[b-hebrew] Nefesh - Breath or Breather

Brak Brak at neo.rr.com
Tue Apr 24 05:39:30 EDT 2007

Yigal Levin wrote:

>Dear "Brak" (or is it John? - please sign you posts in such a way that we 
>know who we are answering),

If you look at the end of my email I do have it signed with my name, 
John Steven, which is followed by a Fulton J. Sheen quote. Nowhere did 
my email have the word Brak in it. So I'm not sure what you are 
complaining about. I have no idea why you are seeing Brak, except for my 
actual email address which is brak at neo.rr.com - so maybe its something 
with your email client.

>Think of the expression "a living soul" in English. The "soul" is somthing 
>that all living beings (or at least humans - I have no intention of opening 
>up a debate on that) have - and so one may refer to all people as "living 
>souls", as in, "I walked down the street, and there was not a living soul 
>While Nefe$ Xayah is more "spirit" then "soul", the ancients considered a 
>person's breathing as evidence of his being alive - thus the use of the same 
>word for "spirit" and for "breath". "Ne$amah" has a similar meaning. So you 
>might translate vss. 20, 21, 24 as "beathing, living creatures" (even for 
>fish!), and 30 as "creatures with the breath of life".
>Yigal Levin
There is a lot of different opinions about what a soul is and things 
related to that. For example as a SDA I believe that we are a soul - we 
don't have one. But that is really niehter here nor there in regards to 
my question.

Maybe I wasn't clear in my initial post, so allow me to restate my question:
Why is the identical phrase used and translated in two different ways - 
in one passage as the item - in another passage as a possession. In Gen 
1:20, 21, 24 a NEFE$ XAY.FH is the person, fish, bird, etc. But in 1:30 
a NEFE$ XAY.FH is in the person, fish, bird, etc.
Is there some kind of grammer markings to indicate the change of usage 
that I am not seeing. Its pointed the same in all examples listed. Also 
a correction, in 1:21 its NEFE$ HAXAY.FH - so let remove that one for 
discussion do to the difference.

So again why is the phrase NEFE$ XAY.FH treated different in 1:20,24 
from 1:30?

John Steven

"If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you 
-Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

>----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "Brak" <Brak at neo.rr.com>
>To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 10:36 AM
>Subject: [b-hebrew] Nefesh - Breath or Breather
>>In Gen 1:20, 1:21, 1:24, and 1:30  we have the phrase NEFE$ XAY.FH
>>In 1:20, 1:21, and 1:24 the phrase is usually translated as "living
>>But in 1:30 it is usually translated as "breath of life".
>>So it appears that in 1:20,21,24 NEFE$ XAY.FH  is being translated to be
>>referring to the item being spoken of (the "breather"), while in 1:30 is
>>appears to be translated as something which the item being spoken of has
>>(the "breath").
>>Can someone help me make heads or tails of this.
>>John Steven
>>"If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you
>>-Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
>>b-hebrew mailing list
>>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
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