Prev Next

Lesson 17

The Bereans probably had a different understanding of Genesis 1:27 and 2:7 than most modern Christians. A shadow can be in the image of a statue, chiseled out of stone, in the image of a man, who is made out of flesh and blood. Also, their scriptures would have been written in Hebrew. To fully understand what God is telling us we need to clearly hear him. The word ‘soul’ as found in Genesis 2:7 is taken from the Hebrew word נפשׁ which is pronounced, neh’-fesh. This word was used 753 times in scripture. In Genesis it was used to describe all the living creatures created by God.

Genesis 1:20 NKJV 

Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”

Genesis 1:24 NKJV

Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind’; and it was so.

The word nephesh is only translated as soul when referring to mankind. Translators probably recognised that mankind is cognitively different than animals, but still just as mortal. Strong’s scholars made their intentions clear by including, mortally, in the terms of usage for soul not, immortal.

Strong’s #5315: nephesh (pronounced neh’-fesh)

from 5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):–any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, X dead(-ly), desire, X (dis-)contented, X fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, X jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-)self, them (your)-selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (X she) will, X would have it.

Ecclesiastes 3:19-22 in The Message tells us man and animals end up the same. Is that what you believe? What Bible scriptures can you think of to support your beliefs?

19-22 Humans and animals come to the same end—humans die, animals die. We all breathe the same air. So there’s really no advantage in being human. None. Everything’s smoke. We all end up in the same place—we all came from dust, we all end up as dust. Nobody knows for sure that the human spirit rises to heaven or that the animal spirit sinks into the earth. So I made up my mind that there’s nothing better for us men and women than to have a good time in whatever we do—that’s our lot. Who knows if there’s anything else to life?

Leave a Comment