And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Upon the bodily side man stands among the animals as the noblest of them; but he has another side by which he holds communion with God and invisible things. He has a spirit as well as a body — a spirit not like that "spirit of the beast which goeth downward to the earth," having but an attraction to the things of sense, and that an unreflecting attraction; the spirit of the sons of man is one "which is ascending" (Ecclesiastes 3:21). The spirit is in us the element of self-consciousness and freedom. By it we see our true relation to the things of sense, and are able to claim affinities above them. It is a gift from God (Ecclesiastes 12:7), and unless it be unfairly tampered with, it must by its very constitution "ascend," and aspire after God and what is Godlike. In it is the seat of the higher, the only true, free will, as opposed to the random animal impulses of the flesh. There lies the power of conscience, by which we are able to judge our own actions, comparing them with what we see to be the right standard, and condemning ourselves when we have allowed the true will to be mastered by the inferior appetite. Such a spirit is not, and cannot be (so far as we can understand), a product of natural evolution, but comes direct from the hand of God. Man is thus a dual being, living at one in two worlds, not two separate lives, but one life in the two. The spirit lives in the body, and acts through it and makes it its vehicle. The meeting point of spirit and body appears to lie in the soul.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.