People are Souls, They have a Heart, but are Soul-less
Most of us have likely heard the expression “Bob is an old soul or Sandy is a young soul,” right? We don’t hear people say “John ‘has’ a young soul.” We do hear them say that so and so is young at heart, though.
In the Hebrew Scriptures Strong’s defines Nephesh as a breathing creature, i.e. animal of vitality; Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon as a soul, self, life, a creature, a person, an appetite, a mind, a living being, a desire, an emotion, a passion. As you can see from the definition whatever it is, it is alive and vital.
For the sake of this teaching I am going to be using the Darby Bible since it uses the words “living soul” twelve times. The first usage is:
Gen 1:21 “And God created the great sea monsters, and every living soul that moves with which the waters swarm, after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Most other popular versions use the word “creature or “thing” instead of soul.
What does every living soul do? They move! Whether they creep, crawl, swim or fly, they are living souls. I never really thought about worms, ants, bees or snails as being living souls, but I guess they are!
The second usage (and so on):
Gen 1:30 “and to every animal of the earth, and to every fowl of the heavens, and to everything that creepeth on the earth, which is a living soul, every green herb for food. And it was so”
Gen 2:7 “And Jehovah Elohim formed Man, dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and Man became a living soul.”
Gen 2:19 “And out of the ground Jehovah Elohim had formed every animal of the field and all fowl of the heavens, and brought [them] to Man, to see what he would call them; and whatever Man called each living soul, that was its name.”
Gen 9:10 “and with every living soul which is with you, fowl as well as cattle, and all the animals of the earth with you, of all that has gone out of the ark — every animal of the earth.”
Gen 9:12 “And God said, This is the sign of the covenant that I set between me and you and every living soul that is with you, for everlasting generations:’
Gen 9:15-16 “and I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living soul of all flesh; and the waters shall not henceforth become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living soul of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Lev 11:10 “but all that have not fins and scales in seas and in rivers, of all that swarm in the waters, and of every living soul which is in the waters — they shall be an abomination unto you.”
Lev 11:46 “This is the law of cattle, and of fowl, and of every living soul that moveth in the waters, and of every soul (creature) that crawleth on the earth;”
1 Cor 15:45 “Thus also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul; the last Adam a quickening spirit.”
Rev 16:3 “And the second poured out his bowl on the sea; and it became blood, as of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.”
The following verses are from a Bible called The Message. Some of you OG’s may remember seeing it but it is one of the seventeen Bibles in my PC Bible Program.
1 Kings 15:29 “As soon as he was king he killed everyone in Jeroboam’s family. There wasn’t a living soul left to the name of Jeroboam; Baasha wiped them out totally,”
2 Chron 20:24 “As Judah came up over the rise, looking into the wilderness for the horde of barbarians, they looked on a killing field of dead bodies — not a living soul among them.”
Job 12:10 “Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature?”
Acts 3:22-23 “Moses, for instance, said, ‘Your God will raise up for you a prophet just like me from your family. Listen to every word he speaks to you. Every last living soul who refuses to listen to that prophet will be wiped out from the people.’ “
At the risk of becoming exhaustive I am compelled to give you every usage I could find on the 2 words. These verse are from the good old Catholic Bible, The Douay-Rheims. The first one we have already covered but I had to include it because someone mentioned something about adding water to dust to from the body of man. The Monks already took care of that!
Gen 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
Gen 8:21 “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and said: I will no more curse the earth for the sake of man: for the imagination and thought of man’s heart are prone to evil from his youth: therefore I will no more destroy every living soul as I have done.”
Now for some of you younger souls, there are 400 more usages of soul in the Hebrew Scriptures. Feel free to have at ‘em. I’m just going to show a few that pop out at me.
Lev 5:1-4 “And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. 2 Or if a soul touch any unclean thing…………3 Or if he touch the uncleanness of man…………4 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. KJV
Deut 12:20-21 “When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. 21 ………whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. KJV
To be honest and fair, there are many verses that would incline one to believe that the soul is something distinctly independent of the person. Here is just one:
Isa 29:8 “It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion. KJV
Here is what one Commentary says about it: “[It shall even be …] This is a most striking figure representing the earnest desire of the Assyrian to possess the city of Jerusalem, and his utter disappointment.
