In-Depth Edition

II. God’s Creation of People


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Chapter 6  Part II

God’s Creation of People

Most would agree that the most significant part of God’s creation is his creation of people. God not only gives people life and a spirit, he has made people quite unique amongst all creatures. Furthermore, of all his creatures, it is primarily to people that God reveals himself and relates.

Life and Death

See also:

God creates people . . .

See also:

Gen 5:2  Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Mana when they were created. ▤ 

a Hebrew adam

Deut 4:32  For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. ▤ 

Job 10:8-9  Your hands fashioned and made me, and now you have destroyed me altogether. … 9Remember that you have made me like clay; and will you return me to the dust? ▤ 

Ps 119:73  Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. ▤ 

Job 31:15  Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb? ▤ 

Prov 22:2  The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all. ▤ 

Acts 17:26  And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, … ▤ 

1Cor 11:12  … for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. ▤ 

Woman may have originally come from man (in that Eve came from Adam) and every man since has been born of a woman, but everything – including every woman and man – ultimately comes from God.

1Pet 4:19  Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. ▤ 

. . . Children ultimately come from God

See also:

Gen 33:5  And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” ▤ 

This and the following two references (Josh 24:3-4a; 1Chr 28:5) speak of God giving children, implying that children are ultimately from God.

Josh 24:3-4a  Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. 4And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. ▤ 

1Chr 28:5  And of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons) he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. ▤ 

Gen 4:1  Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gottenb a man with the help of the Lord.” ▤ 

b Cain sounds like the Hebrew for gotten

Ruth 4:13  So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. ▤ 

1Sam 1:27  For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. ▤ 

Ps 113:9  He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord! ▤ 

Luke 1:7, 13, 57-58  But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. ▤ 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. ▤ 57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. ▤ 

God creates the various aspects of people’s beings

Ps 139:13  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. ▤ 

Job 10:10-11  Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? 11You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. ▤ 

Note that in v. 10 Job likens his beginnings in the womb to the curdling of milk into cheese.

Ps 33:15  … he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. ▤ 

Considering the Hebrew meaning of “hearts”, this may well be speaking of God forming people’s minds (cf. CEV) or thoughts (cf. GNT).

Ps 94:9  He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see? ▤ 

Prov 20:12  The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both. ▤ 

Prov 29:13  The poor man and the oppressor meet together; the Lord gives light to the eyes of both. ▤ 

God gives people life and breath

Gen 2:7  … then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. ▤ 

Job 10:12  You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. ▤ 

Job 27:3  … as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, … ▤ 

In the latter part of the verse, Job acknowledges that his breath is of or from God – “God gives me breath” (GNT; cf. CEV, NLT). Elihu does likewise in addressing Job in 33:4 immediately below.

Job 33:4  The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. ▤ 

Eccl 8:15  And I commend joy, for man has no good thing under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun. ▤ 

Isa 42:5  Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: … ▤ 

Isa 57:16  For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made. ▤ 

Acts 17:25  … nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. ▤ 

  • Jesus Christ is the “author of life”:

Acts 3:15  … and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. ▤ 

As noted earlier, “the Author of life” may be referring to Jesus Christ’s role in creation, giving life to all, but his role in giving eternal life could instead be primarily in view.

Human life is of great value

See also:

Gen 9:5-6  And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. ▤ 

The fact that God says here that he will “require a reckoning” (v. 5) for the taking of any human life, implies that it is very important, of quite some value. One prime reason – if not the prime reason – as to why human life is of great value, is that humans are made in the image of God (v. 6; cf. God has made people in his own image).

Luke 9:24-25  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? ▤ 

The reference to “himself” (v. 25) is associated with one’s “life” (v. 24), both indicated here as having an eternal dimension (cf. John 12:25). Although spiritual life and one’s eternal destiny are primarily in view (cf. v. 26) in the comparison with “the whole world” (v. 25), this passage still reflects the importance of human life. For it speaks of the great priority of saving one’s life, both the present life (generally a higher priority for non-believers) and particularly life in eternity.

Matt 6:25-26  Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? ▤ 

In teaching that there is more to life than the peripheral issues that people tend to worry about, v. 25 suggests that life is far more important than such things (cf. GNT, NIV). Verse 26 teaches that people and their lives are indeed of great value in God’s eyes.

Ps 91:16  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. ▤ 

Such is the value of life that to experience more of it is a satisfying thing.

Ps 49:7-9  Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, 8for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, 9that he should live on forever and never see the pit. ▤ 

The focus here is on the unaffordable cost of being able to live forever. As such, it points to the great value of human life itself.

  • Life is to be loved:

1Pet 3:10  For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; … ▤ 

This is not actually saying to love life, but the implication is that this is an appropriate and natural thing to do.

People’s lives are very brief

As many older people would affirm, in a relative sense life is very brief.

Job 9:25  My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away; they see no good. ▤ 

In 7:6 Job similarly says, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle and come to their end without hope.” In these verses Job may be speaking of the wasting away of his life rather than speaking of the human lot in general, and it may be the swiftness of each of his days that is primarily in view rather than the swiftness of life. However his words are at least applicable to the brevity of human life in general.

