Tuesday, August 13, 2013


"Sleep," as it is used in the Bible, can mean one of two things, depending upon the context.  It can mean the natural periodic resting, that is, a suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored; or it can mean a state resembling sleep:  death. 

Some examples of the literal use of the word "sleep" are found in:

*   Judges 4:21, where Sisera was fast asleep, and Jael, Heber's wife, killed him." 
*   1 Samuel 26:12, where the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon David's enemies, a sleep similar to that of Genesis 2:21.
*   Matthew 8:24 (Mk. 4:38; Lk. 8:23), where Jesus was asleep in the boat during a storm.
*   Matthew 26:40 (Mk. 14:40; Lk. 22:45), where the disciples slept while Jesus prayed.

Some examples where "sleep" is a euphemism for death, are found in:

*   Acts 7:60 - "And he (Stephen) kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."
*   1 Corinthians 11:30 - "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
*   1 Corinthians 15:6 - "After that, He (Jesus) was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep."
*   1 Corinthians 15:17-18 - "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."
*   1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 - "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.  For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep.   For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
*   2 Peter 3:4 - "And saying, Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."

Death is but a shadow:  bodies "sleep" but souls are in either Paradise, or in Torment!   


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