About use of the word…
flesh in the Bible

This word has various meanings and uses in the Bible.

In the Old Testament, it denotes…

  1. literal flesh

    A spirit hath not flesh and bones (Luke 24:39 KJV)

    the non-bony part of the human body

    then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. —Genesis 2:21 NASB

    The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” —Genesis 2:23 NASB

    the non-bony part of animals

    Now the Egyptians are men and not God,
    And their horses are flesh and not spirit… —Isaiah 31:3 NASB

  2. humanity as a whole

    God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. —Genesis 6:12 NASB

    Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.” —Genesis 6:13 NASB

  3. creatures, including humans

    I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. —Genesis 6:17 NASB

  4. different kinds of animals

    And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark… —Genesis 6:19 NASB

  5. the whole body

    …my flesh also shall rest in hope… —Psalm 16:9 KJV

  6. marriage (“one flesh”)

    For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. —Genesis 2:24 NASB

  7. weakness and temporary nature

    With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD… —2 Chronicles 32:8 NASB

    …He remembered that they were but flesh,
    A wind that passes and does not return. —Psalm 78:39 NASB

  8. softness

    …I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh… —Ezek. 11:19 NASB

  9. used to denote close family relationship, as in the expression “you’re my flesh and bone”

    …remember that I am your bone and your flesh… —Judges 9:2 NASB)

In the New Testament, it is also used to denote…

More information

Article Version: June 4, 2021