Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh

In the previous articles we saw that God breathed in the nostril of beings and they came into life.
We also saw that Paul did say that “There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body”. From the living beings we have the Quadrupeds and the ones walking on two limbs, “living souls”  which are vivified by the same breath and spirit, having man being able to use his brain or making his spiritual body at work.

The original condition of the animal world was “very good”. Unperverted by the production of evil, all its constituents fulfilled the purposes of its existence. Begotten of the same power, and formed from the substance of a common mother, they were all animated by the same spirit, and lived in peace and harmony together. Formed to be living breathing frames, though of different species, in God they lived, and moved, and had their continued being; and displayed His wisdom, power, and handiwork.

But, to return to the philology of our subject, I remark that by a metonymy, or figure of speech in which the container is put for the thing contained, and vice-versa, nephesh, “breathing frame”, is put for neshemet ruach chayim, which, when in motion, the frame respires. Hence, nephesh signifies “life”, also “breath” and “soul”— Life, or those mutually effective, positive and negative principles in all living creatures, whose closed circuits cause motion of and in their frames. These principles or qualities, perhaps, of the same thing, are styled by Moses Ruach Elohim, {a} or Spirit of Him “who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, which no man hath seen, nor can see”,{b} and which, when the word was spoken by “the Holy Gods”, {c} first caused a motion upon the waters, and afterwards disengaged the light, evolved the expanse, aggregated the waters, produced vegetation, manifested the celestial universe, vitalized the breathing frames of the dry land, expanse, and seas; and formed man in their image and likeness. This ruach, or spirit, is neither the Uncreated One who dwells in light, the Lord God, nor the Elohim, His co-workers, who co-operated in the elaboration of the natural world. It was the instrumental principle by which they executed the commission of the glorious INCREATE to erect this earthly house, and furnish it with living souls of every species.
It is this ruach, or instrumentally formative power, together with the neshemeh or breath, which keeps them all from perishing, or returning to the dust. Thus,

“If God set His heart against man, He will withdraw to himself ruachu veneshmetu, i.e., his spirit and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust”. {d}

In another place,

“By the neshemet el, or breath of God, frost is given.” {e}

Speaking of reptiles and beasts, David saith,

“Thou withdrawest ruachem, i.e., their spirit—they die; and to their dust they return. Thou sendest forth ruhech, i.e., thy spirit—they are created”. {f}

And again,

“Whither shall I fly, meruhech, from thy spirit”. {g}

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 33–34). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

* Bible quotes:

a:

Genesis 1:2 TLV  Now the earth was chaos and waste, darkness was on the surface of the deep, and the Ruach Elohim was hovering upon the surface of the water.

Genesis 1:2 (ESV): The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

b:

1 Timothy 6:16 (ESV): 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

c:

Daniel 4:8 (ESV):  At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying,

d:

Job 34:14–15 (ESV): 14  If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, 15  all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.

e:

Job 37:10 (ESV): 10  By the breath of God ice is given,  and the broad waters are frozen fast.

f:

Psalm 104:30 (ESV): 30  When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

g:

Psalm 139:7 (ESV): Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

 

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Preceding articles:

Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man

Creation of the earth and man #13 Formation of man #5 Living soul

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