Exegetical Psychology

The Exegetical Anatomy of lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) in the Old Testament

Exegetical Psychology │ Christ Assembly


In the Old Testament, the term “lives” (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) may be translated as a plural noun or a plural adjective. Some people translate it as a singular noun or singular adjective, even thought it has a plural ending. Typically, adjectives should agree with the gender and person of the noun they modify. To justify their choice to translate the term as a singular noun or singular adjective, they often cite the term Elohim (“אֱלֹהִ֨ים“), which many people translate as God singular, even though it has a plural ending. Yet, the term “Elohim” often has singular verbs applied to it, indicating the plural term “Elohim” refers to one God (for example, Genesis 1:1).

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I chose the translation “lives” because of its predominant usage in the Old Testament, as described further below. It often describes “lives” on earth. The term may also be applied to water, to describe flowing water. When applied to God, it may describe Him as the Father of lives. Jesus said that the Father has life in Himself. The Father gave Jesus to have life in Himself (John 5:26). Jesus spoke about spiritual life which He gives to people so that they pass out of death into life (John 5:24).  The term lives in the Old Testament does not means eternal life, but rather the gift of life God gave to Adam and the other lives, so that they come to life on earth in their bodies. All lives share the same gift, the gift of lives. Without sin, they would have remained both lives and not dead ones who died because of sin. I will leave the discussion of dead ones for another day, except to say that dead ones stand opposite of lives in terms of death of the body, but spiritual death can characterize lives, until the death of the body, when they join other dead ones in Sheol. 

I have surveyed some uses of the term “lives” (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) in Old Testament. I began this study because of the use of the term in Genesis 2:7. In this article, I only provided a brief survey of verses for further discussion, but I submit that many translators brought modern meanings into revelations from God in Hebrew forms that made sense to Hebrew minds at the time. We should exercise extreme caution in changing a plural noun “lives” to a singular noun “life” to ease the sound to modern ears. I understand the term “lives” has its own problems, but when all the dust settled, it seemed to me to be the best way to communicate the plural noun meaning. Furthermore, changing a plural noun into a singular adjective may be even a greater leap. God chose plurals and we should be very cautious about claiming a wide “semantic range” allowing us to change a plural into a singular to convey the meaning. Translators quickly become preachers with their private interpretations that radically change the meaning of the original text. Caution and reverence for God’s word quickly blow away in the gales of men supplanting the revelation of God with their own human ideas. Our ways are not His ways, and our thoughts are not His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). The words of the original autographs matter and should be treated with caution and reverence. Achieving perfect translations will always be very challenging and dependent upon God’s leading.

Particularly in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, translating the term “lives” often fits the context well. Even so, I have left the term as “lives” to help understand how it interfaces with the other uses of “lives” in the rest of the Old Testament. Please recall the verbs and other words in the sentence will help us understand how to translate a particular word. Remember that God used a singular noun with a plural verb in Genesis 1.1 referring to Elohim.


Section One 

Breath of lives

1.1 Breath and lives.  Translators often confuse the Hebrew terms breath (“נְשָׁמָֽה“), spirit (“ר֣וּחַ“) and soul (”נַפְשֹׁ“). Because God inspired every single word in the original autographs of the Bible, words matter and should be studied very carefully for their use in the Bible. Study of other languages may be of some limited value, but the primary source material for definition of terms in the Bible should always be the Bible itself, because God inspired the Bible. The near and far context of each term should be carefully considered. In Genesis 2:7, God distinguished the term “breath” (“נְשָׁמָֽה“) from the term “spirit” (“ר֣וּחַ“).  Yahweh Elohim blew (“יִּפַּ֥ח“) into the nose (“בְּאַפָּ֖יו“) of Adam  “breath of lives” (“נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים“). (Please note that my English references to Hebrew terms does not always follow the exact Hebrew term as to person, number, stem, etc., and particularly a suffix may not be translated. For example, into his nose (“בְּאַפָּ֖יו“–dual construct with third person singular masculine suffix) I may describe as into the nose of Adam to make a point. I am not always making a literal translation, but rather discussing the usage of the term.) God used the term “breath” there. The result of that “breath of lives” was that Adam came to “soul life” (“לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּֽה“). The term “spirit” (“ר֣וּחַ“) never appears in Genesis 2:7. Confusing the term “breath” (“נְשָׁמָֽה“) with “spirit” (“ר֣וּחַ“) obscures basic understandings of exegetical anthropology.

