by Brad Scott
Our English word spirit does not really begin to convey the scriptural meaning of this word. Not because the origin of the word is necessarily unscriptural, but because of the connotations our culture has given it. Spirit is one of those classic words that must be understood in light of it's first use. The Hebrew word ruach (רוח) actually shows up in the garden of Eden in Bere’shiyt (Genesis) chapter 3:8.
Bere’shiyt 3:8And they heard the voice of YHVH ’Elohiym walking in the garden in the cool of the day [leruach hayyom]. Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of YHVH ’Elohiym among the trees of the garden.
Some translations may have "the breeze of the day". Either way, its initial use speaks of the wind. The first use of this word helps us to define its meaning. The cultures of that time were very familiar with the days when the wind would blow from the east. Toward the end of the day a very demonstrative soothing breeze would blow through the area of Mesopotamia and would be a reminder that the weather was about to change. Something like the warm winds we get here in Utah that reminds us that a cold front is coming. There are two things that stand out about this cool wind of the day. It was a comforting active presence and not passive, and it was a constant reminder of what was to come. This helps us to understand the function of the Ruach (רוח) HaQodesh (הקדש) or the sanctified wind of the Holy one. The Holy Spirit is the active presence of YHVH, that brings back to remembrance the Word of the God of Israel.
Yochanan (John) 3:8The wind bloweth where it wills, and thou hearest the sound of it, but cannot tell from where it comes, and where it goes; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Yochanan 14:26But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