Many sayings and phrases that we use in everyday life, actually came from the Bible. Some as "Raising Cain" are well known to be connected to the Bible. But there are some others that may surprise you. The following is a list of these sayings as compiled by Jerry MacGregor and Marie Prys in their book "1001 Surprising Things You Should Know about the Bible."
" 1. "Raising Cain" means to act with abandonment or wildly. As a phrase, it is most likely descended from the Genesis character who killed his brother, Abel, and was forever marked as a violent man.
2. "Jezebel" or "Delilah" is the name often given to a woman of cunning and deceit. Both Bible characters were beautiful, though calculating in nature. Delilah was a seductress; Jezebel was a queen.
3. A "Judas" can only refer to one personality trait: betrayal. Judas Iscariot betrayed his relationship to the Lord for thirty pieces of silver.
4. "Doubting Thomas" didn't believe Jesus had truly risen from the dead. He insisted on touching the nail marks in the Lord's hands and side before he would believe. Today we call a person with doubts a doubting Thomas.
5. "Jonah" is considered an unlucky name. The prophet Jonah tried unsuccessfully to run from God's calling. He took refuge on a boat, and brought nothing but trouble to the other passengers, because God would not forget Jonah. Someone who brings bad luck or misfortune is considered a Jonah.
6. "The Salt of the earth." Many of the words we use in our culture come from the Lord Jesus. In describing His disciples with these words in Matthew 5:13, Christ was saying that they were valuable - salt being the preferred method of payment in those days. The phrase is still used to describe people we find valuable or important.
7. "Seek and ye shall find." These oft quoted words of Jesus come from His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:7. It is still generally used as advice or encouragement to those who need to be seeking.
8. "A wolf in sheep's clothing." Jesus created this phrase in Matthew 7:15 to describe religious leaders who appear righteous on the outside but are actually evil on the inside. We still use it to describe hypocrites or those who portray goodness while intending evil.
9. "The faith to move mountains." Although not currently used quite as often as it was in the twentieth century, the phrase refers to the power of belief. The words were first said by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 17:20 when He was talking to His disciples about healing the sick and the demon possessed.
10. "The blind leading the blind." Jesus coined this phrase in Matthew 15:14 when describing false teachers who insist they know the truth but do not, therefore leading innocent people astray. In our culture we generally use it as a negative descriptor for the self-important and self-deluded.
11. "Do not throw pearls before swine." Jesus' words in Matthew 7:6 urge believers to take care with their message; it is not necessary to teach to those who are openly hostile to the gospel. A person wouldn't throw the gift of salvation to those who will only turn around and attack them.
12. "Eat, drink and be merry" was a phrase created by Jesus in Luke 12 while telling a cautionary tale about a rich fool who thought the rest of his life was set. The fool died that very night. The words are still generally used in sarcastic or pejorative sense.
13. "The straight and narrow." Following the small, less traveled path leads to the narrow gate of life. In Matthew 7:14, Jesus cautions His followers against following the more glamorous, broad, and well traveled path that led to a wide gate full of destruction.
14. "A good Samaritan." Someone who goes out of the way to help another can be likened to the famed character of Jesus' parable in Luke 10:30-37. The hero acts for the good of another with no thought to his own situation.
15. "Sweating blood" is a phrase used to describe someone going through a very difficult time. The etymology or the word dates back to Luke 22:44, when Christ's anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane caused Him to sweat blood - something physicians say is, in fact, possible for those enduring great duress.
16. "The forbidden fruit" is one of many Old Testament phrases still used regularly in the English language. The original "forbidden fruit" was the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve were instructed to stay away from it in Genesis 2:17, but when the serpent tempted them to eat of it, the couple disobeyed God and chose to sin. Now we use the phrase to refer to partaking in an activity we know to be wrong or sensual.
17. "Fire and Brimstone" were the tools God used to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, according to Genesis 19:24. The apostle John used those same words to describe the ultimate end of Satan in Revelation 21:8. Due to its colorful imagery, the phrase is generally used to describe preachers who focus on the punishment aspects of the Biblical story, or for any fiery speaker who makes reference to a bad end of wrongdoers.
18. "Taking a Sabbatical" comes from the old Jewish notion of "taking time off." Leviticus 25 commands the people to allow the ground to lie fallow every seventh year in order to refresh itself - an action that was referred to as the "sabbatical year."
19. "An eye for an eye" is a phrase that first appears in Leviticus 24:20. Rather than being a vindictive call for revenge, it actually limited the damage one person can do for another when taking retribution. Human nature encourages an individual to hurt others, but the Old Testament law wanted to limit that hurt to equivalent damage.
20. "A land flowing with milk and honey" were the words God used to describe Palestine to Moses in Exodus 3:8. It's now generally used to describe a fine or pleasant place. "
Click here for Famous Sayings and Phrases from the Bible, Part 2
By George Konig
See a list of all of our commentaries