I believe that the Talmud is the first place where the notion of Olam Haba - The world to come - is mentioned. This question explains why it is not mentioned in the Torah but doesn't quite explain how could such a major facet of Judaism could have such inexplict evidence.

Where does the idea originate from? Even if the Talmud is the first place this is mentioned, surely they must have derived the idea from somewhere, I assume.

  • By Talmud do you mean Mishnah?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 3:29
  • @Dr.Shmuel either Mishna or Gemara
    – DanF
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 3:37
  • עין לא ראתה אלהים זולתך
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 3:52
  • 5
    Mesorah isn't enough? You want a verse?
    – robev
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 5:21
  • @robev Inevitably, Mishnah derives concepts from some other source, even if it's Midrash.
    – DanF
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


In Shmuel 1 28 the whole chapter describes how Shmuel was dead and brought back to this world by the necromancer woman using "ov". In Passuk 3 it describes Shmuel as being dead. Passuk 15 then says:

ויאמר שמואל אל שאול למה הרגזתני להעלות אתי ויאמר שאול צר לי מאד ופלשתים נל -
Shmuel said to Shaul "Why did you anger me by reviving me"

This clearly implies that his soul was enjoying itself in Olam haneshamos and it greatly distressed him to suddenly be summoned back to this world in a much more worst off place.

After clearly telling Shaul what was going on in the past and what was going to happen in the future a feat that only concious beings have the ability to do (you dont find sticks or stones that describe whats going on), in Passuk 19 Shmuel then says:

ומחר אתה ובניך עמי
"Tomorrow you and your sons will join me"

If it is death forevever-more Shmuel describes he could have been more blunt by saying ומחר אתם מתים- "Tomorrow you will die."
Indeed the Gemora Brachos 12b only relates what is seemingly obvious in the Context that they would join Shmuel within his boundaries in the world to come, as they weren't physically buried anywhere near each other Shaul and sons were buried in יביש גלעד (Shmuel 1 31,12) whereas Shmuel was buried in רָמָ֖ה (Shmuuel 1 28,3) and therefore they must have been "together" in another realm in Olam haneshamos.

  • In addition to what you wrote, Rav Miller ztl mentions it in his olam habah book mesorah saying it's hinted in tanakh regarding the avos "gathered to his people", the prohibition of contacting spirits (vayikra 19:31, 20:6,27), etc. Shmuel bet 12:23 re: King David's son--"I'm going to him"). Other hints Korach falling into Sheol (mesorah identifies it as gehinnom) and Daniel 12:2 techiyat hametim, etc.
    – user19283
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 14:36

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