Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav
By Jeff A. Benner
The Biblical Hebrew word for "breath" is נשמה (neshema, Strong's #5397). This word literally means the inhalation and exhalation of air in our bodies such as we see in the following passage.
All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; (KJV, Job 27:3)
Also in this passage is the word "spirit," which is the Hebrew word רוח (ru'ahh, Strong's #7307). The word ru'ahh literally means "wind," but it is also used for "breath."
By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. (KJV, Job 4:9)
In this passage the word "blast" is the word neshemah, and the word "breath" is the word ru'ahh. Anyone who has been following my teachings for any length of time has heard me say time and again that a translation of the Bible should be consistent. There is no reason to translate neshemah as "breath" in one place and then "blast" in another. Or translate the word ru'ahh as "wind" in one place and "breath" in another. In order for the reader of the Bible to read the Bible correctly, they should be given a consistent translation of the Bible, not a translators' opinion of what the text is saying. Enough of me on my "soap box," in this passage the words neshemah and ru'ahh are not God's literal "breath," but is being used figuratively for his "power."
Neshemah is also used for a "person," or "one who has "breath."
Here the word neshemah is translated as "souls," but in the Hebrew it is written as haneshemah. The prefix ha means "the," so this literally means "the ones who have breath."