In my research about Sheol/Hades, a few bits of evidence have emerged that need to be accounted for and fitted into the overall puzzle. This page is where I keep track of these pieces. Please pardon the mess below; I post it not because it is polished, but because it may be useful to you.
Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.
By what model can those in Sheol leave it and then return to it?
Psalm 49:14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
How, exactly, would they be shepherded in Sheol?
Psalm 116:3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
What, exactly, were the pangs of Sheol?
Psalm 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
In what exact way(s) did God have access to Sheol? Did he visit there?
Psalm 141:7 As when one plows and breaks up the earth, so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
How many mouths did Sheol have? Was there some battle or other event that would cause these bones to be at this entrance? To what event was this referring? Was it yet future to the Psalmist?
Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
Why was Sheol wanting more?
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Is this consistent with other passages about cognitive activity in Sheol?
Isaiah 5:14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure, and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down, her revelers and he who exults in her.
Is this about a judgment against Israel, wherein more than usual would enter Sheol in a given period?
Isaiah 14:9 Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations.
Were their beings enthroned in Sheol?
Isaiah 28:15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;….18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it.
What was the nature of this scourging? How often did it happen? Who administered it? What was the nature of this agreement? What was in it for Death and Sheol? What motive would they have to get humans to do evil while still alive on the Earth?
Hosea 13:14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
What exactly was this “sting” of Sheol and these “plagues” of Death?
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Does this mean that Hades (prison that it was) could not contain the dead Christians? Could they leave at will, or would there be a mass exodus about which Hades would be powerless to do anything?
Luke 16:23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
What manner of torment was this? What caused it? What about this “great chasm” that separated the good buys from the bad guys? Abraham and the suffering man are all shown to be aware and in discussion.
Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.
Why were these two together? What were their normal jobs? How did they come to have authority over the underworld? Had they ever been given authority to kill humans before?
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
It’s no surprise to read that there were dead people in Death and Hades, but what about the sea? How did that work? We’re not talking about bodies, but spirits. So how did it happen that there were spirits of the dead in the sea? Could these have been the “evil spirits”, who were not human in the first place?