PLACE OF GATHERING
THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODIES
“gathered to his people” is used throughout all Old Testament
referring to the death of the Patriarchs.
Gen 25:8 Then
Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man,
and full [of years]; and was gathered to his people.
Gen 25:17 and
these [are] the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and
thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was
gathered unto his people.
Gen 35:29 And
Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his
people, [being] old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob
Jacob said in
Gen.49:29 "I am to be gathered to my people."
Gen 49:33 And
when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up
his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered
unto his people.
Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter
into the land
Deu 32:50 And
die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy
people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered
unto his people:
that when his son died (2 Sam. 12:28) I will go to him he will not
come to me.
Thus in the
Old Testament, death is not an extinction, or annihilation of the
person, but a departure from the material world into the spirit
world where all the generations are still living.
are referred to as “Rephaim” in the Old Testament Hebrew.
Virtual Library gives two meanings for the word, Rephaim. (Heb.
~ “ The
first is as a gentilic (e.g., Gen. 14:5; 15:20; Deut. 2:11)
referring to a people distinguished by their enormous stature.
(Deut. 3:11) ...(ll Sam. 21:16, 18, 20). (e.g., II Sam. 21:16, 18, 20;l Chron. 20:8).
Septuagint's renderings gigantes and titanes as well as for
gabbaré of the Peshitta and gibbarayya of the Targums. The
Genesis Apocryphon (21 :28) on the other hand prefers the
In its second
use Rephaim designates "shades" or "spirits"
and serves as a poetic synonym for metim (
Isa. 26:14; Ps. 88:11). “
Dictionary also affirms the same notion.
word is used in two distinct significations.
1. REPHAIM is
used to comprehend all the gigantic races of the Canaanites, of
whom there were several families. There were Rephaim beyond
Jordan, at Ashtaroth Karnaim, in the time of Abraham, Genesis
14:5; also some in the time of Moses. Og king of Bashan was of the
Rephaim. In the time of Joshua, some of their descendants dwelt in
the land of Canaan, Joshua 12:4 17:15, and we hear of them in
David's time, in the city of Gath, 1 Chronicles 20:4-6. The giant
Goliath and others were the remains of the Rephaim, or of the
kindred family of Anakim. Their magnitude and strength are often
spoken of in Scripture. They appear to have excelled in violence
and crime, and hence are monuments of divine justice.
the shades or spirits of the departed, dwelling in Sheol or Hades,
generally rendered in our version, "the dead"
("dead things," Job 26:5); Psalm 88:10; Proverbs 2:18;
Here are the
Job 26:5 The
departed spirits [ rephaim] tremble under the waters and their
Wilt Thou perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits
[rephaim] rise and praise Thee?
For the adulteress' house sinks down to the departed spirits [rephaim]
Prov 9:18 The
thief does not know that the departed spirits [rephaim] are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
Prov 21 :16 A
man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the
assembly of the departed spirits [rephaim]
Isa 26:19 the
earth will give birth to the departed spirits. [rephaim]
the King of Babylon: Isa 14:9-11 "Sheol from beneath is
excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the
spirits of the dead [rephaim], all the leaders of the earth;
"They will all respond and say to you, ‘Even you
have been made weak as we, You have become like us. ‘Your pomp
and the music of your harps Have been brought down to Sheol.
is again found in the Jewish after death mourning period rituals
known as Shiva rituals. Shiva (Hebrew:
(literally "seven") is the week-long mourning period in
Judaism for first-degree relatives: father, mother, son, daughter,
brother, sister, and spouse. The ritual is referred to as
"sitting shiva." Immediately after burial, people assume
the halakhic status of "avel" (Hebrew: ‘nu ;
"mourner"). This state lasts for seven days, during
which family members traditionally gather in one home (preferably
the home of the deceased) and receive visitors. A tear is made on
the garment of the mourner over the heart if the deceased is a
parent, or over the right side of the chest for other relatives.
This tearing of the clothing is referred to as keriyah (lit.
"tearing"). The mourner recites the blessing describing
G-d as "the true Judge," an acceptance of God's taking
of the life of a relative.
tradition, a flame symbolized the soul of man reaching ever
upward. This is suggested by the verse in Proverbs 20:27,
"The soul of man is the lamp of the Lord." By lighting a
candle and keeping it burning throughout the Shiva period, it is
believed that the soul of the departed is aided in its journey
memorial or Shiva candle is kept burning for the duration of
Shiva. There are some who will continue to keep one burning
throughout the entire first year of mourning.