This is a picture of my cat Cagney. She died some time ago and I still miss her smiling face. She was a very gentle little soul and was as tiny as a kitten. She was about 15 when she died and yet for her entire life, she never weighed more than five pounds. Not because she was sick, but because she was small. We rescued her from Animal control and she was a welcome addition to our family.
I was thinking about her (and a few of the other pets I've had over the years) today, when I came across something interesting in Genesis. Here is the verse I found in the 1917 JPS (Jewish Publication Society) edition:
...all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, whatsoever was in the dry land, died. - Genesis 7:22, JPS
A little background on this verse - this is about the time when Noah was safe in the ark with his family and all the animals. This particular verse was about all the animals who did not make it onto the ark. At first, I didn't notice anything unusual about the verse. I've read it so many times I almost glossed over it. But I have made it a habit to read my Bible along with other translations and that's when I noticed it. The part that was removed from the KJV, the ESV and the NIV (among others, but later put back into the NKJV) did not include the word "spirit." This is how it looked instead:
Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. - Genesis 7:22, NIV
In the Torah, the word "spirit" is included. But in some Christian Bibles instead of "the breath of the spirit of life" it now reads "the breath of life." That got my attention for a couple of reasons. First, I wondered why the "powers that be" would leave out the word "spirit." And second, I wondered what that meant for all my furry friends. So once again I began digging a little deeper and learned more about "the breath of life" than I thought possible. Let's start with a few words and their Hebrew meanings:
Breath - Neshamah