| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 39 - Page 44 of 234 Index | Zoom | |
pronoun "he" does not decide the question. This breath is by the nostrils, and therefore
differs in nothing from that of the lower creatures. Be the answers to these questions
what they may, here is the introduction of something special in the process of creation,
something quite exceptional, occurring nowhere in the record of Gen. 1:, but finding
somewhat of a parallel in the equally distinctive pause and counsel of Gen. 1: 26.
2. "Thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth" (Deut. 20: 16). We know that
sometimes both man and beast were destroyed by the advancing Israelites, as was the
case at Jericho. But when taking the next city, Ai, Israel were by divine command
expressly told to spare the cattle. "And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst
unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof shall ye take for
a prey." If we insist that n'shamah in Deut. 20: 16 must include cattle, we introduce a
serious problem, but if we leave it to mean man, all is harmony. A glance at
Deut. 20: 17, 18 will strengthen this view, for it immediately goes on to enumerate those
who were to be utterly destroyed, namely, the Canaanites, and the reason given is "that
they teach you not, etc.".
3. "So Joshua . . . . . utterly destroyed all that breathed" (Josh. 10: 40). This is parallel
with No.2. (What is Man - be-xix)
Our space is nearly used up. The reader should look up the remaining occurrences,
which are II Sam. 22: 16; I Kings 15: 29; Job 27: 3; 32: 8; Psa. 150: 6 and
Prov. 20: 27.
If these references are examined, it will be seen that all who have ruach "spirit" do not
necessarily have n'shamah "the breath of life". Psa. 18: 15 speaks of the blast (ruach)
of the breath (n'shamah) of Thy nostrils, and the quotations from Job 32: 18 and
Prov. 20: 27 show a close connection between this breath of life, understanding and
conscience, which goes beyond the range of the mere nephesh or living soul, without the
additional breath of life. The living creatures (souls) of Gen. 1: 21 had not conscience.
If there be no such distinction, then Gen. 7: 21, 22 tells us that all died twice over.
Man stands therefore as it were between two worlds. So far as his body is concerned,
he is a living soul, like the lower animals, and lower than the angels. But he was made in
the image of God, he received the breath of life and this links him with the world above,
and he is destined to be raised in His Redeemer above angels.