(from Barnes’ Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Who would have thought that?
BTW, I looked up dead soul and couldn’t find anything. But, nothing is more convincing than looking at the 78 times soul(s) plural was used in the KJV! Then you will become further convinced that souls are living “things” that take breath, including fish, worms and bugs! You could even say, “If it shits, it’s a living soul!”
Gen 46:15 These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padan-aram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three. KJV
Gen 46:18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls. KJV
Gen 46:22 These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.
Gen 46:25 These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven.
26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six;
27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.
Acts 7:14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. KJV
Acts 27:37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. KJV
1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. KJV
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 7:14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.
Since Bob mentioned the Apocraphal and extra Canonical Books I thought it would be cool to look at a few of those as well.
Judith 7:26-27 Now therefore call them unto you, and deliver the whole city for a spoil to the people of Holofernes, and to all his army. For it is better for us to be made a spoil unto them, than to die for thirst: for we will be his servants, that our souls may live, and not see the death of our infants before our eyes, nor our wives nor our children to die. KJV
Judith seems to be a pretty smart lady. I’ve always said that no one is any good to God dead! Here she would rather be someone’s spoil than starve to death!
Wisdom 2:22-3:1 As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls. For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it. But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. KJV
Being a soul as opposed to having one eliminates a whole bunch of things which we know are not true, like soul sleep, transmigration of the soul, or soul travel.
The Birth of Christ–Out in the Cold Stable or In a warm House?
(The guestchamber in those days was a room adjacent to the house for the lodging of guests. These days some people have Guest-houses, while others may have Guest-rooms. The Greek word this is translated from is used 1 other time in Luke and once in Matthew. In both instances it is translated “guestchamber” in the King James Version: Mark 14:14
And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
KJV; Luke 22:11
And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? KJV)
Joseph and Mary were not out in the cold with no place to go. They were at a friend’s house or at the very least a friend of a friend. They were like royalty, direct descendants of King David and they were in the city of David. They didn’t just arrive but had been there at least a few days already . Anyone would have been glad to have them in their home, let alone the fact Mary was in her 9th month of pregnancy. John Schoendeit of Spirit and Truth Fellowship adds this light on the subject:
“Another thing we must understand about houses in the East is that it was common for people to bring their animals, such as the family donkey, a couple of milk goats, or a cow or two, into the home at night. Such animals were very valuable, and the people brought them in at night to keep them from being stolen and to protect them from harm. Also, the animals added heat to the house, which would be very welcome on chilly nights. The woman in Endor who King Saul visited at night had her calf in the house with her: “And the woman had a fat calf in the house” (1 Sam. 28:24, KJV).  Of course, if the family were shepherds or herdsmen, they would not bring the whole flock or herd into the house, but would have a family member or hired guard watch them in the field, just as the shepherds were in the field on the night Jesus was born.
It was a common practice to raise the floor of the part of the house where the family lived, and keep the animals in an area that was a little lower.  Knowing this helps us understand Luke 2:6 and also where that idea that Jesus was born in a stable came from. Jesus was laid in a manger, which is an open trough, box, or bin, where the animal food was placed so the animals could feed easily. In Western society, mangers are in barns or stables, so if Jesus was laid in a manger it made sense he was born in a stable. However, in Eastern society, where the animals grazed outside during the day and were brought into the house at night, the manger was in the house. Having the manger in the house kept the animals calm and contented in the tighter quarters of the house, just as many modern farm animals have a feeding trough in their stall stay calm and content.
Everyone knew the manger was in the house, so when the Bible says that Jesus was laid in a manger “because” there was no space in the guest room, any Easterner would understand perfectly that the guest room was full so Jesus was born in the main part of the house where the family and animals stayed. Sometime after his birth he was safely placed in the manger, which would have been filled with clean hay or straw and would have been the perfect size for him. This was not to demean him in any way, but to care for him. The protective walls of the manger kept him safely guarded and away from busy feet and a bustling household, as well as warm and protected from any drafts or cold air in the home.
