We might note that in the Hebrew language, in which the Old Testament was written, the word translated "spirit," ruach, is referred to with feminine pronouns. The Holy Spirit possesses attributes belonging only to God. This is why no material thing was ever to be used to represent God ( Exodus 20:4 ). The basis of this claim was that the Hebrew word for “spirit” (ruach) is feminine. The Holy Spirit is a she. We are one in the Lord. Lev. Enjoy this website? The short answer is that if this is true, then the Spirit is also an “it” since the Greek word for “spirit” (πνευμα) is neuter. In summary, in the first two verses of Genesis there is a parallel construction between the masculine and feminine. by Brennan Hughes 2 Comments. Murphy, Roland E., “Introduction to Wisdom Literature,” The Jerome Biblical Commenary, Vol. When it says the Holy Spirit came “upon” Joshua, as well as others, it speaks of a “special anointing” of the Holy Spirit – not the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. R. i. So, in the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth. There are profound metaphors of God as feminine in the Hebrew Old Testament. Interviews with Rabbi Isaac VandeWalle, then head rabbi at Cnesses Israel Congregation, Green Bay, WI, summer 1978. The Hebrew Scripture contains rich and sometimes even unique material about the Spirit of the Lord, so those specific thoughts are not repeated in the Newer Testament. This verse has often been interpreted to mean that man/male is the image and likeness of God; in recent years, however, many scholars are interpreting Genesis 1:26-27 as humankind, male and female, as the image and likeness of God.10, These two passages in Genesis 1-2:4 are foundational to any concept of the feminine in God in the Hebrew Scripture. The noun, spirit or breath or wind, is feminine, and the verb ending is feminine. It is not theology as I think of theology. In Judaism, the Holy Spirit ( Hebrew: רוח הקודש ‎, ruach ha-kodesh) refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the universe or over God's creatures, in given contexts. Any meaningful understanding of the Holy Spirit of God in the Bible will need to begin with an understanding of the term “spirit.” The various ways ruakh (“spirit”) is used in the Hebrew Bible contributes a great deal to our understanding of the revelation of the person and divinity of the Holy “Spirit” in the Old Testament and in the New. Wisdom is identified as She in the Protestant Book of Proverbs (8:24). An easy-to-use style plus the benefits of the Strong's Dictionary numbering system makes this study Bible one for every student of God's Word, no matter what age. But the Holy Spirit clearly is not female or a woman. Jos 5:1 - And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit H7307 in them any more, because of the children of Israel. It has taken me a long time to come to this understanding—in fact, forty years of wandering through Scripture study groups, prayer meditations and graduate school. It allows for our Christian concept of the mystical body of Christ: We are one breed. Although the feminine in God was transformed and lifted into the realm of spirit, it was not eliminated. Rather, it became described in allegory and metaphor. No clearer statement of the intimate interworking of the triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and especially of the Spirit’s powerful role can be found in the Old Testament than in Isaiah’s prophecy of the Servant of the Lord (Is. Yet the feminine is there in the language incorporating the feminine principle into the very essence of God.3, The foundation for thinking of God in feminine terms is in the prologue to Genesis, Genesis 1:1 to 2:4. It is a person. Sexuality of male and female was treated as allegory and symbol within the essence of God. For those of us who are Christians there is something that has been lost since around the 2nd-3rd century after Jesus walked the earth. The noun is masculine and the verb ending is masculine. The longer answer is that Hebrew … 9, end; comp. Your email address will not be published. He is invisible and like wind, because He can be felt or experienced, but not seen. He grieves, He knows, He is eternal, He encourages, He gives understanding, He gives peace, He … Sign up for my free updates! Blenkinsopp, Joseph, contributor to The Jerusalem Bible; interview 1974. Elohim was a masculine plural noun most often used with a singular verb.16 This word image of Elohim also incorporated the feminine as a noun concept, the ruach Elohim. If gender is an attribute of the body, then a spirit does … In the Old Testament it is mentioned 23 times, but in a different form: “Ru•ach Adonai,” the Spirit of God. The Hebrew word for holy is “qodesh” which means “apartness, sacredness,” or “separateness” showing that God is altogether holy, sacred, set apart or separate from His creation. They demythologized the gods of the surrounding Canaanite culture, revealing God as a more spiritualized concept.15 In so doing, they eliminated the fertility gods and goddesses, and they taught that God is One. The same Hebrew word used for “spirit” (neshamah) in this verse is the word translated “breath” in Genesis 2:7! Ibid. the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. In the second verse, the ruach Elohim m’reche-phet, the spirit of God hovers. The Hebrew counterpart (rûach) has the same range of meaning as 4151 (pneúma), i.e. However, He is called the Holy Spirit (πνεῦμα ἅγιον "pneuma agion") 90 times in the New Testament.The name incorporates the unique nature of deit… Thus, the “spirit of God hovering” is a metaphorical allusion to the feminine in God. The Holy Spirit first appears in the second verse of the Bible, in the account of creation : The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible combines essential tools for Hebrew and Greek with translations that are accurate and clear. This word also means “wind.” The word “kodesh” comes from the word “kadosh” that means “holy.” Ru•ach Ha•ko•désh is mentioned 55 times in the New Testament. Shab. To summarize the priceless teaching of the Hebrew Bible on the Spirit of God into one article is almost an impossible task. On occasion this poetic imagery is allegorized literally as female; most often the feminine appears in the Hebrew Bible in metaphor and allegory, as in Deuteronomy 32:18b where God, here named Eloah, gives birth to Israel in groaning and travail as of a woman giving birth.1 In later Jewish writings in the midrashim, or stories, the Shekhinah, or Divine Presence, is depicted literally in female form.2, In the Hebrew Old Testament itself, the feminine imagery is most often allegorical and poetic. Aleph (1) and Bet (2) equal Gimmel (3), suggesting that Gimmel (3) represents the Holy Spirit proceeding forth from the Father (Aleph) and the Son (Bet). The pious act through the Holy Spirit (Tan., Wayeḥi, 14); whoever teaches the Torah in public partakes of the Holy Spirit (Cant. © 2020 CBE International - All rights reserved. In 1 Samuel 10:1, 6, 9 we discover that King Saul was anointed and the Holy Spirit was actively present in his life and changed his heart. For women, the significance is that the ruach Elohim of Genesis 1:2 is a feminine noun accompanied with a feminine-ending verb form, m’rechephet. If we truly believe this is the Word of God, then the Word is inspired by a God who loves word play and delights in symbolism and a sophisticated use of language. The Holy Spirit is identified with the feminine spirit of Wisdom in the Catholic Apocrypha. Tip: to find an exact phrase or title, enclose it in quotation marks. In the Western church, we rightly (in my view) believe in the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son. Life began with the living breath of the Spirit of God, the ruach Elohim. But when the attributive adjective ("holy") is used, it always refers to the Holy Spirit. " The word’s first use in the Bible appears in the second verse: “The Spirit of God [Ruach Elohim] was hovering over the These include the parallel description of Genesis 1:1 of the masculine God Elohim creating the heavens and the earth, followed by the description in Genesis 1-2 of the ruach Elohim, or Spirit of God, in feminine noun and verb form with its allusion to God as a mother eagle in Deuteronomy 32:11. Help CBE spread the message that #Godvalueswomen. Creation was by God’s Word when God said, Let there be light. 3c, above, and parallel passage). it likewise can refer to spirit/Spirit, wind, or breath.] 487, 494. Further, it can be expanded into our ecumenical concepts of the ways in which people follow Christ. For example, even though the Holy Spirit is identified with a dove in Matt 3:16 it would be an interpretive mistake to see the Holy Spirit in every place a dove is referred to in the Bible. Deuteronomy 32 was the Song of Moses, which many scholars consider to be a part of the earliest and most sacred of the Hebrew traditions.8 Since this was originally an oral tradition, the priestly poet writing down Genesis 1:2 may well have memorized and repeated over and over the verses from the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32. Many feel that in so much of the Bible, the inspired priestly poets, scribes, and prophets rearranged topics and verses.4, The Hebrew writers were also obviously familiar with the mythology of the surrounding Canaanite culture, much as we are thoroughly familiar with the worldly, secular culture that surrounds us. Messiah had the title of “Anointed” (Psalm 2:2) In their poetic imagery the god Elohim became singular-plural. This is poetry.18 This is metaphor. The Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Bible (2) Prophecy. To begin with it is important to realize that out of the 378 occurrences of the term “spirit” in the Old Testament it actually means “wind” or “breath,” not “spirit,” ab… 1, 1988 ed., pp. Sexuality was taken out of the literal performance of the fertility rites that were performed in pagan temple rituals to insure the productivity of the land; it was spiritualized and taken into the realm of transcendence and spirit. The Hebrews emphasized the ruach Elohim, identified with the mother eagle of Deuteronomy 32:11. This is imagery. I view this allusion to the feminine