Psalm 37:9, 34—When the wicked are cut off, are they annihilated?

Problem: The psalmist affirms that “evildoers shall be cut off.” Elsewhere (Ps. 73:27; Prov. 21:28), it says they will perish (see comments on 2 Thes. 1:9). But, does being cut off forever mean they will be annihilated?

Solution: Being “cut off” does not mean to be annihilated. If it did, then the Messiah would have been annihilated when He died, since the same word (karath) is used of the death of the Messiah (in Dan. 9:26). But, we know that Christ was not annihilated, but lives on forever after His death (cf. Rev. 1:18; also see comments on 2 Thes. 1:9).

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.