In the making of Adam we are told that after Yehovah sculpted him into a statue of himself he breathed into him the breath of life and animated hime. Eve was sculpted from Adam's spare rib but there is no mention of her being animated by God breathing into her the breath of life. So is this just to be assumed to have occurred, did she get Adam's breath from the bone or are we to understand the women are of a different composition?:

Gen 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. Gen 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Gen 2:23 Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

I notice that Adam exclaims that she is "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh" but not "breath of my breath". Nor does Moses say that marriage leads to "one breath" but only mentions "one flesh".

9 Answers 9


Genesis 2:7 actually says that YHWH Elohim breathed in 'ADAM' the 'breath of 'lives'.
Eve was there at the point of Genesis 1:7 in a 'form' which Messiah reminds His detractors about in
Matthew 19:4;

And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE.

Genesis 1:26

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Matthew 19:4 is a scripture majority don't accept as meaning what it says.

Eve was taken as a 'side', not a rib--that's misleading, the kind that we see in Exodus 25:12, a 'whole side' of the altar.
That's the idea here. And after taking this 'living side', a woman was formed! It's nothing novel.
Refer to Ezekiel, a related 'likeness' in its multiplicity, the four-faced creatures; eg

Ezekiel 1:10

As for the 'likeness' of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Or, the symbolism in the temple walls and doors and posts, which elements denote the ruling saints. Eg Ezekiel 41, especially from 17-25.
So this enigma was the ADAM who was later split-up, into a man and a woman.

  • I have you +1 because I think it was thought out, not fully but you engaged your mind. Are you denying it was a rib and arguing it was a side? What’s wrong with it being a rib as opposed to an undisclosed “side”. The point would be that it was living tissue that was removed and not lifeless dust as in Adam’s case. Could you elaborate further please? Thank you in advance. Jan 25, 2019 at 1:02
  • @Autodidact When the bible says that 'God formed...' most times it means He transformed one creation into another 'kind', that's why after Cain has killed, he still is terrified that some else will kill him, but to 'us', there is only his 'unsuspecting' & grieving old folks. Those that would kill him are the 'ground' but not of his kind! Just as true Messiah's followers are literally 'a new spirit being in creation', yet look the same as any human, humans whom the bible sees only as 'darkness & who aren't! This is the reality to the side called Eve, taken from ADAM the 'composite' being.
    – Witness
    Jan 29, 2019 at 18:43

I think Eve is an illustration of what it is to be begotten not made. She, in a separate body, was the same essence as Adam, having the breath of God. Common sense and observation of human nature indicates that even in our fallen state women are more like their male counterparts than some lesser being. God gave us an intellect to use as we decipher biblical truths. Let US make man in OUR image, plural just like Adam and Eve are plural. Genesis 1:26

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

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  • Hi Lara, welcome to the site. This is an interesting perspective. Please be sure to take the site tour, and thanks for contributing! Mar 10, 2022 at 16:58

Genesis chapter 2 presents a more detailed version of the creation of the animals and humanity that the terse presentation in chapter 1.

Regarding the creation of Adam, Genesis 2:7 (NIV) states

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Regarding the creation of the animals, Genesis 2:19 (NIV) states

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

The Hebrew text (MT) for Genesis 2:7 and Genesis 2:19 use the same exact phrase for both the "living being" of verse 7 and the "living creature" of verse 19, נפש חיה, nefesh hayyah. Verse 7 indicates that the breath of God transformed the dust into Adam, the man, a living being, while verse 19 implies that the animals are also living beings, without stating by what means they became living beings.

So, already after verse 19 we have both the man and the animals called "living beings", nefesh hayyah, with no apparent distinction between them other than the fact that it is the man who gives the animals their names.

In the story of the creation of the woman in Genesis 2:21-24, there is no mention at all that she is a "living being", a nefesh hayyah, only that the man gives her a (generic) name, "woman"!

