Fred V. Hjortland post at
Sat Dec 21 13:04:37 EST 2002

Dear Rolf and others that have commented on the "rephaim",

I am most grateful for your answers! It is good that your long hours of
study can be of help to others that are not familiar with the Hebrew

I especially liked the answer that Rolf gave. From my study of the OT view
on man and the afterlife I find it very strange that there suddenly should
appear a word indicating a "shadowy, ghostlike kind of life for all humans
after death" when nothing of the kind is indicated elsewhere in OT!  Such
a thought seems so contrary to the whole line of thought in the OT! What
we learn in the OT is that in death man will become dust again, his
thoughts will perish and all communion with God will cease! (the only way
out of this state being a resurrection!)

I am therefore glad to hear that there is nothing in the word "rephaim"
compelling me to believe otherwise!

PS - I am wondering quite a bit about all the different renderings of the
word "rephaim" in different Bible translations.  Maybe quite a few of them
are more theologically driven than linguistically driven? To me this seems
to be the case.  It must be quite a responsibility to introduce a
theological idea - that is completely alien to the OT - on the basis of a
single word that is very uncertain in its meaning!!!

Again I would say thank you to those that have contributed. If you have
more to add on the subject, please mail to the list. I can assure you that
it will be read with great interest!


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