Does רוּחַ, rûaḥ refer to the Spirit of יהוה, YHWH (Jehovah in the YLT below) in Ezekiel 37:9?


וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י הִנָּבֵ֖א אֶל־הָר֑וּחַ הִנָּבֵ֣א בֶן־אָ֠דָם וְאָמַרְתָּ֨ אֶל־הָר֜וּחַ כֹּֽה־אָמַ֣ר ׀ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֗ה מֵאַרְבַּ֤ע רוּחוֹת֙ בֹּ֣אִי הָר֔וּחַ וּפְחִ֛י בַּהֲרוּגִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה וְיִֽחְיֽוּ׃

wayyōʾmer ʾēlay hinnāḇēʾ ʾel-hārûaḥ hinnāḇēʾ ḇen-ʾāḏām wᵉʾāmartā ʾel-hārûaḥ kō-ʾāmar ʾᵃḏōnāy yhwh mēʾarbaʿ rûḥôṯ bōʾı̂ hārûaḥ ûp̱ᵉḥı̂ bahᵃrûg̱ı̂m hāʾēlleh wᵉyiḥyû:


And He saith unto me: 'Prophesy unto the Spirit [רוּחַ, rûaḥ], prophesy, son of man, and thou hast said unto the Spirit [רוּחַ, rûaḥ]: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: From the four winds come in, O Spirit [רוּחַ, rûaḥ], and breathe on these slain, and they do live.'

Thank you!


4 Answers 4


"Ruah" literally means "wind," but can be used to mean "spirit" in some contexts. The phrasing: "hinnabe el..." is used throughout the book of Ezekiel to mean "prophesy about..." or "prophesy to...." Unlike any other prophet, Ezekiel likes to prophesy about inanimate and physical things. Here are the instances:

  • 6:1 - prophesy about the mountains of Israel
  • 21:2 - prophesy about the southern forest
  • 21:7 - prophesy about the land of Israel
  • 35:2 - prophesy about the mountain of Seir
  • 36:1 - prophesy about the mountains of Israel
  • 36:6 - prophesy about the land of Israel
  • 37:4 - prophesy about the dry bones
  • 37:9 - prophesy about the ruach

From the context of the dry bone's narrative, it's clear that ruach has the dual connotation of:

  1. A literal wind (the verse continues "come from the four winds")
  2. The human being's animating spirit (the rauch brings the bones to life)

But not a divine spirit. Based on Ezekiel's tendency to address himself toward inanimate objects, this isn't surprising.

  • I see no Scripture support for a person to prophesy to or to command a divine spirit to do something, or am I missing something? I am inclined to agree with you that the reference is not to a divine spirit.
    – E. Cardona
    Jul 17, 2015 at 21:18

It means "Wind"

There is no such thing as "Master G-d." Definitely not in Hebrew.


To begin רוח has several meanings. The main two are wind and spirit. Second of all, what does it mean for a a creature to be alive? This may seem like an abstract, unrelated question, but it is the key to understanding what is meant by רוח in this passage. To answer this question, we look at Genesis 2:7 where Man first comes to life which states "וַיִּיצֶר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֗ם עָפָר֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וַיִּפַּ֥ח בְּאַפָּ֖יו נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים וַֽיְהִ֥י הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּֽה׃" "And the Master G-d created the Man out of dust from the ground. He blew into his nose the breath of life and Man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7). This passage makes it clear that something becomes a living being when the "breath of life" is breathed into it. This "breath of life" is what makes something living. Thus, it would be logical to conclude that in Ezekiel 37, as the bodies return to life when the רוח is placed inside of them, this רוח is the same "breath of life." As for what this "breath of life" means, it is most likely the soul. Thus the רוח is most likely the souls of the people who return to life in the passage.



[בא] BA = come.

[נבא] NBA = Ni-VA = (nif-al) simple-passive of come
= that which is coming, impending.

[נבא] then becomes a nifal passive derivative "root word" - an example where some soresh types are actually derivatives of more fundamental soresh types.

[באי] B_i = imperative/cohortative towards 2nd person feminine = instruct you-girl to come

[נבאי] NaV_i = collective/intensive imperative/cohortative towards 2nd person feminine = to declare about that which is coming

[נביא] NaV_i = plural 1st person uncompleted causative = we shall cause it to come = translated as "prophet"

[הנבא] HiNaVe = imperative/cohortative towards 2nd person masc passive-derivative. = instructively/cohortatively speak to that which is coming.

"Flow Vector"

Since [רוח] is taken to mean spirit, wind, direction, or a flowing entity, I shall reference the word as flow vector.

Inversive-vav theory is wrong

Read the 2nd half of here for my explanation why inversive-vav theory is plain wrong. It is wrong, and therefore it is inconsistently applied - we pick and choose when to apply it.

If we accept that inversive-vav theory is wrong and bring consistency to the reading of the Hebrew, it completely overturns the situation, where what were thought of as prophecy are merely subjunctives, propositions, possibilities.

Translation of Ezekiel 37:9 like many verses in the Bible, suffers from this inconsistency within one sentence itself. So let's not even apply this defective theory anywhere.

