Sheol is a Hebrew word for the temporary place of the dead, where the souls of people are held awaiting the final resurrection, either to everlasting life or to eternal punishment (Job 24:19; Ps 16:10; Isa 38:10; 1 Thes 4:16,17; 2 Thes 1:8,9). At death the souls of righteous people go to the area of Sheol called heaven, paradise or ‘Abraham’s bosom’, prior to the resurrection, judgement of their works, and ultimately their enjoyment of the new heaven (Lk 23:43; 2 Cor 5:8, 12:3,4; Phil 1:23; Rev 21:1). They are conscious of the presence of God throughout this period. Meanwhile the souls of the ungodly go to ‘Hades’, the other part of this holding area to await their resurrection and subsequent judgement for not having a saving belief in Christ, leading to everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire (Mt 11:23; Lk 16:22-26; Jn 3:18; Rev 20:11-15). All people will experience one of these two destinations based on their relationship to Jesus (Mt 25:46; Jn 3:36).

See also: death, end times, eternal damnation, eternal life, paradise, resurrection.