Breath – Neshemah

 

 

 

 

The Biblical Hebrew word for “breath” is “neshema”. Strong’s: #5397. The word “neshema” literally means “the inhalation and exhalation of air in our bodies” such as we see in the following passage. Also in this passage is the word “spirit” which is the Hebrew word “ru’ahh”. Strong’s: #7307 – #7308. The word “ru’ahh” literally means “wind” but it is also used for “breath”.

All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; (Job 27:3)

The word “neshemah” can also be used “figuratively”, such as we see in the following passage.

By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. (Job 4:9)

In this passage the word “blast” is the word “neshemah”, and the word “breath” is the word “ru’ahh”. Anyone who has been following my teachings for any length of time has heard me say time and again that “a translation of the Bible should be consistent”. There is no reason to translate “neshemah” as “breath” in one place and then “blast” in another. Or translate the word “ru’ahh” as “wind” in one place and “breath” in another. In order for the reader of the Bible to “read the Bible correctly”, they should be given “a consistent translation of the Bible”, “not a translators’ opinion” of what the text is saying. In this passage the words “neshemah” and “ru’ahh” are not “God’s literal breath” but is being used “figuratively” for his “power”.

The word “neshemah” is also used for “anyone or anything that has life”.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

Neshemah is also used for a “person” or “one who has breath”.

And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword (Joshua 11:11)

Here the word “neshemah” is translated as “souls” but in the Hebrew it is written as “haneshemah”. The prefix “ha” means “the” so this literally means “the ones who have breath”.

Derived from the word “neshemah” is the Hebrew word “shem”. Strong’s #8034 which means “name”. The Hebrew people gave “names” to “people and places” based on “their character”. For instance, the name “Jerusalem” means “They will teach peace”. The Hebrew word “shem” can also mean “character,” and in the Hebrew mind your “breath” is “figuratively” your “character.”

Strong’s: #5397 – https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5397.htm – #7307 – https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7307.htm – #7308 – https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7308.htm – #8034 – https://biblehub.com/hebrew/8034.htm