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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

XVII. (1) There are besides in every compartment 7,000 holes (crevices), and in every hole there are 7,000 scorpions. Every scorpion has 300 slits (cavities); in every slit are 7,000 pouches of venom, and from each of these flow six rivers of deadly poison. When a man touches it, he immediately bursts, every limb is torn from him, his body is cleft asunder, and he falls dead upon his face. The angels of destruction collect his limbs, set them aright, and revive the man and place him upon his feet, and take their revenge upon him anew. This takes place in the uppermost compartment, which is called Sheol. The height thereof is 300 years’ journey, the width 300 years’ journey, and its length the same.

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(2) The second compartment is Beer Shaḥat, of the same height, width, and length. The third is Ṭiṭ-Hayaven, of equal size. The fourth is Sha‘are Mavet, of the same size. The fifth, Abadon, of the same size. The sixth, Sha‘are Ṣalmavet, of the same size. The seventh, Gehinnom, of the same size. Thus the length of hell is altogether 6,300 years’ journey. [We read further that the fire of Gehinnom is one-sixtieth of the fire of Sha‘are Ṣalmavet, and so of every consecutive compartment till the fire of Sheol.] Sheol consists half of fire and half of hail (ice), and when the sinners contained therein emerge from the fire they are tortured by the hail (ice), and when they emerge from the hail (ice) the fire burns them, and the angels who preside over them keep their souls within their bodies. As it is said, 'For their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched.'

(3) Every day the angel of death comes and drives them on like cattle from mountain to valley and from valley to mountain, as it is said, 'They are sent down to Sheol like sheep; death acts like a shepherd unto them.' The angels of destruction punish the sinners for twelve months in Gehinnom. After twelve months they revive their bodies and lower them to Sha‘are Mavet, where they are again punished for twelve months. Thence they are lowered into Sha‘are Ṣalmavet, and after twelve months’ punishment they are lowered into Ṭiṭ-Hayaven, and again after twelve months’ punishment they are lowered into Beer Shaḥat. Thence, after the same lapse of time, to Abadon, and finally, after twelve months’ punishment, they are lowered thence into Sheol, where they are seen by the righteous, who say, 'O Lord, who art merciful to all Thy creatures, let it be enough for them!' But God answers, It is not yet enough, for they have destroyed My temple, and have sold My children as slaves among the nations.' Thence they are lowered to Arqa, and placed beneath the river of fire that flows from beneath the heavenly throne, and he who is lowered into Arqa ascends no more.

(4) Above Arqa is Tehom, and above Tehom is Tohu.

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[paragraph continues] Above this is Bohu, and above Bohu is the sea, and above the bottom of the sea are the waters. Above the waters is the inhabited world, on the surface of which rise the mountains and dales. This earth is inhabited by man and beasts, by the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. Therein is law, charity, and piety, and the fear of the Lord.

(5) At the time of judgment 6,000 angels of trembling surround man and lead him to the place of judgment, where they weigh his merit and his guilt in the balance. Then if his guilt turns the scale they lead him to Gehinnom and hand him over to the angels of terror, and these again to the angels of anguish, and these to the angels of trembling; the angels of trembling then to the angels of destruction, who hand him over to the angel of death. He throws him into the depth of Gehinnom, as it is said, 'And the of the Lord pushes him.'

(6) If, however, his merits turn the scale, they lead him to the gates of Paradise and hand him over to the ministering angels, who hand him over to the angels of peace, and these to the angels of mercy, who bestow great honour upon hire in the Garden of Eden.

Next: XVIII. Paradise