Doctrine of Man – Part 7

19 Feb

The Being of Man – Part 3

C. Man is a Soul

In the Old Testament, the word “soul” comes from the Hebrew word “nephesh.” This word is translated into many different words in the King James Bible. Some of these other words are: beast, body, breath, creature, fish, ghost, heart, person and self. Thus the word “soul” has a very broad meaning. For the purpose of this study, we will break the word down very generally to have three meanings. To understand our being and our relationship to God, we will focus on the third. In the Bible the word “soul” refers to:

1. Any living being, human and sometimes animal – Soul would be synonymous with “a being, person, individual” in this case. This does not mean that animals possess a soul (as humans), but they are a soul (a being). Example: Genesis 46:25-27, “These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven. 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; 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.”

Animals are souls (beings). Example: Leviticus 24:18, “And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.” The words, “beast for beast” are from the Hebrew word “nephesh.” It is translated “fish” in Isaiah 19:10. Nine times “nephesh” is translated “creature.” Example: Genesis 2:19, “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” We can thank God that He led the translators of the King James Bible to write the words “beast, creature, fish, etc.” in the English. Never when we read the word “soul” in the KJB is it talking about an animal, but only humans as a being, or the inward man. It appears as though the English clarifies the Hebrew in differentiating between animals and humans.

2. The inner most being of man – This being appears to be even deeper than the spirit of man. Like the spirit, the emotions have a great effect on the soul. Every emotion that the spirit of man experiences, the soul experiences as well. A casual glance a the listings of the word “soul” in the Strong’s concordance will verify that.

The Greek word for spirit (pneuma) is sometimes translated into the English word “mind,” but never into the English word “heart.” The Hebrew word for spirit (ruwach) is sometimes translated into the English word “mind,” but never into the English word “heart.”

The Greek word for soul (psuche) is translated into both English words “mind” and “heart.” The Hebrew word for soul (nephesh) is translated into both English words “mind” and “heart.” Thus, the mind pertains to the body (instincts, reflexes), the spirit (emotions, will), and the soul (emotions, will); but the heart pertains more closely to the soul. Consider their close proximity in the following verses:

Acts 4:32 “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.”

Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;”

Judges 16:16-17 “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”

Psalm 13:2 “How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?”

Psalm 33:20-21 “Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.”

The word “heart” comes from the Greek word “kardia,” (like cardiac). The Latin derivative is “cor” from which we get the English “core.” The heart is the core of our being, and it seems to rest in and relate to the things of the soul.

Human Soul – Innermost Man, Human Body – Outer Man, Heart (the flesh) – Beliefs (core of our being), Human Spirit – Inner Man, Emotions, Will, Thoughts, Meditations, Thinking, Human Mind (Brain) – Reflexes, Instincts, Thinking, Conscience (That which the mind permits or allows)

A very simplified diagram of our being might look like this: Because the heart is the core of our being, and it relates closer to the human soul than the human spirit, we can see that the soul appears to be the “innermost” part of man, and the spirit is the “inner” man. God’s concern for the man is from the inside out, man’s concern for himself is usually from the outside in.

For example, man’s greatest concern is usually his body (food, drink, sleep, clothing, shelter, lusts, safety, provision, etc.). His second greatest concern is his spirit (feelings, emotions, will–dealing with depression, loneliness, anger, etc.). He casually leaves the care of his soul to a religion he associates with, his clergyman, his parents faith, baptism, morals, etc. Millions of people go to see doctors of every sort to care for their bodies every year. Millions of dollars are spent on cosmetics, drugs, vitamins, etc. Hardly anyone goes to see a Pastor or a Christian about their soul. We need to go to them. Even then, they are not very receptive or they are indifferent.

God starts with the heart – Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness…” Psalm 49:8 “(For the redemption of their soul is precious…)” When the heart and soul are right with God, it affects the spirit and does a healing work there. When the spirit is right, it helps the body generally. Proverbs 18:14 “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity…” God heals from the inside out. Man tries to heal from the outside in.

3. The part of man that can have and maintain a relationship with God – We are to love God with all of our being, no doubt. The Great Commandment is to love God with all of the heart, all of the soul, all of the mind (which controls the human spirit), and with all of our strength (body). However, Scripture is given over to the soul as the part of man that mostly relates to God. A general statement on this subject could be:

a. The human spirit relates mostly to man – “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?” (1 Corinthians 2:11)

b. The human soul relates mostly to God – Consider all of the following statements about the soul. Notice the relationship to God in all of them. (Most of this is not said of the spirit.):