However, the next use of nefesh hahayyah, in Genesis 9:9-10 (NIV)

"I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you--the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you--every living creature on earth.

makes it clear that the women with Noah and his sons are also nefesh hayyah, living souls.

It appears that there is a progressive contraction of the narrative in Genesis 2 - the breathing of life in Genesis 2:7 is omitted from the creation of the animals in Genesis 2:19, and both the breathing of life and the fact that the woman is a living being are omitted from the creation of the woman in Genesis 2:21-24. But as we see from subsequent verses, we can't conclude from these omissions that there was no divine breath of life or that the woman was not a living being.

So, to answer your question, the narratives of Genesis 2 provide no basis for concluding that men, woman or even animals were created differently as living beings, nefesh hayyah, except that the woman was created from the man rather than from dust. Note however, that many other verses such as Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 3:16 do establish an order of authority among men, women and the animals.

  • 1
    I asked this question under a previous account. When I asked it I wasn't sure what I was after, just curious and turning over rocks. However now I'm wondering if each person's "spirit" (aka "breath") is unique (as some read 1 Cor 5:4) or if it merely a commodity (such as in the scientific view of "air").
    – Ruminator
    Nov 23, 2017 at 17:32
  • @Ruminator From the text of Genesis 2, we can't answer that question because the detail isn't there and in general, the OT isn't concerned with such a level of detail. The focus in Genesis 2 is broadly on the fact that something is missing in a man without a wife, and that as parents we must expect that children will marry and we will no longer be the focus of their lives. The chapter also indicates the importance and power of language in our existence.
    – user17080
    Nov 23, 2017 at 17:44
  • Are you saying that she would have received breath directly from God but it isn't mentioned?
    – Ruminator
    Nov 27, 2017 at 16:16
  • @Ruminator Apparently she is alive (נפש חייה) and apparently directly from God. If it were otherwise the text would have said so. Thereafter there is no mention of direct creation and the next generations of man and animals are produced by regular procreation.
    – user17080
    Nov 27, 2017 at 16:33
  • I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. The whole point of her being made of Adam's bone and flesh was that she was not an independent creation. She wasn't taken from the earth and given independent life but originated "in Adam". This has significant typological implications. In a hyper-literal sense Bereshit is "the book of the generations".
    – Ruminator
    Nov 27, 2017 at 16:34

The symbolism of Eve sharing Adam's breath (aka "spirit") is implied by the failure to mention God breathing a new spirit into her. God's spirit is in both but she gets it from her union with Adam. Paul seizes on this:

[1Co 6:16-17 KJV] 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.


"Eve was sculpted from Adam's spare rib but there is no mention of her being animated by God breathing into her the breath of life" is not basis to assume such didn't happen, inasmuch as there is no mention of her 'breath of life' being derived from Adam either. Thus we can safely assume that, since Eve is not not "a living soul," He provided her the "breath of life" (Gn 2:7) in a similar manner as He had Adam; or more likely: in precisely the same manner.

Besides, a rib has no 'breath of life' in it of which to speak. The mode of giving the "breath of life" was via inspiration (i.e. breathing "into his nostrils"), not by putting it in a bone, which obvious lacked what it was necessary for God to give Adam.

In other words, it's clear from the context, that God created bare, dead, cadavers—bodies—first, and then ensoulment or vivification came next: and a man is constituted. Adam's rib did not have in itself the breath of life. "Breath of life" seems to be a metaphor for that one who is alive always breaths, hence the utility of 'breath of life' as a way of describing the difference between a dead [body] and an alive person. If Moses were writing today, he might have used, 'God jump-started his heart.'

