How Did God Breathe The Breath Of Life Into Adam?

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The Bible tells us that God breathed the breath of life into Adam

In this post we will answer the question, “how did God beathe the Breath of Life into Adam?” The scriptures say in Genesis 2: 7 that:

“the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.”

We learn from scripture that the Eternal God formed man. Humans were formed in the same way in which a Potter works with clay. Potters mold and form the clay into a vessel that is important and useful to Him.

In the context of creation, the word “dust” refers to clay. In other words, Adam was clay until God-breathed spirit or life into his nostrils. .

What is the meaning of the word breath in the language in which it was written?

The word breath in Genesis 2: 7 comes from the Hebrew word Nĕshamah which in a general sense is used to mean

-Spirit of God.
-Spirit of man.
-Everything that breathes in and out.


What is the meaning of breath or Nĕshamah in Genesis 2: 7?

Let’s now explore how Nĕshamah is used when we speak of things that breathe in and out. One reference is found in Genesis 7: 22 which says that every breathing thing that was on the earth died in the flood of Noah’s era:

All in whose nostrils was the breath (Nĕshamah) of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

Nĕshamah or breath is also used in Deuteronomy 20: 16 in which God commanded Israel not to spare anything in Canaan

But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth (Nĕshamah).

In another text in which breath refers to all living things, we see that

Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed (Nĕshamah), as the LORD God of Israel commanded (Joshua 10: 40).

They smote all the souls that were there in with the edge of the sword utterly destroying them there was not left there was not only left to breathe/Nĕshamah. (Joshua 11:11)

Joshua 11:14 has the same concept since it says that the children of Israel destroyed cities that the Lord had given to them and they did not leave anything to breathe (Nĕshamah).

And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed/Nĕshamah (1 Kings 15: 29).

It came to pass after these things that the son of the woman the mistress of the house fell sick and his sickness was so sore that there was no breath (Nĕshamah) left in him (1 Kings 17:17).

We see therefore that breath refers to the physical characteristic of living things and their ability to carry out respiration.

Psalm 150 and verse 6 exhorts humans to their breath to praise God in the words “let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”


Various writers of the scriptures repeatedly reinforce our very breath comes from God.

Humans are to be reminded that the breath that we breathe in and out comes from God. This is one reason why we should cherish life. In Isaiah 42:5, the prophet affirmed that the Lord gives breath to the people on earth.

Prophet Daniel related how in a vision he saw one of the heavenly inhabitants. He said that he lost all of his strength. Modern people would say that he “fell out”

For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.

Therefore the breath that God breathed into humans is a living entity because it allows us to breathe in oxygen and to breathe out carbon dioxide.

From science, we know that we need oxygen for survival and we need to get rid of excess carbon dioxide, which is a waste product. Humans can only live for about 4 minutes without oxygen. That really informs us that we cannot live without God.

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When breath carries the meaning of the spirit of man

We said previously that the word breath or Nĕshamah also refers to the spirit of man. We learn a lot about that human spirit or breath of God from Job, who lived in ancient times and was a scientist.

Job said that his spirit came from God. In the text, he used the word Nĕshamah to refer to his spirit. In other words, he is telling us that his spirit is the same breath that God breathed into Adam.

This is an example of deep parallels and symbolisms in the scripture. On the surface, Nĕshamah means physical breath. However, Nĕshamah carries a deeper meaning by referring to the internal, invisible, eternal spirit of man which comes directly from God our creator.

These are the words that Job used to tell us that his Nĕshamah or breath or spirit came from God:

To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit (Nĕshamah) came from thee? – Job 26: 4.

The Apostle Paul carried this picture of the human spirit over in his era. In the New Testament, Paul referred to the human spirit as the inner man and the hidden man of the heart.

Let us go back to Job since he left us some very fascinating writings which inform us about the human spirit. Job cleverly weaved together an intriguing picture in chapter 27 and verses 3 & 4 of his book. He reinforced that his breath was the same as the spirit of God.

As we look deeper, we see that Job means that he will never speak wickedness while his spirit or inner, hidden man of the heart resides in his body. He is not just speaking about physical breath.

Job supersedes the physical meaning of breath and his text is a perfect example of the multi- dimensional meaning of words in the scripture.

