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When referring to people, the terms "giving up the ghost" or "yielding up the ghost" are found in the King James Version in describing physical death and burial. Numerous people throughout the Old and New Testaments, including Jesus Christ, are recorded as having "given up the ghost" before their bodies were placed in their graves e.g.
"25:8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre" (Genesis 25:8-9 KJV)
What Is Your "Ghost"?
In the Old Testament, the original Hebrew word translated as "ghost" in the term "giving up the ghost" is pronounced gaw-vah and means to breathe out, to exhale. As actually written in the Holy Scriptures, "giving up the ghost" means nothing more than a dying breath. "Giving up the ghost" is never used in any other way in the Holy Scriptures.
"35:29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him." (Genesis 35:29 KJV)
In the New Testament, one of the two original Greek words translated as "ghost" in the term "giving up the ghost" is pronounced ek-psoo-coe and means to breathe out, to exhale. As with the Hebrew word explained above, the Greek word, as actually written in the Holy Scriptures, "giving up the ghost" means nothing more than a last gasp, a dying breath, as in the example of Ananias.
"5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him." (Acts 5:5-6 KJV)
Two Greek words are used in the account of Jesus Christ - interchangeably. Mark and Luke use the Greek word pronounced ek-pneh-oh which means exactly the same as the Hebrew and Greek words described above - to breathe out, a dying gasp - a physical act of exhaling.
"15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." (Mark 15:37 KJV)
The word "spirit" in Luke 23:46 above is a translation of the Greek word pronounced pnoo-mah - which also literally means breath (see Ghost and Spirit: What's The Difference?). That same word, which is translated as "spirit" in Luke 23:46 is translated as "ghost," as in "giving up the ghost." When referring to "giving up the ghost," the words all mean the same thing in the original Hebrew and Greek - breath.
Fact Finder: What happens when someone "gives up the ghost"? What do they then await?