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Part 5

So far, we have seen that the Old Testament defines human nature as a unity, man, who is soul (living being) from one aspect, flesh (physical being) from another aspect, and heart (rational being) from yet another aspect. There is one more important aspect to be considered, namely, man as spirit. The term spirit translates the Hebrew ruach and its New Testament equivalent pneuma. We study the latter in chapter 3 where we examine the New Testament view of human nature.

The study of the presence of God 's Spirit in human beings is important because dualists often identify God 's Spirit in a person with the soul given by God to each individual and returning to Him at death. Thus, our concern is to establish, first, the nature of God 's Spirit in a person. Second, whether the spirit in human beings is a distinct and separate component of human nature or an indivisible aspect of it.

A mere glance at the statistical use of the term spirit [ruach] in the Old Testament shows that there are at least two unique things about this term that occurs a total of 389 times. First, no less than 113 times ruach spirit denotes the natural power of the wind. Thus, it is a term associated with the manifestation of power. Second, 35 per cent of the times (136 times) ruach Spirit refers to God. Only 33 per cent of the times (129) does it refer to men, animals, and false gods. This is surprising in view of the fact that flesh bashar is never applied to God, and soul nephesh only is applied to God in 3 per cent of the cases (21 times).54 

On the basis of this statistical data, Hans Walter Wolff rightly concludes that ruach [spirit] must from the very beginning properly be called a theo-anthropological term, 55 that is to say, a term with divine-human connotations. The Bible applies ruach spirit to both God and man. It speaks of the Spirit of God and the spirit of man. To understand the Biblical concept of man 's spirit, it is important to understand the Biblical meaning of God 's Spirit. We shall endeavor to do this by examining especially how God 's Spirit works within human nature.

The Meaning of Spirit Ruach. The Hebrew term generally translated spirit is ruach, which literally means air in motion, wind. Thus in Genesis 1:2, the Spirit ruach of God moves over the waters and in Isaiah 7:2, the trees of the forest shake before the wind [ruach]. Wolff points out that ruach does not mean static air but moving air56 that generates considerable power. It is not surprising that the formidable power of the wind [ruach] is often seen as a manifestation of the power of God. The east wind [ruach] brings locusts (Ex 10:13). A powerful wind [ruach] dries up the Red Sea (Ex 14:21). A strong wind [ruach] blows over the earth and causes the flood waters to subside (Gen 8:1).

The power manifested by the wind is associated in Scripture with the breath of God, which is His creative and sustaining power. We encounter this usage for the first time in Genesis 2:7: Then the Lord formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [neshamah] of life, and man became a living soul. 

Earlier we examined this great text to ascertain the connection between breath of life and living soul. Now we seek to understand more fully what the breath of life is that caused man to become a living soul. The Hebrew word used for breath here is not ruach spirit but the rarely used neshamah breath. The meaning of the two terms is similar, as indicated by the fact that they appear in parallell in five passages (Is 42:5; Job 27:3; 32:8; 33:4; 34:14,15). Job 33:4 says: The spirit [ruach] of God has made me, and the breath [neshamah] of the Almighty gives me life. Again, If he should take back his spirit [ruach] to himself, and gather to himself his breath [neshamah], all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust (Job 34:14-15).

In these verses, neshamah and ruach are used as synonyms, yet there appears to be a slight difference between the two terms. Neshamah denotes calm, peaceful, physical breathing, while ruach describes a more active and dynamic form of breathing. Ruach appears also to be the agent that makes breathing possible. As long as my breath [neshamah] is in me, and the spirit [ruach] of God is in my nostrils . . . (Job 27:3). Here the breath neshamah is in the person, while the spirit ruach is in the breathing through the nostrils. Thus says God, the Lord, . . . who gives breath [neshamah] to the people upon it, and spirit [ruach] to those who walk in it. (Is 42:5). Here spirit ruach means more than breathing because it is given only to those who walk in it. It would seem that the breath neshamah is one of the manifestations of God 's Spirit ruach. The latter has broader meanings and functions. One of the functions of God 's Spirit is to give and sustain life through the breathing process. Man 's vital breath is God 's gift; he breathes by courtesy of God 's Spirit. 57

