The Breath of Man and the Lamp of Yahweh | Proverbs 20:27


The Breath of Man and the Lamp of Yahweh

The lamp of Yahweh is the breath of man, searching all the rooms of body.

Proverbs 20:27

The breath of man holds special significance in the Old Testament. At creation Yahweh Elohim formed man from the dust of the ground and He blew the breath of life into the nose of man. 1The term for “and He blew” (וַיִּפַּ֥ח) describes a blowing pot (Jeremiah 1:13), the smith blowing the fire (Isaiah 53:16),  and the blowing that animates the body of the slain (Ezekiel 37:9), among other uses.    The phrase “breath of life” describes how man came to life. 2Yahweh Elohim used the term “and he blew” (וַיִּפַּ֥ח– waw consecutive, Qal perfect, third singular. When Yahweh Elohim blew the breath of living ones (נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים) into the nose of Adam, he came to life instantly and joined the other living ones. The Hebrew term blow (נָפַח) should not be confused with the term breathe. God did not describe an evolutionary process, but the direct, instantaneous creation of living man (Genesis 2:7).  3Translators often confuse the Hebrew term “breath” (“נְשָׁמָה”) with the Hebrew term spirit (“רוּחַ”).  Job 34:14 shows that the two terms describe different things, because they were used in the same sentence referring to “His heart” (לִבּ֑וֹ), “His Spirit” (רוּח֥וֹ) along with “and his breath” (וְ֝נִשְׁמָת֗וֹ).   Therefore, we must keep those terms separate in meaning, without confusion. Likewise, translators sometimes confuse the Hebrew term for “body” (בֶּטֶן) with the Hebrew term “heart” (לֵב). Compare Psalm 31:9, where the Psalmist speaks of my eye (עֵינִ֗י), my soul (נַפְשִׁ֥י), and my body (וּבִטְנִֽי) all wasting away. 

The breath of man refers to the breath God blew into Adam’s nose at creation. The breath of man made made Adam come to soul and and a living one. Therefore, we know that the God was referring to the breath of man which relates directly to the soul of man and joins man with the other living ones who have a soul. Therefore, the breath of man serves as the Lamp of Yahweh within the man. Because the soul relates directly to the body, the Lamp of Yahweh searches out all the rooms of the body, and their relationships to the soul. God describes different things residing in different parts of our body, such as the heart, the hands, the eyes. 

Yahweh wants us to know that so long as we have the breath of life within us, the Lamp of Yahweh searches out the rooms of our body and its relationship to the soul. God applies this concept to kings, as seen in the verses before and after Proverbs 20:27. As long as the king lives, the Lamp of Yahweh searches out the body of the king. Yahweh provides the steps of a man and man cannot understand his own way without Yahweh. Therefore, because the Lamp of Yahweh searches out the rooms of the body of man, Yahweh always knows everything going on with the soul of every man, king, subject or slave.