Did Lazarus know anything whilst he was 4 days dead? Where were their souls in this dead state?
MODERNHEBREW - 18 ויהי הוא מדבר אליהם את אלה והנה אחד השרים בא וישתחו לו ויאמר עתה זה מתה בתי בא נא ושים את ידך עליה ותחיה׃
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I do not generally subscribe to the idea of "soul sleep" espoused by some Christian denominations. However, in the case of the two specific individuals mentioned in the question, I personally find it significant that Jesus Himself referred to each of them as "sleeping". (It might also be relevant that these two people were raised prior to Jesus' own death and resurrection, on which the hope of eternal life is based.) In light of other Biblical passages that seem to clearly refer to a conscious state immediately after death, I believe that these two did not experience such an afterlife, but were exceptions allowed or arranged by God, so that Jesus would be glorified by their resurrection. (Not that God "orchestrated" or decreed the deaths themselves, but that, by God's design, the individuals in question then did not experience a "normal" conscious afterlife following their death.) I find it difficult to understand, for example, if these individuals were in a conscious state in God's presence in Heaven (or, if not in Heaven itself, then in "Abraham's bosom" in Paradise) after they died, how then returning them to life on earth (as well as requiring them to experience death again at some future point) would have been an act of love or mercy on Jesus' part, no matter how much they were being mourned by those they left behind.
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