The first occurrence.
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and winged creatures that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Gen 1:20
The primitive root.
Strong’s H2416 chai, a concrete noun meaning, “life,” from Strong’s H2421 חיה chayah, a primitive root meaning, “to have life.” The 3-letter root is chet + yud + hey:
chet ח = the wall, thus outside, divide, half
yud י = the closed hand, thus work, throw, worship
hey ה = man w/ raised arms, thus look, reveal, wonder, worship, breath
The story: The outside (chet) work (yud) a man does provides food, thus breath (hey) or life, for himself and his family.
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