Escaping By The Skin Of Your Teeth And 10 Common Phrases With Biblical Origins

February 17, 2016Feb 17, 2016

Being the most popular book throughout history, the Bible has influenced language in numerous cultures. The King James Version especially has had an impact on our common vernacular. Numerous phrases found or originated in Scripture continue to be used today.


Here are 10 of them:
1. "The skin of my teeth": This was used in Job 19:20, when Job said, “my bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.”
2. "Drop in the bucket": Isaiah 40:15 says, "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing."
3. "Go the extra mile": Matthew 5:41 says, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
4. "The writing on the wall": This comes from Daniel 5, where a mysterious hand wrote a message on the wall of King Belshazzar that his kingdom would soon come to an end.
5. "Fall from grace": Galatians 5:4 says, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
6. "A scapegoat": Leviticus 16:8 says, "And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat." This refers to a Day of Atonement ceremony where one goat would be sacrificed and another goat symbolically bore the sins of the nation before being sent into the wilderness.
7. "Cast pearls before swine": Matthew 7:6 says, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
8. "To fall by the wayside": Luke 8:5 says, "A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it."
9. "See eye to eye": Isaiah 52:8, "Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion."
10. "The powers that be": Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."

And a bonus one that partially applies:
"Jumping Jehoshaphat": Why was this king of Judah (1 Kings 15:24 and 2 Chronicles 20:30-32) known for jumping? Actually, he wasn't as far as we know, but according to Reader's Digest, the phrase was traditionally used as an expletive that used "Jehosophat" instead of "Jesus" in order to not take the Lord's name in vain.