The Hebrew word for breath, which is Ruach, holds a significant and deeper meaning. Let us discover why.
The Hebrew language
The Hebrew language is very dynamic compared to the English language. It is a language, based on word pictures and symbols that convey much emotion and experience. Every letter has an image and corresponding meaning. It does not just give information.
That is why, the Old Testament, which is originally Hebrew, contains various symbols and pictographic meanings.
Ruach or Breath
For example, the Hebrew for ‘breath’ is Ruach. Ruach in Hebrew is spelled Reysh, vav, and chet. Reysh is the picture of the head, which means master, or leader. Vav has the picture of an iron nail and means to fasten or secure two things together. Lastly, chet is the picture of a fence and means to separate, protect, or sanctuary.
From these pictographs, Ruach portrays a leader who will connect us to a fence that will protect and provide sanctuary. So, who is this leader?
It is the Spirit of God. He is the One who will connect us to God the Father, and remind us of the teachings of Christ. John 14:26 says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Moreover, in Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
The Spirit in the verse is translated as Ruach. Therefore, Ruach can mean Spirit, wind, or breath/life. As we think about it, the Spirit is indeed similar to the wind and life/breath. We cannot see the wind but we can feel it (John 3:8).
Additionally, breaths are vital in our lives. Without it, we cannot live. And the very breath that put us to life is the Spirit of God. Genesis 2:7 says, “Then, the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.”