Abram was the first in scripture to be called 'Hebrew'. Why? What does it mean? Is it only referring to the lineage that Abram descended from? Or, is there an understanding of this discriptive term that also applies to us, as Believers In Christ? This writing explores this concept.
The Coarse Course of YHWH
KJV Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
For over 35 years I have pursued the mystery of ‘adam’, and how ‘adam’ was to become a Life Giving Spirit known as Adam, and ultimately become The Christ; first individually, and then corporately. Yashua came to reveal to us the identity of Christ, and by so doing, empower mankind to embrace Christ as man’s own identity. Christ, which is synonymous with ‘Son of God’, is given to ‘adam’ as a gift. Before ‘adam’, or mankind, was to embrace Christ as his own identity, ‘adam’ first had to experience to the full his failure as a religious endeavor. YHVH Elohim, or LORD God if you prefer, is the experience of ‘adam’ attempting to manifest Spiritual Truth in Love, without yet having bowed the knee and submitted to the Spirit of Truth and Love. To sum that up, ‘adam’ is an attempt to manifest God while still ‘being’ a carnal and selfish soul. And that is what I refer to as ‘religion’. And every ‘religion’, regardless of name or description, displays the same symptoms and characteristics; the effort to manifest a godly existence from the carnal energy of a ‘living soul’.
“And LORD God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” The common ‘assumption’ of Bible students and believers of all persuasions is that this passage is referring to the impartation of ‘spirit life’ into ‘adam’. Nothing could be further from Truth. Our previous discussion of the words ‘breathed’, and ‘nostrils’, should give us a clue that we have not properly understood the spiritual scenario being revealed in Gen. 2:7.
The Hebrew word that is most commonly translated as ‘breath’, and also as ‘spirit’, is the Hebrew word ‘rue-ahkh’ (Strong’s #7307), and is found in the range of words numbered by Strong’s as #7304 through #7309. This word, ‘rue-ahkh’, is used in scripture several hundred times, and the vast majority of those times the word is translated as ‘spirit’, ‘breath’, and ‘wind’. This word ‘rue-ahkh’ is also translated a few other ways of which the student or researcher should be aware. The common assumption is for the reader of scripture to expect that the English word ‘breath’ is always translating the Hebrew word ‘rue-ahkh’. It is not, and when ‘breath’ is translating another Hebrew word other than ‘rue-ahkh’ in a verse, that verse is almost always confusing.
Gen. 2:7 is a very good example of how translation ‘anomalies’ “…make the word of God of none effect”. “For God is not of confusion”. [1 Corinthians 14:33]
“And LORD God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” [Gen. 2:7] The Hebrew word translated as ‘breath’ in this verse is ‘neh-shammah’ (Strong’s #5397), and is a variation of the word ‘shah-mah’ (Strong’s # 8047). Both of these words are derived from the primary root word ‘shah-mam’, (Strong’s #8074). The basic definition of ‘shah-mam’ (Strong’s #8074) as a primary root is that of causing desolation or destruction, and to be laid waste, to the point of astonishment. This word is describing the almost unbelievable dismemberment and destruction of an integrated and cohesive person, place or thing. ‘Shah-mam’ is used to describe the desolation of Jerusalem and Israel when that desolation and decay is brought on by the degradation and sin of the people. In Leviticus chapter 26, the people are told in very descriptive terms of the desolation (sham-mam) that will result from their failing to keep all of the statutes and requirements of YHVH as listed in Torah:
KJV Leviticus 26:32 And I (YHVH) will bring the land into desolation (shah-mam): and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished (shah-mam) at it.
Let us now attempt to follow the natural progression of understanding the relationship of these words ‘shah-mam’, ‘shah-mah’ and ‘neh-shammah’, for they are hopelessly intertwined.
‘Shah-mam’ (Strong’s #8074) is the graphic description of the manifestation of a desolate, dysfunctional and incoherent existence of complete disintegration. ‘Shah-mah’ (Strong’s #8047) is descriptive of the lifestyle characteristics of a lowly and disorderly existence that are indicative of the condition known as ‘shah-mam’. ‘Neh-shammah’ (Strong’s #5397) however is the perpetual repetition of the ‘shah-mah’ that are manifestations of ‘shah-mam’. Or in simpler terms, “chaos (neh-shammah) is the perpetual lifestyle of ‘adam’, continuously perpetrating the disorderly conduct (sham-mah) that is the reliable trademark of desolation and astonishing bewilderment (shah-mam)”. Simple, huh?!
“And LORD God breathed into his nostrils the breath (neh-shammah) of life…” [Gen. 2:7]
Let us look at a few examples from scripture to attempt to enforce this concept that ‘neh-shammah’ is a disorderly and destructive quality of behavior, expressing the ‘life’ of ‘adam’ as a carnal and selfish soul. Gen. 7:22 describes the destructive assignment of the flood to remove all that had been corrupted and contaminated.
KJV Genesis 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath (neh-shammah) of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
NKJ Deuteronomy 20:16 "But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes (neh-shammah) remain alive,
KJV Job 27:3 All the while my breath (neh-shammah) is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils (aph; anger);
KJV Psalm 18:15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast (neh-shammah) of the breath of thy nostrils (aph; anger).
KJV Proverbs 20:27 The spirit (neh-shammah) of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
NKJ Isaiah 2:22 Sever yourselves from such a man, Whose breath (neh-shammah) is in his nostrils (aph; anger); For of what account is he?
NKJ Isaiah 57:16 For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would fail before Me, And the souls (neh-shammah) which I have made.
NKJ Daniel 10:17 "For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath (neh-shammah) left in me."
The summing up of this chapter is to emphasize that the Hebrew words, as they have been translated into English and other western tongues, is not reliably consistent. And as such, there has been much confusion, distortion and misunderstanding of the scriptures, and the pageant those scriptures relate. Without personally knowing the Hebrew words that have been translated, and the many and varied ways they have been translated, it is not possible for the student or reader to grasp the accuracy of the story being told. And the distorted narrative has resulted in centuries of confusing religious doctrine, the establishment of a religious hierarchical order, and condemnation and indictment of one to another. This was never the plan as outlined in Genesis Chapter One. So where did ‘adam’ go wrong; or ‘miss the mark’ as they say? How did mankind descend into the religious morass we have come to take for granted? How was it that YHVH Elohim empowered ‘adam’ to trust in and maintain a continued existence of antagonistic behavior to all that ‘adam’ was originally intended to care for, and serve? How has ‘adam’ been relegated to a role of selfish and carnal degradation of self, as well as others? And, what is the possible remedy for such long-standing spiritual disease? Maybe the next chapter can offer some Light near the end of the tunnel.