The Belly of Hell

Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

(Jonah 2:1-2) KJV

When Jonah was cast into the sea he drowned. The next thing he was aware of was being in hell, sheol, the underworld realm of the dead. There’s more here than meets the eye.

He gives us a surprising amount of detail in this short passage which helps to correlate the ways in which sheol is modified to the ways in which erets is modified. These both align with the regions of the Earth which we can deduce from geological and seismological data.

Seismological data correlates the ways in which the Hebrew words sheol and erets are modified.

The Levels of Hell

LevelGrave (sheol)
Pit
(sahat/bowr)
Earth (erets)World (tebel)
Crustsheoleretstebel
Mantlemibbeten sheol
tavek sheol
yerekah bowr
tachti erets
erets tachti
mowcadah tebel
Great Gulf
(outer core)
bad sheolerets beriach
matsuq erets
mayim tachath erets
Core
(inner core)
sheol tachti
tachti erets
bowr, shachath
missahat beli
mowcadar erets
– The levels of hell correspond to the four zones of the interior of the Earth.

He specifically mentions the belly of hell. The word also refers to a womb. Jonah finds himself in the womb of the Earth, in a chamber in the lower mantle where he’s able to look out across the open chasm between the lower mantle and the surface of the core.

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