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The Conditions of the Soul

Posted by Stephen Pidgeon on Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 

This is a discussion concerning the conditions of the soul.  For life is not static that we neither wax nor wane; the condition of the soul is something worthy of consideration when asking the question: do I have salvation? Let us see if the divine mystery can be revealed a little more in this study.

Nephesh

We begin, of course, in Bere’shiyth (Genesis).

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 2:7
And YAHUAH ELOHIYM formed את eth-the man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living soul.

In the Ivriyt, we have:

וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה׃

Which reads as follows:

Genesis 2:7  Vaya’yatsar YAHUAH ELOHIYM את eth Ha’Adam aphar min ha’adamah naphach b’aphiyn neshamah chayim hayah Ha’Adam l’nephesh chayah 

We see many things in this verse.  The translation uses the English term man for the word A’dam which appears in the text.  As I have discussed before, the word A’dam is spelled the same as the word in Ivriyt translated as Edom or adom (red). Yet, with the offset of the apostrophe, we have the set-apart aleph (א) and the word dam, meaning blood.

There are many places where we can find the set-apart aleph (א), which should be understood as a significant marker – but not in all cases. 

But in this verse, we see that at the conclusion of the action, man becomes a living soul, which in the Ivriyt is a nephesh chayah.

But consider:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 9:4
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

אַךְ־בָּשָׂר בְּנַפְשׁוֹ דָמוֹ לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ׃

Which reads as follows:

Ach besor b’nephesh’u dam’u lo t’akal’u 

[But the flesh, its life, and its blood, there is no eating of it.]

Does this tell us fully about the nephesh? Maybe not.  Consider the second witness to this statement found in Vayiqra:

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 17:10-11
And whatsoever man there be of the house of Yashar’el, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eats any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul (nephesh) that eats את eth-the blood (dam), and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the soul (nephesh) of the flesh (besor) is in the blood (dam): he and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood of him that makes an atonement in the soul.

The nephesh is then given to us as the foundational soul – that is to say, it has existence without life, because with the neshamah chayim (the breath of life) the soul becomes a living soul (nephesh chayah).

Let’s take a moment to consider this word nephesh. Strong’s gives us the following usage:

נֶפֶשׁ nephesh (Strong’s H5315) - a breathing creature;  a soul.

By genus and difference we see that the nephesh is a breathing creature. Let everything that has breath praise YAH. HALLELUYAH. Tehilliym (Psalm) 150:6. This is why it is often interpreted as just lives.

We know that breath is an involuntary aspect of life – we breathe whether we want to or not, and further, we stop breathing when the time comes, whether we want to or not.

So, the first condition of the soul is breathing, and that the essence of breath is in the blood (hence, the oxygenation of the blood in the bloodstream, bringing the breath to every cell of the body). It seems that the word in Vayiqra 17:11 is critically correct!

Ruach

But, let us continue:

Iyov (Job) 32:8
But there is a spirit (ruach) in man: and the inspiration (neshamah) of EL SHADDAI gives them understanding (binah).

We see in this passage that the neshamah is called the inspiration of EL SHADDAI, and earlier we saw it called the breath of life, the neshamah chayah. But in Iyov (Job), we see the comment that there is a ruach in man. We understand that as a spirit, yet a close review shows something else as well.

The word ruach (רוּחַ) (Strong's H7307) is understood as meaning in English wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation.

This is the meaning initially.  However, figuratively, it also means life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension, a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions):—air, anger, blast, breath, × cool, courage, mind, × quarter, × side, spirit(-ual), tempest, × vain, (whirl-) wind(-y).

So, Iyov (Job) is telling us that there is a breath (ruach) in man. Interesting that in all three of these words – nephesh; neshamah; ruach – that we find a reference to the breath.

It might be understood then, that the exhalation of YAH (the ruach) is the breath of life (neshamah chayah), and that which creates the breathing soul (nephesh chayim).

Yesha`yahu (Isaiah) 63:10-14
But they rebelled, and vexed את eth-his RUACH HA’QODESH: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. 11 Then he remembered the days of old, Mosheh, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with את eth the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put את eth-his RUACH HA’QODESH within him? 12 That led them by the right hand of Mosheh with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? 13 That led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? 14 As a beast goes down into the valley, the RUACH YAHUAH caused him to rest: so did you lead your people, to make yourself a glorious name.

Let’s discuss this placing of the RUACH HA’QODESH. With the indwelling of the RUACH, we find the seven-fold mystery of creation, which is to say that the seven-fold aspect of the RUACH is given:

Yesha`yahu (Isaiah) 11:2
And the RUACH YAHUAH shall rest upon him, the RUACH CHOKMAH and BIYNAH, the RUACH ETSAH and GEVURAH, the RUACH DA’ATH and of the YIR’AH of YAHUAH;

Here we see that the RUACH presents wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge and the fear of YAHUAH. The presence of the RUACH is marked by the presence of the fear of YAHUAH; i.e., the knowledge of and reverence for the Creator. This is what is referred to as being born from the beginning.

