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.”

Sirach 7:17

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

15 Do not hate hard labor or farm work, which was created by the Most High. 16 Do not enroll in the ranks of sinners; remember that retribution does not delay. 17 Humble yourself to the utmost, for the punishment of the ungodly is fire and worms. 18 Do not exchange a friend for money, or a real brother for the gold of Ophir. 19 Do not dismiss a wise and good wife, for her charm is worth more than gold.

 Notes and References

"... There is evidence that Isaiah 66:24 played a strong influence on Jewish views of the judgement around the turn of the era. In Judith 16:17 the writer warns that the Lord will take vengeance on the nations that rise up against Israel. He will give 'fire and worms' to their flesh. In contrast to Isaiah 66:24 where the fire and the worms are agents of destruction, here they become agents of torment; the wicked shall 'weep in pain forever' (Judith 16:17). Likewise Sirach 7:17 warns that the punishment of the ungodly will be 'fire and worms'. In contrast to Judith, Sirach does not clarify whether the punishment will result in destruction or prolonged torment. The Isaiah Targum oscillates between the two views. First the translator states that the breath of the wicked "will not die and their fire shall not be quenched" suggesting perhaps ongoing suffering. However, he adds that they will suffer only until the righteous say, 'we have seen enough' (Targum Isaiah 66:24) ..."

Papaioannou, Kim Gary Places of Punishment in the Synoptic Gospels (pp. 56-57) Durham University, 2004

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