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Genesis 2:6 – Mist From Underground Spirits?

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Genesis 2:6 – but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground.

The thought has been expressed concerning this verse that the mist that comes up out of the ground, refers to an underworld of spirits, that is, the realm of the dead. (Shades of Sheol: Death and Afterlife in the Old Testament, page 101) According to Philip S. Johnston, this belief is held by F.M Cross and D.N. Freeman (Song of Miriam, page 247) as well as Victor P. Hamilton (The Book of Genesis, Cahpters 1-17). We do not have these authors’ works, so we do not know what their actual reasons were for stating this. We found some, however, who seem to think that the alleged underworld is being spoken of in Psalm 69:15; Psalm 88:6, and Ezekiel 31:15, which scriptures we hope to examine later, and it may be that some associate those scriptures with Genesis 2:6. We can say that at the time being spoken of in Genesis 2:6, no human had died, thus, if this is thought to conform with the dualistic idea that there man is created with an immortal soul or immortal spirit, there could not have been any human souls or “spirits” in sheol at that time. The idea that this mist comes from any living spirit beings assumed to be living in an alleged “underworld” has to be totally read into what is said here.

Regardless, very few scholars give any credence to the idea that there is some reference here to the realm of the dead.


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