It is interesting to note that the marginal reading of Genesis 7:22 in the Authorized Version translates the breath of life as the breath of the spirit of life. This literal translation of the Hebrew conveys the idea that the breath of life [neshamah] derives from the Spirit [ruach] which gives life. Commenting on this text, Basil Atkinson writes: The neshamah [breath] seems to be a property or portion of the ruach [Spirit] and to be concerned with what we today would call the physical life. The ruach which is also a principle of life is much wider. It produces and sustains the inner as well as the outer life of man, his intellect, abstract thoughts, emotions and desires as well as covering the whole action of the neshamah on the physical life. 58

The Spirit as Life Principle. The parallel use of neshamah breath of life and ruach-Spirit in the cited texts shows that the breath of life is the life-giving Spirit of God manifested in the creation of human life and of the universe as a whole. O Lord how manifold are thy works! . . . the earth is full of thy creatures. . . . When thou hidest thy face, they are dismayed; when thou takest away their breath [ruach], they die and return to their dust. When thou sendest forth thy Spirit [ruach], they are created, and thou renewest the face of the ground (Ps 104:24, 29-30). Breath and Spirit here translate ruach, thus indicating that the breath of life is equated with the life-giving Spirit of God who creates and renews the face of the ground. 

There are numerous texts in the Old Testament in which the spirit ruach refers to the life principle present in human beings. In Isaiah 38:16, we find Hezekiah saying, In all these things [that is, in the mercies of God] is the life of my spirit [ruach]. The phrase the life of my spirit most likely refers to Hezekiah 's recovery of his health, since the text continues, saying: Oh, restore me to health and make me live! (Is 38:16). Here the spirit ruach is clearly identified with life. There is no suggestion that the spirit in man is an independent and immortal component of human nature. Rather, it is the animating principle of life visible through the breathing. 

Idols which have no life are described as without breath-ruach. Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his images are false, and there is no breath [ruach] in them (Jer 10:14). Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath [ruach] at all in it (Hab 2:19). In both texts, ruach is translated breath because breathing is a manifestation of God 's Spirit in human nature. It is evident that idols are lifeless because they are without ruach, the animating principle of life that enables a person to breathe.

In describing the fate of King Zedekiah at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah uses an interesting and intelligible figure of speech: The breath [ruach] of our nostrils, the Lord 's anointed, was taken in their [Babylonian] pits (Lam 4:20). Here Zedekiah is thought of as the very life ruach of the nation that was taken away when the king was led into captivity. We have here a clear example of ruach denoting the principle of life.

Speaking of Samson, Judges 15:19 says: When he had drunk, his spirit [ruach] returned, and he revived (Jud 15:19). This revival is not from death but from exhaustion. We find exactly the same use in 1 Samuel 30:12 and Daniel 10:17. In all these instances, the spirit-ruach denotes the physical renewal of life. Being the life-giving agent, the spirit-ruach fittingly can represent also the physical renewal of life. The connection between spirit ruach and life is evident.

In his famous vision of the valley of dry bones, Ezekiel provides a most vivid example of the vivifying power of God 's Spirit ruach: Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath [ruach] to enter you, and you shall live . . . and you shall know that I am the Lord . . . 'Come from the four winds, O breath [ruach], and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. ' So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath [ruach] came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet (Ezek 37:5, 6, 9-10). Here the breath of God is His life-giving Spirit, as in the creation of man. The life-giving Spirit is identified with God 's breath because its manifestation caused dead bodies to come alive and breathe again. Breathing is a tangible manifestation of life and thus it provides a fitting metaphor for the animating life principle of the spirit.

