The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up along with their

The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up

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As soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground under them was split apart. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households—everyone who belonged to Korah and all their goods. So they with all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol; the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. All Israel around them fled at their outcry, for they said, “The earth will swallow us too!” And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred fifty men offering the incense. (Numbers 16: 28-35) - World split open and the fell alive into Sheol- they believed it was a real place which implies they believe heaven is a real place for them Sheol as posthumous destination - where the divine breathes infused into begins by god after death continue to exist in shadow half-life as material form has been lost – they dwell in Sheol - Death as a pale reflection of embodied existence - Death is a cold unpleasent palce under the world - No longer in communion with god- you cannot praise god - Focus on the enjoyment of embodied life- live as you can while following the commandments - The afterlife is not the land of reward Parallels - Notion of greeks- death is not a reward - It is a real place located in the world and not pleasant to live in - The concern is with the rememberance of the lvigin- meso burry the dead inside their houses to continue relations with the dead - Egypt did this too - Sheol is a realm of forgetfulness- being forgotten by the living is a major concern As the cloud fades and vanishes, so those who go down to Sheol do not come up; they return no more to their houses, nor do their places know them anymore. (Job 7:9-10)
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… My soul is full of troubles and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help, like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. (Ps. 88:3-5) For Sheol cannot thank you, death cannot praise you; those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for your faithfulness. The living, the living, they thank you, as I do this day. (Isa. 38:18-19) Death pollution → note: continuities between these laws and contemporary Jewish funerary practice - Ritual significance - Prohibition on necromancy – divination using the dead was not allowed- you can do it you are just not allowed to Jewish tradition - Focused on priestly ritual - Major concern was that death rendered you ritually impure and you cannot take part in ritual temple Paraells - Zoroastrians saw death to be polluting and when bodies decompose they are unclean The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his relatives, except for his nearest kin: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother; likewise, for a virgin sister, close to him because she has had no husband, he may defile himself for her. But he shall not defile himself as a husband among his people and so profane himself. (Leviticus 21: 1-4) -
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  • Winter '17
  • Angela Sumegi
  • Judaism

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