Job 33:4  The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. 

Job 33:4 brought my attention because God is mentioned twice in two different facets of Himself in relation to Man’s creation. I thought it was interesting that Man’s bringing up into existence seems in this verse as a two-step process. First God makes man and then He breathes life.  It seems similar to this other verse in Genesis 2:7 when it says, “the Lord God formed man", and later, God blew His breath in Man for him to come alive.  

So I thought that it would be interesting to see the Hebrew names of God used here.  I wanted to focus first on the names of God used here in Job 33:4 and compare them to the names used in Genesis 2:7. I found this so interesting and revealing that I decided to share it on this blog.

The bringing up of Man, in this case, Job, shows itself as happening in two different stages. The first time it says, “The Spirit of God has made me”, and then it reads “the breath of God has given me life.” I believe these two are different because not only the Names of God are different, but the actions described at each stage are different too. This two-step process though similar doesn’t match exactly with Genesis 2:7. Let me explain.

The Spirit of God (EL) has made me, and the breath of the Almighty (Shaddai) has given me life. So God as EL makes man, and God as Shaddai gives life to man.  The scriptures are using two different names of God for a reason. So I thought it important to check the difference between these two names of God by looking at the Hebrew letters being used and their corresponding meanings.

The name of God ‘EL’ is composed of the letter Alef and the letter Lamed. Alef stands for first and for strong, while Lamed stands for authority and a shepherd. The name of God 'Shaddai' has the letters Shin and Dalet, which mean fire and door respectively. The Paleo Hebrew meaning of these two letters point to the idea of two hanging breasts. God as Shaddai is considered to be a God who nurtures. God's attribute as one who nurtures is highlighted with the word Shaddai.  So EL is a facet of God different than that of Shaddai. To me, they point to two different events of Man’s creation. As God presents himself differently at each stage in regards to Man, His manifestation towards Man changes too as Man's state of being changes. 

I have two other points to highlight on Job 33:4 that confirm this notion of a two-stage process one in heaven and one on earth. One is about the different action words used in Job 33:4 attached to each facet of God, and the third point that stands out is that this pattern doesn’t seem to match what happened in Genesis 2:7 by the actions words used and also by the names of God that appear.

The second pattern that seems to confirm the idea in Job 33:4 that it is speaking of two different stages in Man’s creation, such as Job’s creation as a human, are the words ‘made’, and ‘breath giving life’. I first would like to point out that in this verse breath comes after man is made. Job says I am living, or I have life once and after he existed. Job existed, that is, he was made in a first phase, and then had life in a second phase when he received breath of life. At each phase, one when Man was made and the other when given breath, we see in place the two different words for God.

El, the God who is ‘first and strong’ -conveyed in its Hebrew letters -, makes man EXIST. Man exists before he lives, that is before He is given life. He exists in a stage out of time and space. He exists in El. Then God changes into his other facet as Shaddai. Shaddai also means to nurture, and this is the God that gives life through his breath in Job 33:4. So it seems that the living Man is accompanied by the ‘Shaddai’ God who nurtures him through life on earth. I mean Man in capital letters as humanity, in general, being brought to existence in a heavenly realm and later into this world as living beings. Shaddai being the one who supplies humanity with its growth into being the mature Sons of God. 

Let’s see the third pattern I mentioned that resonates with this two-phase creation of mankind. God gives breath to Man after, and once he exists according to what we just studied in Job 33:4. So God makes man then He breathes into Him, but wait! That’s Genesis 2:7 right? Well, I think it is different. Why? Because in Genesis 2:7 God shows up not as ‘EL’ God but as ‘YHVH Elohim’  – the Lord God. “The Lord (YHVH) God (Elohim) formed (Yatsar) man” is the phrase used in Genesis. We not only have different manifestations of God, but also a different verb for making Man. In Job 33:4 the word used is to make (Asah), but in Genesis is the word to form (Yatsar). ‘El’ God made (Asah) man, but YHVH ELOHIM formed (Yatsar) Man.  So it seems two manifestations of Man one as having been made and the other as being formed. One eternal and the other of this visible realm.

So the idea here is that Man existed once he was made by El, then he was formed. His existence was shaped into a vessel of mud. So El made him, but YHVH Elohim formed him. So man is made first then he is formed. 

I imagine man existing as a created being in eternity and having this existence with El. Then I imagine God as Shaddai nurturing life once man’s spirit is in his body interacting within this earth.

Job 33:4 and Genesis 2:7 have the breath of life in common. Both verses make mention of breath as Neshamah, and life as Chayah.  Whether it be a pre-existent Adam in the heavenlies or an Adam on this planet the breath of life plays an important role in manifesting Adam into this world.

An interesting question to make ourselves is why is the word spirit (Ruach) missing in Genesis 2:7? Could it be because our ruach already existed before?  

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