Is there a difference between human and animal souls? Is there a hereafter at all, and if so, does righteousness or wickedness affect it? These questions, discussed by Greek philosophers, inspired the Judean discourse of the Hellenistic period. Ecclesiastes on one side, 1 Enoch and the Wisdom of Solomon on the other.
Sheʾol and its synonyms, בּוֹר “pit,” שַׁחַת “chasm,” and אֲבַדּוֹן “oblivion,” was the fate of all people upon death. The wicked were sent there early, while the righteous were rewarded with a long life. During the Second Temple period, the negative attitude about death and sheʾol develops into a concept of post-mortem punishment and eventually hell. 1 Enoch’s four chambers for the dead is the first step in that direction.