The Spirit as God's Word. In Psalm 33:6 we find an interesting parallelism between God 's breath and His Word: By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath [ruach] of his mouth. Here God's breath ruach acts as a synonym for God's Word, because both proceed from His mouth. The parallelism suggests that God's breath is more than moving air. It is the creative power of life manifested through the spoken word of God.

Another example in which God's word is associated with ruach spirit is found in Psalm 147:18: He sends forth his word, and melts them [the frozen waters]; he makes his wind [ruach] blow, and the waters flow. Here God's word is associated with ruach breath or wind, presumably because speech is produced by breathing and proceeds from the mouth. God is described analogically in accordance with the human process of speaking through breathing. 

We must never forget that the Hebrews described things as they saw them, concretely and not abstractly. They saw that speech was caused by breathing, so it was natural for them to associate God 's breath with His word. Thus, God 's breath should be understood not as moving air, but as the life-giving power manifested through His spoken word. When God speaks, things happen, because His word is not empty speech, but life-giving power.

The Spirit as Moral Renewal. The renewal or re-creation accomplished by God 's Spirit is not only physical but also moral. David prayed: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit [ruach] within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit [ruach] from me (Ps 51:10-11). The new and right spirit [ruach] is a person 's right disposition toward God which is made possible by God 's holy Spirit [ruach]. Thus the spirit ruach is both God 's Spirit and man 's spirit. God gives the Spirit to create and sustain life. Man receives the Spirit to live in accordance with God 's will. Friedrich Baumgartel writes: The Spirit of God is a creative, transforming power, and its purpose is to create a sphere of religion and morals. 59

In Ezekiel we find the spirit ruach used three times for the new regenerate principle of life that God places within the believer when he is converted (Ez 11:19; 18:31; 36:26). A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit [ruach] I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ez 36:26). Here the new spirit ruach is associated with a new heart, because we have found that the heart is the mind, or reasoning center of the individual. The new spirit ruach is an attitude of willing obedience to God 's commandments that comes from a renewal of the mind (Rom 12:2). This meaning is clarified by the very next verse: And I will put my spirit [ruach] within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances (Ez 36:27). It is through the enabling power of God 's Spirit that our mind is renewed, so that we can live in accordance with the moral principles God has revealed for our well-being. 

The Spirit as God's Enabling Power. The Spirit of God is manifested not only in creating and sustaining life, but also in equipping individuals for specific tasks. When God commissioned Gideon to deliver the Israelites from the tyranny of Midian, The Spirit [ruach] of the Lord took possession of Gideon. . . . (Jud 6:34) and enabled him to lead the Israelites to victory. It was the Spirit of the Lord that equipped Gideon for the task, because he questioned his own qualifications: Pray, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family (Jud 6:15).

The same thing happened to Jephthah: The Spirit [ruach] of the Lord came upon Jephthah. . . . Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight them, and the Lord gave them into his hand (Jud 11:29, 32). In such instances God 's Spirit enabled certain Israelite leaders to perform superhuman deeds at critical moments.

God 's Spirit was also given to national leaders to carry out God 's plan for Israel. When the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, he was turned into another man (1 Sam 10:6). Similarly, when Samuel anointed David to succeed Saul as king, the Spirit [ruach] of the Lord came upon David from that day forward (1 Sam 16:13). Note that when David was anointed king, the Spirit [ruach] of the Lord departed from Saul (1 Sam 16:14). The Spirit that departed from Saul could hardly have been his soul that went up to God, since he was still alive. The withdrawal of the Spirit disqualified Saul as king of Israel, while the giving of God 's Spirit to David qualified him to rule over the people.

It is evident that the Spirit God gave to Gideon and Jephthah to judge and to David to rule, is not the same the same breath of life that is present in every human being. The latter is the principle of life that animates every human being, while the former is God 's Spirit given to chosen individuals to equip them for a special mission. In the case of Bezazel, for example, God 's Spirit equipped him with special skills for the building of the sanctuary. I have filled him with the Spirit [ruach] of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for the work of every craft (Ex 31:3-4). 

