Breathing the Breath
Genesis 2:5-8; Ezekiel 37:1-14; John 20:19-23; Acts 2:1-4;
We provide here some scripture passages of interest without (much) comment, other than to ask you to look for breathing, breath, wind, spirit, life, and understanding:
In the gathering behind closed doors after the cross, perhaps a few days after the resurrection. The Christ Jesus alone with the disciples and close followers:
19 Late that Sunday evening, when the disciples were together behind locked doors, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you!’ he said, 20 and then showed them his hands and his side. So when the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. 21 Jesus repeated, ‘Peace be with you!’, and then said, ‘As the Father sent me, so I send you.’ 22 He then breathed on them, saying, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit! 23 If you forgive any man’s sins, they stand forgiven; if you pronounce them unforgiven, unforgiven they remain.’ (John 20:19-23, New Jerusalem Bible)
In the garden with dust. At creation:
5 WHEN THE LORD GOD MADE EARTH AND HEAVEN, there was neither shrub nor plant growing wild upon the earth, because the LORD God had sent no rain on the earth; nor was there any man to till the ground. 6 A flood [Or mist] used to rise out of the earth and water all the surface of the ground. 7 Then the LORD God formed a man [Heb.adam] from the dust of the ground [Heb. adamah] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Thus the man became a living creature. 8 Then the LORD God planted agarden in Eden away to the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. (Genesis 2:5-8, New English Bible)
A future vision of a field of death, with the dead, dried up bones of the nation of Israel. The prophet Ezekiel receives this vision about 620 years prior to Jesus’ active ministry:
1 The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he carried me out by his spirit and put me down in a plain full of bones. 2 He made me go to and fro across them until I had been round them all [He made … all: or He made me pass all round them], they covered the plain, countless numbers of them, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me,‘Man, can these bones live again?’ I answered, ‘Only thou knowest that, Lord GOD.’ 4 He said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 This is the word of the Lord GOD to these bones: I will put breath [Or wind or spirit] into you, and you shall live. 6 I will fasten sinews on you, bring flesh upon you, overlay you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.’ 7 I began to prophesy as he had bidden me, and as I prophesied there was a rustling sound and the bones fitted themselves together. 8 As I looked, sinews appeared upon them, flesh covered them, and they were overlaid with skin, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, man, and say to it, These are the words of the Lord GOD: Come, O wind, come from every quarter and breathe into these slain, that they may come to life.’ 10 I began to prophesy as he had bidden me: breath came into them; they came to life and rose to their feet, amighty host. 11 He said to me, ‘Man, these bones are the whole people of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dry, our thread of life is snapped, our web is severed from the loom [our web … loom: prob. rdg, Heb we are completely cut off].” 12 Prophesy, therefore,and say to them, These are the words of the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves and bring you up from them, and restore you to the land of Israel. 13 You shall know that I am the LORD when I open your graves and bring you up from them, O my people. 14 Then I will put my spirit [Or breath] into you and you shall live, and I will settle you on your own soil, and you shall know that I the LORD have spoken and will act. This is the very word of the LORD.’ (Ezekiel 37:1-14, New English Bible)
Back in the New Testament, after the resurrection, some time after the gathering behind closed doors accounted above in John’s gospel, there is another more public gathering in Acts chapter 2:
1 WHILE THE DAY of Pentecost was running its course they were all together in one place, 2 when suddenly there came from the sky a noise like that of a strong driving wind, which filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues like flames of fire, dispersed among them and resting on each one. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them power of utterance. (Acts 2:1-4, New Jerusalem Bible)
By the way, observe the Spirit breathed on the disciples in John 20 and the again in Acts 2. Is there a distinction between these two winds, and if so, what is it? Consider the idea that the first is life and understanding of the resurrection, and the second is full understanding that Christ is God — that Christ is Lord and God, that Christ is Yahweh and Elohim.
Finally, for now, from 2 Timothy:
15 and recalling too how from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which can give you the wisdom that leads to deliverance through trusting in Yeshua the Messiah. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; 17 thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, Complete Jewish Bible)
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Please read the actual Bible for yourself. 🙂
We invite you to comment. When you do, please cite good commentary and include scripture passages.
God’s blessings to you!