QUESTION FROM A FRIEND

The question:


"I’ve got it, you’ve got it but I don’t believe animals have it. I think we are as far above the animals as the angels are above us. I still can’t figure out the relationship between the blood and the soul other than humans have blood and they are souls."


Response:


BLOOD:
Other created beings on Earth (Gen. 1:30 "everything that has the breath of life," i.e. breathes) are physically alive, as is humanity. We share with them the commonalities of flesh (i.e., blood, tissue, dna, etc). "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11) seems to refer symbolically to physical life, and only obliquely relates to the soul, as blood is an acceptable atonement for the soul's sin. Blood doesn't seem to have any special relationship with the soul, except to sustain the structure in which the soul resides. Blood is valued and honorable because it sustains physical life. I believe Yahweh places strict restraints on us regarding blood because He doesn't want us to grow casual about it. When He shed His own blood for us, He wanted us to realize its immense importance.


# Leviticus 17:11
'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.'


# Leviticus 17:14
" For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, 'You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.'


SOUL:
Genesis particularly notes that man received "the breath of life" directly from Yahweh's nostrils, which produced the notable outcome of man becoming a "living being." This phraseology is used only for the creation of man, and the language is so pointed, it seems to be indicating something more than a mere quickening of flesh. He seems to be imparting spirit/soul. The animals/birds/fish, while physically alive, weren't given living spirits; so sweet as they are, they do not have souls. Perhaps this is something they have this in common with the angels.


Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.


Very recently (2 days ago!), I learned that the Hebrew language consistently uses the same word for heart/spirit/soul. I never knew this before, but it certainly explains why I can never figure out what the difference is between the three. It now appears to me that Hebrews 4:12 is illustrating that Yahweh can do the impossible through the use of hyperbole.

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