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What word is in hebrew for Grave? Sheol?

Posted on 2011-03-23
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I'd like to know if in these versicle is the word sheol

Ecclesiastes 9:10

 Whatever your hand attains to do [as long as you are] with your strength, do; for there is neither deed nor reckoning, neither knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, where you are going.

Is Grave sheol in Hebrew? If no, what is the word for grave in hebrew?

Thanks
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Question by:hidrau
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 35201687

"Grave" is how the Hebrew word "Sh'eol" is translated into English in the Stone Edition Tanach for that verse.
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by:Carnou
ID: 35201757
Loosely transliterated Hebrew of the "for there is neither deed nor reckoning, neither knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, where you are going":

ki ain maaseh v'cheshbon v'daat v'chachmah besh'ol asher atah holach shamah

the word "besh'ol" would mean "in Sheol", so yes, the word for grave in this case is Sheol.

I looked up "grave" in my English/Hebrew dictionary, and the transliterated words (found in modern Hebrew) are:
kever, ashman.  Apparently, "Sheol" is not considered to be "grave" in modern Hebrew.  Looking it up the other way, I looked up "Sheol", (the letters shin, aleph, vav for the o sound, and lamed) in the same dictionary, and it gave the definition as "hell, hades; grave".
I have no idea why my dictionary will translate sheol as grave but doesn't give sheol as a translation for grave.  I'm just reporting what it says.  *:-]
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by:hidrau
ID: 35201766
is it not QEBER or PAKHATH?

because Sheol is linked to a physical part, that is, the place where the bodies are buried, right?
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by:Carnou
ID: 35201767
Dang, W.S. beat me.  For what it's worth, I actually used the same source Tanach, and my dictionary was the Ben-Yehuda's pocket English-Hebrew/Hebrew-English dictionary.
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 35201907

hidrau,

I've seen that carnou is more familiar with Hebrew than I am.

Also note that biblical Hebrew translation is often different than modern Hebrew.
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by:hidrau
ID: 35201974
ok, carnou can reply my question
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Carnou earned 30 total points
ID: 35202181
I'm not even conversant, let alone fluent.  And I have no idea on hidrau's follow-up question.  I know very little about  the deeper meanings of each word that could mean grave.  (I would guess that QEBER is the same as the word I saw in the dictionary that I spelled "kever".)  I was actually planning on keeping quiet and learning as WS explained the differences between the three words mentioned.  *:-]

I looked up Sheol in my lexicon, but it didn't have much of use to say to me.  It did mention that this passage of Ecclesiastes seems to be backed up by Job 14:21 (and I noticed that in Job 14:13, it mentions "the pit" and uses the word Sheol).  It also mentioned that in Isaiah I 4:9-15, there is mention of Sheol that somewhat contradicts the Ecclesiastes statement - in Isaiah I 4:14, "the netherworld" (Sheol) opens its mouth, and in verse 15, man is humbled and brought lower.  That seems in contradiction to the utter unknowingness that Ecc. mentions.

I looked up kever (qeber?) in my lexicon, as well.  Most of the listings in the Old Testament for this word is the more literal idea of the grave/sepulchre.  It's used to mean grave, tomb, sepluchre, with very few references meaning anything more metaphysical than that.

My understanding based on this reading is that kever is the physical place where a body goes, with occassional poetic references to it being a "lower world" (around Ezekial 32:22).  Sheol is used more in the metaphysical sense - where the soul goes, as opposed to the body.

I'm not sure about the word "Pakhath".  I found a Pakhath that means pit, but if I'm reading the lexicon correctly, the root for it is Syrian or Persian, and seems to come from the verb "to dig".  It seems to be used mostly in Jeremiah 48.  It also has some related contexts implying decay.  It doesn't occur very often in the Old Testament.

This is based on browsing through "A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament", Houghton Mifflein, 1907.  It pre-dates modern Hebrew.   *:-]  There are online lexicons you can use as well, to list all the occurances of any word in the Bible, and give you some idea of how it's used.  My interpretations based on this reading aren't guaranteed to be right.  The book is fairly hard to understand, and I'm just conveying my cloudy understanding.

Hope that helps... I'd still like to hear any other input on this.  I'm really not an expert on this - I just fake it somewhat well.  *:-]
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by:hidrau
ID: 35202331
Carnou:

Thanks for your research on this.

I am also investigating this, let's wait another answers
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by:WaterStreet
WaterStreet earned 10 total points
ID: 35202406

carnou said:
"I looked up kever (qeber?) in my lexicon, as well.  Most of the listings in the Old Testament for this word [(kever)] is the more literal idea of the grave/sepulchre. "

carnou noted the difference between this usage and the metaphysical.

That's my understanding, as well.  For the metaphysical usage, it seems that the OT uses the word "Sh'eol," instead
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by:abbright
abbright earned 10 total points
ID: 35202789
This is what my dictionary gives for the word sheol found in the verse in question:

1) sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit 1a) the underworld 1b) Sheol -
the OT designation for the abode of the dead 1b1) place of  no return 1b2) without praise of God 1b3) wicked sent there for punishment 1b4) righteous
not abandoned to it 1b5) of the place of exile (fig) 1b6) of  extreme degradation in sin
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by:hidrau
ID: 35206024
thanks very much
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