  • The soul can sin – Leviticus 4:2; 5:1, 15, 17; 6:2; Numbers 15:27; Micah 6:7
  • The soul needs to be atoned for – Leviticus 17:11; Exodus 30:15,16; Numbers 31:50
  • God is to be sought with the soul – Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 22:19; 2 Chronicles 5:12
  • God is to be loved with all the soul – Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12, 11:13, 13:3, 30:6; Joshua 22:5; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30,33; Luke 10:27
  • God is to be served with all the soul – Deuteronomy 10:12, 11:13; Joshua 22:5
  • God’s commandments are to be kept and done in truth with all the soul – Deuteronomy 26:16, 30:2; 1 Kings 2:4; 2 Kings 23:3, 2 Chronicles 34:31
  • God is to be turned to with all of the heart and soul – Deuteronomy 30:10
  • Poured out my soul before the Lord – 1 Samuel 1:15
  • The Lord can redeem the soul out of all adversity – 2 Samuel 4:9
  • The Lord can redeem the soul out of all distress – 1 Kings 1:29
  • The backslider should return to the Lord with all his heart and soul – 1 Kings 8:48; 2 Chronicles 6:38
  • God can vex our souls – Job 27:2
  • God can take away the soul – Job 27:8
  • The soul can be cursed – Job 31:30
  • God can keep the soul from destruction – Job 33:18-30; Psalms 35:17
  • God can deliver the soul – Psalms 6:3-4, 22:20, 33:19, 55:18, 56:13
  • The soul can speak to the Lord – Psalms 16:2
  • The soul can go into hell – Psalms 16:10; Acts 2:27,31
  • The soul can be converted – Psalms 19:7
  • None can keep alive his own soul – Psalms 22:29
  • The soul can be restored by God – Psalms 23:3
  • The soul can be lifted up to God worship – Psalms 25:1
  • The soul can be kept by God – Psalms 25:20
  • God knows the soul in adversities – Psalms 31:7
  • Our soul can wait on God – Psalms 33:20
  • The soul can boast in God – Psalm 34:2
  • The Lord redeems the soul – Psalms 34:22, 49:8,15, 69:18, 71:23
  • The Lord saves the soul – Psalms 35:3
  • The soul can be joyful in the Lord – Psalms 35:9
  • The soul can be healed by God – Psalms 41:4
  • The soul can pant after God – Psalms 42:1
  • The soul can thirst for God – Psalms 42:2, 63:1, 143:6
  • The soul can hope in God – Psalms 42:5,11, 43:5
  • The soul can trust in God – Psalms 57:1
  • The soul can wait upon God – Psalms 62:1,5
  • The Lord can satisfy the soul – Psalms 63:5
  • The soul can follow God – Psalms 63:8
  • God holds our soul in life – Psalms 66:9
  • I will declare what He hath done for my soul – Psalms 66:16
  • The Lord redeems the soul from deceit – Psalms 72:14
  • The soul can long for God – Psalms 84:2
  • The soul can faint for God – Psalms 84:2
  • The soul is preserved by God – Psalms 86:2, 121:7
  • The soul can be lifted up to God – Psalms 86:4, 143:8
  • Delivered my soul from the lowest hell – Psalms 86:13
  • Lord cast off our soul – Psalms 88:14
  • God can delight our soul – Psalms 94:19
  • The soul can bless the Lord – Psalms 103:1,2,22, 104:1,35
  • God can send leanness into the soul – Psalms 106:15
  • God can satisfy the longing soul – Psalms 107:9
  • God can fill the hungry soul with goodness – Psalms 107:9
  • God can deliver the soul – Psalms 116:4,8, 120:2
  • The soul can praise God – Psalms 119:175, 146:1
  • Our soul can wait on the Lord – Psalms 130:5,6
  • God can strengthen our soul – Psalms 138:3
  • God can leave the soul destitute – Psalms 141:8
  • God can bring our soul out of prison – Psalms 142:7
  • God can bring the soul out of trouble – Psalms 143:11
  • The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish – Proverbs 10:3
  • The soul can be won – Proverbs 11:30, 14:25
  • The soul is guarded by keeping the commandments – Proverbs 19:16
  • The Lord keeps the soul – Proverbs 24:12
  • Woe unto their soul – Isaiah 3:9
  • The desire of our soul is unto Thee – Isaiah 26:8-9
  • God loves the soul – Isaiah 38:17
  • God delights in the soul of the elect – Isaiah 42:1
  • Hear God and your soul shall live – Isaiah 55:3
  • God can satisfy the soul in drought – Isaiah 58:11
  • My soul shall be joyful in my God – Isaiah 61:10
  • God can water the soul as a garden – Jeremiah 31:12
  • God can satiate the soul with His goodness – Jeremiah 31:14
  • God can satiate and replenish the soul – Jeremiah 31:25
  • The Lord made our soul – Jeremiah 38:16; Isaiah 57:16
  • The soul can speak of the Lord – Lamentations 3:24
  • The soul can seek the Lord – Lamentations 3:25
  • The soul of every man belongs to God – Ezekiel 18:4
  • The soul that sins shall die – Ezekiel 18:4,20
  • The soul can be saved – Ezekiel 18:27
  • He that taketh warning shall deliver his soul – Ezekiel 33:5
  • The soul is delivered from bloodguiltiness by warning others – Ezekiel 33:9
  • The soul can be sinned against – Habakkuk 2:10
  • The soul can be destroyed in hell – Matthew 10:28
  • The soul can be eternally lost – Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36-37
  • The soul can magnify the Lord – Luke 1:46
  • The soul shall be required of by God someday – Luke 12:20
  • God can call for a record upon our soul – 2 Corinthians 1:23
  • The soul can be preserved blameless by the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Psalms 97:10
  • Jesus is the anchor of the soul – Hebrews 6:19
  • Believing saves the soul – 1 Peter 1:9, 1 Peter 10:39
  • God’s engrafted word is able to save our souls – James 1:21
  • Conversion saves a soul from death – James 5:20
  • Soul is purified in obeying the truth – 1 Peter 1:22
  • Jesus is the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls – 1 Peter 2:25
  • The soul can be committed to God for keeping – 1 Peter 4:19

As we can see, there are many Scriptures that relate the soul to God. There are far fewer that relate the spirit to God. So, generally, it can be said for the believer: The spirit relates to man, the soul relates to God.


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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in God's Truth


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