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Psalm 55:15 – “Alive into Sheol”

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Psalm 55:15 – Let death come suddenly on them. Let them go down alive into Sheol. For wickedness is in their dwelling, in the midst of them. — World English

Was David here praying for his enemies to go into eternal torture? This is what some think when they read this verse. However, in reality David was praying for his enemies to go into sheol, the oblivious condition of the dead — that absence of life. — Ecclesiastes 9:10.

Some read into the expression “Let them go down alive into sheol” that those going down in sheol are kept alive in sheol, but that is not what David is saying. David did not pray that the be “alive in sheol,” but rather that they go down alive “into” sheol. The expression simply means that death would come upon them suddenly, prematurely. Fausset says concerning this expression: “or, living in the midst of life, death will come (compare Numbers 16:33).”* Wesley says it means: “Cut off by a sudden and violent death.”**
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*Fausset, A. R., A.M. “Commentary on Psalms 55”. “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible”. http://studylight.org/com/jfb/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=55&verse=15#Ps55_15. 1871.

**Wesley, John. “Commentary on Psalms 55”. “John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible”. http://studylight.org/com/wen/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=55&verse=15#Ps55_15. 1754.

We do not find anything in the verse about anyone consciously suffering while sheol. The verse is harmony with the testimony of Ecclesiastes 9:10.


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