All the while my breath/Nĕshamah is in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils

My lips shall not speak wickedness,
nor my tongue utter deceit.


The breath that God breathed into humans gives us an understanding of things

In another text in chapter 32 and verse 8, Job said that the Nĕshamah of God gives understanding to humans. Understanding can refer to common sense, but it also, in my estimation, refers to the ability to correctly interpret things and their meaning, among others. People without understanding are referred to as fools in the scriptures.

In the Job 32: 8 text, we note that the King James translators used the word inspiration instead of breath or spirit in the text.

… there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration/Nĕshamah
of the Almighty giveth them understanding

This is another example of the multi-dimensional element to the breath that God breathed into humans. In one sense, it means that the wisdom and understanding that humans need come from God placing His Spirit into us.

Secondly, we see that Job 27: 3 and Job 32 8 are parallel scriptures:

All the while my breath/Nĕshamah is in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils

My lips shall not speak wickedness,
nor my tongue utter deceit…

… there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration/Nĕshamah of the Almighty giveth them understanding

It might be complex, but Job says that the spirit in man is the same concept as the Spirit of God in his nostrils. In other words, Job is telling us that we are multi-dimensional. We have a body with an inner, hidden spirit which must be charged with understanding from God.


Even more complexity is added when we realize that there are physical structures in the brain that are responsible for reasoning, thinking, and analyzing information.

There is a physical element to comprehension. If a human is deprived of oxygen and sustains brain injury, that impedes the ability to analyze, critique and think. We can think of babies with severe cases of severe brain injury of even babies with microcephaly.

Job is saying that there is a hidden dimension to understanding that comes only from the Creator. Humans become devoid of true understanding without that inspiration from the Almighty.

I can therefore safely conclude that there is a natural understanding that humans can receive through learning and education, but that there is an understanding that comes by spiritual revelation.

To confirm, Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1: 21 explained that God breathed a heavenly understanding and knowledge into the people who wrote the scriptures:

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy also informs us that scripture was given to humans by God and was not invented by the writers:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Further explanation on the difference between natural and spiritual understanding Apostle Paul himself eloquently told us that the natural man or human spirit cannot receive spiritual things unless they are downloaded or revealed to the spirit by the Holy Spirit of God.

When we see how God breathed information to humans who had no prior knowledge, we the can understand a bit more about the natural understanding. People, for example, use their natural understanding to come up with incorrect scientific theories related to the evolution of humans. This theory contradicts the truth that humans were created by design and not accident, and that we emerged from a highly intellectual, thinking Creator.

We must pray for the spiritual understanding that would cause us to know who we are. It is the spiritual understanding or revelation from God that would help us to elicit and extract the hidden truths and revelations about God and about the history of the earth.


Modern examples of how humans become void of understanding without the wisdom of the Creator

God said to me that all of these things that we are studying right now are relevant to history. We humans are totally clueless about history to a large extent although there is a lot of scientific evidence that has been unearthed. A lot of earth history was lost with the flood. However, even if we had the history, the scriptures reveal that people could have become willingly ignorant about the truth because they choose to believe what they want to believe.

One modern example is the way in which Isis, the Islamic extremist group has destroyed a lot of historical artifacts and in much the same way that some of Arabs say that there was no Holocaust. People become willingly ignorant of things that they do not wish to believe.

Therefore, humans need the inspiration of the Almighty in order to receive understanding. We lost that ability to receive spiritual understanding because of the fall in the Garden of Eden. For example, when God asked Cain about his brother’s whereabouts, the latter replied that he was not his brother’s keeper.

Cain had lost the spiritual understanding to discern that God knew everything and was judged for insolence and murder. We cannot survive on the earth and please the Almighty God without the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Anything that comes from the natural man is destined for failure.


What is the meaning of this for parents raising a child?

First, you need to realize that every human is a spirit who came from God. You are a highly intelligent being who that is capable of developing spiritually.

Parents and caregivers are responsible for nurturing that inner being of your child with spiritual elements that would help him or her to grow. You are to teach your child the wisdom of God which is embedded in the scriptures to help the child to grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

This is my prayer. God bless.

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