1.2 Breath and Animals. All in whose nose is breath of spirit lives (“נִשְׁמַת־ר֨וּחַ חַיִּ֜ים בְּאַפָּ֗יו“) died (“מֵֽתוּ“) (Genesis 7:22). Notice that the verb “died” referred to the death of the flesh on land which had the breath of spirit lives in in its nose.

1.3 Breath and the Lamp of Yahweh. The breath of man (“נִשְׁמַ֣ת אָדָ֑ם“) is the lamp of Yahweh, searching the all the rooms of the belly (“חֹ֝פֵ֗שׂ כָּל־חַדְרֵי־בָֽטֶן“) (Proverbs 20:27). 

1.4 The Breath of Yahweh. The breath of Yahweh (“נִשְׁמַ֤ת יְהוָה֙“), like a torrent of brimstone, sets ablaze the pyre (Isaiah 30:33). 

1.5 Summary of Breath The term “breath” also refers to an active presence in man which searches his innermost being as the lamp of Yahweh. The breath of spirit lives continues to live in the nose of man once breathed into him. Furthermore, the body of man holds the breath of lives, and when the body dies, the breath of lives also leaves. Souls also continue existence after the death of the body, but souls that sin die spiritually (James 5:20) and physically (Numbers 18:22) (see also Ezekiel 3:20 for an understanding of sin and death). See The Soul and the Death of the Body


Section Two 

Spirit of lives

2.1 Flesh and Spirit of Lives. To Noah Elohim declared that the end of “all flesh” (“כָּל־בָּשָׂר֙“) on earth had come before Him. Elohim then specified that He would destroy all flesh in which in it spirit of lives (“כָּל־בָּשָׂ֗ר אֲשֶׁר־בֹּו֙ ר֣וּחַ חַיִּ֔ים“) from under heaven (Genesis 6:17). Because God chose each word Moses wrote, here the spirit of lives dwells in the flesh. God specifically said He would end the flesh; the spirit of lives does not necessarily perish at that time. Remember that the flesh exists independently of the spirit; the flesh dies, but the spirit continues. See The Spirit and the Death of the Body


Section Three

Lives Generally

3.1 Moses and Lives. Moses wanted to return to his brethren in Egypt to see if any of them were still lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) (Exodus 4:18).

3.2 Animals and Lives. The term lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) applied to animals (Exodus 22:4).

3.3 Job and Elohim Lives.  Job declared of Elohim: lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) and lovingkindness (“וָ֭חֶסֶד“)  You have done with me and your oversight has watched my spirit (“רוּחִֽי“) (Job 10:12).

3.4 Delights in Lives. The Psalmist asked: Who is the man who delights in lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“), loving days to see good (“לִרְאֹ֥ות טֹֽוב“)? (Psalm 34:12).

3.5 Asking for Lives.  The king asked Yahweh for lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) and you gave it to him, length of days age and beyond (“עֹולָ֥ם וָעֶֽד“) (Psalm 2:15). In this verse, David may have asked for “life” using the same term as lives. In the alternative, David may have asked for offspring, so that his house would continue forever.

3.6 Anger and Lives. Then lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) swallowed us in the bursting anger of nose angers against them (“בְּלָע֑וּנוּ בַּחֲרֹ֖ות אַפָּ֣ם בָּֽנוּ“) (Psalm 124:3) (see The Angers of God).

3.7  Wisdom and Lives. The one finding me [wisdom] finds lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) (Proverbs 8:35). At times, Solomon may have used the term “lives” (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) to mean life using poetic language. In the alternative, Solomon may have been consistent with other Old Testament usage and meant lives, to describe a spiritual connection between all living things in spirit and soul.

3.8 The King’s Face and Lives.  In the the light of the king’s face are lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) (Proverbs 16:15).

