Doctrine of Soul, Origin

July 23, 2010

Doctrine of Origin of the Soul

SOUL LIFE: When does the soul enter into the body?
When does the soul enter into the body? When does the fetus become a real human being? Is it at conception? Is it at birth? Or is it at some time in between those two events? The process at the creation of Adam, although not conclusive in itself, suggests that there is a fully functional body created and then a soul is created when the breath of lives is placed within that body (Gen. 2:7).
At Isaiah 42:5, we learn that it is God who personally gives breath and spirit to the people on the earth. This suggests that it is not part of the natural physical mechanics of procreation (conception and fetal development).
Hebrews 12:9, suggests that our human father is the father of our flesh, while God is the father of our spirit.
“Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?”

And there are some interesting passages which indicate that God does not provide that “soul” life until birth.
At Job 3:11-16, Job contrasts 2 situations which he wished could have happened in order to avoid his present adversity.
1. The first one: He wishes that he had died AT BIRTH.
Job 3:11-12,
“Why did I not die at birth, Come forth from
the womb and expire? “Why did the knees receive me,
And why the breasts, that I should suck?

In other words, when he was born WITH soul life via that birth, why did he not just “up and die?” Then his soul would have been where the other souls go at death.

Job 3:13-15,
“For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
With kings and {with} counselors of the earth,
Who rebuilt ruins for themselves;
Or with princes who had gold,
Who were filling their houses {with} silver.

When the soul of the believer left the body through physical death (in an Old Testament context), it went into paradise, which was located in Sheol, there to await the resurrection of the body at the Day of the Lord.

2. The second situation: He wishes he had not even been born. Job 3:16
Or like a miscarriage which is discarded,
I would not be, As infants that never saw light.
Here, we see what was commonly believed in that ancient culture AND by a man who was “blameless and upright; fearing God and turning away from evil.” Job. 1:1
The word, miscarriage, is näphel which comes from the verb nAphal, which means to fall. A näphel then is that which has FALLEN out rather than that which has actually been birthed. The word only occurs three times in the Old Testament (Job 3:16; Ec. 6:3-5 and Psalm 58:9).
Incidentally, verses 17-19 describe the condition of the dead, not the condition of the miscarriage.
Solomon tells us what his culture believed about the miscarriage (näphel) at Ecc. 6:3-6
If a man fathers a hundred (children) and lives many years,
however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things,
and he does not even have a (proper) burial, (then) I say,
“better the miscarriage than he, for it comes in futility
and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity.
“It never sees the sun and it never knows (anything;)
It is better off than he. “Even if the (other) man lives 1000 years
twice and does not enjoy good things – do not all go to one place?”

The idea that all go to one place refers to the disposition of the physical body and not the soul. According to Ec. 12:7, at death, the body goes to the dust.
This is very much different from the attitude toward a baby who dies. 2 Sam. 12:22-23
And he said, “While the child was alive,
I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows,
Yahweh may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’
“But now he has died; why should I fast?
Can I bring him back again?
I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
This clearly means that the baby has gone to the place of paradise where the believers go; where David himself will go when he dies. And this is not simply the disposition of the physical body that is in view, for it is a source of comfort and joy to David.
Another factor is that even in light of His foreknowledge, “knowing” completely all the details of one’s life long before he is ever conceived, God views the actual beginning point of that life as the moment of birth.
“Human life begins at birth”!
HEBREW verb ( Me-rekim ) translated “FROM”
definition: (away from, out from, separate from.)
Greek verb ( Ek ) translated  “FROM”
definition: (away from, out from, separate from.)
“From the womb”  ( away from the womb; out from the womb; separate from the womb )

Isaiah 49:1
Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar.
Yahweh called Me from the womb;
From the body of My mother He named Me.
This is referring to the Messiah in his humanity and that the Messianic commission actually began at birth, although He did not officially manifest Himself until 30 years later.
Isaiah 49:5
And now says Yahweh,
who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him,
in order that Israel might be gathered to Him
This is still speaking of the Messiah, and indicates that He was formed from the moment of physical birth to accomplish the Messianic purpose. This can be compared with Hebrews 10:5-7, where the Messiah says “when He comes into the world,” A body you have prepared for me and I have come to do your will.
Luke 1:15
“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord,
and he will drink no wine or liquor;
and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit,
even OUT FROM his mother’s womb.
That is, from the time that he is born, John will have the empowering ministry of the Spirit upon him, but not while he is IN the womb.
There are many passages that people use to suggest that there is soul life in the womb, but none of them actually prove it, and most of them do not even refer to the fetus. The most common argument comes from Luke 1:41-44, but it is not the baby in the womb that is experiencing joy. It is Elizabeth’s joy and the baby has a physical reaction based on the emotional and spiritual stimuli on Elizabeth’s body. Medically speaking, this is called reflex motility.