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But God will redeem my soul
from the power of Sheol,
for he will take me from the grave. Selah. Bible

“soul.” The Hebrew word “soul” is nephesh (#05315 נֶפֶשׁ), and here it refers either to the human life or to the person himself. The verse can legitimately be translated either as “redeem me from the power of Sheol” (CJB; GWN; NIV), or “redeem my life from the power of Sheol” (HCSB; NAB; NET). In the mind of the Psalmist, “redeem my nephesh from the power of Sheol” referred to the living person being redeemed from the power of Sheol, so both “me” and “my life” referred to the same basic thing. This is a very good verse that shows that when a person dies, his life force, his “soul,” does not “go to heaven or to hell,” but is in Sheol. Sheol is the state of being dead. When a person dies, he is “in Sheol” and is dead in every way: body, soul, and spirit, and is awaiting the resurrection from the dead. [For more on the meaning of “soul,” see Appendix 7, “Usages of ‘Soul.’” For more on the dead being dead and not alive in any way or form, see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead”].


Commentary for: Psalms 49:15