M.J.....The Hebrew concept of the afterlife was somewhat similar to that in Greek mythology before Platonism. A person who dies would have some sort of shadowy dreamlike existence in the underworld (Sheol), and at least in rabbinic Judaism, the spirit would not fully leave the body until the body rotted or was buried. In fact, there is a passage in the law code in the Pentateuch that forbids the opening of vessels near a corpse....this presumably would be to prevent the spirit from being trapped or entering in the vessel (cf. the TDOT on nephesh). Inevitably, the spirit would enter into the netherworld and have a deathly existence. The important thing is that this semi-conscious existence was not life; life with all its senses and activities and desires was possible only with a living body. The shade however could still interact with the living world, be summoned to give oracles (necromancy), be fed, offer healing to the sick. But since the body has seen corruption, the shade itself will never experience life.
The Platonic view holds that the body is irrelevant to life. It is instead a prison, which holds the soul in bondage to its desires and weaknesses. The purest form of life that a soul could experience would be to be freed from its prison at death. Then life would truly begin for the soul that can reach blessedness in the afterlife.
The Jewish view of the resurrection is that the spirit is reunited with a restored body, or is given a new more glorious (incorruptible) body, and life begins anew. In the Platonic view, the resurrection was not necessary for a future life, and even could be viewed as a detriment (as the platonizing Gnostics felt). There were views intermediate between the two, as Judaism became Hellenized in the last centuries BC; hence, the idea of a spiritual body that is distinct from flesh.