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Breath is air passing in and out of the lungs during expansion and contraction. It is the most important ingredient of physical life. A person can live for thirty days without food, but if he stops breathing for ten minutes, he is dead. Breathing exchanges life-sustaining oxygen for deadly carbon monoxide. Breath is essential to man (Gen 2:7; Job 27:3; Ezek 37:5, 6).

A striking contrast in the fig. meaning of breath is found in Acts 9:1, “Saul, still breathing threats and murder,” and John 20:22, Jesus “breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

See also SPIRIT.

J. R. Van Pelt