Genesis 2:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

King James Bible
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

American Standard Version
And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

English Revised Version
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:7 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"Then Jehovah God formed man from dust of the ground." עפר is the accusative of the material employed (Ewald and Gesenius). The Vav consec. imperf. in Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:8, Genesis 2:9, does not indicate the order of time, or of thought; so that the meaning is not that God planted the garden in Eden after He had created Adam, nor that He caused the trees to grow after He had planted the garden and placed the man there. The latter is opposed to Genesis 2:15; the former is utterly improbable. The process of man's creation is described minutely here, because it serves to explain his relation to God and to the surrounding world. He was formed from dust (not de limo terrae, from a clod of the earth, for עפר is not a solid mass, but the finest part of the material of the earth), and into his nostril a breath of life was breathed, by which he became an animated being. Hence the nature of man consists of a material substance and an immaterial principle of life. "The breath of life," i.e., breath producing life, does not denote the spirit by which man is distinguished form the animals, or the soul of man from that of the beasts, but only the life-breath (vid., 1 Kings 17:17). It is true, נשׁמה generally signifies the human soul, but in Genesis 7:22 חיּים נשׁמת־רוּח is used of men and animals both; and should any one explain this, on the ground that the allusion is chiefly to men, and the animals are connected per zeugma, or should he press the ruach attached, and deduce from this the use of neshamah in relation to men and animals, there are several passages in which neshamah is synonymous with ruach (e.g., Isaiah 42:5; Job 32:8; Job 33:4), or חיים רוח applied to animals (Genesis 6:17; Genesis 7:15), or again neshamah used as equivalent to nephesh (e.g., (Joshua 10:40, cf. Joshua 10:28, Joshua 10:30, Joshua 10:32). For neshamah, the breathing, πνοή, is "the ruach in action" (Auberlen). Beside this, the man formed from the dust became, through the breathing of the "breath of life," a חיּה נפשׁ, an animated, and as such a living being; an expression which is also applied to fishes, birds, and land animals (Genesis 1:20-21, Genesis 1:24, Genesis 1:30), and there is no proof of pre-eminence on the part of man. As חיּה נפשׁ, ψυχὴ ζῶσα, does not refer to the soul merely, but to the whole man as an animated being, so נשׁמה does not denote the spirit of man as distinguished from body and soul. On the relation of the soul to the spirit of man nothing can be gathered from this passage; the words, correctly interpreted, neither show that the soul is an emanation, an exhalation of the human spirit, nor that the soul was created before the spirit and merely received its life from the latter. The formation of man from dust and the breathing of the breath of life we must not understand in a mechanical sense, as if God first of all constructed a human figure from dust, and then, by breathing His breath of life into the clod of earth which he had shaped into the form of a man, made it into a living being. The words are to be understood θεοπρεπῶς. By an act of divine omnipotence man arose from the dust; and in the same moment in which the dust, by virtue of creative omnipotence, shaped itself into a human form, it was pervaded by the divine breath of life, and created a living being, so that we cannot say the body was earlier than the soul. The dust of the earth is merely the earthly substratum, which was formed by the breath of life from God into an animated, living, self-existent being. When it is said, "God breathed into his nostril the breath of life," it is evident that this description merely gives prominence to the peculiar sign of life, viz., breathing; since it is obvious, that what God breathed into man could not be the air which man breathes; for it is not that which breathes, but simply that which is breathed. Consequently, breathing into the nostril can only mean, that "God, through His own breath, produced and combined with the bodily form that principle of life, which was the origin of all human life, and which constantly manifests its existence in the breath inhaled and exhaled through the nose" (Delitzsch, Psychol. p. 62). Breathing, however, is common to both man and beast; so that this cannot be the sensuous analogon of the supersensuous spiritual life, but simply the principle of the physical life of the soul. Nevertheless the vital principle in man is different from that in the animal, and the human soul from the soul of the beast. This difference is indicated by the way in which man received the breath of life from God, and so became a living soul. "The beasts arose at the creative word of God, and no communication of the spirit is mentioned even in Genesis 2:19; the origin of their soul was coincident with that of their corporeality, and their life was merely the individualization of the universal life, with which all matter was filled in the beginning by the Spirit of God.

On the other hand, the human spirit is not a mere individualization of the divine breath which breathed upon the material of the world, or of the universal spirit of nature; nor is his body merely a production of the earth when stimulated by the creative word of God. The earth does not bring forth his body, but God Himself puts His hand to the work and forms him; nor does the life already imparted to the world by the Spirit of God individualize itself in him, but God breathes directly into the nostrils of the one man, in the whole fulness of His personality, the breath of life, that in a manner corresponding to the personality of God he may become a living soul" (Delitzsch). This was the foundation of the pre-eminence of man, of his likeness to God and his immortality; for by this he was formed into a personal being, whose immaterial part was not merely soul, but a soul breathed entirely by God, since spirit and soul were created together through the inspiration of God. As the spiritual nature of man is described simply by the act of breathing, which is discernible by the senses, so the name which God gives him (Genesis 5:2) is founded upon the earthly side of his being: Adam, from אדמה (adamah), earth, the earthly element, like homo from humus, or from χαμά, χαμαί, χαμᾶθεν, to guard him from self-exaltation, not from the red colour of his body, since this is not a distinctive characteristic of man, but common to him and to many other creatures. The name man (Mensch), on the other hand, from the Sanskrit mânuscha, manuschja, from man to think, manas equals mens, expresses the spiritual inwardness of our nature.

Genesis 2:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

formed man.

Psalm 100:3 Know you that the LORD he is God: it is he that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 139:14,15 I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well...

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.

of the dust. Heb. the dust of, etc. dust.

Genesis 3:19,23 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are...

Job 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?

Job 33:6 Behold, I am according to your wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.

Psalm 103:14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Ecclesiastes 3:7,20 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak...

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.

Romans 9:20 No but, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?

1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands...

and breathed.

Job 27:3 All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;

Job 33:4 The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life.

John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, Receive you the Holy Ghost:

Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things;


Genesis 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

Ecclesiastes 3:21 Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?

Isaiah 2:22 Cease you from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of ?

a living.

Numbers 16:22 And they fell on their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin...

Numbers 27:16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, said the LORD, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth...

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence...

Cross References
1 Corinthians 15:45
Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:47
The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

1 Timothy 2:13
For Adam was formed first, then Eve;

Genesis 2:6
and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground--

Genesis 3:19
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Genesis 7:22
Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.

Job 4:19
how much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed like the moth.

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