Daniel the prophet wrote:

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt”

(Dan. 12:2).

Where in the universe is the dust of the earth?

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    This question is primarily opinion based. This could however be a suitable question for BH.SE. If you want to expedite valid answers, for a question like this one; you should try to scope the question to a specific Christian philosophy (e.g. sect, denomination, Catholic, Protestant...). But since I’m here, and you ask; I think it may be overthinking. The most obvious/likely answer is the ground/grave. In terms of metonymy, it would be all who have expired in their appointed time in this life. – Abstraction is everything. Nov 15 '17 at 5:13
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    Trying to extract a partial phrase out of scriptural translations is a great way to help yourself misunderstand scripture, as is ignoring the use of metaphor and figurative language. The Bible isn't written in computer code. @Abstractioniseverything has the right of it; Biblical Hermeneutics SE has experts who can shed a great deal of light on how phrases come to us in English (or other modern language) from the old tongues. – KorvinStarmast Nov 15 '17 at 13:39
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    I'd give a +1 for the username if this was on-topic. – Zenon Nov 15 '17 at 22:23

You're asking the wrong question. This isn't a place; it is a state.

"Sleep" is used hundreds of times throughout the Old and New Testaments as a euphemism or metaphor for death. Likewise, the theme of being created from the dust of the earth and then returning to it when we die is seen in several places. This is a reference to those that have died, not to any particular physical location.

This point isn't really a matter of opinion either. All major branches of Christianity, all Bible translators, commentators, and theologians agree on this general interpretation of the "dust" and "sleep" references in Scripture. The specific context in some cases might involve other interpretive difficulties, but the basic point that this and many similar references are to death is pretty much undisputed.

  • Would you mind if I use this as an example of a frame challenge for our meta discussions on another SE? (Challenging the frame of a question is a way to help people understand an answer ...) – KorvinStarmast Nov 16 '17 at 14:57
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    @Korvin Sure, with the caveat that I would only do this when its clear the OP just didn't know what they were looking at (as in this case) and there is little room for conflict between domain experts on the matter. Challenging a scope is only useful when genuine expertise in a field knows the real scope of a matter, not when opinion could take it many different ways. – Caleb Nov 16 '17 at 15:55
  • Woah.I don't remember replying or adding a check mark to your answer. Was this done, in sleep? What are the possible states? Don't think twice. Don't think twice. – Richard Peter Targett Jun 7 '20 at 2:35
  • I guess the question turns to - why, shame or life. What can the dust do, in the mean time. I am dust? – Richard Peter Targett Jun 7 '20 at 3:14

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