The aim of this thesis is to identify the earliest biblical ideas of death and the afterlife by examining the Book of Job’s views on Sheol, the Hebrew realm of the dead. Part I surveys the afterlife views of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Canaan and compares them with ancient Israel. Part II provides an exegesis of every passage in Job that pertains to Sheol. The study explores the significance of Sheol’s characterizations in Job in the context of the ancient Near East. It also argues that the author of Job did not attribute any form of life to the dead in any way.