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Man’s Nature and Destiny

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    NEPHESH DEFINED

    Gesenius, the standard Hebrew lexicographer, defines nephesh as follows:-MND 45.4

    “1. Breath. 2. The vital spirit, as the Greek psuche, and Latin anima, through which the body lives, i.e., the principle of life manifested in the breath.” To this he also ascribes “whatever has respect to the sustenance of life by food and drink, and the contrary.” “3. The rational soul, mind, animus, as the seat of feelings, affections, and emotions. 4. Concr. living thing, animal in which is the nephesh, life.”MND 45.5

    Parkhurst, author of a Greek and a Hebrew Lexicon, says:-MND 46.1

    “As a noun, neh-phesh hath been supposed to signify the spiritual part of man, or what we commonly call his soul. I must for myself confess that I can find no passage where it hath undoubtedly this meaning. Genesis 35:18; 1 Kings 17:21, 22; Psalm 16:10, seem fairest for this signification. But may not neh-phesh, in the three former passages, be most properly rendered, breath, and in the last, a breathing, or animal frame?”MND 46.2

    Taylor, author of a Hebrew Concordance, says that neh-phesh “signifies the animal life, or that principle by which every animal, according to its kind, lives. Genesis 1:20, 24, 30; Leviticus 11:40. Which animal life, so far as we know anything of the manner of its existence, or so far as the Scriptures lead our thoughts, consists in the breath (Job 41:21; 31:39) and in the blood. Leviticus 17:11, 14.”MND 46.3

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