Genesis 2:7

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

Genesis 2:7 in Other Translations

KJV
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.
ESV
7 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.
NLT
7 Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
MSG
7 God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive - a living soul!
CSB
7 Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 2:7

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground,
&c.] Not of dry dust, but, as Josephus F8 says, of red earth macerated, or mixed with water; the like notion Hesiod F9 has; or out of clay, as in ( Job 33:6 ) hence a word is made use of, translated "formed", which is used of the potter that forms his clay into what shape he pleases: the original matter of which man was made was clay; hence the clay of Prometheus F11 with the Heathens; and God is the Potter that formed him, and gave him the shape he has, see ( Isaiah 64:8 ) , there are two "jods", it is observed, in the word, which is not usual; respecting, as Jarchi thinks, the formation of man for this world, and for the resurrection of the dead; but rather the two fold formation of body and soul, the one is expressed here, and the other in the following clause: and this, as it shows the mighty power of God in producing such a creature out of the dust of the earth, so it serves to humble the pride of man, when he considers he is of the earth, earthy, dust, and ashes, is dust, and to dust he must return.

And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
which in that way entered into his body, and quickened it, which before was a lifeless lump of clay, though beautifully shapen: it is in the plural number, the "breath of lives" F12, including the vegetative, sensitive, and rational life of man. And this was produced not with his body, as the souls of brutes were, and was produced by the breath of God, as theirs were not; nor theirs out of the earth, as his body was: and these two different productions show the different nature of the soul and body of man, the one is material and mortal, the other immaterial and immortal:

and man became a living soul;
or a living man, not only capable of performing the functions of the animal life, of eating, drinking, walking but of thinking, reasoning, and discoursing as a rational creature.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 1.
F9 Opera & dies, ver. 60.
F11 Martial. l. 10. Epigram. 38.
F12 (Myyx tmvn) Heb. "spiraculum vitarum", Pareus.

Genesis 2:7 In-Context

5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,
6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.
7 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.
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Cross References 7

  • 1. Isaiah 29:16; Isaiah 43:1,21; Isaiah 44:2
  • 2. S Genesis 1:27
  • 3. Genesis 3:19; Genesis 18:27; Job 4:19; Job 10:9; Job 17:16; Job 34:15; Psalms 90:3; Ecclesiastes 3:20; Ecclesiastes 12:7
  • 4. Genesis 3:23; Genesis 4:2; Psalms 103:14; Jeremiah 18:6; 1 Corinthians 15:47
  • 5. S Genesis 1:2; Job 27:3; Job 33:4; Isaiah 2:22
  • 6. S Genesis 1:30; Isaiah 42:5; Acts 17:25
  • 7. Job 12:10; Job 32:8; Job 33:4; Job 34:14; Psalms 104:29; Isaiah 57:16; Ezekiel 37:5; 1 Corinthians 15:45*

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The Hebrew for "man (adam)" sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew for "ground (adamah)" ; it is also the name "Adam" (see verse 20).