3.9 Wives and Lives. In Ecclesiastes 9:9 the Preacher  advised: see lives (“רְאֵ֨ה חַיִּ֜ים ) with the woman you love all the days of life of your vapor (“כָּל־יְמֵי֙ חַיֵּ֣י הֶבְלֶ֔ךָ“) which were given to you under the sun (“אֲשֶׁ֤ר נָֽתַן־לְךָ֙ תַּ֣חַת הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ“); all days of your vapor for he is your portion in lives (“כִּ֣י ה֤וּא חֶלְקְךָ֙ בַּֽחַיִּ֔ים“) and in your labor which you labored under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

3.10 Wine and Lives. Makers prepare bread for enjoyment and wine makes glad lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“)  and silver is the answer to everything (Ecclesiastes 10:19). 


Section Four 

Elohim and lives

4.1 Moses and Elohim Lives. Moses described Elohim Lives (“אֱלֹהִ֨ים חַיִּ֜ים“) speaking from the midst of the fire and marveled that he and they lived (“וַיֶּֽחִי“) (Deuteronomy 5:26). Therefore, the term lives also applies to Elohim, often translated as the Living God (singulars). Elohim lives makes more sense to me. 

4.2 David and Elohim Lives. David referred to the ranks of Elohim lives (“מַעַרְכֹ֖ות אֱלֹהִ֥ים חַיִּֽים“), referring the army of Israel (1 Samuel 17:26; see the same construction in 1 Samuel 17:36).

4.3 Jeremiah and Elohim Lives.  Jeremiah declared: Yahweh Elohim is true; He  Elohim Lives (“הֽוּא־אֱלֹהִ֥ים חַיִּ֖ים“) and the King forever (Jeremiah 10:10; ”מֶ֣לֶךְ עֹולָ֑ם“–“King of age” may be a better translation).  Jeremiah further observed: the people of Israel have overturned the word of Elohim Lives (“אֱלֹהִ֣ים חַיִּ֔ים“), Yahweh Sabaoth (“הוָ֥ה צְבָאֹ֖ות“), our God (“אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ“) (Jeremiah 23:36).


Section Five 

Soul and lives

5.1 Lives and Your Soul. The teachings of  Solomon will be lives (“חַיִּ֣ים“) to your soul (“לְנַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ“) and grace to your neck (“וְ֝חֵ֗ן לְגַרְגְּרֹתֶֽיךָ“) (Proverbs 3:22).


Section Six 

Fountain of lives

6.1 Elohim and Fountain of Lives. David wrote that in Elohim is the fountain (“מְקֹ֣ור“) of lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“); in Your light we see light (Psalm 36:9). In the alternative, David may have been referring to the fountain of life (singular). In this case, David appeared to be speaking of the lives, describing a spiritual connection in life for all lives. We must be careful to adopt the Hebrew mindset and not impose our own mindset upon Old Testament words. Just because some concept such as “life” (singular) makes smoothing reading for modern Americans does not mean that the Hebrew writers of the Old Testament did the same. If they used plural nouns, we should be very cautious about radically changing the meaning away from plural nouns to singular nouns or adjectives.

6.2 The Mouth and Fountain of Lives.  The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of lives (“מְקֹ֣ור חַ֭יִּים“) (Proverbs 10:11).

6.3 The Law of the Wise and Fountain of Lives. The law of the wises (“תֹּורַ֣ת חָ֭כָם“) is a fountain of lives (“מְקֹ֣ור חַיִּ֑ים“) to turn aside from snares of death (“לָ֝ס֗וּר מִמֹּ֥קְשֵׁי מָֽוֶת“) (Proverbs 13:14).

6.4 The Fear of Yahweh and Fountain of Lives.  The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of lives (“מְקֹ֣ור חַיִּ֑ים“), to turn aside from snares of death (“לָ֝ס֗וּר מִמֹּ֥קְשֵׁי מָֽוֶת“) (Proverbs 14:27).

6.5 Insight and Fountain of Lives. A fountain of lives (“מְקֹ֣ור חַ֭יִּים“) is insight to its owner (“שֵׂ֣כֶל בְּעָלָ֑יו“), but discipline of fools is folly (“וּמוּסַ֖ר אֱוִלִ֣ים אִוֶּֽלֶת“) (Proverbs 16:22). He who pursues righteousness and lovingkindness will find lives (“חַיִּֽים“), righteousness and glory (Proverbs 21:21). Yahweh declared that My people have forsaken Me (“עָזְב֜וּ“), the fountain of waters, lives (“מְקֹ֣ור׀ מַ֣יִם חַיִּ֗ים“), to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13). The people who turn away on earth will be written down, because they have forsaken the fountain of lives water, Yahweh (“כִּ֥י עָזְב֛וּ מְקֹ֥ור מַֽיִם־חַיִּ֖ים אֶת־יְהוָֽה“) (Jeremiah 17:13). 

