Is there a difference between Sheol and Hades?
While making my way through the reading assignment this week I came upon the word Sheol a few times that I thought I was well aware of the meaning, but I thought is there a difference between the two? Are the Old Testament writers depicting a different place than what writers of the New Testament did? Well, upon researching the topic I found that the word Sheol is mentioned 66 times in the Old Testament (kind of creepy I know), and in the New Testament the word Hades is mentioned instead of the word Sheol. I think that David gives us an interesting insight into the difference between the two words in Psalms.
“The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.” (Psalms 18:4-5)
In these verses David refers to Sheol as not so much of a place that cannot be escaped, but rather a place that one can evade. Job also refers to Sheol as a temporary place that a soul will be present within until the day (Jesus Christ) ascends the throne.
“Oh that you would hide me in Sheol that you would conceal me until your wrath be past that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!”(Job 14:13)
Many believe that Hades of the New Testament corresponds with mentioned Sheol of the Old Testament. Jesus himself mentioned Hades in his teachings along with the chasm that lies between the two separating the good and bad souls. Upon research I believe that the only difference between the Old Testament word Sheol and the New Testament word Hades are simply the difference in translation. With the Old Testament being Hebrew and the New Testament being Greek the word holds the same meaning but translates differently. The Old Testament writers most definitely were concerned and warned about Sheol, but once again in their writings it is clear that Yahweh will provide a way out of any toil or snare they face. Even the snare of Sheol or the grip of Hades.