“Sheol.” In this verse, the Hebrew word Sheol is transliterated directly into English. Sheol is most accurately, “the state of being dead.” Although sometimes the “grave” is an acceptable translation of Sheol, the Hebrew has a specific word for the physical grave, qeber (#06913קֶבֶר). The fact that Sheol has no accurate English equivalent word, we chose to transliterate Sheol so the English reader could see when it was used.
Versions that translate Sheol as “hell” or “Hades” make a big mistake because in Hell and Hades, dead people are said to be alive and suffering, while the Bible makes it clear that people in Sheol are dead in every way. When a person dies, they enter Sheol, the state of death, and all of the dead go to Sheol when they die (cp. Gen. 3:19; Ps. 90:3; Ecc. 3:20).
Here in Proverbs 1:12, Sheol is personified as having a mouth with which it “swallows” its victims into the earth (cp. Num. 16:30-34; 26:10; Deut. 11:6). [For more information on Sheol, and the Greek word hadēs that was used by the Septuagint translators as the Greek translation of Sheol, see commentary on Rev. 20:13, “the grave.” For more on the fact that when a person dies he is dead in every way and form, including his “soul” and “spirit,” see Appendix 4, “The Dead Are Dead”].