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QUESTION

In talking about Hell, the passage of Mark 9:48 came up. Someone made a comment to me that "worms" in Mark 9:48 can also be translated as "anguish".

Mark 9:48 (NIV)
where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

However, when I look at all major translations, it translates this word as "worms". Is "anguish" a valid translation for this word or was the guy completely wrong?

{ asked by Richard }

ANSWER

σκώληξ (Strongs G4663) means "worm", specifically a grub or maggot. This passage in Mark is the only appearance of the Greek word in the New Testament. However, He appears to be quoting Isaiah 66:24, which uses the word תּוֹלָע (Strongs H8438), also translated "worm" or "maggot". (The only other definition of this word, besides "worm", refers to a dye made from a certain worm. So even it relates...) This is the word, for example, used in Exodus 16:20 in describing the result when people ignored Moses' command not to save any manna for the following day - it "bred [developed, attracted] worms and stank."

{ answered by GalacticCowboy }
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