A few weeks ago our Sabbath dinner conversation turned to deep questions: What is life? What is death?
I didn’t have a solid answer readily at hand. As a believer, I know we should have a Biblically-based understanding of such things, so I started at the beginning of Scripture… with Adam.
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. (Genesis 2:7)
Consider those unique moments of Creation when Adam was made. In the time between the formation of Adam’s flesh and when G-d breathed into his nostrils, his body was 100% human and 100% flawless, undefiled, and uncorrupted… and yet not fully alive. It was only after G-d breathed the breath of life ( נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים, nishemat chayyom in Hebrew) into Adam’s body that he became a living being ( לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, l’nephesh chayah).
I think of it like a basic algebra equation: the body + the breath of life = a living being.
A+B=C… simple, right?
The Atlantic ran an incredible 28-photo presentation of the 2013 Powerhouse Fire in California's Angeles National Forest. The article, entitled The Terrible Beauty of California's Powerhouse Fire, included this image:
Without these powerful reminders from the creation, we can really lose sight of the significance and weight of the words of Scripture that describe the Creator:
There is a website I enjoy visiting from time to time that deals with all things typography: I Love Typography.
I was pointed there recently to an interesting article entitled "Where does the alphabet come from?"
What makes this article interesting is that it goes all the way from ancient cuneiform to modern day English letters. What makes it exceptionally interesting is that it includes references to people and places in the Bible in a positive manner.
During a recent study a question came up around the Hebrew word et. In Hebrew, et can serve as what is called an "object marker" (OM). It appears before an object that receives an action in a sentence (what we might call the direct object in English). Et points to the direct object. Here is an example from Genesis 1:1-
|In (the) beginning||created||G-d||(OM ->)||the heavens||and (OM ->)||the earth.|