March 19th

The Midst of Hell

The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.

(Ezekiel 32:21) KJV

A lot has been said, mostly fictional, about the levels of hell. As it turns out there really are levels to hell and they’re functionally synonymous with the regions of the interior of the earth which we can derive from seismological data.

There are four major regions of the earth’s internal structure. The Hebrew word sheol is used with modification to refer to all of these regions. It’s also used unmodified to refer more broadly to the underworld as a whole.

Sheol Modifiers

ZoneUsage.. sheol ..
CRUSTThe gravesheol
MANTLEThe belly of hellmibbeten sheol
The midst of helltavek sheol
GREAT GULFThe bars of the pit
(pillars of the earth)
bad sheol
COREHell belowsheol tachath
Lowest hellsheol tachti
Hell and the earth’s mantle.

The midst of hell is synonymous with the belly of hell which Jonah showed us was the functional equivalent to the bottoms of the mountains. This is where the Old Testament saints went after the grave to await the coming of the messiah. It wasn’t possible for them to go to heaven because the sacrifice had not been made which paid the propitiation for our redemption. When Jonah woke up in the belly of hell and realized what had happened to him, his soul fainted. The Lord’s will was for Jonah to return to the land of the living and complete his mission. He may not have realized it but part of this mission was to return from the grave and record his first hand eye witness account of the internal structure of the earth.

There is at least one place in the midst of hell where the chamber in which the saints had to wait opens up. From this place it is possible to see across the great gulf, the pillars of the earth and the surface of hell. This is what Jonah saw. This is also where Abraham and Lazarus were when they had a conversation with the rich man recorded for us in Luke 16:19-31.

Today’s image is an attempt to render an idea of what Jonah saw when he was in the belly of hell. We euphemistically refer to this as Abraham’s bosom. This is the location that Jesus went to when he went to retrieve the saints and preach to the spirits in prison. This is discussed in the devotional for July 13th.

The Lehmann discontinuity is an abrupt increase of P-wave and S-wave velocities at the depth of 220±30 km, discovered by seismologist Inge Lehmann.  It appears beneath continents, but not usually beneath oceans, and does not readily appear in globally averaged studies. Several explanations have been proposed: a lower limit to the pliable asthenosphere, a phase transition, and most plausibly, depth variation in the shear wave anisotropy.

– Lehmann Discontinuity, definition (Wikipedia)

Yes, we just said that the Lehmann discontinuity is the underworld realm of the dead.

Read through the Bible in a year

Reading planMarch 19
Linear1 Samuel 21-23
ChronologicalDeuteronomy 24-27
– Read 3 chapters every day and 5 chapters on Sundays


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