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And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living souls, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” Bible

“living souls.” The Hebrew word “soul” is nephesh (#05315 נֶפֶשׁ), and nephesh is used both of the life force that animates humans, land animals, and many sea creatures. Nephesh is also used in the sense of “individual,” thus the translation “creature” (CJB; HCSB; ESV; KJV), because the living individuals in the sea were “sea individuals” or sea creatures. It is not well recognized in Christianity that the same life force that animates humans animates animals. In large part that is due to the fact that the word “soul” is not translated that way in most English Bibles when it comes to animals. For more information, see Appendix 7: Usages of “Soul.”


Commentary for: Genesis 1:20