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Let’s lay out the Context of the future New Heavens & Earth:

“For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.

And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.

“And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭66:22-24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

To parallel the aftermath of the creation of the New Heavens & New Earth in Revelation, we also see “the unsaved” identified as the following in only V.15:

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:14-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

We might assume that “corpses” would be inanimate & unthinking, for such are human bodies when they die currently in this present evil age. Yet, in the age to come, “corpses of the men”, who “transgressed against” God, will be present somewhere “outside” the city of God.

I have 3 questions:

Q:

1.) What does Isaiah mean by “corpses of the men”?

2.) Is Isaiah suggesting resurrected bodies of the damned?

3.) What does the Hebrew indicate with respect to Isaiah’s usage of personal pronouns in Isaiah 66:24?

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  • Putting aside the new heavens and the new earth for the moment, I've tried to address, in my answer below, your 3 Q's, the parallel account here. Good Q. though, + 1. Feb 18, 2022 at 19:03
  • @OldeEnglish Why put aside the New Heavens & New Earth when it’s clearly part of the immediate context?
    – Cork88
    Feb 18, 2022 at 19:33
  • I'm a little rusty in responding to BH Q's, having been on a self imposed exile for some 4 months now. I guess I was responding to the title of the Q., in so much as with regard to the example of the slain. The new heavens and the new earth, I see as being in the making, as to those worthy of same, after the possibly eternal example, towards the wicked was made at Armageddon. Consequently, I'm seeing 2 separate issues. For example, I am not seeing any reference to the dead, who are to be resurrected at the end of the Millennium, at least from V 22 on anyway. Feb 18, 2022 at 20:21
  • After all the back and forth, here and under my answer, which amounts to a lot of informative content, even if we can't exactly agree, for which you have shown no appreciation, I regret the upvote, which I would take back if it was allowed but apparently not. Feb 19, 2022 at 1:34
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    With regard to the plural, not to mention reciprocity, I was including the back and forth under my answer, which after all is regarding the same Q. I couldn't comment further under my A. without having to go to chat, which my instincts tell me would have been futile. Good day/night to you too. Feb 19, 2022 at 4:23

2 Answers 2

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Corpses

The root word used here is פֶגֶר ("peger"), and it pretty straightforwardly refers to a carcass. A good example is 2 Kings 19:35, referring to the dead bodies of the Assyrians after their army was devastated by the plague of the Lord.

This looks like a clear reference to dead physical bodies.

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Resurrection of the wicked

We can certainly make a case for the resurrection of the wicked from 1 Cor. 15 or Rev. 20, but this doesn't appear to be Isaiah's focus here. By comparing Isaiah 66:22-24 with Isaiah 65: 17-25, this reads as a description of the Millennium--Isaiah 65 has some pretty classic millennial language.

In that case, this is a description of the death & destruction of the wicked at the beginning of the thousand years, not the end.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:4-5)

Verse 4 describes the righteous during the Millennium (as does Isaiah); verse 5 describes the resurrection of the wicked at the end of the Millennium. So Isaiah sees the rotting bodies of the wicked that will, about 1000 years later, be resurrected.

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Pronouns in verse 24

And they shall go forth (all one word in Hebrew-- וְיָצְא֣וּ -- the antecedent is those worshipping the Lord in verse 23)

and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me for their worm shall not die ("their worm" is תוֹלַעְתָּ֞ם -- referring to the carcases of the men that have transgressed)

neither shall their fire be quenched ("and their fire"--all one word in Hebrew--וְאִשָּׁם֙--referring again to the carcases of the men that have transgressed)

and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh ("and they shall be--all one word in Hebrew-- וְהָי֥וּ--is suggested by the CEV to refer to the bodies (see here), though it is not clear to me that the antecedent couldn't be the whole spectacle--bodies, worms, etc--rather than just the bodies.

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  • Not bad, + 1. I think Gehenna is being referenced here though, when talking about the "worms" and "fire". See my A. below. Feb 18, 2022 at 18:53
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Does Isaiah 66:24 in Hebrew showcase the reality of the bodies of the Resurrected Unsaved?

In response to the OP's 3 Q's

**1) I think we are talking "Carcasses" here, non edible at this point.

  1. No Isaiah is not talking about resurrected bodies of the damned.

  2. The use of personal pronouns would seem to be a case of stressing the point.**

Isaiah 66:24 would appear to be an unapologetic reference to Gehenna. A subject that I have touched on before in some detail, see the following:- "... where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" - Is Jesus' description of Hell (Gehenna) literal or figurative? - My answer is the 4th answer to this Q. I also gave many a comment on the other answers given there. Hope that this aids in answering your questions:-

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  • This is a very helpful discussion of Gehenna--and certainly rotting bodies & fire are very Gehenna-esque themes. +1 Feb 18, 2022 at 19:07
  • @Olde English I don’t see how the use of personal pronouns is “stressing the point” - How can a carcass be referenced as “their” or “they” ?
    – Cork88
    Feb 18, 2022 at 20:58
  • @Cork88 I don't see why not. The carcasses may now be inanimate but it's not as if they were a rock, chair, or a book etc... and in V 24 the use of the personal pronouns, is clearly in reference to the carcasses, as well as the living persons viewing them. The word their is being used, not there and consequently does not refer to the words worm, or fire. "....they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh (mankind, in the NASB)", is in reference to the debased condition, of the carcasses/corpses. Feb 18, 2022 at 21:47
  • @OldeEnglish So you’re suggesting there is nothing to necessarily know of the resurrected state of these “carcasses”? It may be a mystery to us now; but what purpose is a “carcass” being identified as a “their”. It seems to suggest an element of personhood.
    – Cork88
    Feb 18, 2022 at 22:11
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    @Cork88 I don't think this particular verse is difficult to interpret, but as to the question of reading into what it ultimately means for these debased carcasses, well that's another thing entirely. I've spent a lot of time here with you today; and it would seem that you may have gotten something out of the back and forth but if you aren't willing to upvote me here, like I did for your Q., which wasn't exactly easy for me to reconcile, then I'm done here. Feb 19, 2022 at 0:59

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