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Breath

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The imagery of breath is often used to convey spiritual essence and power, unseen except in its effects, including aspects of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The main Hebrew and Greek words translated as “breath” in the NIV are also translated as “spirit” and “wind”.

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The breath of life

Life imparted by God

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Life recalled by his sovereign will

Ecclesiastes 12:7 KJV 1900
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
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The breath of God

An emblem of the Holy Spirit

John 20:21–22 KJV 1900
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
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God’s creative breath

Psalm 33:6 KJV 1900
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
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God’s enlightening breath

Job 32:8 KJV 1900
But there is a spirit in man: And the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
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God’s regenerating breath

Ezekiel 37:4–14 KJV 1900
Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
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God’s empowering breath

Acts 2:1–4 KJV 1900
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
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God’s destroying breath

2 Thessalonians 2:8 KJV 1900
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
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