Ezekiel 26 – Eternal Life?

I’m a day behind, but it’s a good day behind! An interesting allusion to life after death near the end of ch. 26:

For thus said the Lord God: When I make you a ruined city, like cities empty of inhabitants; when I bring the deep over you, and its mighty waters cover you, then I will bring you down, with those who go down to the Pit, to the people of old. I will install you in the netherworld, with those that go down to the Pit, like the ruins of old, so that you shall not be inhabited and shall not radiate splendor in the land of the living. I will make you a horror, and you shall cease to be; you shall be sought, but shall never be found again – declares the Lord God.

So they will be installed in the netherworld, with those that go down to the Pit. A person like myself with a conception of eternal life, both for the saved and the damned, would immediately interpret that to be hell. However, the phrase “and you shall cease to be” inclines me to reinterpret the entire passage, looking at it not with my predisposition towards life beyond this world, but just to see what the prophet, and by extension God, might be saying here.

A more literal interpretation of these sentences could easily render the Pit and the netherworld as death, not hell. Death in the sense that the person no longer exists, or ceases to be. If I am brought down to the people of old (the first mention of the Pit), then I could be said to be brought down to death, just like ancient people who have died and are no longer alive (have ceased to be). And being installed in the netherworld could easily mean being lowered into a grave (the Pit).

We also must take into account that this passage refers to a city, not an individual or a group of individuals. The city will be ruined, like those empty of inhabitants, like the ruins of old, and shall not be inhabited. In what sense would anyone say that a city inherits eternal life?

I don’t believe this passage is saying anything, neither for nor against, the idea of life after death.