Job 14:1-2  Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble. 2He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not. ▤ 

Ps 39:5  Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah ▤ 

Ps 89:47  Remember how short my time is! For what vanity you have created all the children of man! ▤ 

Note that “vanity” probably has the fleetingness of life in view, along with such suffering as spoken of in the preceding verses (cf. vv. 38-46).

Ps 90:10  The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their spanc is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. ▤ 

c Or pride

Ps 103:15-16  As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. ▤ 

Like grass and flowers, relatively speaking, people do not exist for long.

Ps 144:4  Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. ▤ 

James 4:14  … yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. ▤ 

Each person is destined to die . . .

See also:

Job 30:23  For I know that you will bring me to death and to the house appointed for all living. ▤ 

Eccl 7:2  It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. ▤ 

Eccl 9:5  For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. ▤ 

1Cor 15:22  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. ▤ 

As Adam is the one person from whom the whole human race is descended, all people share in his sin and its consequence of death (cf. Sin results in physical death – through Adam’s original sin).

Heb 9:27  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, … ▤ 

1Pet 1:24  … for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, … ▤ 

Josh 23:14a  “And now I am about to go the way of all the earth … ▤ 

Joshua is referring to his approaching death, the destiny of all who live on the earth.

1Chr 29:15  For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.d ▤ 

d Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew hope, or prospect

Job 21:32-33  When he is carried to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb. 33The clods of the valley are sweet to him; all mankind follows after him, and those who go before him are innumerable. ▤ 

Ps 49:7-9  Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, 8for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, 9that he should live on forever and never see the pit. ▤ 

Ps 89:48  What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah ▤ 

“Sheol” is a name used for the place of the dead. It is often translated as “the grave”.

. . . All people die no matter who or what they are

Job 3:11-19  Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire? 12Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? 13For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest, 14with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuilt ruins for themselves, 15or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver. 16Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light? 17There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. 18There the prisoners are at ease together; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster. 19The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master. ▤ 

Job 21:23-26  One dies in his full vigor, being wholly at ease and secure, 24his pailse full of milk and the marrow of his bones moist. 25Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity. 26They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them. ▤ 

e The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain

No matter what people’s lot in life has been, they all die.

Ps 49:10  For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. ▤ 

Eccl 2:14, 16  The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. ▤ 16For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! ▤ 

Eccl 9:2-3  It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil,f to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. 3This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. ▤ 

f Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks and the evil

The common destiny spoken of would appear to be – or to primarily be – death. However, not all commentators would agree (cf. v. 1). Note that the use of “evil” in v. 3a speaks of this common destiny as being seemingly unfair and wrong (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV).

Luke 16:22  The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.g The rich man also died and was buried, … ▤ 

g Greek bosom; also verse 23

This illustrates the fact that both poor and rich will die.

  • Being destined to die, humans are like the animals:

Eccl 3:19-20  For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. ▤ 

Similarly Psalms 49:12 says, “Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.”

Once a person dies, they do not return

2Sam 12:23  But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me. ▤ 

Job 7:9-10  As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up; 10he returns no more to his house, nor does his place know him anymore. ▤ 

Job 10:21  … before I go—and I shall not return— to the land of darkness and deep shadow, … ▤ 

Job 16:22  For when a few years have come I shall go the way from which I shall not return. ▤ 

Ps 49:11  Their graves are their homes forever,h their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. ▤ 

h Septuagint, Syriac, Targum; Hebrew Their inward thought was that their homes were forever

Eccl 9:6  Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun. ▤ 

Isa 26:14  They are dead, they will not live; they are shades, they will not arise; to that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them. ▤ 

Note that the term “shades” denotes a shadow or area of darkness.

Job 14:10-12  But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he? 11As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up, 12so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep. ▤ 

2Sam 14:14a  We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. ▤ 

The precise intention of the water illustration is somewhat debatable. However, it may well be meaning that we are like water spilled on the ground in that we will disappear and it will not be possible for us to be recovered.

Eccl 12:5  … they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,i and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— ▤ 

i Or is a burden

The first part of the verse portrays aspects of old age, preceding one’s death whereupon one goes to one’s “eternal home”.

Note: Blood signifies life – and a person’s life is taken by the shedding of their blood

See also:

Blood sustains life (cf. Lev 17:11, 14 ) and as such it is often used in Scripture to signify life.

Gen 9:5-6  And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. ▤ 

The term “lifeblood” (v. 5; cf. Isa 63:3 ; Jer 2:34 ) underlines the correlation between blood and life.

1Ki 2:5  Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avengingj in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of wark on the belt around hisl waist and on the sandals on his feet. ▤ 

j Septuagint; Hebrew placing

k Septuagint innocent blood

l Septuagint my; twice in this verse

Ps 72:14  From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight. ▤ 

Psalm 72 was composed for a Davidic king, and is understood to be messianic. This verse speaks of the king’s concern for the life of the needy.

