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Numbers 16:30,33 — Alive in Sheol?

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Numbers 16:30 – But if Yahweh make a new thing, and the ground open its mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain to them, and they go down alive into Sheol; then you shall understand that these men have despised Yahweh.

Numbers 16:33 – So they, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into Sheol: and the earth closed on them, and they perished from among the assembly. — World English

Some read into this that Korah and his assembly are still alive in sheol, since it speaks of their going down “alive into sheol.” Being “alive in sheol” and being cast while “alive into sheol,” however, are not the same. All this is saying is that while in their activity of life, the earth suddenly opened up and they went alive into the hidden condition of death. The thought is concerning the suddenness of their entrance into sheol, not that they would continue living in sheol. Of course, they did die and are not now conscious in sheol, as we read in Ecclesiastes 9:5,10. How simple the statement when rightly understood: the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up and they went down from the midst of life’s activities into oblivion, unconsciousness.


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