Creation of the earth and man #16 Formation of man #8 Dust, flesh, blood,breathing and life

Flesh, be-nephesh-u, with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”

This teaches that blood is the nephesh, or life of the flesh; hence it continues,

“and surely your blood, lah-nephesh-tikam, for your lives will I require”. {1. Gen. 9:5.}

We often find life put for blood, and blood for life, as elsewhere in the context.

“Be sure that thou eat not the blood, for the blood is the nephesh or life; and thou mayest not eat the life, nephesh, with the flesh.” {2  Deut. 12:23.}

File:Grafik blutkreislauf.jpg
The human circulatory system. Red indicates oxygenated blood, blue indicates deoxygenated.
File:Example of a pig carcass in the dry decay stage of decomposition.jpg
Example of a pig carcass (Sus scrofa) in the dry/remains stage of decomposition. All that remains is skin and bone and the surrounding vegetation is beginning to grow over the carcass.

But, to this it might be objected, that if the blood be the life, then so long as it is in the body it ought to live; on the contrary it dies with the blood in it. True. Moses, however, does not teach the dogma of an abstract vital principle; but life, the result and consequence of the decomposition and re-combination of the elements of certain compounds. The blood abstractly considered is not life; yet relatively, it is “the life of the flesh”. The following testimony will show the sense in which the phrase “the blood is the life” is used.

“I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood. For the life of the flesh is IN the blood itself. I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for nephesh-tikem, your lives: for it is the blood that atones, be-nephesh, for the soul” or life.

“Whosoever catcheth any fowl that may be eaten, he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof. Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof.” {3.  Lev. 17:11–14.}

Nothing can be plainer than this.

There are three kinds of living manifestations, which are characterized by the nature of the organization, or being, through which they occur. Hence, we have vegetable life, animal life, and incorruptible life. The last is immortality: because the body through which the life is manifested, being incorruptible, never wears out; so that being once put into motion by the spirit of God, it lives for ever. Vegetable and animal life, on the contrary, is terrainable or mortal; because the materials through which it is revealed are perishably organized. Mortality, then, is life manifested through a corruptible body; and immortality, life manifested through an incorruptible body. Hence, the necessity laid down in the saying of the apostle,

“This corruptible body must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality”,

before death can be

“swallowed up in victory”. {4 . 1 Cor. 15:53, 54.}

This doctrine of “life and incorruptibility” (ζωὴ χαὶ ὰδθαρσία) was new to the Greeks and Romans; and brought to light only through the gospel of the kingdom and name of Jesus Christ. It was to them foolishness; and is to the moderns incredible, because they understand not the glad tidings of the age to come.

Incorruptible life might with equal propriety be styled spiritual life, as indicative of that with which spiritual bodies are endowed. But here I use not the word spiritual, lest it should be confounded with that intellectual and moral life a man possesses when the “incorruptible seed” of the kingdom takes root in his heart; and when, in “obedience of faith”, he passes from under the sentence of death to the sentence of justification unto life eternal. But, at present, we have to do with animal or natural life, which is all the life the fleshly sons of the first Adam can boast of. Enough, however, I think has been advanced to show the scriptural import of the text already quoted, that

“the Lord God formed man, the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and man became a living soul”.

The simple, obvious, and undogmatic meaning of this, is, that the dust was first formed into “clay”, which was then modelled by Jehovah Elohim into the form of the soul called “man”, as a potter shapes the substance of his vessels. Thus, Elihu said to Job,

“I also am formed out of the clay” {5 Job. 33:6.}

and again,

“We are the clay, and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand”. {6Isaiah 64:8.}

 

