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Sheol

SHEOL (shē'ōl, Heb. she’ôl). In the OT the place to which all the dead go, immediately upon death. Sometimes KJV translates it “grave,” sometimes “hell,” depending on whether or not the individuals in the particular passage were viewed as righteous, but this procedure involves importing distinctions into the OT that were not clarified until Jesus’ ministry. NIV prefers to translate she’ôl as “grave” (in all but eight passages) and place the name itself in a footnote, a procedure that is neither helpful nor justifiable. It seems best—as in ASV, NASB, and (except for Ps.49.14) RSV—to not translate she’ôl, because it is a name.