  • A baby doesn’t have breath of life either in the womb, so I don’t follow the logic that since she was made with living tissue she somehow was given new/different breath. The rib was alive already, adding a body to it with lungs wouldn’t need addition life breath, all she had to do was inspire on her own. I’m not taking a position just yet. Jan 25, 2019 at 0:50
  • I don't think we should read too much into the fact that God chose in a specific way to give life to Adam to the effect that we assume all given or had life is given in said way. A baby breathes via its mother. But again, 'breath of life' is just a metaphor for having life. Insects don't have the 'breath of life' as we would think of it, but are obviously nonetheless alive. Jan 25, 2019 at 0:55
  • I’m only placing emphasis where emphasis is placed. G-d said nothing about breathing into the face/nostrils of any of the other living organisms the breath of life BUT He did for Adam. So either Eve was given the same attention/status as the animals (unlikely) or she already had life in her. Just like the gametes have life in them and the zygote is alive even at the stage of one cell. It is not breathing but is kept alive by the environment it is in. Also interesting that immediately after, it talks about echâd. They were two but from the same source, drawing from the same breath, united! Jan 25, 2019 at 2:38
  • "So either Eve was given the same attention/status as the animals (unlikely) or she already had life in her" That's a false dichotomy—the inspiration not being mentioned twice does NOT mean it did not occur twice. That would be fallacious. Jan 25, 2019 at 22:17
  • 1
    Wow. I didn't mean Adam was taken from a rib; it's explicit that her formation was different in THIS respect. I simply don't assume that God didn't breathe life into Eve also. But again, breath of life is not defined, and could be a metaphor. Especially since God has no lungs or breath. Jan 26, 2019 at 0:26

So much confusion - because of the ‘added reasoning’. Just read the text exactly as it is, and don’t ‘add’. The understanding for this is actually quite simple.

GEN 2:7 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.

First, it says man, not Adam. (Yes I know the Hebrew for ‘man’ is ‘a-dam’’).

And ‘man’ is....

GEN 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

... both male and female.

This is why Eve had to ‘come’ out from/of Adam. God ‘breathed’ on man, not animals. The ‘breath of life’ does not come as a result of God breathing. The result of God breathing on Man was that man became a ‘living soul’. A ‘living soul’ [does not equal] a ‘living creature’!

A living creature is referring to a physical body. (Beast). A physical body has breath, the breath of life, until it doesn’t anymore. Man’s soul does not get life from the ‘body’ it’s in - it gets ‘life’ from what God breathed.

And, importantly, there is only one spirit for man. Not two, or millions. We don’t have ‘one each’. That’s why God didn’t ‘breath’ on Eve. Man is spirit - a ‘spirit’ that possesses a ‘soul’, and that lives in a ‘living’ [physical] body. And you need to understand your spirit, and it’s [crucial] role - especially believers! - BUT - our uniqueness, the ‘you’, comes from, ‘is’ your soul.

If you don’t understand this, you will easily be confused about how Adam ‘eating’ affected all mankind. And won’t understand being ‘reborn’. You will need lengthy academically based explanations for these.


Biblically (and logically), this seems to be a relatively straightforward question.

Let us consider how God created Adam:

Genesis 2:7: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7).

When we analyze this verse closely, we should note that it is comprised of three separate clauses each separated by a delimiter (comma or semicolon). Therefore, if we break it down into its constituents:

  1. “The LORD God formed man of dust from the ground,” – in this first clause, God did not create death; he created a perfect, inanimate, human body from the dust of the ground.
  2. “[And] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;” – in this second clause, after God created the man’s physical body, He then breathed into the man’s nostrils the breath of life (the spirit)” (emphasis added). Lastly,
  3. “[And] man became a living being.” – the third clause finally tells us that the man became a living being (body and spirit).

[Note: The "breath" that God breathed into Adam was the man's alone. Nowhere are we told that He simultaneously appropriated Eve's breath from Adam. We cannot simply construct narratives to assuage our personal sentiments. Eve was indeed physically sculpted from Adam's rib, but no, there is no mention whatsoever of her being animated with "Adam's breath" -- this is fiction. We must conclude that God breathed into Eve the breath of life as well: Scripture is often silent with matters we can deduce for ourselves. Each of us is a "dual being"; we all receive our own spirit ("breath") from God, we do not share spirits despite the carnal reference to "they will become one flesh" (Gen. 2:24, Mk. 10:8, Eph. 5:31, etc.). Indeed, as mentioned in the remarks above by @Ruminator,

1 Corinthians 6:16-17: "Or do you not know that the one who joins himself [physically] to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord [spiritually] is one spirit with Him."

