Everlasting contempt means disgust not torment

Doesn’t Daniel 12:2 say some will face “everlasting contempt”?

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2

This verse is used constantly to prove the Traditional view. However, upon closer examination of the text, it is nowhere to be found. The Hebrew word here for “contempt” is “darone.” It is very important to note that the only other time it is used in all of Tenach (The Hebrew Bible) is in Isaiah 66:24, which was discussed earlier. In Isaiah 66:24, those who have “darone” (“contempt” or “disgust”) are the believers who go out and look upon the dead bodies (not living souls) of those who have been turned into ashes–cremated (2 Peter 2:6, Malachi 4:3).

506163Having everlasting contempt would be similar to us looking at the burned corpse of Adolf Hitler. We will always have contempt or disgust for him. Even in eternity. Isaiah 66:24 and Daniel 12:2 are inextricably linked by the same Hebrew word and that Hebrew word speaks of our contempt for the wicked, not their eternal conscious torment.

There are two emotions here, shame and contempt. It is obvious that the unsaved have the shame emotion. And it is the righteous that have the contempt emotion towards the wicked. Notice that only one of those emotions lasts forever. It is contempt, which proves that we (believers) will live forever and still feel emotion. However, nothing is said about shame being felt forever. Why? Because the wicked will be destroyed in body and soul. (Matthew 10:28).

Evangelical author William West states the same thing in his book The Resurrection and Immortality:

Strong says both contempt (Daniel 12:2) and abhorrence (Isaiah 66:24) are from the same Hebrew word. Strong’s word # 1860, “To repulse, an object of aversion, abhorring, contempt.” Contempt and abhorrence are the way others think about them. It does not say they will forever be conscious or in torture, but that others will forever have shame and contempt for them. It is the contempt that is said to be everlasting, not persons. How does “everlasting contempt” become “everlasting torture”? (Source: The Resurrection and Immortality, William West, Xulon Press, 2006)

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16 Comments

  1. Larry

    Thanks for the explaining the scriptures. I go to United Church of God. We also believe that those who reject Gods truth will perish forever and ever. Non exsit.

    • Dirk Waren

      Hi Fred.

      Thanks for the comment.

      You can read about the gnashing of teeth passages in this chapter, just scroll down to the section “There will be Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth”.

    • Alan Hudson

      But in the last day..the unsaved soul will be raised up in body form for judgment..it will be a body suitable for judgment, so yes there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth..this body will be able to feel pain, sadness, loneliness, etc. All I can is BE SAVED, BE BORN AGAIN RECEIVE JESUS INTO UR HEART TO AVOID SUCH A DEMISE

    • Dirk Waren

      Hi Alan.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      The two different kinds of resurrections are clear in Christ’s statement in John 5:28-29: the righteous (those in right-standing with God) will rise to live while the unrighteous (those not in right-standing with God) will rise to be judged and condemned if their names are not found in the book of life (Revelation 20:11-15).

      As Christ plainly said, only the righteous will “rise to live” — only the righteous will be granted “life and immortality” (2 Timothy 1:10). If only the righteous will rise to live, it naturally follows that the other group will rise to not live. That is, they will be judged and condemned to the “second death,” the lake of fire, where God will “DESTROY both soul and body,” inner and outer man (Matthew 10:28)

      According to 1 Corinthians 15:42-54, the righteous who “will rise to live” will receive an imperishable, glorified, spiritual body at the time of their bodily resurrection. Verse 54 speaks of this: “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ” Some adherents of eternal torment, apparently desperate for proof texts, will cite this passage to support the claim that “every human being will have immortality,” yet it’s clear that the passage exclusively refers to born-again believers (for example, see verse 50, which plainly shows that the people addressed are to “inherit the kingdom of God”). As they say, “Context is King.”

      As for your statement:

      so yes there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, this body will be able to feel pain, sadness, loneliness, etc.

      Yes, they will, but Christ never said “They will endlessly weep and gnash their teeth in fiery torment forever and ever.” We need to be careful to let a Biblical passage speak for itself and resist the temptation to read more into it based on our doctrinal biases (not that you’re necessarily doing this; I’m speaking in general). When we read more into a simple statement like this we become guilty of adding to the Word of God, which is squarely condemned in Scripture (Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:18 & Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32).

      “Weeping and gnashing of teeth” is simply a solemn reminder that “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31) for God’s enemies will experience “a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

      Regarding the “weeping,” if you were an unrepentant rebel against the Almighty, would you not be weeping the day you finally fell into God’s hands for judgment? And would you not be wailing as you are judged unworthy of living and subsequently cast into a vast fiery furnace? And would you not wail the entire time it takes the fire to consume you — however long that would justly be? Of course you would. That’s why James warned rich oppressors to weep and wail for fear of the LORD’s coming judgment, referred to as “the day of slaughter,” when fire will devour them (James 5:1-5).

      Usually in the Bible the phrase “gnashing of teeth” refers to the wicked man’s expression of fury against the righteous. Yet even while he grinds his teeth in ineffective rage, he wastes away and comes to nothing, as observed here:

      The wicked man will see and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
      PSALM 112:10

      However, when Christ used the phrase in the context of the unrepentant facing everlasting destruction in the lake of fire (2 Thessalonians 1:9), the phrase could, in this sole context, be interpreted as a reference to pain, but it clearly does not last forever; the gnashing of teeth ends when the person is ultimately extinguished.