Another thing that helps us understand the Christmas story is understanding Eastern hospitality. In the East, guests were given special treatment of all kinds, including behavior that seems very extreme to us. For example, in the record of Lot and the two strangers, Lot would have handed over his own daughters to the mob before surrendering his guests (Gen. 19:8). Similarly, the people with whom Joseph and Mary stayed would never displace their guests from the guest room, but instead would inconvenience themselves, graciously bringing the couple into their living space.”
See more athttp://www.truthortradition.com/articles/retelling-the-christmas-story.
The Birth of the World’s Saviour, Jesus Christ
The 4 gospels are not just 4 different people’s accounts of Jesus’ life. They each portray Jesus in a different light. Matthew as a King, Mark as a Servant, Luke as a Man and John as the Son of God. Mark and John have nothing on his birth, but begin when he was 30 yrs. old. The Birth of Jesus Christ chronologically begins in Luke:
Luke 1:26-39 The Prophecy of Gabriel
26 Mary’s cousin Elisabeth 6 months pregnant with John the Baptist
27 Espoused—(Betrothed) contractually obligated Usually 10-12 months
28 The Angel came in to her physically, eiserchomai, not in a vision or a dream. Highly Favored—because of her obedience to God
29 Troubled & began to reason—When an angel appears, he doesn’t have a sign on his forehead saying, “Gabriel, the Angel of the Lord.” And he doesn’t have wings to give him away. Ha!
29 He didn’t tell her who he was—he appeared as any other man. (See Judges 6:17-22 Gideon)
30 Fear Not—favor or graciousness with God 2nd time he said it
31 3 things—conceive in womb, have a son and call his name Jesus.
32 “ “ He shall be Great(Megas), called the Son of the Highest, The throne of David
33 reign forever and no end to his kingdom
34 How? I’ve never had sex.
35–39 She went to see her cousin to confirm everything she had been told,
Matthew 1:18-25 The Conception
18 Now, the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: His mother was espoused to Joseph: legally committed to marry.
Before they had intercourse or consummated the marriage
she was found with child( at this point in time Mary must have told Joseph.)
19 Then, Joseph, when he found out was minded to put her away
Secretly or Divorce her; See De. 22:23
20 Then an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream
21 He shall save all people from their sins
22 Fulfilled Is. 7:14,15
23 Joseph took Mary to be his wife
24 But knew her not until after Jesus was born (Knew, had intercourse)
See Mt. 13:55 for his brothers and sisters
Then, we jump to Luke 2:1-17 In vs.12, 16 we have a babe, brephos, a newborn, that the shepherds found. Doesn’t say how many there were.
Now, back to Matthew 2:1-16 Now The Appearance of the Magi
( about 15 months or so after Jesus’ birth)
1 Wise men—Magos—-Oriental scientists thought to be from Persia
2 Where is he born King of the Jews?
See Is. 11:10; Dan. 2:48; 1:19,20
No one else in all Israel was looking for him. The last prophet before this was Malachi in 374 B.C. 400 years earlier. Daniel’s last record was 50 years earlier in 424 B.C.
The Magi had been waiting to see His star about 500 years.
7—Herod enquired of them diligently when the star first appeared
Vs. 8 young child—paidion, an infant around 15 months old, no longer a brephos.
11 They came into a house, oikia not a manger, phatne and worshipped him
12 They went home another way
13 Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, again
14 Went to Egypt the next morning.
15 + 16 Herod killed all male children 2 yrs. and younger, approximating Jesus’ age from the time the wise men started their journey.
I hope you spend the rest of your Christ-mas holy day truly celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Make him the Lord of your life acc. to Romans 10:9 and search out those less fortunate than you are and help them in their time of need.
See Luke 4:18—–Preach the gospel to the poor, Heal the brokenhearted
Preach deliverance to the captives, restore the sight of the blind, set at liberty them that are bruised.