The Word “Spirit"

Spirit is a word used sometimes synonymously with “soul.” To a certain extent this similarity occurs in the original Hebrew words. We have already noticed that the root meaning of “nephesh” is “breath.” The word translated spirit is “ruach,” and this word means “wind.” The translators used “breath” as the equivalent of “ruach” on 28 occasions. In his concordance under the word “breath” Dr. Young states that “ruach” means “breath,” “air,” “wind,” “spirit.” Thus there is a relationship between “nephesh” and “ruach,” and this might justify a relationship between “soul” and “spirit.” Even the English word ties us down to the fundamental idea of the Hebrew, for spirit comes from the Latin word ”spiritus” which means breath, from “spiro” to breathe.

We have seen that “soul” is used in the Bible with a variety of meanings, and the same feature is noticeable in the case of “spirit.”

“The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

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Author: A. Morris

Keywords: Spirit, spirit of man, immortal spirit, eternal spirit, air, wind, breath, breath of life, life, Soul, Psuche, Nephesh, Ruach, Ruah, Nefesh

Bible reference(s): Genesis 1:2, Genesis 6:3, Genesis 41:38, Genesis 45:27, Exodus 28:3, Exodus 31:3, Exodus 35:31, Numbers 5:14, Numbers 5:30, Numbers 24:2, Deuteronomy 34:9, Judges 3:10, Judges 6:34, Judges 11:29, Judges 13:25, Judges 14:6, Judges 14:19, Judges 15:14, 1 Samuel 10:6, 1 Samuel 10:10, 1 Samuel 11:6, 1 Samuel 16:13, 1 Samuel 16:14, 1 Samuel 19:20, 1 Samuel 19:23, 2 Samuel 23:2, 1 Kings 18:12, 1 Kings 22:24, 2 Kings 2:15, 2 Kings 2:16, 1 Chronicles 5:26, 1 Chronicles 28:12, 2 Chronicles 15:1, 2 Chronicles 18:23, 2 Chronicles 20:14, 2 Chronicles 21:16, 2 Chronicles 24:20, 2 Chronicles 36:22, Ezra 1:1, Job 6:4, Job 7:11, Job 10:12, Job 21:4, Job 20:3, Job 27:3, Job 32:8, Job 33:4, Psalms 31:5, Psalms 76:12, Psalms 77:3, Psalms 77:6, Psalms 142:3, Psalms 143:4, Psalms 143:7, Proverbs 1:23, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 18:14, Proverbs 20:27, Ecclesiastes 3:21, Ecclesiastes 10:4, Isaiah 4:4, Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 19:3, Isaiah 26:9, Isaiah 29:10, Isaiah 30:1, Isaiah 31:3, Isaiah 38:16, Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 44:3, Isaiah 59:21, Isaiah 40:7, Isaiah 40:13, Isaiah 54:6, Isaiah 57:15, Isaiah 59:19, Isaiah 61:1, Isaiah 61:3, Isaiah 63:14, Jeremiah 51:11, Ezekiel 1:20, Ezekiel 1:21, Ezekiel 3:14, Ezekiel 10:17, Ezekiel 11:5, Ezekiel 11:24, Ezekiel 21:7, Ezekiel 36:27, Ezekiel 37:1, Ezekiel 37:14, Ezekiel 39:29, Daniel 2:3, Daniel 4:8, Daniel 4:9, Daniel 4:18, Daniel 5:11, Daniel 5:14, Daniel 7:15, Hosea 4:12, Hosea 5:4, Micah 2:7, Micah 2:11, Micah 3:8, Joel 2:28, Joel 2:29, Haggai 1:14, Haggai 2:5, Zechariah 4:6, Zechariah 6:8, Zechariah 12:1, Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 13:2, Matthew 3:16, Matthew 10:20, Matthew 12:18, Matthew 12:28, Matthew 12:43, Matthew 14:26, Mark 1:23, Mark 1:26, Mark 3:30, Mark 5:2, Mark 5:8, Mark 7:25, Luke 1:17, Luke 1:47, Luke 1:80, Luke 4:18, Luke 8:29, Luke 9:42, Luke 10:21, Luke 11:24, Luke 23:46, John 4:23-24, John 11:33, John 13:21, John 14:17, John 15:26, John 16:13, Acts 2:17, Acts 2:18, Acts 5:9, Acts 7:59, Acts 8:39, Acts 18:5, Acts 18:25, Acts 19:21, Acts 20:22, Romans 1:4, Romans 1:9, Romans 2:29, Romans 8:2, Romans 8:9, Romans 8:11, Romans 8:14, Romans 8:15, Romans 11:8, Romans 15:19, 1 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 2:12, 1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 4:21, 1 Corinthians 5:4, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Corinthians 7:40, 1 Corinthians 12:3, 1 Corinthians 14:2, 1 Corinthians 14:14, 1 Corinthians 16:18, 2 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 3:3, 2 Corinthians 3:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Galatians 3:3, Galatians 4:6, Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:25, Galatians 6:1, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 4:23, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 1:19, Philippians 3:3, Colossians 1:8, Colossians 2:5, 1 Timothy 3:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 2 Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 10:29, 1 Peter 1:11, 1 Peter 4:6, 1 Peter 4:14, 1 John 4:1-3, 1 John 4:6, Revelation 1:10, Revelation 4:2, Revelation 11:11, Revelation 17:3, Revelation 19:10, Revelation 21:10

Source: “Translation and Truth,” The Testimony, Vol. 1, No. 3, March 1931, pp. 73-4. Used with permission.

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