Isa 26:21  For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain. ▤ 

Isa 63:3  I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifebloodm spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. ▤ 

m Or their juice; also verse 6

Jer 2:34a  Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. ▤ 

Ezek 22:3-4a, 25, 27  You shall say, Thus says the Lord God: A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that her time may come, and that makes idols to defile herself! 4You have become guilty by the blood that you have shed, and defiled by the idols that you have made, and you have brought your days near, the appointed time ofn your years has come. ▤ 25The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. ▤ 27Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. ▤ 

 n Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts until

Matt 27:3-4  Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesuso was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” ▤ 

o Greek he

Luke 11:50-51  … so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. ▤ 

  • The life of every creature is in its blood:

Lev 17:11, 14  For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. ▤ 14For the life of every creaturep is its blood: its blood is its life.q Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off. ▤ 

p Hebrew all flesh

q Hebrew it is in its life

Pray for persecuted Christians

The Human Spirit

God has made people with a spirit

See also:

Zec 12:1b  Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: … ▤ 

Eccl 12:7  … and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. ▤ 

Heb 12:9  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? ▤ 

As noted earlier, “the Father of spirits” may well be implying that God created our spirits.

Num 16:22  And they fell on their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?” ▤ 

Like the similar expression in Hebrews 12:9 above, “God of the spirits of all flesh” may be speaking of God as the creator of the spirits of all mankind (cf. CEV, GNT, NLT). However, it may instead be meaning that he is “God over” (NCV™) the spirits of all mankind.

Job 32:8  But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. ▤ 

This appears to be speaking of the human spirit with God Almighty as its source. But “spirit” may instead be referring to the Holy Spirit (cf. CEV, GNT, NLT).

Eccl 11:5  As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the wombr of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. ▤ 

r Some Hebrew manuscripts, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts As you do not know the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb

This verse may well be referring to the spirit entering the body when it is formed as being the work of God, “who makes everything”. But note that the text note has an alternative rendering.

Isa 42:5  Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: … ▤ 

James 4:5  Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? ▤ 

  • God made people with a soul:

Jer 38:16  Then King Zedekiah swore secretly to Jeremiah, “As the Lord lives, who made our souls, I will not put you to death or deliver you into the hand of these men who seek your life.” ▤ 

The spirit is distinguished from one’s body

See also:

Matt 26:41  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. ▤ 

1Cor 7:34  … and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. ▤ 

2Cor 7:1  Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of bodys and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. ▤ 

s Greek flesh

James 2:26  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. ▤ 

1Pet 4:6  For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. ▤ 

Col 2:5  For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. ▤ 

Here “spirit” is used in a different sense, referring more directly to Paul’s thoughts. Nevertheless the verse serves to illustrate that the spirit is distinguished from the body.

  • Likewise, the soul is distinguished from one’s body:

Matt 10:28  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.t ▤ 

t Greek Gehenna

The spirit and the soul are closely associated – along with one’s “heart”

Some commentators caution against attempting to make categorical distinctions between the spirit and the soul. The verses in this subsection are supportive of such a view. Having said this, the following subsections show that “spirit” is used when speaking of the will and thoughts, whereas “soul” is more prominent when speaking of emotions and desires or of the person themselves. The term “heart” is perhaps a more inclusive term. In the Bible it can be understood to signify one’s conscious inner-self – encompassing one’s emotions, thoughts and will.

Job 7:11  Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. ▤ 

This and the two references immediately below portray the spirit and the soul as closely associated by attributing similar actions to both of them.

Isa 26:9a  My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. ▤ 

Luke 1:46-47  And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, … ▤ 

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ▤ 

Although this distinguishes between the soul and the spirit, it is also portrays them as very closely connected.

Ps 143:4  Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled. ▤ 

Here and in Isaiah 57:15 below the spirit and the heart are closely associated. The remaining two references (Ps 84:2; Prov 2:10) closely associate the soul and the heart.

Isa 57:15  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. ▤ 

Ps 84:2  My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. ▤ 

Prov 2:10  … for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; … ▤ 

  • The spirit, soul and body as the whole person:

1Thes 5:23  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

Paul appears to be speaking of one’s whole being as being composed of the spirit, soul and body (cf. GNT, NCV).

The spirit and soul are at the core of one’s being . . .

Prov 20:27  The spiritu of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. ▤ 

u Hebrew breath

Ps 103:1  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! ▤ 

Ps 142:3  When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. ▤ 

Lam 3:20  My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. ▤ 

Ps 143:8  Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. ▤ 

This and of the following reference from Mark 8 arguably imply that one’s soul is not only at the core of one’s inmost being but is the very essence and fundamental aspect of one’s being.

Mark 8:36-37  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37For what can a man give in return for his soul? ▤ 

. . . They embody and are central to one’s state of mind – as often depicted in hardship

Ps 116:7  Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. ▤ 

Isa 57:15-16  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made. ▤ 

Note that similarly to v. 15b, Genesis 45:27b says, “…the spirit of their father Jacob revived.”

Ps 19:7  The law of the Lord is perfect,v reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; … ▤ 

v Or blameless

Ps 143:7  Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. ▤ 

Prov 17:22  A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ▤ 

Job 10:1  I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. ▤ 

Ps 6:3  My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long? ▤ 

Isa 54:6  For the Lord has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. ▤ 

Isa 61:3  … to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.w ▤ 

w Or that he may display his beauty

John 11:33  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. ▤ 

John 13:21  After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” ▤ 

  • Hope braces the soul:

Heb 6:19  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, … ▤ 

The spirit and soul are linked with one’s emotions

Note that a number of the verses in the previous subsection similarly associate the spirit or the soul with one’s emotions.