The fashioning of the clay being accomplished in all its component parts, which in the aggregate constitute man; that is, the dust being animalized, and then organized, the next thing was to set all the parts of this exquisite mechanism into motion. This was effected by the inrush of the air through his nostrils into his lungs according to the natural laws. This phenomenon was the neshemet el, or “breath of God”, breathing into him; and as it was the pabulum of life to all creatures formed from the dust, it is very expressively styled “the breath of lives” in the plural number. Some imagine that Jehovah Elohim placed His mouth to the nostrils of the as yet clay-cold man-soul prostrate before Him, and so breathed into them. Be this as it may; of this, however, we are without doubt, that God breathes into every man at his birth the breath of lives to this day; and I see no scriptural reason why we should deny that He breathed it into Adam as He hath done into the nostrils of his posterity, namely, by the operation of the natural, or pneumatic, laws. Hitherto, man, though a soul formed from the ground, had been inanimate; but, as soon as he began to respire, like the embryo passing from foetal to infant life, he “became a living soul”, not an everliving, but simply nephesh chayiah, a living breathing frame, or body of life.

– Thomas, D. J. Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 35–37). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes and Bible quotes:

1. Genesis 9:5 (ESV): And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

2. Deuteronomy 12:23 (ESV): 23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.

3. Leviticus 17:11–14 (ESV): 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. 12 Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.

13 “Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. 14 For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.

4. 1 Corinthians 15:53–55 (ESV): 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55  “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

5. Job 33:6 (ESV): Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was pinched off from a piece of clay.

6. Isaiah 64:8 (ESV): But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

 

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Preceding:

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

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

Creation of the earth and man #15 Formation of man #7 Living creatures of the natural world

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Additional reading:

  1. Two states of existence before God
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. What is life?
  4. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  5. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  6. Is there an Immortal soul
  7. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  8. Dying or not
  9. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  10. The Soul not a ghost
  11. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Further reading

  1. Life-form
  2. Mortality
  3. Causes of Mortality over Time
  4. Heartless Immortal
  5. Uneasy Feelings
  6. Death demands a reality
  7. You are Gods
  8. We are all sinners and will always be sinners
  9. Look Up And Shout!!
  10. Memento Mori
  11. Its not the end..-mortal..immortal
  12. Christian Confusion: Two Degrees of Sin
  13. Beauty and eternity
  14. Living Life
  15. Meditation 12: Remember Death (memento mori)
  16. Fully Alive
  17. Freckled Jack O’Lantern
  18. into the darkness
  19. Incorruptibility
  20. on incorruptibility
  21. John Chrysostom: “For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven”
  22. Athanasius of Alexandria: God has made man, and willed that he should abide in incorruption
  23. Irenaeus of Lyons: What other visible fruit is there of the invisible Spirit than the rendering of the flesh mature and capable of incorruption?
  24. Irenaeus of Lyons: The breath of life rendered man an animated being, and the vivifying Spirit caused him to become spiritual

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Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh

Samaritans atop Mount Gerizim in 2006.
Samaritans atop Mount Gerizim in 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The law of Moses was delivered to the Israelites and not to the Gentiles, who were therefore “without the law”. “What things soever the law saith, it says it to them who are under the law”; consequently the nations were not amenable to it; and though they obtained not the blessings of Mount Gerizim (unless they became faithful Jews by adoption), neither were they obnoxious to the curses of Mount Ebal.

Deu 27:9-26 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  And Mosheh and the priests, the Lĕwites, spoke to all Yisra’ĕl, saying, “Be silent and hear, O Yisra’ĕl: This day you have become the people of יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim,  (10)  and you shall obey the voice of יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim, and do His commands and His laws which I command you today.”  (11)  And Mosheh commanded the people on that day, saying,  (12)  “These are to stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have passed over the Yardĕn: Shimʽon, and Lĕwi, and Yehuḏah, and Yissasḵar, and Yosĕph, and Binyamin.  (13)  “And these are to stand on Mount  Ěyḇal to curse: Re’uḇĕn, Gaḏ, and Ashĕr, and Zeḇulun, Dan, and Naphtali.  (14)  “And the Lĕwites shall speak with a loud voice and say to all the men of Yisra’ĕl:  (15)  ‘Cursed is the man who makes a carved or moulded image, an abomination to יהוה  {Jehovah}, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amĕn!’  (16)  ‘Cursed is he who makes light of his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (17)  ‘Cursed is he who moves his neighbour’s boundary.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (18)  ‘Cursed is he who misleads the blind in the way.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (19)  ‘Cursed is he who twists the right-ruling of the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (20)  ‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s bed.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (21)  ‘Cursed is he who lies with any beast.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (22)  ‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (23)  ‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (24)  ‘Cursed is he who smites his neighbour secretly.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (25)  ‘Cursed is he who takes a bribe to slay an innocent being.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (26)  ‘Cursed is he who does not establish the Words of this Torah.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’

