"Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." [ MARK 9:43-48 ] Is this trying to say something about a worm that doesn't die and a fire that somehow doesn't die either? No. You need to read the passage after the quote. Some feel that these words of Jesus prove that the dead face eternal torment. We just explained "unquenchable fire" on the previous page, but what about the WORM that "dieth not?" First: "Their worm" doe NOT refer to a man's soul. Scripture never calls a man's soul a WORM -- this worm is a common MAGGOT, that which feeds upon dead bodies, not living bodies. Proof: Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 66:24 which says the redeemed "shall go forth, and look upon the carcases (dead bodies) of the men that have transgressed against me: for THEIR WORM SHALL NOT DIE, neither shall their fire be quenched." The pictures is MAGGOTS PREYING ON DEAD BODIES. See, the Valley of Hinnom (translated as Gehenna) was a RAVINE south of Jerusalem, just outside the city wall -- it was used as a REFUSE PIT -- all types of trash, animal carcasses, and even the corpses of wicked criminals that didn't deserve burial were disposed of there. This place was CONSTANTLY BURNING, and smoke could be seen rising up into the sky above Jerusalem... This fire burned day and night, day and night.... And any part of piece of any BODY that fell out of the flames, the worms would devour it. Everyone knew about the fire of Gehenna, so this was why Jesus used it as an illustrative example of the final destruction of the wicked, to ACHIEVE INSTANT COMMUNICATION -- but in doing this he IN NO WAY offered support for the doctrin of eternal torment. "Gehenna of fire or 'hell' -- The severest punishment inflicted by the Jews upon any criminal. The corpse (after the man had been stoned to death) was thrown into the Valley of Hinnom and was devoured by the worm or the flame." [ R.F. Weymouth, Greek scholar, New Testament in Modern Speech, 1902 ]
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