God 's Spirit commissioned prophets to communicate special messages to the people. Ezekiel says: When he spoke to me, the Spirit [ruach] entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard him speaking to me (Ez 2:2). Repeatedly, the prophets say that the Spirit of the Lord came upon them. Zechariah speaks of the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit [ruach] through the former prophets (Zech 7:12).

The giving of God 's Spirit is seen as an official divine commissioning. In Isaiah 61, the Servant of the Lord, the Messiah, is anointed by the Spirit for His mission: The Spirit [ruach] of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound (Is 61:1). Joel prophesied of the messianic time when God 's Spirit would be poured out on every believer: And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit [ruach] on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions (Joel 2:28). In these instances, God 's Spirit functions not as the animating principle of physical life, but as the Agent that equips believers for service.

The Spirit as the Disposition of an Individual. The idea of power manifested by the spirit ruach is carried over into what we would call the disposition or dominant impulse of an individual. A living person has drives or impulses that dominate him, or at least try to, and which he must overcome. This is often expressed in the Old Testament by the term spirit ruach, and characterizes the human spirit often antagonistic to God. Hosea complains that a spirit [ruach] of harlotry has led the priests astray (Hos 4:12). Ezekiel denounced the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit [ruach] and have seen nothing (Ez 13:3). Psalm 78:8 speaks of the wilderness generation whose spirit [ruach] was not faithful to God. Proverbs 25:28 compares a man who cannot rule over his own spirit [ruach] to a city without walls. Ecclesiastes says that the patient in spirit [ruach] is better than the proud in spirit [ruach]. In all these instances, the spirit denotes an attitude of obedience or disobedience to God. Thus, it is not to be confused with the life-giving function of God 's Spirit.

Sometimes the spirit-ruach is the seat of grief, generally referred to in Hebrew as bitterness of spirit. We are told that the people of Israel did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit [ruach] and their cruel bondage (Ex 6:9). Hannah told the priest, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit [ruach]: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before God (1 Sam 1:15, KJV). Here the sorrowful spirit is compared to the emptying of the soul before God. 

The spirit and the soul are mentioned together because both represent the vitality of life affected by sorrow. In Proverbs 15:13, we read that by sorrow of the heart the spirit [ruach] is broken. Here we find that the heart is the seat of sorrow, but the sorrow breaks the spirit or the inner life of a person. The interaction between spirit and soul, or heart and spirit, reminds us of the Biblical wholistic view of human nature, its various aspects all being part of the one, indivisible human being.

There are instances in which spirit ruach is the seat of emotions. Proverbs 16:32 says: He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit [ruach] than he who takes a city. To rule one 's spirit means to control one 's temper or anger. In several instances, ruach is translated as anger (Jud 8:3; Ez 3:14; Prov 14:29; 16:32; Ecc 7:9; 10:4). In other texts, ruach denotes courage: And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no courage [ruach] left in any man, because of you [the people of Israel] (Jos 2:11). 

There are also passages in which spirit ruach is used with the meaning of sadness: For the Lord has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit [ruach] (Is 54:6). The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit [ruach] (Ps 34:18).60 Spirit ruach can also denote contrition and humility. Thus, we have the beautiful passage in Isaiah 57:15: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit [ruach], to revive the spirit [ruach] of the humble. Again in Isaiah 66:2: But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit [ruach]. 

This brief survey of the various usages of spirit ruach in the Old Testament has shown that the spirit is a life principle deriving from God and maintaining human life. In a figurative way, the spirit ruach is used to refer to the inner moral renewal, good and evil dispositions, dominant impulses, grief, courage, sadness, contrition, and humility. None of the usages we have studied suggests that the spirit retains consciousness or personality when it leaves a person at death. The function of the spirit as a life-giving and sustaining principle ceases when the person dies.

The Departure of the Spirit at Death. Eleven passages in the Old Testament speak of the departure or removal of the spirit at death.61 Of these, four deserve special attention because they are often used to support the belief that at death the spirit goes to God, bearing with it the personality and consciousness of the individual who passed away. 