in Genesis 1:2 as a brilliant synthesis. קָדְשׁוֹ), also occur (when a possessive suffix is added the definite article ha is dropped). (It is not customary to use the pronoun She to identify the spirit, but in the Hebrew the Spirit cannot be identified with the pronoun He, according to many Hebrew scholars.)7. God in Genesis 1 is Elohim, a masculine plural form most often used with a singular verb. Based on notes to Genesis 1:2 and Deuteronomy 32:11 in The Jerusalem Bible and the Soncino Press translation of. New American Standard Bible The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, NASB 1995 Throughout the Bible, we see the Holy Spirit power used to empower individuals for specific tasks. It has taken me a long time to come to this understanding—in fact, forty years of wandering through Scripture study groups, prayer meditations and graduate school. Just like the Father and Son, the Spirit is depicted as a Creator. A devotional study of the Holy Spirit which looks at His ministry throughout Scripture as revealed in the names the Bible gives Him. In 1 Samuel 16:13 we are told that the Holy Spirit came upon King David. In Greek, both masculine and neuter words are used to refer to the Holy Spirit. These words for God come out of the ancient Near East, where Gods and goddesses abounded;14 Astarte and Baal are examples. A Note about the Hebrew and Greek Texts for the Holy Spirit's Names The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, of course, and that's the starting point for serious exegesis of its writings. 1:20-22; 8:1-9:6; Wis. 1:6-7, 6:22-25).20. 3. The truth will be revealed by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Wherever this word ruach appears in the Hebrew, the translation of it is highlighted with bold and yellow. Joseph is empowered to understand and interpret dreams, an artist named Betzalel is empowered to create beautiful things for the tabernacle, and a group of people - the prophets - are empowered to bring messages from God to the people of Israel and to see what is happening from God's point of view. Again, the Hebrew poets appropriated, but transformed the creation stories of their surrounding neighbors. Names of the Holy Spirit By Ray Pritchard This book follows Names of Christ in a trilogy designed to help Christians better understand the glory, majesty, and power of the triune God. Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Bible (2) Prophecy, Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Bible (1) Things the Holy Spirit Does, More On the Holy Spirit in the First Testament | Christianity 201. God in the Hebrew vision was a plurality of oneness.19. From Scripture we learn that the Holy Spirit is God. Note 5 on Genesis 2:7 in the Holy Bible Recovery Version explains the meaning of the spirit in this verse: Log in. Bible verses about the Holy Spirit. And what is the role of the Holy Spirit (or Helper) in olam hazeh? American Jewish Committee, New York City. This God of the Hebrews was also demythologized. Interview, October 1978. The Feminine Imagery of God in the Hebrew Bible, Gifts of Stock, Mutual Funds, and Retirement Accounts, CBE International’s Favorite Books of 2020, The Importance of Gender-Inclusive Language, Sign Up to Get CBE’s Academic Journal Online, “Eloah” as a name for God is listed under “Elohim” in the. We are one body. What the Hebrew Bible presents in a nutshell, the New Testament enlarges in light of the first coming of Jesus and His victory over the forces of evil on the Cross. God is invisible and spirit (i.e., non-body) - ( John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17 ). It also helps develop the argument that the feminine imagery is integral to the original Hebrew concept of God.9, This allusion to the feminine in God builds in Genesis 1:26-27 where mankind, ha-adam, is made in the image and likeness of God, and ha-adam, male and female, is given dominion over all earth. In the Old Testament, he is also referred to as the Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of the Lord. The Jerusalem Bible, commentary on Genesis. The Canaanites worshiped the goddess Elat. In the process I’ve had two books published, Woman: Image of the Holy Spirit and Elohim. It is threefold: to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come (John 16:8). I now have this awesome certitude that, as a woman, I have been defined in the Hebrew Scripture as made in the image and likeness of God.21, Sign up for our newsletter to receive our most up-to-date news, articles, and information. This God was a plurality of oneness, the one including the many, the masculine and feminine combined, the two in one.17, This is a brilliant use of language. There the Holy Spirit is identified as the Spirit of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is identified with the feminine spirit of Wisdom in the Catholic Apocrypha. The verb m’rechephet is identical to the verb used in Deuteronomy 32:11 where God is compared to a mother eagle: God upholds Israel as an eagle hovers and spreads her wings. This is the second installment of a multi-part series exploring the activity of the Holy Spirit through the Bible. 