Breath of life

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A depiction, by Watson Heston (1890), of god making Adam come alive by putting the "breath of life" (Genesis 2:7) into his nostrils.[1]

In terms, breath of life (LH:1) refers to []



In Egyptian mythology, humans were first formed from clay, by the god Khnum on his potter’s wheel, then then were brought to life by the magic air of the ankh of Hathor put to the mouth of the clay-shaped humans:

Hathor (brining humans to life).png


In Greek mythology, the term anemos (άνεμος), meaning "wind", became the term “anima”, which meant animating principle, which became blended with the Psyche, the goddess of the soul.

In stoic philosophy, in Greece and Rome, alternatively, the concept of “pneuma” was conceptualized the “breath of life” as a mixture of the elements of air (in motion) and fire (as warmth) as animating humans.[2]


In Jewish mythology, god took dust from the ground, formed man with it, and then brought him to life by “breathing into his nostrils”, at which point he became a “living soul”; as follows:

“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.”
— Anon (c.200BC), Bible (KJV) (Genesis 2:7)[3]


In modern terms, the concept of breath of life or "wind", called anemos (άνεμος) in Greek, has carried forward, etymologically, in words such as: animal, animate, animation, animate thing, albeit with the original divine connotation dropping off, and the stoic heat and air based physiology meaning being retained.

End matter


  1. Heston, Watson. (1890). The Old Testament: Comically Illustrated (pg. 9). Truth Seeker, 1892.
  2. Pneuma (Stoic) – Wikipedia.
  3. (a) Anon. (c.200BC). Bible (Genesis 2:7). Publisher.
    (b) Genesis 2.7 (KJV) –

External links

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