I will not be giving a full account of the presence of the Spirit of God throughout the Old Testament (or the New) – just enough to give a sense of how the Spirit seems to have been widely understood in a range of authors.  The short story: biblical authors seemed to understand that one way God manifested himself and provided his power to specially chosen people was to send his Spirit upon them.

In this understanding, the spirit is simply the divine force that God sends.  It is not seen as a separate “person” from God.  In an undefined sense (that probably the authors didn’t think about much), the spirit is both part of God (as your breath is part of you) and yet is separate from God (remember: spirit and breath and wind are all the same word in Hebrew).

As an analogy: when you blow out a candle it is your breath doing it, and that act, the tool used to achieve it (the breath itself), and that which is actually achieved are all intimately connected with you; it involves something you do with an element of you (your breath) which then takes on its own power and has its own effect.  So your breath is separate from you in a sense.  But it also can’t exist apart from you, and it expresses your will doing what you direct it to do, and only what you direct it to do.  But your breath is not the same as you.  The “breath” or “spirit” of God is kind of like that for the biblical authors.

In some passages of the Old Testament,

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