Nephesh Versus Neshemah Versus Ruach

Nephesh is translated as ‘soul’, but specifically means ‘breath’ or a ‘breathing living thing’. Ruach means a wind that blows i.e. breath or literally to smell, make one have quick understanding, but is translated as spirit. Neshemah again means breath but may be translated as character, name, reputation.

Whats up with all these different breaths?

The actual difference is that there is Adonais neshemah which is his whole character, his essence and vitality, or his ‘Shem’. We usually translate shem as ‘name’  but  its more likened to a ‘personality’ where we have integrity, righteousness, honesty, kindness, loving etc.  [When people say ‘i dont want to ruin my name’, thats how we should consider it]. Our nephesh is our appetites, lust/pleasure, social status etc. So this is our carnal nature, what makes us ‘worldly’. It is this that we lay to rest [i.e. God rest her soul].  It is also what people refer to when they say ‘she sold her soul to the devil. The devil has power but it by no means matches the power of the almighty Yahowah. So the devil can perhaps inhabit ones soul to elevate them to higher status, but it is at a price and can be taken away.

Our ruach is our memory, imagination, rational and reason. As you can see, its not really our personality, but how we deal with things in life [internally, in our minds] which help determine our neshemah [character, personality]. It also represents our will.

Where Does Yehovah Fit in?

The holy spirit [ruach], is a small voice leading us to the right path; it mediates between our nephesh [lower] and neshemah [higher]. Our goal in life is to elevate our neshemah towards the Kingdom of Yahowah. We are to become more like him.  The only way we can be like him is to of course imagine good things, to be able to discern right from wrong, good from bad, pure from impure etc, Yahowah has already distinguished the difference between these things in the old testament and we have to use our wisdom to discern correctly. Last but not least, it is our actions that overall determine how ‘Godly’ we are and so the holy spirit will help us not only to discern but also to act in the appropriate manner. Note, you know the phrase ‘something smells fishy here’, since ruach can also mean ‘to smell’, we could see it in this way, i.e. when you are in a situation and something just feels wrong – you could say this is the act of discernment.

Although i say action is important, it doesnt mean that our world is what is important. After all, there is no point us only having a belief that we should act goodand after doing something wrong simply knowing that it was wrong i.e. [faith]. Rather it should be our aim to deliberately act good and avoid bad as we know we should. By our actions [works] we demonstrate our faith.

After Life?

After life, depending i believe on our neshemah, our ruach will return to him, and our nephesh will return to the ground. I we are judged on how Godly we were. My theory is that since Yahowshua came and atoned for our sin nature and purified us to become ‘holy’ i.e set apart, i believe Yahowah will have mercy and will show grace, even if we are at times taken over by our nephesh [as long as we are truly sorry of course].

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2 Responses to Nephesh Versus Neshemah Versus Ruach

  1. Pingback: Reinterpretation of… Isaiah 42:1-3; Yeshuas Mission [part 1/2] « Unearthing the Hebrew 'Dvar-Elohim'!

  2. Pingback: First Law of Thermodynamics: Principle of Energy Conservation « Unearthing the Hebrew 'Dvar-Elohim'!

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