Job 30:25  Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy? ▤ 

Eccl 7:9  Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. ▤ 

Ezek 3:14  The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. ▤ 

Ps 35:9  Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in his salvation. ▤ 

Luke 1:47  … and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, … ▤ 

The spirit and soul are linked with one’s desires

Ps 143:6  I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah ▤ 

Ps 84:2  My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. ▤ 

Ps 119:81  My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. ▤ 

Isa 26:9a  My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. ▤ 

2Sam 13:39  And the spirit of the kingx longed to go outy to Absalom, because he was comforted about Amnon, since he was dead. ▤ 

x Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint; Hebrew David

y Compare Vulgate ceased to go out

Job 24:12  From out of the city the dying groan, and the soul of the wounded cries for help; yet God charges no one with wrong. ▤ 

The spirit is involved in one’s thinking

See also:

Job 32:8  But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. ▤ 

Ps 77:6-7  I said,z “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: 7“Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? ▤ 

z Hebrew lacks I said

Mark 2:8  And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? ▤ 

Note that this verse also links the heart with one’s thoughts.

Rom 8:16  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, … ▤ 

The Holy Spirit enables the believer’s spirit to confidently know that she or he is a child of God.

1Cor 2:11  For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. ▤ 

Eph 4:23  … and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, … ▤ 

Here “the spirit” may be referring more to “the attitude” (NIV®) of our minds than to the human spirit. Even so, the use of “spirit” in this way arguably still reflects that the spirit is involved in one’s thinking.

Col 2:5  For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. ▤ 

With this figurative use of “spirit”, Paul seems to be indicating that his thoughts and heart are with them (cf. CEV, NCV, NLT).

The spirit is fundamental to one’s attitude and actions

Deut 2:30  But Sihon the king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that he might give him into your hand, as he is this day. ▤ 

Job 32:18  For I am full of words; the spirit within me constrains me. ▤ 

Prov 16:18  Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. ▤ 

Prov 18:14  A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? ▤ 

Isa 66:2  All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. ▤ 

To be “contrite in spirit” is to be repentant and remorseful.

Matt 5:3  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ▤ 

The “poor in spirit” are those who in their spirit humbly acknowledge that they are impoverished in spiritual matters.

Matt 26:41  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. ▤ 

Ezek 13:3  Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! ▤ 

2Cor 12:18  I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps? ▤ 

Paul speaks of Titus and himself acting alike as being of the same “spirit” or “motives” (GNT), alluding to their individual spirits being alike in will and attitude. In Philippians 1:27 below Paul speaks similarly of the Philippians’ “one spirit”.

Phil 1:27  Only let your manner of life be worthya of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, … ▤ 

a Greek Only behave as citizens worthy

Note that the association of “spirit” and “mind” make this verse also very pertinent to the previous subsection.

  • The spirit and the mind contrasted:

1Cor 14:14-16  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsiderb say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? ▤ 

b Or of him that is without gifts

In the light of this verse and 1 Corinthians 2:11a in the previous subsection, it would appear that the spirit is tuned in to the thoughts of the mind, but the mind does not always comprehend the spirit.

People are dead without their spirit

James 2:26  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. ▤ 

Ps 146:4  When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. ▤ 

Some translations use “spirit” here instead of “breath” (cf. NASB, NIV, NKJV), making the verse relevant to this subsection.

Luke 8:53-55  And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. ▤ 

Verse 55 implies that when the girl was dead (v. 53) her spirit was absent – i.e. she was dead without her spirit.

Job 34:14-15  If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, 15all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. ▤ 

The term “his spirit” could be speaking of one’s spirit as that which God has given – making the verse pertinent to this subsection. However (as used earlier in this chapter) it may well be referring to the Holy Spirit.

People’s spirits and souls exist after death

See also:

Eccl 3:20-21  All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? ▤ 

Following his assertion of the certainty of death (v. 20), the author states his uncertainty as to what happens to the spirit when it departs after a person dies. In doing so he implies that the spirit continues to exist. Note that some commentators think that in v. 21 the author is alluding to the immortality of man in contrast to animals.

Eccl 12:6-7  … before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. ▤ 

The illustrations in v. 6 may well simply be general representations of death – after which the spirit returns to God (v. 7) – although some commentators see them as portraying particular aspects of the extinguishing of life.

Isa 14:9  Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. ▤ 

The Hebrew translated here as “shades” can also be rendered as “spirits of the dead” (NASB, NCV; cf. NIV).

Luke 23:46  Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. ▤ 

The parallel verse in Matthew 27:50 says, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.”

Acts 7:59  And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” ▤ 

Heb 12:23  … and to the assemblyc of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, … ▤ 

c Or church

The reference is to the spirits of righteous people who had died (cf. NLT). The verse implies that their spirits still exist.

1Pet 3:19-20  … in whichd he went and proclaimede to the spirits in prison, 20becausef they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. ▤ 

d Or the Spirit, in whom

e Or preached

f Or when

These “spirits” could well be referring to spirits of people long dead. As such the passage would be relevant to this subsection. Alternatively, fallen angels or demons may be in view.

