1

American Standard Version

Hebrews 1:7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels winds, And his ministers a flame a fire:

Hebrews 1:7 NKJV

7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.”

The above text which is a quote of Psalms 104:4 seems to be translated differently.

Which is the correct translation?

5
  • In the original languages if they are one in the same.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 2 '18 at 16:04
  • Like @Ruminator said, the Greek word pneuma can mean 'spirit' or 'wind' or 'breath', depending on context. Given the parallel of 'flame of fire', the text seems to have elements in mind, so I think 'wind' is the best English choice here.
    – user2910
    Jun 2 '18 at 16:51
  • What remains to be shown though is that the Ancients distinguished between elements and spirit. I don't believe that is the case. In fact I believe I can show it from EphesiaMs 2 where Paul speas of the air of the breath that works in Children of disobedience.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 2 '18 at 17:47
  • Young's Literal Translation in which once ye did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience,
    – Ruminator
    Jun 2 '18 at 18:04
  • This is discussed here:hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/44299/… Jan 1 at 10:47
2

This is the translation from the "Aramaic English New Testament".

Hebrews 1:7 But of the Messengers He thus said: Who made His Messengers a wind and His ministers a flaming fire.

Reading from Psalms in Hebrew you see this (I'm using a machine translation so there's no "interpretation" errors).

Psalm 104:4 One making messengers of Him wind, ones ministering of Him flaming fire.

The word wind is "רוּחֹות" which is pronounced "ruchuth". This is very similar to how you pronounce Spirit in Hebrew with is "Ruach".

In Hebrew these 2 words are closely related and sometimes interchangeable.

In John 3:8 we see Jesus describe them as being adjectives of each other:

"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Also In the book of Genesis 2:7 we see "The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He blew the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person."

Even though there is no mention of the word "spirit" (not even in the Hebrew text), it would be easy to see how God was blowing a spirit into Adam at this point during his creation.

So to sum up what I mean from all this, I believe the word "wind" is the correct translation for Hebrews 1:7. However it's helpful to understand that "wind" is also a way to describe a "spirit".

1
  • And vice versa. In every language except modern languages they were the same word.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 2 '18 at 19:26
0

The distinction in English between "Wind", "Breath" and "Spirit" does not exist in Greek - all are valid translations of the same Greek word "pneuma" and its cognate relatives. This is the basis of numerous word-plays such as those in John 3. There is a very similar situation in Hebrew with "ruach" as pointed out above.

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Reading the hebrew translations i find that they all using the word "רוחות" that have both "winds" and "spirits" translation. Reading the context i must say that "spirits" is more likely.

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