We are "one spirit" with God, not with other human beings. ]

Based on the text, had God not:

  1. First formed the man, and then
  2. Breathed into [the man’s] nostrils the breath of life,

he would not have become a living being. This is merely a logical extension of the verse. Otherwise, why not simply say that “the LORD God formed [a living] man from the dust of the ground?”

Some may insist that if God created an inanimate human being (a corpse (Jas. 2:26)), He "created death.” But this is simply untrue. One might just as easily claim that since God created stones, He also “created death,” which is absurd.

As we have all learned from personal experience, these fantastically engineered machines (bodies) of ours (yes, biochemical machines) are highly expendable. Since the Fall of Man, every one of them will fail catastrophically. Despite all of this, that is not what is paramount to God (even though it certainly is to us). Rather, He is intensely interested in our eternal welfare, and that consists of our inner being or spirit, what the Bible refers to as our “inner man”:

2 Corinthians 4:16: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying [and will return to the dust of the ground (Gen. 3:19)], yet our inner [spiritual] man is being renewed day by day” (emphasis added).

When any human dies, particularly when the death is gruesome, we are all shocked because we so closely empathize with the person’s physical and emotional well-being. We tend to personalize what it must have been like for them, relieved that it wasn’t someone that we knew and loved.

It is only when, if ever, we begin to appreciate the mechanistic aspects of our physical makeup (note that I'm not referring to our spiritual one) that we have any chance of understanding God’s point of view: Physically, we are temporary beings or "vessels" (1 Pet. 3:7, 2 Peter 2:21, Rom. 9:23, etc.) that God has instilled with an immortal spirit.

He desires that we will voluntarily choose to spend eternity with Him rather than fall to the alluring nature of the world, one which ultimately leads to eternal spiritual separation. And make no mistake, the malignant forces of this world have every intention of enticing us directly into Hell through life’s many seductions.


If Adam had the breath of life breathed into him by God...and God created Eve from Adam. Then it's given that the breath of life was in the tissue of the rib from Adam that made Eve. So yes, the breath of life was indeed with Eve too. Because the rib contained living tissue from Adam, supported and made living by God's breath of life! I'm positive that God did not wait for the cells to die in the rib he took from Adam before he created Eve. It was living tissue that requires oxygen to survive. I.e. God's breath was in his rib too.

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    Oct 18, 2021 at 14:55

I think that the tree of Life helps to answer that Question as does the fact that it is the Male seed that gives or creates life, the egg is dormant and it is the seed that brings life. Presumably the spirit of God, the breath of God coming directly from God, would be eternal and would be connected to God as a removed but still connected part of God. Remember that God came to the Garden in the evening to walk with Adam, so Adam in that form was able to Stand in the presence of God - unless it’s referring to the pre Virgin birth Christ - It was the spark of God spirits in Adam that had not remained true to the Character / Nature / essence of God and thus became unconnected and separate from God. Because Eve hadn’t received her own breath from God and neither would their children, they would get life from Adam, this is why the tree of life was there and it’s why we have what we call original sin - it’s not a punishment on each person born or spiteful vindictiveness on Gods part, it’s just the laws of cause and effect that God had already put into play. Dogs make dogs, horses make horses, birds make birds, fish make fish, carrots - carrots, oak trees - oak trees and impure imperfect man disconnected from God can only ever make more impure imperfect man disconnected from God. It’s just cause and effect

  • Welcome to the BH site, James. That's an interesting answer to a very difficult question. Can you please elaborate a bit more so as to underline the biblical context of the matter. Thank you Dec 22, 2018 at 9:33
  • I thought I was following at first but you lost me. Can you please trim your answer down to a few key assertions, with citations to back them up? Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Dec 22, 2018 at 14:35

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