6.6 Springs of Lives.  From your heart (“לִבֶּ֑ךָ“) flow springs (“תֹּוצְאֹ֥ות“) of lives (“חַיִּֽים“) (Proverbs 4:23).


Section Seven 

Sheol and Lives

7.1 Descending Lives and Sheol. Moses prophesied about the ground opening and the rebels as lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) descending to Sheol (Numbers 16:30). The prophecy was fulfilled and the rebels and all that belonged to them descended as lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) to Sheol (Numbers 16:33). Consider that some bodies die and then descend into Sheol, but the rebels did not die before they descended to Sheol.

7.2 Swallow like Sheol. Evil people say: let us swallow like Sheol (“נִ֭בְלָעֵם כִּשְׁאֹ֣ול“) lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) and blameless ones like the ones going down to the Pit (“וּ֝תְמִימִ֗ים כְּיֹ֣ורְדֵי בֹֽור“) (Proverbs 1:12).

Section Eight 

Today and Lives

8.1 Baal-Peor and Lives.  Moses described the destruction of the wicked at Baal-Peor, but reminded the people that, because they held fast to Yahweh your Elohim, all of them remained lives today (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) (Deuteronomy 4:4).

8.2 Fathers and Lives.  Moses reminded the people that Yahweh did not make the covenant with the fathers, but with all lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) here today (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) (Deuteronomy 5:3). The lives refers to the people presently alive today.

8.3  Ben-Hadad and Lives. Ben-Hadad commanded his men to take hold of lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“), referring to men who had come out to oppose him (2 Kings 7:12). The text indicates they were to be kept alive. 

8.4 Ahab’s Descendants and Lives.  Ahab’s descendants were lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) taken and then killed at the pit of Beth-Eked (2 Kings 10:14).

8.5 The Cliff and Lives.  The sons of Judah captured some 10,000 lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“)  and threw them down from a cliff and they were dashed to pieces (2 Chronicles 25:12).

8.6 Elohim and Lives.  Job declared of Elohim: lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) and lovingkindness (“וָ֭חֶסֶד“)  You have done with me and your oversight has watched my spirit (“רוּחִֽי“). In Proverbs 1:12 evil people say: let us swallow like Sheol (“נִ֭בְלָעֵם כִּשְׁאֹ֣ול“) lives (“הַיֹּ֖ום“) and blameless ones like the ones going down to the Pit (“וּ֝תְמִימִ֗ים כְּיֹ֣ורְדֵי בֹֽור“).


Section Nine 

The Earth and Lives

9.1 Upon the Earth and Lives. Moses reminded the people of the day at Horeb when they heard the words of Yahweh so that they may learn to fear Yahweh all the days which they are lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) upon the earth (“עַל־הָאֲדָמָֽה“) (Deuteronomy 4:10).

9.2 Possession and Lives. The people of Israel were given the land to possess as long as they are lives (“חַיִּ֜ים“) upon the earth (“עַל־הָאֲדָמָֽה“) (Deuteronomy 12:1).

9.3 Fear and Lives. The children will learn the fear of Yahweh your Elohim as long as you are lives on the earth (“חַיִּים֙ עַל־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה“) they were about to possess beyond the Jordan (Deuteronomy 31:13; see also 1 Kings 8:40). Some may prefer to translate the word as “land” instead of “earth” because of the context. I seek to emphasize the continuity of the terms to describe people as lives on the earth at that time.


Section Ten

The Land and  the Lives

10.1 Goodness of Yahweh and Land of Lives. David observed: I would have despaired unless I caused to believe (“הֶ֭אֱמַנְתִּי“) that I would see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of lives (“בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּֽים“) (Psalm 27:12-13).

10.2 Uprooted from Land of the Lives.  El will uproot Doeg the Edomite from the land of lives (“וְשֵֽׁרֶשְׁךָ֙ מֵאֶ֖רֶץ חַיִּ֣ים“) (Psalm 52:5). 