1Pet 4:6  For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. ▤ 

This is most often taken to mean that God’s people will be judged like all people in that their physical bodies will die, but they will live like God does in their spiritual existence (cf. GNT, NCV, NLT) – with their spirits continuing to exist.

Matt 10:28  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.g ▤ 

g Greek Gehenna

Rev 6:9-11  When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servantsh and their brothersi should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. ▤ 

h Greek fellow bondservants

i Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters

Verses 10-11 indicate that “the souls of those who had been slain” (v. 9) were still very much in existence (cf. Rev 20:4 ).

Rev 20:4  Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. ▤ 

Here John appears to speak of the souls of dead believers existing even before they came back to life.

Pray for persecuted Christians

The Uniqueness of People

Note that some of the points made in the previous section on The Human Spirit also point to the uniqueness of people amongst God’s creation.

God has made people in his own image

That God has made people in his own image is evident in that they reflect such things as his personal traits – e.g. aspects of his character and intellect – and that they have a spirit (as discussed in the previous section). Additionally, it is noteworthy that although God essentially is spirit, Ezekiel 1:26-28 below speaks of him in terms of a human-like form (cf. Ezek 1:26-28 ).

Gen 1:26-27  Then God said, “Let us make manj in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. ▤ 

j The Hebrew word for man (adam) is the generic term for mankind and becomes the proper name Adam

Gen 5:1  This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. ▤ 

Gen 9:6  Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. ▤ 

1Cor 11:7  For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. ▤ 

Paul appears to have in view Adam being made in the image of God and then Eve being made from Adam (cf. v. 8). As such, ultimately both male and female have been made in the image of God (cf. Gen 1:27 ).

Col 3:10  … and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. ▤ 

“Creator” could be referring to either God (cf. GNT) or Jesus Christ (cf. NLT). Particularly if the former is the case, Paul would probably have the above verses from Genesis in view. As such he would be implying that having been created in God’s image but flawed by sin, God’s people are to be renewed in his image.

James 3:9  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. ▤ 

Prov 14:31  Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. ▤ 

Some commentators understand this to imply that oppressing the poor shows contempt for God their Maker because they have been made in his image. (The same could then be said of why being kind to them honors God.) However the writer may well simply mean that mistreating anything God has made is being contemptuous of God as its maker and of the purpose for which he has created it.

  • A manifestation of the likeness of the glory of the Lord had a human appearance:

Ezek 1:26-28  And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire;k and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.l 28Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. ▤ 

k Or lapis lazuli

l Or it

People have an able mind, with which to think and reason intelligently . . .

Note that most of the following verses make reference to one’s “heart” rather than “mind”. As noted earlier, in the Bible “heart” can be understood to signify one’s conscious inner-self – encompassing one’s emotions, thoughts and will. As such, less literal translations mostly use “mind” in the following verses, reflecting modern terminology for the concept/s involved.

Job 38:36  Who has put wisdom in the inward partsm or given understanding to the mind?n ▤ 

m Or in the ibis

n Or rooster

Eccl 2:3  I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. ▤ 

Eccl 7:25  I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. ▤ 

Eccl 8:16  When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one’s eyes see sleep, … ▤ 

Dan 5:14  I have heard of you [Daniel] that the spirit of the godso is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. ▤ 

o Or Spirit of God

Acts 17:2-3  And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” ▤ 

Neh 5:6-7a  I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. 7I took counsel with myself, and I brought charges against the nobles and the officials. I said to them, “You are exacting interest, each from his brother.” ▤ 

On hearing of a significant problem (v. 6), Nehemiah “thought it over” (AMP, CEV, NIrV) – giving the problem “serious thought” (NKJV) – and took appropriate action (v. 7; cf. vv. 8-13).

Rom 14:5  One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. ▤ 

. . . People can make judgments

See also:

As with some of the verses in the surrounding subsections, most of the following verses contain examples illustrating the assertion in this subsection’s heading.

2Sam 24:13-14  So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall threep years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” 14Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” ▤ 

p Compare 1 Chronicles 21:12, Septuagint; Hebrew seven

David needed to decide or judge which of the three punishments (v. 13) would be his preferred option – which he quickly did (v. 14).

1Cor 7:40  Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God. ▤ 

Luke 14:31  Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? ▤ 

Acts 15:38  But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. ▤ 

Acts 25:27  For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him. ▤ 

Luke 1:3-4  … it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. ▤ 

The premise that people are able to intelligently make judgments is supported not only by Luke’s reasoning in v. 3, but also in the assumption that Theophilus would be able to know the certainty of what he had been taught (v. 4), for to do so would likewise require him to reason intelligently.

Acts 17:11  Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. ▤ 

People have the moral capacity to know good from evil and right from wrong . . .

Gen 3:22a  Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. ▤ 

1Ki 2:44  The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your own heart all the harm that you did to David my father. So the Lord will bring back your harm on your own head. ▤ 

Ps 51:3-4  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. ▤ 

Ps 119:128  Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way. ▤ 

Luke 23:41  And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. ▤ 

Rom 2:14-15  For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them … ▤ 

People have an intrinsic awareness of the requirements of God’s moral law, with their consciences and thoughts giving indication as to what is morally right and wrong.