The faithless Jews and Gentiles are equally aliens from the precepts of Christ and his apostles. What these prescribe is enjoined upon the disciples of Jesus. They only are “under law to Christ”.

“What have I”

says Paul,

“to do to judge them that are without? God judgeth them.” (1 Corinthians 5:12, 13.)

He has caused the gospel of the kingdom to be preached to sinners “for the obedience of faith”. When they are judged, it will be for “not obeying the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”, (Thessalonians 1:7–10.) and not because they do not “go to church”, or do not keep a sabbath instituted by a semi-pagan emperor of the fourth century.

2Th 1:7-10 The Scriptures 1998+  (7)  and to give you who are afflicted rest with us when the Master יהושע  {Jehsua} is revealed from heaven with His mighty messengers,  (8)  in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know Elohim, and on those who do not obey the Good News of our Master יהושע  {Jehsua} Messiah,  (9)  who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Master and from the esteem of His strength,  (10)  when He comes to be esteemed in His set-apart ones and to be admired among all those who believe in that Day, because our witness to you was believed.

The sabbath God requires sinful men to observe is to cease from the works of the flesh, as completely as He rested from the work of creation on the seventh day, that they may enter into the millennial rest that remaineth for the people of God.

Heb 4:9-11 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim.  (10)  For the one, having entered into His rest, has himself also rested from his works, as Elohim rested from His own.  (11)  Let us therefore do our utmost to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.1 Footnote: 1See 3:18.

Men frequently err in their speculations from inattention to the marked distinction which subsists in the scriptures between those classes of mankind termed “saints” and “sinners”. They confound what is said to, or concerning, the one, with what is said in relation to the other. Relatively to the institutions of God they are as near or afar off as are “citizens” and “foreigners” to the laws and constitution of the United States.

“What the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law.”

This is a principle laid down by Paul concerning the law of Moses, which is equally true of the codes of all nations. “Citizens” are the saints, or separated ones, of the particular code by which they are insulated from all other people; while “foreigners” or “aliens” from their commonwealth are sinners in relation to it; for they live in other countries in total disregard of its institutions, and doing contrary to its laws, and yet are blameless: so that if they were to visit the country of that commonwealth, they would not be punished for their former course, because they were not under law to it. Let them, however, while sojourning there continue their native customs, and they would become guilty and worthy of the punishment made and provided for such offenders.

It is a fact, that “God blessed and sanctified” or set apart, “the seventh day”; and doubtless, Adam and his wife rested, or intermitted, their horticultural tendance upon that day. Yea, we may go further and say, that it is extremely probable that “the sons of God” before the flood, worshipped God according to “His way” upon that day; but in all the history of that long period, which intervened from the sanctification of the seventh day to the raining down bread from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness, (Exodus 16) there is not the least hint of any punishment for breaking the Sabbath day. Guiltiness before God cannot therefore be argued against the Gentiles so as to entitle them to death or reprobation, predicated on the threatenings of the patriarchal code. Whatever the appointment might be, it was no doubt significative of the blessings to be obtained through observing it; not alone, but in connexion with the other matters which made up “the way of God”.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 20–21). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Preceding articles:

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Additional reading:

  1. Genuine message of salvation
  2. When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation
  3. On the Edge of Believing
  4. Imitate prophets and Paul
  5. Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats
  6. Sabbath according to the scriptures

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Further related writings:

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