The traceless end of the unjust (Wis 5:9-5:13)

“All those things have vanished

Like a shadow.

They have vanished

Like a rumor that passes by.

They are

Like a ship that sails through the billowy water.

When it has passed

No trace can be found.

There is no track of its keel in the waves.

When a bird flies through the air,

No evidence of its passage is found.

The light air,

Lashed by the beat of its pinions,

Pierced by the force of its rushing flight,

Is traversed

By the movement of its wings.

Afterward no sign of its coming is found there.

When an arrow is shot at a target,

The air,

Thus divided,

Comes together at once.

Thus no one knows its pathway.

So we also,

As soon as we were born,

Ceased to be.

We had no sign of virtue to show.

But we were consumed in our wickedness.”

The ungodly and unjust have disappeared like a shadow. Here now, but gone when the sun stops shining. They are like a rumor that vanishes almost instantaneously. They are like a ship going in the sea. Once it is gone, there is no way to trace its path. The same is true on the bird in the air. Once gone, you are never sure of its precise path. The same goes for an arrow shot in the air. No one can tell its path. However, today we do have technology that can trace ships, birds, and arrows. So what? These unjust ones declared that they ceased to exist the day they were born, because they had no virtue. Thus they were consumed with wickedness.

Job turns to God directly in a prayer (Job 7:7-7:10)

“Remember that my life is a breath.

My eye will never again see good.

The eye that beholds me will see me no more.

While your eyes are upon me,

I shall be gone.

As the cloud fades and vanishes,

So those who go down to Sheol

Do not come up.

They return no more to their houses.

Their places do not know them anymore.”

Job turned to God directly. Job was resigned to die. His life was short like a simple breath. His eyes would never see any good things. Those that saw him would not see him anymore. He would be gone like a cloud that fades and vanishes. He was going down to Sheol and never returning. Those who go there never return as their own home does not know them. He obviously did not believe in eternal life, just death, plain and simple, in Sheol, this eternal dark underworld place of the dead. In Greek translations it is referred to as Hades. In English we usually refer to it as hell.