breath of life

mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
—The lifeguard saved the boy by giving him the breath of life.

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is the act of blowing air into the mouth of a person who has stopped breathing in order to revive him. It is called the “breath of life,” in reference to God’s creation of the first man:

The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

This man was named Adam, and God followed this by creating the first woman, named Eve. God said,

It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him [make him an help meet for him—KJV]. (Genesis 2:18)

In the King James Bible, Eve is called a “help meet for” Adam. Here, meet has the older meaning of “suitable.” But over time, help meet came to be treated together as a noun, with mate, another term for a spouse, later replacing meet. Today, helpmate means “a helper, companion, or spouse.”

You might hear someone say, “I don’t know him from Adam.” To not know someone from Adam means “to be unable to recognize a person or to think of someone as a complete stranger.” This is because if you can’t even tell whether or not someone is Adam, then you don’t know that person at all.

 

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