Truth, Understanding, Insight

O.T. Spirit

20th July 2009, mgh


5) Psalms and 'Ruach'

The Psalms also reveal the variety of translations given for the Hebrew 'ruach' from wind, and breath to the mind and the power of God.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind (ruach) driveth away (Psalm 1: 4)
Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest (ruach): this shall be the portion of their cup. (Psalm 11: 6)

And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind (ruach). (Psalm 18: 10)
Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath (ruach) of thy nostrils. (Psalm 18: 15)
Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind (ruach): I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. (Psalm 18: 42)
Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. Let them be as chaff before the wind (ruach): and let the angel of the LORD chase them . (Psalm 35:4-5)
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit (ruach) within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit(ruach) from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit (ruach).... The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit (ruach): a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51: 10-12, 17)

Who lays the beams of his chambers in the waters: who makes the clouds his chariot: who walks upon the wings of the wind (ruach): Who makes his angels spirits (ruach); his ministers a flaming fire: ... Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou take away their breath (ruach), they die, and return to their dust. Thou send forth thy spirit (ruach), they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. (Psalm 104: 3,4,29-30)
Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind (ruach) fulfilling his word: (Psalm 148:8)

Again in the Psalms the same pattern occurs. The word 'ruach' has been translated in a similar way to Genesis and Exodus. The word has multiple functions. Wind, tempest, breath and spirit are used in the preceding examples. The Psalms are poetic and produce in a colourful way principles that give instruction. The wicked and ungodly are destroyed by the same power that revealed the foundations of the world and created and sustains life. Breath can be taken away. Yahweh can, and does, control and use the forces of his all pervading spirit in the employment of the natural elements of wind, fire, storm and tempest to bring about his will.