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The derivation of שַׁ֫חַת, H8846, suggests that the concept of “sinking” is primary (Ps 9:15; 35:7). In the latter passage a trap for wild animals is the basis of the analogy. Confusion, despair, and sorrow are expressed.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

The word translates different Hebrew words of which the most important are:

(1) bor, "pit" or "cistern," made by digging, (Ge 37:20); hence, "dungeon" (Jer 38:6, margin "pit");

(2) be’er, "pit" or "well" made by digging (Ge 21:25);

(3) she’ol, generally rendered "hell" in the King James Version (see Hell);

(4) shachath, a pit in the ground to catch wild animals. (1), (2) and (4) above are used metaphorically of the pit of the "grave" or of "sheol" (Ps 28:1; 30:3; Job 33:24). the King James Version sometimes incorrectly renders (4) by "corruption."

(5) pachath, "pit," literally (2Sa 17:9), and figuratively (Jer 48:43).

In the New Testament "pit" renders bothunos (Mt 15:14), which means any kind of hole in the ground. In the corresponding passage Lu (14:5 the King James Version) has phrear, "well," the same as (2) above. For "bottomless pit" (Re 9:1, the King James Version, etc.).

See Abyss.

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