This is a follow-up question to What is the significance of the term die, die ( מוֹת מוֹת, mûṯ mûṯ) at Genesis 2:17? Die repeated twice.

Since this is a repetitious word in Hebrew, Does this explains why various translation “double down” on die, in English using adverbs?

American Standard Version (ASV)

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

Common English Bible (CEB)

but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because on the day you eat from it, you will die!” (Exclamation)

Common English Bible (CEB )

But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

King James Version (KJV)

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it -- dying thou dost die.'

I have no knowledge of Hebrew. Does Hebrew lack adverbs?

Because of the double death, does this give Conditionalist fodder for their belief that the soul is mortal and can die?

I think they would couple this verse with:

Genesis 2:7 New International Version

7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7 King James Version

7 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.

  • this is basically a theological question. It brings up an issue that I often wrestle with.. should "opinion-based" questions like this one be closed? I think not. Closing questions because they can be answered in more than one way works OK for sites dealing with science and other fact-based disciplines, but on this site there are simply too many denominations and schools of thought to apply this rule without ruling out many important questions. Commented May 4 at 23:36
  • It would be helpful if you could supply the link to that question asked in April, about "die, die".
    – Anne
    Commented May 6 at 12:52
  • Link to April 30 Question hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/94279/… Commented May 8 at 16:13

2 Answers 2


There are several questions here, so let us take them one at a time.

  1. Hebrew Adverbs

Hebrew has perfectly functional adverbs aplenty.

  1. Doubled words

While Hebrew has perfectly good adverbs, it also has other options and Gen 2:17 is perfect example of one of the other options - a repeated verb adds certainty and emphasis.

  1. Nature of the Soul/נֶפֶשׁ (nephesh)

Gen 2:7 is an extremely helpful text which teaches us what a "soul" is; that is, a soul consists of two elements: (1) body plus the (2) breath of life. Thus, the soul is not separate from the body it is the living creature itself, complete and entire.

The same term, נֶפֶשׁ (nephesh) is applied to animals (Gen 1:20, 21, 24, 30, 2;19, 9:10, 12, 15, etc) as well as living humans (Gen 2:7, 12:5, 14:21, 17:14, etc).

We also note that the body was made from "the dust of the ground" but the "breath of life" comes from God. Further animals also have the same composition because they have the "breath of life", Gen 7:22, Deut 20:16, etc. Several other texts also say that this "breath of life" comes from God (Job 4:9, 27:3, 32:8, etc).

Further, the reverse process is described in Eccl 12:7 when it says that when a person dies, "the breath of life returns to God who gave it". Stephen alluded to this when he prayed to Jesus to receive his "breath" (the Greek and Hebrew word means "breath" Acts 7:59.)

Thus, in Hebrew idiom, the "soul" is the person and the soul can die (when it lacks the breath of life) as per Eze 18:4, 20, Num 9:6, Job 21:25, Matt 10:28.

  • Ezekiel 18:4 makes it explicit: "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.". And Numbers 9:6 says "And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man …", where "dead body" is the same Hebrew word that is translated as "soul" elsewhere. Commented May 4 at 23:24
  • @RayButterworth - good point about Num 9:6 - I had not noticed that previously. Many thanks.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 4 at 23:41
  • This related to the soul being killed. Genesis 19:17 King James Version 17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; (nephesh) look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. Genesis 19:17 Jubilee Bible 2000 And it came to pass as they brought them forth outside, that he said, Escape; for thy soul, (nephesh) do not look behind thee, neither stop thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. The angle did not say: “Run for your bodies” Commented May 11 at 15:55
  • 1
    @MikeMcCain - I think that is the point - the "soul" is one's life - it is not a separate entity with consciousness apart from the body.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 11 at 21:54


Genesis 2:17 strongly proves that the soul is mortal and it can and will die.

A soul is a physical entity. It is not a spiritual element in our body. A soul needs food and drink to survive just as a body requires clothes. Jesus Christ says so.


Some people believe that man “has” a spiritual element in his body which is the soul. In other words, the soul is a spiritual element a person possesses in his body.

Soul and Spirit are Different

But the Scripture differentiates between spirit and soul. These are different and separate.

“For the Word of God is living, …………………and piercing as far as the DIVISION of both soul and spirit” (Heb 4:12).

So, a soul is different and separate from spirit.

Man is a Soul

Man IS a soul; he does not have a soul. The Scripture clearly shows this:

“And Jehovah God formed the man out of dust from the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7).

Notice carefully that it doesn’t say ‘man has a soul’ but it says clearly that ‘man became a soul’ when he gained the breath of life.

Also it becomes clear that a soul is a “breathing” (respiration) creature!

Soul is Physical

Jesus Christ said:

“Because of this, I say to you, Do not be anxious for your soul, what you eat and what you drink, nor for your body, what you put on. Is not the soul more than the food and the body than the clothing?” (Mat 6:25).

It is so plain. Just as “body” is more than the clothing, “soul” is more than the food!

So, according to Jesus Christ, soul needs food!

[“Respiration” (breath of life) is in fact using oxygen to break food into energy for the use of bodily functions]

Soul is physical!!

Psychology Comes from Psuche=Soul

The English word “psychology” comes from the Greek word “psuche” which is translated as “soul” in the Bible.

We know that psychology has nothing to do with spiritual.

Soul is Mortal

Twice the Scripture says the soul is mortal:

“The soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezek 18:4).

“The soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezek 18:20).

  • Abraham knew this:

“Please say that you are my sister, so that it may be well with me for your sake, and my soul shall live because of you” (Gen 12:13).

  • Lot knew this:

“Please let me escape there! Is it not a little thing, that my soul may live?” (Gen 19:20).

  • The Psalmist knew this:

Let my soul live and praise you” (Psalms 119:175).

  • Jeremiah knew this:

“And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ……….. then your soul shall live” (Jer 38:17).


If there is one unifying factor that ties all the religions in the world together, it is this one false thing: all religions including Christianity believe that “the soul is immortal”!

But the Scripture is unique and is emphatic: the soul is mortal.

Post Script:

Jesus Christ witnessed concerning Satan:

“When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies” (John 8:44).

This happened in the Garden of Eden.

God said to the first parents:

“You shall die” i.e., the soul is mortal (Gen 2:17).

Satan said to the first parents:

“You shall not die” i.e., the soul is immortal (Gen 3:4).

This was a lie!

And this lie spread to all the religions and to all humanity from the Garden of Eden.

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