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Heaven

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In line with the typical view of most Near Eastern cultures, the Hebrew Bible depicts heaven as a place that is inaccessible to humans. Although some prophets are occasionally granted temporary visionary access to heaven, such as in 1 Kings 22:19–23, Job 1:6–12 and 2:1–6, and Isaiah 6, they hear only God's deliberations concerning the earth and learn nothing of what heaven is like. There is almost no mention in the Hebrew Bible of heaven as a possible afterlife destination for human beings, who are instead described as "resting" in Sheol (Genesis 25:7–9, Deuteronomy 34:6, 1 Kings 2:10). The only two possible exceptions to this are Enoch, who is described in Genesis 5:24 as having been "taken" by God, and the prophet Elijah, who is described in 2 Kings 2:11 as having ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire. According to Michael B. Hundley, the text in both of these instances is ambiguous regarding the significance of the actions being described and in neither of these cases does the text explain what happened to the subject afterwards.

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