Let’s take a minute on the passage generally interpreted as “born again” (γεννηθηναι ανωθεν -gennao anothen) here interpreted as being born from the beginning: The term gennao is generally construed as meaning to be born (to generate; to be the genesis of); However, the term anothen can mean “again” – however, it is better say “from above” or “from the beginning” (literally, “from the top”); only by analogy does it mean “from the first” and then by implication “anew” or “again”.

Yahuchanon (John) 3:5  
YAHUSHA answered, Amein, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the RUACH, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of  YAHUAH. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the RUACH is ruach. 7 Marvel not that I said unto you, Ye must be born from the beginning. 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it comes, and whither it goes: so is everyone that is born of the RUACH.

What does it mean to be born from the beginning?

Kepha Ri’shon (1 Peter) 1:23
Being born from the beginning, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of YAHUAH, which lives and abides forever.

Neshamah

We have seen that the dust itself becomes a living soul (nephesh chayah) when the breath of life (neshamah chayim) enters.  Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 2:7. At this point, it is imperative to discuss the spelling of this term neshamah to see if we can find a bit more revelation.

נְשָׁמָה neshâmâh (Strong’s H5397), we see is spelled nun-shin-mem-hey.  Although we are told that no vowels exist in Ivriyt, we can find the vowel hey, which sounds as “ah”.  The Masorites have determined that the vowel sounds should be nun=neh, shin=sha, mem-heh=mah.  However, consider if the vowel sounds were reversed in the first two syllables, making it nun=nah, shin=sheh, mem-heh=mah.

Whereas, we find the first definition of nesh-aw-maw'  as “a puff, that is, wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect or (concretely) an animal: a blast, breath, inspiration, soul,  or spirit.

When considering this word as Na’shem’ah, we have something a little different:

Consider first the word na (נָא)(Strong’s H4994).  The word is usually interpreted to mean “I pray”, “now”, or “then”; added mostly to verbs (in the Imperative or Future), or to interjections, occasionally to an adverb or conjunction.

Now, the second word shem (שֵׁם) (Strong's H8034) meaning a name; an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character:

Finally, let us conclude this word with the hey (“ah”); marking the word with the breath of the RUACH HA’QODESH.

This word – na’shem’ah – then means “NOW the NAME by the breath of the RUACH HA’QODESH.”

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 2:7
And YAHUAH ELOHIYM formed את eth-the man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils [the NAME by the breath of the RUACH HA’QODESH] (which is) life; and the man became a living soul.

Now, we have something huge.  It is the breathing of the NAME into the dust of the ground which brings the living soul!!

Consider, if you will:

Bemidbar (Numbers) 6:27
And they shall put את eth-my name upon the children of Yashar’el; and I will bless them.

Chayah

As we look to the next condition of the soul, we find the teaching in the Besorah Yahuchanon (the Gospel of John):

Yahuchanon 17:1-3
THESE words spoke YAHUSHA, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you: 2 As you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true YAH, and YAHUSHA HA’MASHIACH, whom you have sent.

The phrase “life eternal” is given many times in the Greek as zōḗ aiṓnios, but in the Ivriyt we find the familiar chay l’olam (חַי לְעֹלָם).

How is it that the soul reaches this condition of chay l’olam (chayah)? It is knowing the only true YAH, and YAHUSHA HA’MASHIACH.

Mishlei (Proverbs) 30:4
Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the wind in his fists? who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth? what is His name, and what is His Son's name, if you can tell?

Yachad

And so we arrive at the last stage of the soul – a soul which gives definition to its final arrival within the word yachad.

The word yachad (יָחַד) (Strong's H3161) is a primitive root; which means to be (or become) one:—join, unite. You might think of it as the joining of the word YAH and the word ʼechâd (אֶחָד) meaning, one.

Yahuchanon 17:17-23
Sanctify them through your Truth: your Word is Truth. 18 As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the Truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be yachad; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be yachad in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be yachad, even as we are yachad: 23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.

So, in summary, we see that the nephesh is indwelt with the RUACH with the fear of YAH; yet it is the placing of the NAME of YAH within the flesh by the unction of the RUACH that we find the condition of Na’shem’ah.  The soul arrives at Chayah with the knowledge of YAH and YAHUSHA HA’MASHIACH.  But what is it that takes the soul from Chayah to Yachad?

Yahuchanon 17:25-26
O Righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them your name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.

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