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Neshamah and ruach are the two components possessed by every single human being. Together they confer humanity on humankind.
Neshamah and Ruach are the essential constituents that endow humans with their humanity. The goal of this chapter is to show the reality and inseparability of this twosome spirit duo. We will discuss the exact role of ruach later.
(Mind-Body Problem Solved, Chapter 22 – Table of Contents)
We’re focusing on the creation of humans. Specifically, what makes humans human. The Bible presents the neshamah and the ruach as imparted by God to humans. These next chapters about ruach cast the base of religion (obviously, Christ is the Foundation) and psychology. The Explanation will show you why each human possesses ruach and how to use it advantageously, both religiously and secularly.
We’ll start by seeing this association of neshamah and ruach as an indivisible twosome. We saw this next verse in the last chapter, but it is the first time the duo is joined therefore important to see it again. The KJV translators omitted the translation for one of the Hebrew words; in Biblical Hebrew, you can see BOTH ruach and neshamah appear and they are BOTH associated with humans.
All [humans] in whose nostrils was the breath (H7307 of H5397) life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
The New King James Version has “All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died.”
Straight away, we see a significant issue that is going to confront us throughout our study of ruach, its translation. In Gen 6:17, ruach chayim (ר֣וּחַ חַיִּ֔ים) is translated breath of life. In Gen. 2:7 nishmat chayim (נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֔ים) is ALSO translated identically in English breath of life. You cannot translate two different Hebrew words with the identical English word. In English, it is impossible to see this and correctly understand what the Word of God is telling us. Verify it yourself at UnlockBibleMeaning.com.
Let me be quite straightforward with you. The KJV translators did not understand, as with most people today, the role of the ruach. Similarly, they didn’t realize that of the neshama, either. And to top it off, who understands the relationship between ruach and neshama? In Genesis 7:22, the ruach and neshama are side-by-side. They are different and, at the same time, both are interconnected and directly involved with human life.
This association is so important for comprehension that we’re going to look at all ten verses where we find this twosome. There are only 24 verses with neshama (H5397) in the Old Testament of which a whopping ten include ruach. I dare say that very few Bible readers are aware of the relationship of neshamah and ruach. Even fewer know there are numerous important biblical references to this duo. We’ll see them in Bible book order.
And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
As we go through these verses:
- See who possesses neshamah and ruach. In this case, God.
- See for what and how God uses neshamah and ruach. In this case, literally, to shake Earth to protect His servant David. They emanate from God’s nostrils, so it’s fitting He blew the neshama into the first human’s nostrils (Gen. 2:7).
By the blast (H5397 – neshama) of God they perish, and by the breath (H7307 – ruach) of his nostrils are they consumed.
Eliphaz, Job’s friend, is reminding him how these godly attributes put down enemies. Both terms can have both a positive and negative effect, depending on the context; this is the 2nd Key to Master Biblical Hebrew. God gives and takes life (Deut. 32:39). This is an important concept for modern liberal Christians who see God only as a do-gooder, loving God. God is love (1 John 4:8) but it includes His wisdom of knowing when and how to take life as well. Keep in mind, that the same instruments (neshamah and ruach) that give life can also be used to take life. This is the paradox of God, particularly for those who don’t understand God’s purpose for humankind.
All the while my [Job] breath (H5397 – neshama) is in me, and the spirit (H7307 – ruach) of God is in my nostrils;
Job, during his ordeal, confirms he still possesses neshamah and ruach. He knew the difference between these two elements and also that he, a human being, like all other humans, possessed both of them.
But there is a spirit (H7307 – ruach) in man: and the inspiration (H5397 – neshama) of the Almighty gives them understanding.
Important verse. Humans possess the ruach. It is a human component. This is the spirit, translated mind, among other words, by the KJV translators; a correct translation I will expand on in the next chapters. You will see why, in humans, the spirit cannot work without the neshama and vice-versa. Both essences must be possessed to be human. Neshama, given by God as we saw in Gen. 2:7, is directly related to the ability to understand; this is consciousness that confers the human qualities of purpose, function, socialization, rulership, and reasoning on humans. Ruach acts on these five attributes and this God-given duo makes humans who they are.
