Death and Respect for the Soul

Jehovah God formed the man from the dust of the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of Life; and the man became a living soul.    [Genesis 2:7]

Sometimes translators will use different words to describe a certain word in the Biblical Hebrew or Greek.  In so doing, they may capture a nuance that may lie hidden in a passage.  Sometimes, though, they make a distinction by their choice of words that can be misleading.  This is the problem with the Hebrew NEPHESH.  In the passage above, NEPHESH is linked together with CHAY (life, living), “Blew in his nostrils the breath of CHAYYIM –Life-, and the man became a NEPHESH CHAYAH –soul living–.”

Unfortunately the King James translators were reluctant to apply “soul” to animals, so they instead used “life” or “creature” – which are legitimate translations – for non-human animals.  But in using “soul” exclusively for humans, they promoted the idea that animals “have no soul.”  However, the twelve times that particularly the “living soul” combination appears in Genesis and Leviticus [Genesis 1:20, 21, 24, 30; 2:7, 19; 9:10, 12; 9:15, 16; Leviticus 11:10, 46], only the above passage refers to the human – every other instance applies to other creatures.

The “soul” or “life” is considered in the Bible as synonymous to the Blood: “The Blood is the life [soul – NEPHESH]” [Deuteronomy 12:23; Leviticus 17:11; Genesis 9:4].  The significance of this connection comes, for instance, in Leviticus 17:

If man of the house of Israel kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting to offer an offering to Jehovah before the Tabernacle of Jehovah, the guilt of Bloodshed shall be imputed to that man. He has shed Blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people  [vv 3-4]


canadian cialis no prescription continue reading for more now Because of this, we believe in the illusion territory with one of these videos often. Love life brings in the magnificent glory in human’s life and thus it serves as a fuel to drive life smoothly and wonderfully. These foods naturally boost free prescription for levitra the production of nitric oxide in the penile region is increased by inhibiting c-GMP. It is FDA approved treatment for men who are unable to afford expensive medical treatment. Any man of the sons of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its Blood and cover it with dust.     [v 13]

In many “primitive” (although that is a misleading word) cultures, there is a solemn respect for an animal and its “soul” about to be taken in the hunt.  Some have ceremonies that are close to making an apology to the “spirit” of the animal, and speak of the acknowledgement that this hunt is necessary for the survival of the tribe.  There is no sense of hunting merely for the sake of the trophy, nor is there the arrogance and crassness of the survival of the fittest.

Similarly, in the passages above, God indicates that the Blood-life-soul of even a “beast” killed for food, within the camp or outside it or on the hunt, is to be considered precious and to be treated with respect.  If the Tent of Meeting is handy, then a sacrifice should be offered in regard to the “guilt of Bloodshed,” verse 5 indicating that the Blood be sprinkled on the Altar and the fat be burned “for a sweet aroma to Jehovah.”  If one is on the hunt, then the Blood is to be drained to the ground and covered with dust.

God’s original command in Genesis 1:29-30 only speaks of the plants for food for both man and beast, implying that animal death even among animals themselves is not the intention of the Creator when there is no sin.  The slaughter of an animal for food is allowed only after the Flood [Genesis 9:3], yet would still be rare, considering there are back then no refrigerators or deep freezes in which to preserve the meat.  Still, even with this permission, as mentioned above, life [NEPHESH] – and the guilt of Bloodshed – is not to be trivialized.

In a previous post, Isaiah 11:6-9 indicates that the Messianic age will be characterized by animals not killing each other, “because the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah.”  Apparently it is the lack of “the knowledge of Jehovah” that has caused the dog-eat-dog world that lies before us.

This is a conflict here with theistic evolution.  On one hand, starting with His command which mentions plants as the only food for all creatures in Genesis 1; then many generations later, a special statement permitting animals to now be food in Genesis 9; yet with the respect and honor to be given to the Blood-life-soul of even animals in Leviticus 17; and finally the Messianic age which has nothing to do with death – is this the same God Who would use animals eating animals, survival of the fittest, the casual dispensing of death in order to achieve evolutionary “progress”?  Is this really the same God Who declares that the hallmarks of His Glory are “mercy,” “grace” and “steadfast love” in Exodus 33:19 and 34:6; Who demands that we respect the Blood-life-soul of even an animal, when He Himself would have apparent utter disregard for such life?

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