|Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia|
noz, nos'-trilz ('aph, "nose," nechirayim, dual of nechir, "nostrils"): The former expression ('aph from 'anph, like Arabic 'anf) is often translated "face" (which see under the word) in the English Versions of the Bible. It is frequently referred to as the organ of breathing, in other words, as the receptacle of the breath or spirit of God: "Yahweh.... breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7; compare Genesis 7:22); "My life is yet whole in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils" (Job 27:3). Therefore a life which depends on so slight a thing as a breath is considered as utterly frail and of no great consequence: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isaiah 2:22; compare Wis 2:2).
In poetical language such a breath of life is ascribed even to God, especially with regard to the mighty storm which is thought to proceed from His nostrils (Exodus 15:8 2 Samuel 22:9 Psalm 18:8, 15).
The phrase, "a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day" (Isaiah 65:5), is equivalent to a perpetual annoyance and cause of irritation. A cruel custom of war, in which the vanquished had their noses and ears cut off by their remorseless conquerors, is alluded to in Ezekiel 23:25. As a wild animal is held in check by having his nose pierced and a hook or ring inserted in it (Job 40:24; Job 41:2 (Hebrew 40:26)), so this expression is used to indicate the humbling and taming of an obstinate person (2 Kings 19:28 Isaiah 37:29; compare Ezekiel 29:4; Ezekiel 38:4). But men, and especially women, had their noses pierced for the wearing of jewelry (Genesis 24:47 Isaiah 3:21 Ezekiel 16:12). In one passage the meaning is not quite clear, namely, in the enumeration of blemishes which disable a "son of Aaron" from the execution of the priest's office (Leviticus 21:18), where English Versions of the Bible translates "flat (margin "slit") nose." The Hebrew word is charum, which is a hapax legomenon. It corresponds, however, to the Arabic charam, charman (kharam, kharman), which means "to open," "to pierce the nose," especially the bridge of the nose. We may accept this meaning as the one intended in the passage.
Another dark and much discussed passage must still be referred to: "And, lo, they put the branch to their nose" (Ezekiel 8:17). The usual explanation (whereof the context gives some valuable hints) is that a rite connected with the worship of Baal (the sun) is here alluded to (see Smend and A.B. Davidson's commentaries on the passage). A similar custom is known from Persian sun-worship, where a bunch (baretsma) of dates, pomegranates or tamarisks was held to the nose by the worshipper, probably as an attempt to keep the Holy One (sun) from being contaminated by sinful breath (Spiegel, Eranische Altertamer, III, 571). Among modern Jews posies of myrtle and other fragrant herbs are held to the nose by the persons attending on the ceremony of circumcision, for the alleged reason of making the sight and smell of blood bearable. Another interpretation of the above passage would understand zemorah, in the sense of "male sexual member" (see Gesenius-Buhl, under the word; Levy, Nhb. Worterbuch, I, 544), and the whole passage as a reference to a sensuous Canaanite rite, such as is perhaps alluded to in Isaiah 57:8. In that case the 'appam, "their nose "of the Massoretic Text would have to be considered as tiqqun copherim (a correction of the scribes) for 'appi, "my face." Or read "They cause their stench (zemoratham) to come up to my face" (Kraetzschmar, at the place).
H. L. E. Luering
Nostrils (22 Occurrences)
1 Corinthians 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the nostrils be? (WEY)
Genesis 2:7 Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was on the dry land, died. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 15:8 With the blast of your nostrils, the waters were piled up. The floods stood upright as a heap. The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 11:20 but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it is loathsome to you; because that you have rejected Yahweh who is among you, and have wept before him, saying, "Why did we come out of Egypt?"'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 33:10 They shall teach Jacob thine ordinances, And Israel thy law: They shall put incense before thy nostrils, And whole burnt-offering upon thine altar. (DBY)
2 Samuel 10:6 When the children of Ammon saw that they were become odious to David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Maacah with one thousand men, and the men of Tob twelve thousand men. (See NIV)
2 Samuel 16:21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, that he has left to keep the house. Then all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong." (See NIV)
2 Samuel 22:9 Smoke went up out of his nostrils. Fire out of his mouth devoured. Coals were kindled by it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 22:16 Then the channels of the sea appeared. The foundations of the world were laid bare by the rebuke of Yahweh, At the blast of the breath of his nostrils. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 19:6 When the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent one thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Arammaacah, and out of Zobah. (See NIV)
Job 4:9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. (KJV DBY WBS)
Job 27:3 (For the length of my life is still in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils); (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Job 39:20 Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. (KJV WBS)
Job 41:20 Out of his nostrils a smoke goes, as of a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 18:8 Smoke went out of his nostrils. Consuming fire came out of his mouth. Coals were kindled by it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 18:15 Then the channels of waters appeared. The foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, Yahweh, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 2:22 Stop trusting in man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for of what account is he? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 65:5 That say: 'Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou'; these are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burneth all the day. (See NAS RSV NIV)
Lamentations 4:20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Yahweh, was taken in their pits; Of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ezekiel 38:18 It shall happen in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils. (WEB JPS ASV)
Amos 4:10 "I sent plagues among you like I did Egypt. I have slain your young men with the sword, and have carried away your horses; and I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camp, yet you haven't returned to me," says Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)