Breath and Spirit
“Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.” (Isaiah 42:5)

“God the LORD” (Elohim Jehovah) is here identified as the Creator and organizer of all the universe, the heavens, and the earth, and all things therein. In context, He is also identifying Himself as the One sending forth “my servant” to be given as “a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:1, 6), the coming Messiah of Israel.

He who does all these things also gives every person born both breath and spirit. The “breath” (Hebrew neshumah) is that “breath of life” that God breathed into Adam’s nostrils when He created him at the beginning. Even those who do not believe in God must depend on Him for their very breath, since “he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” Therefore, He is “not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:25, 27-28).

He also gives each person a spirit (Hebrew ruach), a word used first of all in reference to the “Spirit of God” (Genesis 1:2). It is this attribute in particular that constitutes the created “image of God” in man (Genesis 1:27). The higher land animals all possess “the breath of life” along with man (Genesis 7:22), but only men and women are created in the image of God, each with an eternal spirit.

Man’s breath and spirit are closely related, and sometimes the words are used almost interchangeably. When the breath departs from a person’s body at death, the spirit also departs with it, but the latter “shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The breath also will be activated again on the coming resurrection day. HMM
The Latest
NEWS
Giving Day Today!
Hello, Friends. North Texas Giving Day is finally here! Will you partner with us? Your generosity will help ICR proclaim the truth and accuracy...

TESTIMONIALS
Answers to Build Your Faith
Hello, I’m Bill West, ICR’s System Administrator. Thirteen years ago, a man dedicated to God’s Word shared the gospel with me, and...

NEWS
Newly-Discovered Brain Cell
Someone said the three-pound human brain is the most complex and least-understood biological structure in the known universe. Scientific research regarding...

TESTIMONIALS
Biblical Creation for Everyone
Hello, my name is Rebecca Barber. I work here at ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics, and I recently finished a project detailing the history...

NEWS
WWII Plane Found Frozen in Greenland Ice
A team has located a World War II P-38 Lightning fighter plane beneath more than 300 feet of ice in Greenland. They first found hints of the plane’s...