. . . People can choose between good and evil

See also:

Isa 7:15  He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. ▤ 

Ps 37:27  Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. ▤ 

Ps 119:30  I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. ▤ 

Prov 3:31  Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, … ▤ 

Amos 5:14-15  Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. 15Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. ▤ 

People are of much more value than other creatures

Matt 6:26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? ▤ 

Matt 10:31  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. ▤ 

Matt 12:12a  Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! ▤ 

Ps 8:4-5  … what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beingsq and crowned him with glory and honor. ▤ 

q Or than God; Septuagint than the angels

It is feasible to conclude from this – particularly in light of the subsequent verses (vv. 6-8 ) – that such a status implies that people are indeed much more valuable than other earthly creatures.

  • God has made people more knowledgeable and wiser than other creatures:

Job 35:10-11  But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, 11who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’ ▤ 

God has made people ruler over all other creatures

Gen 1:26-28  Then God said, “Let us make manr in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” ▤ 

r The Hebrew word for man (adam) is the generic term for mankind and becomes the proper name Adam

Note that a number of commentators consider that being in God’s image indicates that people are in a sense God’s representatives, and that it is as his representatives that they are to rule over all other creatures.

Gen 2:19-20a  Now out of the ground the Lord God had formeds every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. ▤ 

s Or And out of the ground the Lord God formed

Adam’s naming of the animals is understood to be indicative of his – and all humankind’s – authority over them.

Gen 9:2-3  The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. ▤ 

“Into your hand they are delivered” (v. 2b) indicates that God placed all creation under the control and power of humankind (cf. CEV, GNT, NLT) – as alluded to by the fact that all creatures would “fear” and “dread” (v. 2a) humans and by them even being given to humans for food (v. 3).

Ps 8:6-8  You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. ▤ 

Ps 115:16  The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. ▤ 

God is the ultimate ruler of the earth, but he has granted humankind dominion over it.

Heb 2:6b-8  “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,t 8putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. ▤ 

t Some manuscripts insert and set him over the works of your hands

Note that the last statement is often taken to be referring to humankind’s power over creatures not being complete – a result of sin.

  • All kinds of creatures have been tamed by people:

James 3:7  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, … ▤ 

People are to care for other creatures

See also:

Ex 23:10-11  For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, 11but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. ▤ 

In addition to providing a year of rest for the land (cf. Lev 25:3-5 ) this law made provision for the wild animals (as well as the poor).

Deut 22:4  You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again. ▤ 

Deut 22:6-7  If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. 7You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long. ▤ 

Most likely this command was aimed at the preservation of the species and so also this particular food source. Taking the mother would have meant that the young would also die, whereas leaving her would allow her to reproduce.

Deut 22:10  You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. ▤ 

The unequal strengths of the animals presumably would cause them discomfort in such work.

Deut 25:4  You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain. ▤ 

An ox was not to have its mouth covered to prevent it from eating of the grain as it worked, for this would have been unfair to the animal, not allowing it to renew its strength while it did the work.

Prov 12:10  Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. ▤ 

Prov 27:23  Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, … ▤ 

Matt 12:11  He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? ▤ 

Luke 13:15b  Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? ▤ 

People are to act responsibly towards all creation

Gen 2:15  The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. ▤ 

Adam’s responsibility to take care of the Garden of Eden is readily applicable to the relationship of humankind with all of creation.

Lev 25:3-5  For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, 4but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. 5You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. ▤ 

Such a sabbath year of rest would replenish the land, ensuring that it maintained its fertility – and hence its goodness.

Deut 20:19  When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them. You may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field human, that they should be besieged by you? ▤ 

Num 35:33  You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. ▤ 

Although this is actually referring to “polluting” the land (specifically the promised land) by bloodshed, arguably it can also be applied to polluting the land in other ways. As such it would be applicable to this subsection.

Hab 2:17  The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them. ▤ 

The Babylonians’ desolation of the forests of Lebanon (cf. CEV, GNT, NLT) and their destruction of animals contravened humankind’s responsibility towards nature – and they would be punished for such “violence to the earth”, as well as their shedding of blood. Note that “them” may be referring to the forests of Lebanon.

John 6:12  And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” ▤ 

Food – as with all resources – should not be wasted.

Rev 11:18  The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants,u the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth. ▤ 

u Greek bondservants

If “destroyers of the earth” is referring to or applicable to the destruction of nature, then this of course underlines the necessity for people to care for all creation. But note that some commentators at least, interpret it to be referring to those who actively work against God to the detriment of the earth – in Revelation primarily Satan, the beast, and the false prophet.

  • Israel’s land still belonged to God:

Lev 25:23  The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. ▤ 

This truth can be applied to all land, for – as Scripture says a number of times – God made the whole earth and it belongs to him; people are merely strangers and temporary residents on the earth. This underlines the need for people to act responsibly towards the land.

Pray for persecuted Christians

Epilogue: God’s Self-Revelation to People

See also:

People cannot in themselves perceive or know God

See also:

John 5:37  And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, … ▤ 

Job 9:11  Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. ▤ 

Job 23:3, 8-9  Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat! ▤ 8“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; 9on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. ▤ 

Job 37:23  The Almighty—we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. ▤ 

Isa 45:15  Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior. ▤ 

This appears to be speaking of or at least pointing to God being beyond people’s grasp. More specifically it may be speaking of God concealing himself or possibly of God working in what seems to people as “strange and mysterious ways” (NLT).

