96. As to its being said that "Jehovah God breathed into his nostrils" the case is this: In ancient times, and in the Word, by "nostrils" was understood whatever was grateful in consequence of its odor, which signifies perception. On this account it is repeatedly written of Jehovah, that He "smelled an odor of rest" from the burnt-offerings, and from those things which represented Him and His kingdom; and as the things relating to love and faith are most grateful to Him, it is said that "He breathed through his nostrils the breath of lives." Hence the anointed of Jehovah, that is, of the Lord, is called the "breath of the nostrils" (Lam. 4:20). And the Lord Himself signified the same by "breathing on His disciples" as written in John:
He breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).