God’s spirit, the ruach, is the force involved in physically and mentally animating all living beings.
God’s spirit is the key to understanding how creation functions. It is the force that animates all living beings, both animals and human beings. Let’s see examples of this interplay.
(Origin of Humankind, chapter 12.14)
Here’s a summary of what we’ve covered in Genesis 2.7 so far about the creation of the first man. Yahveh formed man out of dust, the most sterile part of the ground. Yahveh, the Potter, the future Jesus then breathed into his nostrils. That man is called a living soul composed of a material body and an immaterial singularity, akin to the mind, that only humans possess. This is a result of the breath of life which is the neshama, which again, only humans and God possess, revealing a relationship between humans and God. This neshama meaning confers lives (plural) on humans, confirmed by reference to resurrections (plural). Hence neshama meaning is better rendered by the divine essence of lives. Neshama is always associated with ruach, both of which are possessed by God and humans.
We already saw that God’s spirit, the ruach, is possessed by animals and humans. (Ecclesiastes 3.19 For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yea, they have all one breath (ruach)) This is not to be confounded with God’s Holy Spirit. This is the reason I used a non-capitalized s for spirit in the title. We know animals and humans, in general, do not possess God’s Holy Spirit. For humans, the Holy Spirit is given at a specific time in the conversion process. We shall look at that a little later. For now, we are discussing the creation of the first man Adam and he did not receive the Holy Spirit at his creation. For those of you who have Biblical understanding, the Tree of Life represents the Holy Spirit and we know Adam and Eve were not allowed to partake of that Tree.
Last week we saw that God’s spirit, the ruach, confers breathing thus maintaining physical life in living beings. Secondly, it also endows those same beings with sentience, the ability to be equipped with and use the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
Then, coupled with the neshama, ONLY possessed by humans, it endows us with our human singularities: human nature, space-time management, creativity, imagination, learning, making choices, growth, challenges, and rulership.
Today I want to explain, with Biblical examples, how God’s spirit (ruach) gives DIFFERENT and VARIABLE qualities, both to animals and humans. This is not the Holy Spirit through which He also gives different and various gifts … but that’s another subject which we will discuss shortly). The Biblical Hebrew term ruach is used about 380 times in the Bible. Let’s look at some of the qualities the ruach attributes to human beings.
Notice the first seven verses below cover a variety of mental attitudes while the last three verses cover a variety of physical aptitudes. The ruach comes in every single shade of attitude and aptitude imaginable. It’s what confers such individuality on every single human being … no two are alike. Furthermore, it is this ruach that is plastic. In other words, when psychology talks about the plasticity of the brain and especially the mind, we’re talking about the ruach in humans.
Joshua 2:11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage H7307 in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
Judges 8:3 God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb H6159 and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger H7307 was abated toward him, when he had said that.
1 Samuel 1:15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: H7307 …
2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of thy spirit H7307 be upon me.
2 Chronicles 1:12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto you; and I [God] will give you riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before you, neither shall there any after you have the like.
Job 32.18 For I am full of matter, the spirit H7307 within me constraineth me.
>> Above verses cover more mental attributes. Below more physical skills, although the mental affects the physical as we know.
Exodus 28:3 And you shall speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit H7307 of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
Exodus 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit H7307 of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
1 Kings 19:46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
This last verse regarding Elijah does not include the word ruach. It says the hand of the LORD was on Elijah. From what we’re understanding here, God strengthened Elijah’s ruach so that he was able to run a number of kilometers in front of Ahab’s horse-drawn chariot. Quite a feat.
God, working with the ruach, can weaken or strengthen the mind and the body, our energy and capacity levels as He sees fit, to accomplish His purpose.
Animal Capacities, Qualities, and Variations.