7). This ruach Elohim (Gen. 1:2) is identified with the mother eagle of Deuteronomy 32:11. In Genesis 8:8 Noah sends out a dove to see if the flood waters had receded, but one should not interpret this as Noah sending out the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit conducts Elijah, who brings the dead to life (Yer. First, the references of the Holy Spirit coming upon certain people do not make it necessary to assume that these people were without the Spirit at other times. Spirit " ("spirit") is by far the most common translation (application) of 4151 (pneúma). Kroeger, Catherine Clark, “Faith, Feminism and Family,”. Our spirit is the deepest part of our being and was created by God to contact and receive Him. My foundational concept of the feminine in God is in Genesis in the introduction, where God is described with both masculine and feminine nouns and verbs, as Elohim and ruach Elohim. We are one in the Spirit. Simply stated, God is described in both masculine and feminine imagery in the opening verses of Genesis. 42:1–9).The passage summarizes the redeeming work of all three Persons of the Trinity in the salvation of the lost. In the first verse, God, Elohim, creates the heavens and the earth. It is poetic imagery of God. God (a masculine noun) creates by his Word, and life begins as the spirit (a feminine noun) of God hovers over the earth with her life-giving breath.6, The Hebrew word for God in Genesis 1 is Elohim. THE HOLY SPIRIT In Hebrew, the original inspired language of the Tanach (Old Testament), the word 'Ruach' can be construed as a person. In Hebrew, the … However, the Lord inspired these writers of Scripture to reinterpret what they found.5, For women, this introduction to Genesis has profound implications, which are being grasped as a growing number of scholars closely examine the original Hebrew text. There is only one God and He is the third divine person of the Trinity. I personally believe this was part of their genius. In the New Testament, he is sometimes called the Spirit of Christ. Then even later in the Wisdom literature, including Proverbs and the apocryphal books of Wisdom and Sirach, this holy spirit of God was identified with Lady Wisdom (Prov. The Old Testament teaching on the Holy Spirit paves the way for the New Testament interpretation of this biblical theme. Scholars call this poetic section the Elohistic account of Creation because of the divine name used predominantly throughout and consider it to be newer than the earlier Yahwist (another divine name) account of the creation of Adam and Eve in chapter 2. It allows for the unity of the married couple in our Christian sacramental teachings in which man and wife become two in one flesh. According to the Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, the meaning of the word is unclear, but at times it can even refer to the council of the gods.12 It is derived from the ancient Ugaritic where God was El, the goddess was Elat, and the plural of the gods was Elohim.13. What is the human spirit? I believe that Genesis 1:2 was a deliberate allusion to the ancient poetical Song. Second, it includes the description in Genesis 1:26-27 of ha-adam, mankind, male and female, as the image and likeness of God.11, The poetic imagery of God in Genesis 1-2:4 spins in my mind in ever-widening circles of the concept of God in feminine form. The idea is that God is totally different from us as He is spirit (John 4:24 ) and desires those who worship Him do so in spirit and in truth (John 4:23 ). Now, in my maturing years, it is all coming together. Heaven’s Muscle: Unleashing the Power of the Spirit Within You. In the process I’ve had two books published, Woman: Image of the Holy Spirit and Elohim. I am now aware that there are many passages concerning God in the Hebrew describing God in maternal and feminine metaphor, including Deuteronomy 32:18b, where God groans and gives birth in an image of a woman in labor. Both words are commonly used in passages referring to the Holy Spirit. As God, the Holy Spirit has existed through all eternity. Answer: The Hebrew ruach means “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit.” The corresponding Greek word is pneuma. He is the breath of God which disperses His life-force, His energy and His intentions/mind. Rudin, Rabbi James. Male and female are in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27). קָדְשְׁ "ruach qedosh") is only found three times in the Old Testament. That is, anointing implied the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the king. So perhaps “he” is correct, but recognising that in English “he” implies far more than “he” in greek or Hebrew. R. xxxv. Protestant Book of Proverbs ( 8:24 ) role of the Holy Spirit which at. As revealed in the beginning, Elohim, identified with the mother eagle of Deuteronomy 32:11 has through... Work of all three Persons of the Holy Spirit paves the way for the New Testament, he is called... Installment of a multi-part series exploring the activity of the Spirit of God hovering ” is a construction... 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