10.3 Cut Off from Land of Lives.  Messiah was cut off from the land of lives (“מֵאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּ֔ים“) for the transgression of My people (Isaiah 53:8). Likewise, people may threaten to cut off Jeremiah. Evil ones threatened to cut off Jeremiah from the land of lives (“וְנִכְרְתֶ֨נּוּ֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּ֔ים“) and his name will be remembered no longer (“שְׁמֹ֖ו לֹֽא־יִזָּכֵ֥ר עֹֽוד“) (Jeremiah 11:19).

10.4 Beauty in the Land of Lives. Adonai Elohim declared that Tyre would be uninhabited because its inhabitants will dwell in the lower parts of the earth (“בְּאֶ֨רֶץ תַּחְתִּיֹּ֜ות“); I will give beauty in the land lives (“וְנָתַתִּ֥י צְבִ֖י בְּאֶ֥רֶץ חַיִּֽים“) (Ezekiel 26:20).

10.5 Terror in Land of Lives.  The ones who give terror in the land of lives (“אֲשֶׁר־נָתְנ֥וּ חִתִּ֖ית בְּאֶ֥רֶץ חַיִּֽים“) have fallen by the sword (Ezekiel 32:23).

10.6 Elam and Elohim Lives.  Ezekiel recorded that Elam gave terror in the land of lives (“נָתְנ֤וּ חִתִּיתָם֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּ֔ים“) (Ezekiel 32:24–see the same construction in Ezekiel 32:25, 26, 27, 32). 

 10.7 Ways of Yahweh and Lives. Solomon prayed to Yahweh Elohai (“יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֑י“). Solomon continued his prayer and asked that all the people walk in the ways of Yahweh Elohai as long as they are lives upon the face of the ground (“חַיִּ֖ים עַל־פְּנֵ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֑ה“) which Yahweh Eloai gave to our fathers (2 Chronicles 6:12). 


Section Eleven 

Path and lives

11.1 Fullness of Joy and Path of Lives. David declared that Yahweh would also make my flesh (“אַף־בְּ֝שָׂרִ֗י“) dwell in security (“יִשְׁכֹּ֥ן לָבֶֽטַח“). David continued that Yahweh would not forsake my soul (“לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב נַפְשִׁ֣י“) to Sheol  to give your Holy One (“חֲ֝סִידְךָ֗“–see also Psalm 30:4 and the article related to holy ones) to see destruction (“לִרְאֹ֥ות שָֽׁחַת“) (Psalm 16:9). David continued that Yahweh would cause me to know “path of lives” (“אֹ֤רַח חַ֫יִּ֥ים“), where in Your face fullness of joy (“שְׂ֭מָחֹות אֶת־פָּנֶ֑יךָ“) and at Yahweh’s right hand enduring  pleasures (“נְעִמֹ֖ות בִּימִינְךָ֣ נֶֽצַח“) (Psalm 16:11). 

11.2 Visiting the Adulteress and Path of the Lives.  People who visit the adulteress will not return again nor do they reach the “path of lives” (“אָרְחֹ֥ות חַיִּֽים“) (Proverbs 2:19).

11.3 Level Path and Path of the Lives. The adulteress does not make level (“פֶּן־תְּפַלֵּ֑ס“)  path of lives (“אֹ֣רַח חַ֭יִּים“) (Proverbs 5:6). 

11.4 Path of Righteousness and Lives.  In path of righteousness are lives (“בְּאֹֽרַח־צְדָקָ֥ה חַיִּ֑ים“); and way trail is no death (“דֶ֖רֶךְ נְתִיבָ֣ה אַל־מָֽוֶת“) (Proverbs 12:28). Compare Proverbs 8:20, I walk in path of righteousness (“בְּאֹֽרַח־צְדָקָ֥ה אֲהַלֵּ֑ך“). 

11.5 Upward Path of Lives.  Path of lives (“אֹ֣רַח חַ֭יִּים“) is upward to prudent ones (“לְמַ֣עְלָה לְמַשְׂכִּ֑יל“), to turn aside from Sheol downward (“לְמַ֥עַן ס֝֗וּר מִשְּׁאֹ֥ול מָֽטָּה“) (Proverbs 15:24).