Ezekiel 37:9

NOTICE I bolded the instances of "come"

ויאמר אלי
And-then he says to me

הנבא אל הרוח
Instruct-its-coming to the vector

הנבא בן אדם
Instruct-its-coming son of man

אל הרוח כה
to the vector thus

אמר אדני יי
Said my Lord-Identity

מארבע רוחות
from four vectors

באי ופחי בהרוגים האלה
Come and you flow/cover/envelop in/upon those killed

And they shall live

Was he told to "prophecy" ?

You be the judge - by reading the plain Hebrew, uncontaminated with doctrinal predilection.

AFAIAC, this is what the verse meant ...

The LORD then says to me, to instruct the vector, he says "son of man, instruct the vector thus": You should/shall come from four directions, and immerse those who had been killed so that they shall live.

"Yahweh" is pejorative

Also, let me clarify that I belong to the school of thought that says the Name of the LORD as written in Hebrew should not be pronounced, or even transliterated into a form that would aid or suggest verbal pronunciation of any form.

I go further, by holding that the tetra-alefbetic Name is the multidimensional Identity of the LORD.

In modern communications (developed by Churchill-Roosevelt or their engineers to avoid German decryption), to avoid the necessity and vulnerabilities of transmitting passwords, you would use a token pair of encryption keys to communicate. Unlike Churchill-Roosevelt, the counterparts of each modern encryption pairs need not be the same, to be able to IDENTIFY and reciprocate each other and decrypt encrypted messages on both sides.

The higher the degrees-of-freedom (dimensions), the more complex the encryption.

The Identity of the LORD is a high-dimension Identity. And the Identity is listening for the counterpart signature to verify/validate themselves.

Therefore, frequent Evangelical Christian accusations of Jews having forgotten how to verbally pronounce the Name is not only deliberately vindictive, they also demonstrate their abject lack in understanding the reason for the Name/Identity of G'd.

Some accuse us of Gnosticism by our reasoning. But, gnosticism is the problem of Christianity, and it is futile to transference that problem onto Jews.

yahweh is merely verbalization of the alphabetic sequence, and is not in any way the actual Identity of G'd. To say that yahweh is the complete name of the LORD is foolhardy and pejorative.

Who is the vector ?

Perhaps the vector that come from four directions is the reciprocal vector of the Identity of G'd. It is the collective spirit of the human race.

The collective spirit of the human race is told to play-god, in this Ezekiel passage. Then says the LORD to tell the dead thus - I the coming future human race will open your tombs and cause you to come out of your tombs.

Jews are merely the people chosen by G'd to instruct that the human race is the chosen race.

If you read Psalm 8 verses 4 or 5 (Jewish verse enum is different), uncontaminated by doctrinal predilection - in its plain simple Hebrew: it says that G'd causes us humankind to be nearly G'd, just a little lesser. But people who cannot accept that, brazenly mistranslated the passage to say we are lesser than angels. Unbelievably brazen.

The human race is meant to play-god. G'd wants the human race to be His equal. G'd does not want to give us eternal life. G'd wants us to develop the capability/technology to have eternal life.

C'mon people, read Hosea 2:16 in the Hebrew: You shall call Me my-husband-peer, and no longer call Me my-husband-master.

G'd is waiting for His reciprocal, like an encryption Identity awaits the matching reciprocation signal. His bride. Are you the kind of men (or women) who believes that a wife should be inferior, submissive and fearful towards her husband? IF you are, then you are the type of people who wish to deprive G'd of a partner who is His equal.

  • Instead of writing Yahweh, HaShem, the Name, G-d, LORD etc., I edited according to the Hebrew יהוה, YHWH. Whenever I write something in Hebrew or Greek I try to also write its transliteration and emphasis in bold (and an English Bible version) for English readers. I hope this helps.
    – E. Cardona
    Jul 17, 2015 at 18:29
  • If you would like to, you are always welcomed to make reference to the Hebrew text, like the BHS, (though it is optional, you may kindly provide its transliteration for the convenience of English readers), rather than a proposed translation of an original word, like I did: רוּחַ, rûaḥ and יהוה, YHWH....
    – E. Cardona
    Jul 20, 2015 at 8:45
  • .... By all means, you may also choose your own English translation instead of the YLT in my original post, provided that you kindly specify your translation (whether you provide your own translation or an English translation of your own choosing), as I will look into it, and then attempt to answer the question on-topic. Unless I clearly indicate otherwise, my question is not YLT-specific. I hope this clarifies any misunderstanding.
    – E. Cardona
    Jul 20, 2015 at 8:45
  • You misunderstand the context of Hosea 2:16. The point of it is that the people will no longer speak using the names of the idol called baal. Both words used there ishi which you translated as "my Husband-peer" and baali which you translated as "my Husband-master" mean "my Husband," the issue is that the latter can also mean "my baal" being the name of the idol. Thus the prophecy is saying that the people will no longer use the names of the idol baal. It has nothing to do with "Husband-peer" vs "Husband-master." ...
    – aefrrs
    Nov 1, 2020 at 19:24
  • ... Humans are never supposed to be G-d's equal and cannot be equal to G-d as it says "לְמִ֥י תְדַמְי֖וּנִי וְתַשְׁו֑וּ וְתַמְשִׁל֖וּנִי וְנִדְמֶֽה׃" "To whom can you compare Me or declare Me similar? To whom can you liken Me, so that we seem comparable?" (Isaiah 46:5). Saying that G-d is equal to anything else is blaspheme.
    – aefrrs
    Nov 1, 2020 at 19:28

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