Mark 9:44
Verse (Click for Chapter)

New American Standard Bible

King James Bible
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
where Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

International Standard Version
In that place, worms never die, and the fire is never put out.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Where their worm does not die and their fire is not quenched.”

New American Standard 1977

Jubilee Bible 2000
where their worm does not die, and the fire is never quenched.

King James 2000 Bible
Where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.

American King James Version
Where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Where there worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

Darby Bible Translation
[where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched].

English Revised Version

Webster's Bible Translation
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Weymouth New Testament

World English Bible
'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.'

Young's Literal Translation
where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched.

(44) Where their worm dieth not.--The words are taken almost literatim from the closing verse of Isaiah (Isaiah 66:24), where they appear as part of the description of the triumph of Jehovah. The true worshippers should serve in His Temple continually, and they should go forth and see the carcases of the transgressors, "for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." The scenery is, like that of Isaiah 63:1-6, drawn from the slaughter of earthly battles, and the prophet exults in vision over the putrid carcases and the blazing fires that consume them, and thinks of that scene as perpetuated throughout eternity. The imagery was thus already familiar, and it coalesced naturally with the ideas of Gehenna. Possibly the valley of Hinnom, as the great cloaca of Jerusalem, receiving its solid as well as its fluid sewage, with putrid offal and blazing fires consuming them, had become in this way a visible type of the unseen Gehenna; but the authorities are hardly definite enough to warrant the positive statement that it presented such a scene. The interpretation of the symbols (for a literal acceptance of the words is obviously out of the question) is not far to seek. Well-nigh all Christian thinkers have seen in the gnawing worm, the anguish of an endless remorse, the memory of past sins. Fire retains its wonted force as the expression of the righteousness of God (Hebrews 12:29) manifesting itself to the consciousness of the sinner in all its awfulness, purifying where there is any desire, and therefore capacity, for purification, but never altering its essential character, even as the fire "never can be quenched." So much the words declare distinctly, as the law of righteous retribution. They do not absolutely exclude the thought that the fire may consume or destroy that which it cannot purify; still less do they affirm that it will.

Verse 44. - Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. These words are a quotation from Isaiah 66:24, and they are repeated three times in the Authorized Version. But the best ancient authorities omit them in the two first places, retaining them at ver. 48. The metaphor is very striking as well as awful. Ordinarily the worm feeds upon the disorganized body, and then dies. The fire consumes the fuel, and then itself expires. But here the worm never dies; the fire never goes out. The words of Cornelius a Lapide on the original passage in Isaiah are well worth recording here: "I beseech you, O reader, by the mercies of our God, by your own salvation, by that one little life entrusted to you and committed to your care, that you will ever keep before your eyes the living memory, as of eternity and of eternal torments, so also of the eternal joys on the other side offered to you by God, and concerning which you here cast the die, and that irrevocable. Let these two things never depart from your mind. In this world, 'Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' Oh, what a void there is in earthly things! Oh, how vain is all our life without Christ! In the world to come, truth of truths, and all is truth; stability of stabilities, and all is stability; eternity of eternities, and all is eternity. An eternity in heaven most happy, in hell most miserable, ' Where their worm dies not, and the. fire is not quenched.'" St. Bernard says "the worm that never dies is the memory of the past, which never ceases to gnaw the conscience of the impenitent." Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. The passage referred to, is in Isaiah 66:24, and as there, the words are spoken of such, as transgressed against the Lord; so here, of such as offended any of Christ's little ones, or were offended by an hand, a foot, or eye, and retained them: by their worm is meant, their conscience; for as a worm that is continually gnawing upon the entrails of a man, gives him exquisite pain; so the consciences of sinners, will be continually flying in their faces, bringing their sins to remembrance, accusing them of them, upbraiding them with them, aggravating them, tormenting them for them, filling them with dreadful anguish and misery, with twinging remorses, and severe reflections, and which will never have an end. This will be always the case; conscience will be ever distressing, racking, and torturing them; it will never cease, nor cease doing this office, and so the Chaldee paraphrase of Isaiah 66:24 renders this phrase, , "their souls shall not die"; but shall ever continue in the dreadful torments and unspeakable horrors of a corroding conscience; and by "the fire" may be meant the fire of divine wrath let into their souls, which will never be extinguished; and so Jarchi interprets the phrase in Isaiah 66:24, "their fire", "in hell". It is a tradition of the Jews (l), that the light, fire, which God created on the second day, "there is no quenching it for ever"; as it is said, "for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched", Isaiah 66:24, the passage which is here referred to; the reason they give is, because it is the fire of hell; the sense of which is sometimes given by the Jewish doctors thus (m); "their worm shall not die" from the body, "and the fire shall not be quenched" from the soul.

(l) T. Bab. Pesachim. fol. 54. 1. & Gloss. in ib. (m) Zohar in Exod. fol. 62. 3.9:41-50 It is repeatedly said of the wicked, Their worm dieth not, as well as, The fire is never quenched. Doubtless, remorse of conscience and keen self-reflection are this never-dying worm. Surely it is beyond compare better to undergo all possible pain, hardship, and self-denial here, and to be happy for ever hereafter, than to enjoy all kinds of worldly pleasure for a season, and to be miserable for ever. Like the sacrifices, we must be salted with salt; our corrupt affections must be subdued and mortified by the Holy Spirit. Those that have the salt of grace, must show they have a living principle of grace in their hearts, which works out corrupt dispositions in the soul that would offend God, or our own consciences.
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