Spirit vs. Soul

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto Elohim who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7. At death everything returns to where it came from; the dust returns to the earth from which it was taken and the spirit returns to Yahuwah who gave it. This concept is consistent with the account of how man was created, “And Yahuwah Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7. Death is merely the opposite of Creation. James 2:26 explains that “body without the spirit is dead.”  The root word of “spirit” in the Greek is “pneuma,” a word which means “breath” or “air.” The words “breath” and “spirit” are often used interchangeably in the Bible. For example, “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of Eloah is in my nostrils.” Job 27:3. What goes through our nostrils? The answer is the air we breathe. Again, note Genesis 2:7, “And Yahuwah Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” The ‘breath of life’ in Genesis 2:7 is essentially the ‘spirit of Yahuwah’ in Job 27:3. This is how King Solomon referred to death in Ecclesiastes 12:7 as seen above, the spirit or breath returns to Yahuwah who gave it. This concept is seen throughout the Bible: “Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. 30Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.” Psalm 104:29, 30. Here we see that the breath is taken away to Yahuwah when we die whereas in Ecclesiastes 12:7 we see that spirit returns to Yahuwah at death thus showing that these two words are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. It is important to point out that the “spirit of life” is not the same as the Holy Spirit, neither is the “breath of life” the same as the air we breathe. Genesis 2:7 illustrates this: Yahuwah “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Yahuwah did not put a soul into the body for the only thing added was His breath of life, a result of which when combined with the body “became a living soul.” This brings us to an important equation: Spirit (Breath) + Body (Dust) = Life (Soul) Spirit (Breath) - Body (Dust) = Death (No Soul) The soul can not exist without either breath or body. In the Bible, except in poetical or allegorical usage, the soul does not have an independent existence outside the body. The soul is not immortal or eternal. The Greek word “psuche,” which means “life,” has been translated as “soul” several times in the King James Version, so some confuse the difference between the concept of the soul and spirit. When studied in context and comparing scripture with scripture, the Biblical concept of death and the soul are understood. A simple illustration of this is a computer. The electric current flowing into a computer is the breath of life which Yahuwah puts into the body, and the information on your computer is the soul. When you turn the computer off, the electricity (breath of life) goes back to its source, but what about the information on your computer? Does it go with the electricity that powered your computer? No, rather, it stays in the computer until you turn it back on again, just as in death, the soul does not go back with the breath of life. Your individuality and consciousness is in your soul that is dormant at death and can only be active again when raised back to life. There is no soul until, in the resurrection, Yahuwah restores the breath of life to the body. There is a life giving power, the breath of life, which every living creature has. “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other, yea, they have all one breath; ... All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again” Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20. This does not mean, of course, that man and animals have the same ultimate end. There will be a resurrection and judgment for Yahuwah’s moral creatures, but life comes only from Yahuwah, whether it is human or animal, this life is often referred to in the Bible as the soul.   For more Bible verses read Living Souls.