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Common Expressions That Originated in the Bible

Updated on June 11, 2021
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Many common expressions people use today originated in the Bible. However, people might not be aware that the sayings are biblical.

The Bible has inspired songwriters, poets, authors, movie stars, preachers, students, teachers and everybody else by affording them the opportunity to use an expression directly from the Bible in their general conversations.

King James Version of the Bible

Many of the common expressions come from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. That was the authorized version used by many people until modern versions became plentiful years later. Those newer versions do not contain as many well-known expressions because the language has been modernized.

After Shakespeare's writings, the King James Version of the Bible is the most common source of our English phrases.

There are hundreds of sayings that come to mind from the Old Testament and New Testament. A few of some popular ones are within the made-up stories listed below that shows how the expressions are used. The writer chose to show how the phrases can be used in a conversation rather than just listing them.

See how many of the common expressions you recognize. You might find some you have heard or have even used yourself.

"A little bird told me"
"A little bird told me" | Source

"A little bird told me" (Ecclesiastes 10:20) that even though you might not like what you read, you don't have to raise Cain (Genesis 4:8-9). Some might think it is something "for the pits" (Genesis 37:24). Others will say, "You just hit the nail on the head" (Judges 5:26).

Yesterday I went to church where the preacher "brought the house down!" just like Samson did (Judges 16:30). I saw someone I hadn't seen in a long time. She had lost so much weight she was "just skin and bones" (Job 19:20). I stopped staring at her and left the area "by the skin of my teeth" (Job 19:20) before she approached me.

Whether you believe this story or not, I am "letting the chips fall where they may" (Ecclesiastes 11:3). We might not see eye to eye" (Isaiah 52:8) and if you talk about me behind my back, "my ears will burn" (Jeremiah 19:3). I might not be with you in person, but only "if the walls could talk!" (Habakkuk 2:11) then I would know what you are saying about me.

A scapegoat
A scapegoat | Source

I have been made the "scapegoat" (Leviticus 16:9-10) and have been treated unfairly for what went wrong at work. I am at "my wit's end" (Psalm 107:27) trying to prove my innocence. I shouldn't be surprised because there is "nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and there is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:10).

I have learned my lesson by being on a team with evil people. The next time I will not "cast my pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6). It is comforting to know that I am the "apple of God's eye" (Psalm 17:8) because "God is good" (Psalm 100:5). I will not allow "my soul to be downcast" (Psalm 43:5). Instead, I will "eat, drink and be merry" (Ecclesiastes 8:15) because what people say about me is not true.

I will "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17), "gird up my loins" (1 Peter 1:13) and continue to do what I know is right.

A leopard can't change its spots.
A leopard can't change its spots. | Source

After all, I can see "the handwriting on the wall" (Daniel 5). I know that a leopard can't change its spots (Jeremiah 13:23) and some who pretend to be my friends are "wolves in sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15).

What they say about me will not cause me to "fall from grace" (Galatians 5:4). I must admit sometimes I do experience "a broken heart" (Psalms 34:18).

Money | Source

People who know me also know that I will "go the extra mile" (Matthew 5:41) for anyone. I shouldn't be described as "the blind leading the blind" (Matthew 15:13-14). However, I realize these are just "signs of the time (Matthew 16:3).

"The powers that be" (Romans 13:1) are aware of who I am. Therefore, it is better for my co-workers not to "put words in my mouth" (2 Samuel 14:3). I know they are falsely accusing me so they can get more money for the project if I am off the team. Perhaps they do not realize that the "love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10).

I will continue to be a "good Samaritan" (Luke 10:30-37) instead of using the "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" principle (Matthew 5:38). I am well aware of those who "live by the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). I also know that "pride comes before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18) and they will get what they deserve.

The Holy Bible
The Holy Bible

The above expressions are just a "drop in the bucket" (Isaiah 40:15) compared to a large number of common sayings found in the entire Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.


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