Matt 11:27  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ▤ 

This and the following references indicate or suggest that by themselves people cannot know God.

1Cor 1:21  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. ▤ 

Acts 17:23  For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. ▤ 

Similarly in John 4:22a Jesus says of the Samaritans, “You worship what you do not know …”

1Thes 4:5  … not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; … ▤ 

Ex 5:2  But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” ▤ 

God reveals himself to people

Deut 5:24  And you said, ‘Behold, the Lord our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire. This day we have seen God speak with man, and man still live. ▤ 

1Sam 2:27  And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus the Lord has said, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? ▤ 

The implication of the rhetorical question is that this was indeed the case.

Ezek 20:5  … and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel, I sworev to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. ▤ 

v Hebrew I lifted my hand; twice in this verse; also verses 6, 15, 23, 28, 42

Isa 65:1  I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here am I, here am I,” to a nation that was not called byw my name. ▤ 

w Or that did not call upon

Note that there is debate amongst scholars as to whether this is speaking of the nation of Israel – the first nation that God revealed himself to – or to the Gentiles. Paul applies it to the latter in Romans 10:20.

Num 12:6  And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. ▤ 

1Sam 3:7, 10, 21  Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. ▤ 10And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” ▤ 21And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord. ▤ 

These verses indicate that God revealed himself to Samuel through his word, including (or in particular) his spoken word.

Jer 24:7  I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. ▤ 

This suggests that God enables people to know him (cf. AMP, NASB, NKJV) – or at least to know key things about him.

God reveals himself by what he does

See also:

Note that the following three subsections further illustrate that God is revealed and made known in his works or deeds.

Ex 9:16-18  But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. 17You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go. 18Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. ▤ 

By sending Egypt’s worst hailstorm (v. 18) – and other plagues (cf. 7:14-12:30) – God revealed his power, leading to him being made known throughout the earth (v. 16).

Deut 3:24  O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? ▤ 

1Ki 8:41-43  Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake 42(for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, 43hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name. ▤ 

Isa 40:3-5  A voice cries:x “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ▤ 

x Or A voice of one crying

This initially refers to God’s deliverance of the Jews from captivity in Babylon. One interpretation is that vv. 3-4 are speaking metaphorically of the preparation of God’s way for the return of his people – by which God would be revealed (v. 5a). Another interpretation is that vv. 3-4 speak of the need to address the spiritual barrenness of God’s people, before the coming of the King (v. 5). The passage is also understood to have a final fulfillment in God’s redemption that would come through Jesus Christ.

Ezek 20:9  But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. ▤ 

God revealed himself to the Israelites by bringing them out of Egypt. Furthermore, this verse implies that by doing so in the sight of other nations, this act of deliverance also revealed God to some extent to these other nations.

Dan 2:45b, 47  [Daniel, to King Nebuchadnezzar:] A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” ▤ 47The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” ▤ 

God’s revelation (through Daniel) of both the content and meaning of the king’s mysterious dream (cf. vv. 1-11) showed him to be “God of gods and the Lord of kings” (v. 47) – as well as “a revealer of mysteries” (v. 47).

God’s creation of the world and heavens perpetually evidence and reveal God to all people . . .

See also:

Rom 1:18-20  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. ▤ 

Job 36:24-25  Remember to extol his work, of which men have sung. 25All mankind has looked on it; man beholds it from afar. ▤ 

In v. 24, “work” probably refers primarily to creation. One can infer from these verses that in his work – which is most praiseworthy (v. 24b) – God is evidenced or revealed, with such traits as his power and goodness clearly being demonstrated.

Ps 8:1  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. ▤ 

The exclamation “how majestic is your name in all the earth!” appears to be implying that God’s majesty is displayed throughout the earth, the earth being so wonderfully created. Likewise the second part of the verse may well be speaking of God’s glory being displayed by the creation of the heavens, with the stars, sun and moon (cf. v. 3; Ps 19:1-4a ; Ps 97:6 ).

Ps 19:1-4a  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky abovey proclaims his handiwork. 2Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4Their voicez goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. ▤ 

y Hebrew the expanse; compare Genesis 1:6-8

z Or Their measuring line

The marvelous heavens and skies are wonderful examples of God’s work. Their magnificence is evidence – perpetually displayed to all – that there is a glorious Creator-God.

Acts 17:24-27  The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,a 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, … ▤ 

a Greek made by hands

Verse 27 indicates that God’s creation of all things (v. 24) including all people (vv. 25-26a) – along with his providence over the nations (v. 26b) – should move people to seek him, for these things reveal God’s existence and his concern with people.

. . . God’s ongoing control over nature likewise testifies to him

Acts 14:17  Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness. ▤ 

God’s provision through his regulation of nature testifies to people of his existence and reveals his kindness.

Job 37:6-7  For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour. 7He seals up the hand of every man, that all men whom he made may know it. ▤ 

The powerful effects of God’s work in nature can inhibit people’s activities – “seals up the hand of every man” – making them stop and recognize his works and power (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NLT). As such God’s works in nature are evidence of God’s existence and reveal his power.

