Man does not have a soul, but he IS a soul. Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7).  When a person dies, his body decomposes and the breath of life returns to God. Scripturally, death is described as a sleep (Psalm 13:3). Man knows nothing in the grave. Ecclesiastes 9:5,10, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing…for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave (Hebrew word “sheol”), whither thou goest.” He does not go to the middle of the sky, because the Bible does not teach anything like that. He waits in the grave for the voice of Jesus to resurrect him from the dead- John 5:28.

There is also a great set of scriptures in Job, when Job asks God, “If only You would hide me in the grave (Hebrew “Sheol”) and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set a time and then remember me.” (Job 14:13, 14) If the grave were a place of torment, why would Job pray to be hidden there? 

Job believed that God would remember him and all those in their graves in the resurrection. Mankind’s only hope of a future life is in the resurrection during God’s kingdom on earth (Matthew 6:10). 

Just a note: a study in the words translated hell, grave, pit, will reflect what we are trying to bring out. Also, there are two texts in Jeremiah – Jeremiah 7:31 & 19:5 that manifest it never entered the mind of our Grand Creator to “burn” anyone. Jeremiah 7:30,31, “For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD…they have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire – something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.” God is not a god of torture.