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For the fate of the children of men and the fate of animals is one: as the one dies, so the other dies. They all have one spirit,a and man has no advantage over the animals, for all is pointless. Bible
a[19]
Lit. ruach, traditionally “spirit,” here referring to the life force in the person or animal usually called “soul.”

“spirit.” The Hebrew word translated “Spirit” is ruach (#07307 רוּחַ), and it has a very broad range of meanings. In this context, it refers to the life force that animates the body, which the Bible also calls “soul” (nephesh). “Soul” is a type of spirit like “poodle” is a type of dog, and sometimes the Bible uses the broad category of “spirit” to refer to the life that animates us while at other times it uses the specific word “soul.”

Both humans and animals have the same life force, just as this verse says. This fact has been obscured by orthodox Christianity, which teaches that animals do not have a “soul.” God will not judge animals on any Day of Judgement, that is true, but it is not because animals do not have “soul,” it is because they were not created in the image of God like humans were with the elevated mental faculties that humans have, such as self-awareness, sense of purpose, knowledge of good and evil, reason, imagination, etc.

[For more on the uses and meanings of “spirit,” see Appendix 6, “Usages of Spirit.” For more on the uses and meanings of “soul” see Appendix 7, “Usages of Soul”].

“pointless.” See commentary on Ecclesiastes 1:2.


Commentary for: Ecclesiastes 3:19