The word "creature," as it occurs in the New Testament, is the translation and also the exact English equivalent of the Greek ktisis, or ktisma, from ktizo, "to create." In the Old Testament, on the other hand, it stands for words which have in the original no reference to creation, but which come from other roots. Nephesh, "living creature" (literally, "a breathing thing"), occurs in the accounts of the Creation and the Flood and at the close of the lists of clean and unclean animals in Leviticus 11:46. Chay, "living creature" (literally, "a living thing"), occurs 13 times in Eze 1; 3 and 10 (see CREATURE, LIVING). Sherets, "moving creature" (literally, "a swarming thing," generally rendered "creeping thing," which see), occurs once in Genesis 1:20. 'Ochim, "doleful creatures," occurs once only in Isaiah 13:21. It appears to be an onomatopoetic word referring to the mournful sounds emitted by the animals in question. From the context it is fair to suppose that owls may be the animals referred to.
Alfred Ely Day
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