrate you: Those who go down into the pit can’t hope for your truth.

Righteous King Hezekiah, like King David (Psalm 6:5), expressed the thought that in sheol, the oblivious condition he was expecting to enter (Ecclesiastes 9:10), he would not be able to praise Yahweh. This further shows that he did not expect to go to a supposed compartment of sheol called paradise, for if he expected to go to paradise when he died, he certainly would have also expected to be able to rejoice in praising Yahweh there.

Some claim that Hezekiah was only stating that as a supposed disembodied spirit that he could not praise God amongst men. This is simply reading into the verse something that is not there — even denying what the verse does actually say — in order to make it appear to harmonize with inherent immortality theory. There is nothing anywhere in the Bible to warrant adding this thought to what Hezekiah said.

Hezekiah further said that those in sheol cannot hope for God’s truth. This would certainly not be true if they were conscious in paradise, but as being unconscious, they do not know anything (Ecclesiastes 9:5), thus as long as they are dead, they have no hopes. Those in the grave have no hope. In that very day that man’s breath goes forth “his thoughts perish” (Psalm 146:4). There is no “work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). The dead are asleep, unconscious. Though the living have hope on their behalf, and may understand and delight in the truth as God is pleased to unfold it, the dead “know not anything” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, KJV), cannot reason or think, so they cannot hope for God’s truth. Thus again, the scriptural truth of the condition of the dead is upheld.


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