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An Excavation into the word Spirit
Excerpted from His Name is One

We have previously examined the Hebrew word נשמה (neshemah) meaning, “breath” or “wind.” Synonymous with neshemah is the Hebrew word רוח (ru’ahh), translated as “spirit” in the above passage. The following verses show, through parallelism, the similarity in meaning to both נשמה and רוח.

All the while my breath (neshemah) is in me and the wind (ru’ahh) of God is in my nose. Job 27:3

The wind (ru’ahh) of God has made me and the breath (neshemah) of the Almighty has given me life. Job 33:4

While רוח means “breath” or “wind,” the Hebraic meaning of this word has a unique meaning separate from נשמה. Let us take a closer look at the word רוח by examining other root words that are also derived from the same parent root רח (R-Hh).

And from the excellent produce of the sun and from the excellent yield of the moon (ירח - yere'ahh). Deuteronomy 33:14

A stranger did not lodge outside, I opened my door to the traveler (ארח - orehh). Job 31:32

All the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on the throne to the firstborn of the maidservant who is behind the millstones (רחה - rehhah), and all the firstborn of the livestock. Exodus 11:5

A millstone is a circular stone, about one foot in diameter. It is flat on the top and bottom and is a few inches thick. This stone has a hole bored through the middle from top to bottom. This stone is then set on top of another flat stone. The grain is poured through the hole and the millstone is turned around causing the grain between the two stones to be crushed and ground into meal.

All four of these words, רוח (ru’ahh - wind), ירח (yere'ahh - moon), ארח (orehh - traveler) and רחה (rehhah - millstone), have one thing in common; they all follow a prescribed path. The winds follow specific paths each season, the moon follows a prescribed path in the night sky, a traveler follows a prescribed path to his destination and a millstone follows a continual path with each revolution.

The רוח (ru’ahh - wind) cannot be seen, but the effects of the wind can. We can see the leaves of the tree moving in the wind and we can feel it against our bodies. In the same manner, God cannot be seen but we can see his effects all around us in his creation. Just as the winds follow a prescribed path through the seasons, God also follows a prescribed path; he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

God reveals himself to man by his character, which remains constant, his road is straight and he does not stray from this road. The Hebrew word for straight is צדיק (tsadiyq) and is often translated as “righteous.” He also expects his children to follow on this same straight path.

The Road

For the LORD knows the road of the righteous and the road of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:6

O, LORD, point me to your road and lead me on a level path. Psalm 27:11

Our life is a journey along the road that will lead to righteousness or wickedness. Just as the wind or breath of the sky follows a prescribed path, our breath follows a prescribed path. When God gives us a new breath, his breath, he will cause us to follow his path.

And I will give to them a new heart and a new breath I will give within them, and I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and I will give to them a heart of flesh, and I will give within them my breath and I will cause them to do my statutes they are to walk and my laws they will guard and do them. Ezekiel 36:26,27

Only by receiving the breath of God can we follow the correct path.

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   © 2023 Jeff A. Benner