Isaiah 66:24

Hebrew Bible

22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth I am about to make will remain standing before me,” says the Lord, “so your descendants and your name will remain. 23 From one month to the next and from one Sabbath to the next, all people will come to worship me,” says the Lord. 24They will go out and observe the corpses of those who rebelled against me, for the maggots that eat them will not die, and the fire that consumes them will not die out. All people will find the sight abhorrent.

Judith 16:17


15 For the mountains shall be shaken to their foundations with the waters; before your glance the rocks shall melt like wax. But to those who fear you you show mercy. 16 For every sacrifice as a fragrant offering is a small thing, and the fat of all whole burnt offerings to you is a very little thing; but whoever fears the Lord is great forever. 17 Woe to the nations that rise up against my people! The Lord Almighty will take vengeance on them in the day of judgment; he will send fire and worms into their flesh; they shall weep in pain forever. 18 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they worshiped God. As soon as the people were purified, they offered their burnt offerings, their freewill offerings, and their gifts. 19 Judith also dedicated to God all the possessions of Holofernes, which the people had given her; and the canopy that she had taken for herself from his bedchamber she gave as a votive offering.

 Notes and References

"... The fire and the worms that consume the damned first appear in Isaiah 66:24 in the context of historical eschatology as the burning corpses of apostates are on display near Jerusalem; yet this very passage seems to have suggested the idea of a fiery hell when the fire and the worms of Isaiah 66 later repeatedly appear as epithets of a place of torment. Some texts strongly suggest annihilation or extinction of the impious – 1 Enoch 1:9; 1 QpHab 13; CD 2:5-7 and 2 Maccabees 7:14. In other texts it remains unclear whether the destruction of the sinners means a once-and-for-all extinction or else a lasting state – the Psalms of Solomon 3:11; 15:10-13 and 1 Enoch 98:10-13; 100:9; 102:1; 103:7; 108:3. In still other texts the idea of a prolonged torment before annihilation can be found – 1 QS 4:12-14; 4 Ezra 7:36, 61, 75; 8:59; Pseudo-Philo 18:12; 23:6 and 1 Enoch 48:8-10; 54:6; 63:10. Yet other texts leave no doubt that eternal torment awaits the sinners – 1 Enoch 22:10; 27:2; the Book of Judith 16:17; 4 Maccabees 9:9; 13:14; 2 Baruch 44:12; 59:2; 85:12-13; the Apocalypse of Zephaniah 4:7; 6:2; 2 Enoch 10; 40:12 and the Sibylline Oracles 2:283-312. In most of the texts presented so far the sinners (they) are collectively contrasted to the righteous (us) and the visions of punishment are actually meant as encouragement to the in-group: their afflictions will come to an end, while their oppressors perish one way or another. Many of the texts which most clearly presuppose eternal torment are roughly contemporary with the gospels, and most probably not part of the earliest Jesus tradition (Räisänen 2007:4) ..."

van Rensburg, Hanré Janse Hell Revisited: A Socio-Critical Enquiry into the Roots and Relevance of Hell for the Church Today (pp. 1499-1525) HTS Teologiese Studies 64(3), 2008

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