| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 11 of 297 INDEX | |
unwarrantably into this Psalm if we make 'everything that hath breath'
go beyond its Scriptural connotation.
'The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord' (Prov. 20:27).
'Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils' (Isa. 2:22).
(20) 'The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle
it' (Isa. 30:33).
'He that giveth breath unto the people' (Isa. 42:5).
'The spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have
made' (Isa. 57:16).
'Neither is there breath left in me' (Dan. 10:17).
Here are 23 of the 24 occurrences of neshamah. There are at least
eight passages in the above list where the neshamah relates to God. No. 1
may not refer to God, but the parallel in No. 21 is highly suggestive. If we
include this, there are nine occurrences which refer to God.
A reference to Nos. 11, 12, 14 and 22 shows a close connection between
neshamah and ruach, spirit. This connection is important in more ways than
one. It shows that the words are not identical, and therefore it does not
follow that all who have ruach must necessarily have neshamah. No. 16 uses
the phrase 'the neshamah of the ruach', which may prove of service later.
Nos. 12 and 18 show a close connection between neshamah and understanding
and conscience -- the latter so called because it is a 'consciousness of
As we allow these facts to weigh with us, it becomes more difficult to
believe that all this distinctiveness is overset in Genesis 7:21,22. As the
passage reads in the A.V. it certainly does look as though 'the breath of
life' could be predicated of all, both man and beast. Let us, however,
search and see. Let us first of all compare the A.V. with the R.V.:
'And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of
cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon
the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life,
of all that was in the dry land, died' (A.V).
'And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both fowl, and cattle,
and beast, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and
every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life,
of all that was in the dry land, died' (R.V).
It will be noticed that whereas the A.V. has the word 'of' before fowl,
cattle, beast and creeping thing, the R.V. omits it. The A.V. is truer here,
inasmuch as it seeks to give effect to a distinction that is found in the
Hebrew. Where 'of' occurs in the A.V. the Hebrew particle beth occurs, and
this particle is generally translated 'in'. It will be noticed that there is
no 'of' before 'every man'. Whatever the true translation may be, the point
for the moment is, that even in this particular, man is separated from the
beasts. The R.V. reveals the presence of the word 'spirit' as well as
'breath' here. The expression 'the neshamah of the ruach' is the same as