97. The reason why life is described by "breathing" and by "breath" is also that the men of the Most Ancient Church perceived states of love and of faith by states of respiration, which were successively changed in their posterity. Of this respiration nothing can as yet be said, because at this day such things are altogether unknown. The most ancient people were well acquainted with it, and so are those who are in the other life, but no longer anyone on this earth, and this was the reason why they likened spirit or life to "wind." The Lord also does this when speaking of the regeneration of man, in John:*
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, and knowest not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth so is everyone that is born of the spirit (John 3:8).
So in David:
By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the army of them by the breath of His mouth (Ps. 33:6).
Thou gatherest their breath, they expire, and return to their dust; Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created, and Thou renewest the faces of the ground (Ps. 104:29-30).That the "breath" [spiraculum] is used for the life of faith and of love, appears from Job:
He is the spirit in man, and the breath of Shaddai giveth them understanding (Job 32:8).
Again in the same:
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of Shaddai hath given me life (Job 33:4).
* In the original languages, "wind" "spirit" and "breath" are all expressed by the same word. [Reviser.]