      This is why Christ linked the phrase to the Parable of the Weeds and his explanation:

      As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. (41) The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. (42) They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (43) Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
      MATTHEW 13:40-43

      Unlike the other five times this phrase appears, Matthew 13 gives us additional information to properly draw a sound conclusion. In verse 42 Jesus is still explaining The Parable of the Weeds, and therefore what he is saying must be interpreted in light of what he has already said. What did he already say? In verse 40 Christ says, “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.” Do weeds burn forever and ever without ever quite burning up? No, they burn for a period of time until they burn up. It will be the same way with ungodly people on judgment day.

      In addition to this, Christ describes the lake of fire in verses 42 and 50 as “the fiery furnace,” which is an excellent example of human damnation in the lake of fire because it clearly indicates nothing other than complete incinerationtotal destruction of soul and body — as Jesus earlier declared in Matthew 10:28.

      The Messiah most likely got this apt figure from the Old Testament Scriptures since he studied and preached from them. In the Old Testament “furnace” or “fiery furnace” is used in reference to complete incineration or refinement (e.g. Psalm 12:6), but never to undying conscious torment. For instance, after the utter obliteration of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is a biblical example of the “second death” (2 Peter 2:6), Genesis 19:28 says that there was only “dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.”

      Notice how the figure of “fiery furnace” is used in this Psalm:

      At the time of your appearing
      you will make them [God’s enemies] like a fiery furnace.
      In his wrath the LORD will swallow them up,
      and his fire will CONSUME THEM.
      PSALM 21:9

      There’s no mistaking here that “fiery furnace” refers to being utterly consumed by raging fire as God’s enemies are shown to be swallowed up and consumed by his fire, not existing in a perpetual state of conscious roasting.

      So “fiery furnace” is an unmistakable example of complete incineration. By adding that “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” Christ was simply describing the miserable way it will be on judgment day for the unrepentant. Can you imagine the horrible scene it will be? The weeping, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth as God’s enemies are cast into the lake of fire and consumed by raging fire? This is the only sound way we can interpret this phrase. After all, if Jesus meant to say that these sinners would perpetually weep and gnash their teeth throughout all eternity — billions upon billions of years never-ending — don’t you think he would mention it somewhere? Yet he mentions no such thing. Instead he continually warned against the utter death and destruction of the “second death” (Revelation 20:11-15) and backed this up with multiple easy-to-understand examples, like weeds being burned up in fire, the destructive power of a fiery furnace and Luke 19:27.

      For details I encourage you to breeze through all the chapters of HELL KNOW. Here’s the first chapter.

      God Bless You, Brother.

      Your Servant,

  2. Dajuane

    So then why does the bible say “fear not man who can harm the body” but fear God who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Sheol)” so if this is true that would mean that Hell/Sheol is a place of destruction? correct?

    • Dirk Waren

      The New Testament plainly declares that “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One (God) who is able to save and to destroy” (James 4:12). Human beings have the power to kill other people, but they can only harm the body whereas the Almighty Creator has the authority and power to destroy in the absolute sense at the White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15 & 2 Peter 3:7). The reason God will ultimate “destroy” unrepentant people is because He’s just and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), but of course He “doesn’t want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The gospel is “good news” because it’s all about Christ destroying death and bringing life and immortality to light for all those who turn to God in repentance and faith (2 Timothy 1:10 & Acts 20:21). The gospel is all about escaping the death sentence of sin, reconciling with the Creator and obtaining eternal life (John 3:16,36).

  3. irene

    Without a doubt the human soul is immortal. This is clearly seen in many Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments: Psalm 22:26; 23:6; 49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; and 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Daniel 12:2 says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Similarly, Jesus Himself said that the wicked “will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). With the same Greek word used to refer to both “punishment” and “life,” it is clear that both the wicked and the righteous have an eternal/immortal soul.

    The unmistakable teaching of the Bible is that all people, whether they are saved or lost, will exist eternally, in either heaven or hell. True life or spiritual life does not cease when our fleshly bodies pass away in death. Our souls will live forever, either in the presence of God in heaven if we are saved, or in punishment in hell if we reject God’s gift of salvation. In fact, the promise of the Bible is that not only will our souls live forever, but also that our bodies will be resurrected. This hope of a bodily resurrection is at the very heart of the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

    While all souls are immortal, it is important to remember that we are not eternal in the same way that God is. God is the only truly eternal being in that He alone is without a beginning or end. God has always existed and will always continue to exist. All other sentient creatures, whether they are human or angelic, are finite in that they had a beginning. While our souls will live forever once we come into being, the Bible does not support the concept that our souls have always existed. Our souls are immortal, as that is how God created them, but they did have a beginning; there was a time they did not exist.

    • Damien

      “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

      There you are! Immortality for Mr. & Mrs. Adam ceased the day they “ate” that darn “fruit”! They were immortal before, but now, immortal no more.

      Please don’t tell me you couldn’t see this in the Genesis verse above.

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