In foreshadowing the Lord 's death on the Cross, Psalm 31:5 says: Into thy hand I commit my spirit [ruach]. The spirit that Christ committed into the hands of His Father was nothing else than His human life which He was leaving in the hands of His Father to await its resurrection. As the animating principle of His life left Him, the Lord died and sank into unconsciousness. 

Speaking of marine creatures, the Psalmist says: When thou takest away their breath [ruach] they die and return to their dust (Ps 104:29). No one will argue that the spirit ruach that God takes away from the fish at death carries consciousness and personality. We have reason to believe that the same is true for human beings, because the same expression is used for both. In fact, in the following verse, the creation of animals is described by means of God 's life-giving Spirit, as is the creation of man: When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created (Ps 104:30).

As the creation of life is metaphorically represented by the sending forth of God 's Spirit, so the termination of life, death, is described as the withdrawal or removal of God 's breath. The latter is clearly expressed in Job 34:14-15: If he should take back his spirit [ruach] to himself, and gather to himself his breath [neshamah], all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. Again, the same thought is expressed in the well-known passage of Ecclesiastes 12:7: The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit [ruach] returns to God who gave it. 

These last two texts are very important, because they are commonly quoted to support the belief that the spirit ruach that returns to God is the soul that leaves the body at death carrying consciousness and personality. This interpretation lacks Biblical support for four major reasons. First, nowhere in the Bible is God 's breath or Spirit identified with the human soul. The existence of the soul depends upon the presence of God 's life-giving breath [neshamah] or spirit [ruach]. And when the life-giving spirit is withdrawn, a person ceases to be a living soul and becomes a dead soul. Thus the Psalmist says, His breath [ruach] goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that day his thoughts perish (Ps 146:4, KJV). 

Second, nowhere does the Bible suggest that the life-giving spirit that returns to God continues to exist as the immaterial soul of the body that has died. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that when God withdraws his breath of life or spirit of life, the outcome is not the survival of the soul, but the death of the total person. His thoughts perish (Ps 146:4), because there is no more consciousness. Death applies to both the body and the soul, because, as we have seen, the two are inseparable. The body is the outward form of the soul and the soul is the inner form of the body.

Third, the spirit that returns to God refers to all men ( all flesh ), not only to the godly. Those who argue that the spirit of all people, saved and unsaved, go to God for judgment ignore that Scriptures clearly teache that the judgment takes place not at death, but at the coming of the Lord at the end of the world.

Fourth, the Bible never suggests that the breath of life makes its possessor deathless or immortal. In not one of the 389 instances of the use of ruach spirit in the Old Testament is there any suggestion that ruach spirit is the intelligent entity of human nature capable of existence apart from a physical body. On the contrary, the Bible speaks of the death of those who possess the breath of life: For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath [ruach] of life; everything that is on the earth shall die [gava cease to breathe] (Gen 6:17). And all flesh died that moved upon the earth . . . everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath [ruach] of life died [gava cease to breathe] (Gen 7:21-22). 

It is evident from texts such as these that to possess the breath or the spirit of life does not mean to have an immortal soul. The breath of life is simply the gift of life given to human beings and animals for the duration of their earthly existence. The spirit or the breath of life that returns to God at death is simply the life principle imparted by God to both human beings and animals. This point is clearly made in Ecclesiastes 3:19: For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath [ruach], and man has no advantage over the beasts. Those who argue that the animals do not have the spirit (ruach) of life but only the breath (neshamah) of life, ignore the point that both Ecclesiastes 3:21 and Genesis 7:15, 22 plainly state that animals possess the same spirit ruach of life given to human beings.

There is no indication in the Bible that the spirit of life given to man at creation was a conscious entity before it was given. This gives us reason to believe that the spirit of life has no conscious personality when it returns to God. The spirit that returns to God is simply the animating life principle imparted by God to both human beings and animals for the duration of their earthly existence.

