For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?
A person becomes a living soul when he is conceived. It is when his human spirit unites with his body. The Bible says that an animal is also a living soul. The Hebrew word in Genesis 2:7 for the 'living soul' of human beings is nephesh. This same Hebrew word is also used for animals and translated as 'living creatures', for example, in Genesis 1:21.
People and animals are all living souls. A person becomes a living soul when his human spirit unites with his human body. Similarly, an animal becomes a living soul or a living creature, when its animal spirit unites with its animal body. So, both men and animals are living souls comprising spirit and body.
It is the human spirit, which makes us human beings, giving us our unique individual characteristics and personalities. Similarly, it is the animal spirit, which makes animals unique to their species with their individual characteristics and behaviours.
When a person dies, his human fleshly body goes back to the dust, but his human spirit with all his individual characteristics and personality intact, returns to God for His safe keeping until the resurrection.
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