The Explanation
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The Explanation

Neshama Reveals Humankind’s Relationship with God

Neshama is translated the breath of life in Genesis 2:7; this is far short of the real significance of what God breathed into the first man’s nostrils. Learn its magnitude.

Neshama is the divine essence God breathed into the first man. It defines God’s relationship with all humans.
Neshama is the divine essence God breathed into the first man. It defines God’s relationship with all humans.

Genesis 2:7

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath (H5397) of life, and man became a living soul.


נְשָׁמָה nᵉshâmâh from H5395 (נָשַׁם); a puff, i.e. wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect. or (concretely) an animal:

KJV — blast, (that) breath(-eth), inspiration, soul, spirit.


נָשַׁם nâsham naw-sham’; a primitive root; properly, to blow away, i.e. destroy:

KJV — destroy.

Genesis 7:20–23
20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

22 All in whose nostrils was the breath (H5397) of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Genesis 7:21–22 Notice the two Hebrew words nishmat (neshama) ruach (breath of the spirit). Not visible in most translations.

Joshua 10:40, 11.11,14

10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.

11:11 And they smote all the souls (H5315 nefesh) that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe (H5397 neshama): and he burnt Hazor with fire.

14 And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe (H5397).

Nature of Neshama



Further Study



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Sam Kneller

Biblical Hebrew is my passion, the basis of my writing. I ministered & reside in Paris, FR. My books reveal the Bible is a 21st C. handbook.