Humans and animals have ruach. What does the ruach endow animals with? In Inventory of the Universe, I devoted chapter 6 to fauna and their incredible capacities to communicate, organize communities, navigate, make tools and build homes. Each animal is equipped with a different combination of both physical qualities and sentient qualities. Lions will never hunt for food like buffalo and vice versa. Horses will never eat like monkeys. But, amongst horses and amongst monkeys each may vary in what they prefer to eat. Variety in their aptitudes.
What is infinitely more important is their sentient capacity. Some horses are friendlier, or more easily trained, or capable of learning more difficult stunts than others. Even others of the same race. Why is this? Yes, it has to do with their breeding, their nature, and their nurture, but, just like humans, there’s variety in their TALENTS. Their capacity of what they can and can’t do.
Of course, each animal is limited to its sphere but, with training, some animals can end up doing amazing things. When I say animals are limited to their sphere what I mean is animals can NEVER and will NEVER rise above being the type of animal they are. Why? Because they have their brand of ruach that makes them what they are. And never forget, they do NOT have neshama, which is concurrent to the MIND that makes humans human. This is the Explanation of the insurmountable gap between the animal kingdom and the human species.
But, at the same time remember, the ruach is common to animals and man. We’re all sentient beings and depending on the intensity of an animal’s or a human’s sensitivity animals can get very close to humans and humans to animals. This is a whole different exciting subject but certain humans have a very close relational connection with certain animals. It’s like these people possess a certain power, sense or ability with dogs, horses, even wild animals. Today we’d say they seem to be on the same wavelength. I shall come back to this subject. Here are some verses and examples of God working with the ruach, the sentient qualities, of animals to accomplish what He has in mind.
Many don’t believe Noah’s flood really happened. You believe it or not. Noah did not go chasing after the fowl! They came to the ark, chickens and eagles, lambs and lions and every other type of animal. They co-habited within the ark and were controllable by Noah and his family. God had to act on the ruach of all these animals to make it come to pass.
I’ll let you find and read the stories about Jonah’s fish, Daniel’s lions, and Elijah’s ravens as well as others. Yes, these are amazing stories. We’re discussing the mechanism that is the common denominator between humans and animals, the ruach. And how there are all sorts of animal and human varieties of ruach. How God can adjust the intensity of ruach as needed in certain situations. Sounds unbelievable, I agree, but the Bible examples and study develop this scenario.
Finally, a word about Neanderthal and the dozens of other prehistoric creatures that are prevalent around the globe. Archaeology and paleontology have shown, without a shadow of a doubt that these beings accomplished some spectacular activities akin to what we humans do today.
Here are some milestones established by the Smithsonian Institute. Of course, they put their particular light on this but we can’t deny the existence of such evidence. The Explanation is simply giving you an alternative perspective taking into consideration ALL the evidence.
What we’ve discovered: Stone bone, ivory, and antler tools. Hunting food using harpoons, spears and projectile points. Carrying and storing liquids in pottery bowls and jars. Hearths and shelters for fire and dwelling. Burial with symbolic objects accompanied by rituals. Recording Information and making clothing. Art forms such as figurines, jewelry, musical instruments, and decorated objects.
These creatures possessed ruach, God’s spirit (NON-capitalized s), this explains all these accomplishments. Their ruach was at a higher level than animals hence their more advanced capabilities and accomplishments. But, and this is a key point, they did NOT possess neshama. Adam, the first human, was the first to possess neshama. It’s the neshama that conferred on him and all human beings the singularities that make humans human.
The ruach, God’s spirit which inhabits all sentient beings, endows them with mental abilities and physical capacities to use their brains, their five senses and corresponding sculpted bodies to a vast variety of degrees. This is the reason, firstly, for the multitude of species of all types, shapes, forms and sentient capacities. Secondly, this is the reason why within each species there is such a variety of strengths, abilities and even personalities and characters when we speak about animals and prehistoric beings.
However, only human beings possess neshama and that, coupled with God’s spirit formed in them, puts them light years ahead of animals and prehistoric beings.
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 12.14 of the book Origin of Humankind
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