The most vivid portraiture of Sheol is to be found in the exilian passage Isa.
5, 6); there is absolutely no knowledge and no work in Sheol (ix.
Descent into Sheol is intensely tragic. Whether these discourses were all uttered between the investment of Jerusalem and its fall, or were here inserted by Ezekiel or by a scribe, it is not possible to say.
3: though a man have the great good fortune to live long and to have many children, yet, if he have not proper burial the blank darkness of an untimely birth is better than he: this latter is merely the negation of existence; the former, it appears to be held, is positive misfortune, the loss of a desirable place in Sheol, though elsewhere (ix.
5) existence in Sheol is represented as the negation of real life.
The old Hebrew view of the future excluded from Sheol the common activities of life and also the worship of the national god (Isa.
Paradise was sometimes regarded as the division of Sheol to which the righteous passed after death, but at others it was conceived as the heavenly abode of Moses, Enoch and Elijah, to which other saints would pass after the last judgment.
The view of the future life is the old Hebrew one: death is practically the end-all, Sheol is the negation of happy activity, and from it no one returns; in v.
The seers of Israel were content to dismiss their dead to a land of silence and darkness, the vast hollow gloom of the subterranean Sheol.'
Sheol is the common abode of the righteous and the ungodly: life there is shadowy and feeble, but seems to continue in a wavering and dim reflection features of this life.