interesting phrases…

***A THORN IN THE SIDE

Paul used this in 2 Corinthians 12:7 to describe an ailment he had. God didn’t take it away, in order to keep him humble.

We still use this phrase to describe an ongoing problem.

***THE POWERS THAT BE

First used by Bible translator, William Tyndale who quoted it from the KJV Translation of Romans 13:1. “the powers that be are ordained of God.” Now means the government, or those in charge.

***THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL

Originates from Daniel 5. The carnal King Belshazzar, having seen a hand appear and write a mysterious message, called upon Daniel to interpret it. His kingdom was to disappear that night – and it did! So we use the phrase for something inevitable that we can all see is going to happen.

***FEET OF CLAY

Talking about a personal flaw in an individual. Come from Daniel’s description of the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had seen in his dream. The statue’s feet were made of clay mixed with iron, a weak base for such a big and heavy statue.

***CAN A LEOPARD CHANGE ITS SPOTS?

A rhetorical question suggesting people cannot change what they inherently are. Taken from Jeremiah’s statement in 13:23 of his book. But God can – and does!

***HOLIER THAN THOU

Currently used to describe a self-righteous person. User in the same way in Isaiah 65:5 by the Lord to criticise those who thought themselves better than others.

***A DROP IN THE BUCKET

Generally refers to a small or meaningless portion or amount. Comes from Isaiah 40:15 where it says, to the Lord, “the nations are a drop in the bucket.”

***WOE IS ME!

Common in 19th Century literature, the phrase comes from Isaiah 6:5, when Isaiah came face to face with God. An understated reaction?! It also appears in Jeremiah as an expression of sorrow or self-pity, as it still is today.

***LIKE A LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER

First used Isaiah 53:7 to describe the promised Messiahs willingness to accept His fate. Now usually describes an innocent or naive victim losing something in their life.

***DO NOT THROW PEARLS BEFORE SWINE

A warning from Jesus in Matthew 7:6 not to waste the message of salvation on those openly hostile to the Gospel.

***FIRE AND BRIMSTONE

Was what God used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, as recorded in Genesis 19:24. Also used to describe the ultimate end of satan in Revelation 21:8.

Used by preachers when talking about judgement or other fiery speakers when searching for a vivid phrase meaning punishment.

***THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT

Of course, this is the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that Adam and Eve were instructed not to eat in Genesis 2:17. They took no notice, a decision we still have to live with today.

Now means doing something we know to be wrong, often of a sensual nature.

***EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY

A cautionary story from Luke 12 about a rich fool who thought his life was set up for good. Of course, his life expectancy didn’t meet his expectations, dying that very night! Many today make the same mistake!

***MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

A mistranslation actually! For the Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:10 “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” However, the phrase makes the point that lusting after money gets us into trouble!

***THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH

Means, ‘just barely’.

The imagery comes from Job 19:20. Made popular by American playwright Thornton Wilder as the title of a smash hit play.

***A DROP IN THE BUCKET

Meaning a small or meaningless amount, the phrase comes straight from Isaiah 40:15, which says, “the nations are a drop in the bucket.”

***TAKING A SABBATICAL

From the old Jewish notion of, ‘taking time off’. The Old Testament Law commands the Jews to leave the land fallow every 7th year so it may refresh itself. Called the ‘Sabbatical Year’. It is now generally a period of time off for refreshing or renewing of the mind.

***A LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY

These are the words God used to describe Palestine, the promised land, to Moses in Exodus 3:8. We know that that when the spies went in, they found it to be so. But the people looked too powerful also, so for their lack of faith in God, the Israelites had to endure 40 years of wandering in the desert before they could inherit it.

Today it is used to describe a very nice or pleasant place.

(all taken from j.org.nz)

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