The Spirit (H7307 – ruach) of God has made me, and the breath (H5397 – neshama) of the Almighty has given me life.
Important verse; this is parallel to Genesis 2:7. There we saw God formed (yatsar), here we see God’s Spirit made. This is additional complementary information. Job points out God’s attribute of using the Ruach (with a capital S) to CREATE and the Neshama to GIVE LIFE.
If he [God] set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit (H7307 – ruach) and his breath (H5397 – neshama).
Important verse. If, or rather when a human dies, God collects each human’s ruach and neshama. The neshama, our ability to understand, our intellect (Job 32:8 above) AND the spirit that animated us RETURN TO GOD on our death. God gave them to us to live our life; on death, they return to Him. Why? We shall see, but for now, retain that both neshamah and ruach return to God. Not just the ruach, which is what most Bible readers know. God gave both neshamah and ruach. On death, both return to Him.
Secondarily, as we go through this duo of neshamah and ruach with a focus on the latter, notice man’s spirit (small s) as in Job 34:14 and God’s Spirit (capital S) as in Job 33:4. The same essence, spirit, but two very different states. We shall explain this and their relationship.
Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast (H5397 – neshama) of the breath (H7307 – ruach) of your nostrils.
This verse is similar to 2 Samuel 22:16 above, about how God can deal with enemies.
Thus says God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he that gives breath (H5397 – neshama) to the people upon it, and spirit (H7307 – ruach) to them that walk therein:
God is the Creator of Earth, flora, and fauna (what comes out of it), and at the pinnacle, he gives both neshamah and ruach to humans. This verse is clear that ALL human beings receive neshamah and ruach. Nowhere does it say animals receive BOTH these components. The Explanation has elaborated on how the Bible shows neshama is for humans alone. While animals do possess ruach alone as we saw in Genesis 7:15.
For I [God] will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit (H7307 – ruach) should fail before me, and the souls (H5397 – neshama) which I have made.
God will not be upset with humankind continually. He’s angry because humankind is MISusing the neshamah and ruach God has given them. In other words, humans are not using their God-given components to rule for peace and prosperity, to the contrary. But God says, in this verse and context, that He will straighten this situation out. He will not continue in His wrath; this is the last verse with neshamah and ruach together and is the fabulous faith we can have in God for the future of humankind.
Notice how, throughout these passages, the translations of neshamah and ruach are continually changing and sometimes switching from one to the other. Note the translation of this last neshama is soul, the same as nefesh. Indeed, the KJV translators were at a loss with these Biblical Hebrew words. And, in all translations, it is impossible to understand what’s going on.
Remember, we’re explaining a fundamental component of each human being worldwide. Yet, readers and scholars don’t comprehend it. We don’t understand what a human being really is. Amazing. But you are learning the answer to this enigma from The Explanation.
From these verses, we can understand at least four essential points about the components of each and every human being.
- Neshamah and ruach, the latter, in particular, include breath (breathing) but both represent something much deeper than that.
- Since God possesses them, in one way or another, we shall see, they can NOT BE PHYSICAL. Neshamah and ruach have immaterial counterparts with humans. Therefore humans possess intangible components.
- Since neshamah and ruach, being metaphysical, are invisible to and unmeasurable by any physical devices, this means they are inaccessible to science. We’re into the realm of the meeting of theology and science, even if science doesn’t know it. Neshama and particularly ruach are the missing links between these two disciplines—what a fascinating subject. Stay with The Explanation because ruach has much to do with science.
- These initial conclusions about neshamah and ruach, that they are immaterial components of each human are the solution to the mind-body problem. The mind and body are two totally separate entities, one (composed of the two spirits) is transcendent and intangible, while the second, the body, is material and physical.
The title of this book, Mind-Body Problem Solved, is not in vain. But we are going to discover much more, HOW the immaterial components in all humans work and WHY we possess them. We will also reveal how to maximize their use, both secularly and spiritually, for the benefit of peace and prosperity.
God possesses ruach; it is, therefore, clearly more than the physical breath that humans AND animals possess. When the ruach is associated with the neshama, this is reserved solely for humans. Combined, they endow each human being with their spiritual component, which differentiates and places them mountains above animals.
In the next chapter, we’ll hone in on ruach and see exactly what it is and what it accomplishes.
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