Conclusion. We have come to the end of our survey of four prominent terms used in the Old Testament to describe human nature, namely, soul, body, heart, and spirit. We have found that these terms represent not different entities, each with its own set of functions, but rather different functions that are interrelated and integrated within the same organism. The Old Testament views human nature as a unity, not a dichotomy. There is no contrast between the body and the soul, such as these terms may suggest to us.

The soul is not an immaterial, immortal part of human nature standing over against the body, but designates the vitality or life principle in human nature. The latter is composed of a form consisting of dust and a vital principle, called occasionally breath (neshamah) and usually spirit (ruach), breathed into him by God. The body and the divine breath together make the vital, active soul nephesh. The seat of the soul is the blood, because it is seen as the tangible manifestation of the vitality of life.

From the principle of life the term soul nephesh is extended to include the feeling, passions, will, and the personality of an individual. It then came to be used as a synonym for man himself. People are numbered as souls (Gen 12:5; 46:27). Death affects the soul nephesh (Num 23:10) as well as the body. 

The spirit ruach, which literally means air in motion, wind, is often used of God. God 's spirit ruach is His breath, that is, His power manifested in creating and sustaining life (Ps 33:6; 104:29-30). The human breath ruach comes from God 's breath ruach (Is 42:5; Job 27:3). In a figurative sense, the spirit ruach is expanded to refer to the inner moral renewal, good and evil dispositions, emotional and volitional life, thus overlapping somewhat with the soul nephesh. The difference between the soul nephesh and spirit ruach is that the former designates mostly a living person in relationship to other human beings, while the latter refers to a person in relationship to God. However, we have found that neither the soul nor the spirit is considered as a part of human nature capable of surviving the death of the body. 

The Old Testament references to the flesh or the body never suggest that bodily funtions are purely biological and independent of the psychological functions of the soul. There is no distinction in the Old Testament between physical and spiritual organs, because the entire roster of higher human functions such as feeling, thinking, knowing, loving, keeping God 's commandments, praising, and praying are equally attributed to the spiritual organs of the soul (or spirit) and to the physical organ of the heart and, occasionally, to the kidneys and viscera. 

Bodily organs perform psychical functions. Thus the heart thinks, the kidneys rejoice, the liver grieves, and the bowels feel sympathy. This is possible because of the wholistic view of human nature where a part of the person can sometimes represent the whole organism.

The references to the departure (Gen 35:18) and return (1 King 17:21-22) of the soul cannot be legitimately used to support the view that at death the soul leaves the body and returns to it at the resurrection. We have found that the departure of soul is a metaphor for death, indicating that the person has ceased to breathe. Similarly, the return of the soul is a metaphor for the restoration of life, indicating that the person has started breathing again. What is true of the soul is also true of the breath of life or spirit that returns to God at death. What returns to God is not an immortal soul, but simply the animating principle of life imparted by God to both human beings and animals for the duration of this earthly existence. 

Ralph Walter Doermann essentially comes to the same conclusion in his doctoral dissertation Sheol in the Old Testament, presented in 1961 at Duke University. He wrote: 

It is evident from the Hebrew view of the psychosomatic unity of man that there is little room for a belief in the 'immortality of the soul. ' Either the whole person lived or the whole person went down to death, the weakest form of life. There was no independent existence for the ruach [spirit] or the nephesh [soul] apart from the body. With the death of the body, the impersonal ruach [spirit] 'returned to God who gave it ' (Eccl 12:7) and the nephest was destroyed, though it was present in a very weak sense in the bones and the blood. When these were buried or covered over, the little vitality that remained was nullified. 63 
Summing up our conclusion, we can say that the Old Testament wholistic view of human nature rules out the distinction between body and soul as two completely different realms of reality. Furthermore, it removes the basis for the belief in the survival of the soul at the death of the body. Our next step is to establish whether the New Testament supports or modifies the Old Testament wholistic view of human nature. This question is addressed in the following chapter.