Isa 40:26  Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. ▤ 

God not only created the stars, he controls or oversees the continuation of their display night by night. The first part of the verse suggests that one should stop and consider these things – and so realize that God is responsible for the universe and its continuance.

Ps 19:4b-6  In them [the heavens] he has set a tent for the sun, 5which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. 6Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. ▤ 

Following on from the preceding verses regarding the heavens in general (cf. 1-4a ), this suggests that the sun and its daily appearance are likewise evidence of God, revealing God and his glory to all things, with “nothing hidden from its heat” (v. 6).

Ps 97:3-6  Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. 4His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. 6The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. ▤ 

This may be speaking of dramatic physical occurrences in nature as revealing God and his reign (cf. vv. 1-2) before “all the peoples” (v. 6) – hence its inclusion here. However some commentators understand it to be referring to God coming and imposing his absolute reign over the earth.

Isa 41:17-20  When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, 20that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. ▤ 

Note that this is often understood to initially at least refer to God’s provision for the Israelites returning from exile in Babylon (cf. 43:19-20). Some commentators, however, think it refers to conditions in the future renewed Israel.

God is revealed in his acts of judgment and of salvation

See also:

Ps 9:16  The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion.b Selah ▤ 

b Probably a musical or liturgical term

Ezek 35:10-11  Because you said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them’—although the Lord was there— 11therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy that you showed because of your hatred against them. And I will make myself known among them, when I judge you. ▤ 

By his judgment of Edom, God would make himself known – i.e. make known that he exists and that he is God.

Ezek 38:22-23  With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord. ▤ 

Ezek 39:4-7, 21-22  You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples who are with you. I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5You shall fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Lord God. 6I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands, and they shall know that I am the Lord. 7“And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. ▤ 21“And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 22The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward. ▤ 

2Ki 19:19, 35  So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.” ▤ 35And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. ▤ 

God’s saving of his people makes him known to the nations. In conjunction with this, it makes known: his salvation and righteousness (cf. Ps 98:1-3 ); and his mighty power (cf. Ps 106:8 ).

Ps 98:1-3  Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. ▤ 

In v. 1 God’s “right hand” and “arm” signify his great power (cf. CEV, GNT, NLT).

Ps 106:8  Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power. ▤ 

Isa 60:16  You shall suck the milk of nations; you shall nurse at the breast of kings; and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. ▤ 

God’s salvation makes known unequivocally to his people that he is their Savior and Redeemer – “the Mighty One of Jacob”.

God is revealed and known through Jesus Christ

See also:

John 1:18  No one has ever seen God; the only God,c who is at the Father’s side,d he has made him known. ▤ 

c Or the only One, who is God; some manuscripts the only Son

d Greek in the bosom of the Father

The phrase “the only God” refers to Jesus Christ.

John 17:6, 26  [Jesus:] “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. ▤ 26I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” ▤ 

The references to “your name” are indicative of God himself. Jesus made God known to a deeper, more comprehensive extent than previous revelation had done, revealing more about such things as attributes of God and matters of his will.

Matt 11:27  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ▤ 

John 8:19  They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” ▤ 

In coming to know Jesus Christ, one comes to know God (cf. John 14:6-7 ).

John 12:45  And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. ▤ 

John 14:6-7  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.e From now on you do know him and have seen him.” ▤ 

e Or If you know me, you will know my Father also, or If you have known me, you will know my Father also

Note that the final statement may be speaking of the disciples knowing God more fully through Jesus following Jesus’ forthcoming death and resurrection.

1Jn 5:20  And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. ▤ 

John 15:15  No longer do I call you servants,f for the servantg does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. ▤ 

f Greek bondservants

g Greek bondservant; also verse 20

In conjunction with making God known, Jesus made known everything that he had heard from the Father.

Note: God reveals his plans and will

See also:

Gen 41:25  Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. ▤ 

1Chr 17:19, 25  For your servant’s sake, O Lord, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. ▤ 25For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. Therefore your servant has found courage to pray before you. ▤ 

The “great things” (v. 19) that God made known to David concerned God’s will and “all this greatness” (v. 19) that God had done in determining to build a “house” or dynasty for David (v. 25; cf. v. 19).

Ps 25:14  The friendshiph of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. ▤ 

h Or The secret counsel

Note that the alternative rendering in the text note would make the first half of this verse more pertinent to this subsection.

Ps 103:7  He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. ▤ 

Here God’s “ways” may refer to God’s “plans” (GNT, NIrV), “character” (NLT) or his “law” (CEV).

Dan 2:45b  [Daniel, to King Nebuchadnezzar:] A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” ▤ 

Amos 3:7  For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. ▤ 

God’s “secret” would primarily be his plan/s.

Amos 4:13  For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name! ▤ 

God’s thoughts that he reveals to people would be inclusive of his plans and will.

Acts 22:14  And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; … ▤ 

Acts 27:22-24  Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ ▤ 

Through an angel God revealed to Paul aspects of his plans for him, including his will regarding Paul’s near future (v. 23) and his immediate will regarding the hazardous storm (v. 24).

Rom 1:16-17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,i as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”j ▤ 

i Or beginning and ending in faith

j Or The one who by faith is righteous shall live

Rom 16:25-26  Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— ▤ 

Pray for persecuted Christians