Section Twelve 

Way and lives

12.1 Way of Lives. For commandment is a lamp (“כִּ֤י נֵ֣ר מִ֭צְוָה“) and Torah is light (“וְתֹ֣ורָה אֹ֑ור“) and way of lives reproofs of discipline (“וְדֶ֥רֶךְ חַ֝יִּ֗ים תֹּוכְחֹ֥ות מוּסָֽר“) (Proverbs 6:23). 


Section Thirteen

Favor of Yahweh and lives

13.1 Favor of Yahweh.  The Psalmist observed regarding Yahweh that for a moment His nose anger (“בְּאַפֹּו֮“–see The Angers of God);  lives in His favor in the evening will pass the night weeping, and to the morning shout of joy (“רִנָּֽה“) (Psalm 30:5).


Section Fourteen 

Book and lives

14.1 Book of Lives. David requested that Yahweh blot the names of his enemies out of the Book of lives (“חַיִּ֑ים“) and not record them with righteous ones (“צַ֝דִּיקִ֗ים“) (Psalm 69:29). See the Books of Life


Section Fifteen 

Time and lives

15.1 Lives to Age. Yahweh commanded a blessing–lives to the Age (“חַ֝יִּ֗ים עַד־הָעֹולָֽם“) (Psalm 133:3). See The Concept of Ages in the New Testament.

15.2 Length of Days and Years of Lives. Solomon’s teachings will add length of days (“אֹ֣רֶךְ יָ֭מִים“) and years of lives (“וּשְׁנֹ֣ות חַיִּ֑ים“) (Proverbs 3:2).

15.3  Many Years of Lives. Hear, my son, and take my sayings, and many to you years of lives (שְׁנֹ֣ות חַיִּֽים“) (Proverbs 4:10).

15.4 Finding and Lives.  For lives they are to the ones finding them and to all his flesh healing (Proverbs 4:22).

15.5 Years Added and Lives.  For in me will be multiplied your days and will be added to you years of lives (“שְׁנֹ֣ות חַיִּֽים“) (Proverbs 9:11).


Section Sixteen 

Tree and Lives

16.1  Taking Hold and Tree of Lives. Tree of lives (“עֵץ־חַיִּ֣ים“) she is to the ones taking hold in her (“לַמַּחֲזִיקִ֣ים בָּ֑הּ“) (Proverbs 3:18).

16.2 The Fruit of Righteousness and Tree of Lives.  The fruit of righteousness (“פְּֽרִי־צַ֭דִּיק“) is a tree of lives (“עֵ֣ץ חַיִּ֑ים“) (Proverbs 11:30).

16.3 Desire and Tree of Lives.  Hope drawn out weakening to heart and tree of lives (“עֵץ־חַיִּ֣ים“) is desire having come in (“תַּאֲוָ֥ה בָאָֽה“) (Proverbs 13:12).

16.4 Healing Tongue and Tree of Lives.  Health tongue (“מַרְפֵּ֣א לָ֭שֹׁון“) is a tree of lives (“עֵ֣ץ חַיִּ֑ים“), but crookedness in it is a fracture in spirit (“שֶׁ֣בֶר בְּרֽוּחַ“) (Proverbs 15:4). 


Section Seventeen 

Dead Ones and lives

17.1 The Dead Ones and The Lives. I praised the dead ones (“וְבֵּ֧חַ אֲנִ֛י אֶת־הַמֵּתִ֖ים“) already being dead  (“שֶׁכְּבָ֣ר מֵ֑תוּ“) from the lives (“מִן־הַ֣חַיִּ֔ים“) who are still lives (“הֵ֥מָּה חַיִּ֖ים עֲדֶֽנָה“) (Ecclesiastes 4:2).


Section Eighteen 

Flowing Water 

18.1 Flowing Water. The term “lives”  (“חַיִּ֜ים“) also applied to flowing water (for example, Leviticus 15:13).  After Christ sets His feet on the Mount of Olives when He returns, waters of lives (“מַֽיִם־חַיִּים֙“) will flow out from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1).


The term “lives” has varied uses in the Old Testament. Often “lives” describes people alive on earth at a given time. The term also suggests a connection to other lives. God breathed into Adam the breath of lives, and his body came to life. Animals in general share in being lives. lives also describe the blessing of having life to live in the fear and wisdom of God. God made many lives, and they exist at His pleasure.