9 Idioms That Surprisingly Came From The Bible

There are phrases we use everyday knowing what they mean, but not knowing how to explain what they mean, or even where they came from. Have you ever had to “learn the ropes?” Most idioms can’t really be translated to different languages and cultures – but in the case of the Bible, it’s a text that spans Hebrew, Greek and almost every modern language. Here are ten common phrases that came from Scripture!

No Rest for the Wicked

But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
for it cannot be quiet,
and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
There is no rest,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
— Isaiah 57:20-21

Red in the Morning, Sailor’s Warning

He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. — Matthew 16:2-3

A Drop in the Bucket

dropinbucket

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
— Isaiah 40:15

The Blind Leading the Blind

He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” — Matthew 15:13-14

The Writing on the Wall

Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand… — Daniel 5:3-5

A Thorn in One’s Side

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” — 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. — Matthew 7:15-17

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun. — Ecclesiastes 8:15

Bite the Dust

May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth!
May desert tribes bow down before him,
and his enemies lick the dust!
— Psalm 72:8-9

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Michael Harrell is a former staff member and current volunteer at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Federal Way, Washington. A blogger by hobby and social media manager by trade, he continues to teach the faith to ninth graders when he's not busy watching movies or theatre. He loves the Seattle Mariners, and his wife wants you to know he's married. You can follow him on Twitter.
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