Death and Sheol (Hos 13:14-13:14)

“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 destruction?

Compassion is hidden

From my eyes.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, wanted to know if he should ransom Israel from the power of Sheol, the shadowy afterlife experience. Should Yahweh redeem them from death. Then, he like Paul later in his description of death in I Corinthians, chapter 15, wondered where was the sting or the power of death. Where were the plagues and destruction of Death and Sheol? Yahweh would not have compassion on them, because it was hidden from his eyes.

Hurtful sins (Sir 21:1-21:3)

Have you sinned?

My child!

Do so no more!

Ask forgiveness

For your past sins!

Flee from sin

As from a snake!

If you approach sin,

It will bite you.

Its teeth are lion’s teeth.

They can destroy human lives.

All lawlessness is

Like a two-edged sword.

There is no healing

For the wounds it inflicts.”

Sirach uses his parental tone in reminding others about the sting of sin. If you have sinned, stop! Ask forgiveness! You should run away from sin like you would run away from a snake. Do not go near to sin or it will bite you like a snake. Sin has lion’s teeth that can destroy people. Breaking the law is like a sharp two edged sword because there is no healing the wounds that it inflicts. Stay away from sin or you will get hurt.