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Home Columns Lesli's This & That More Sayings with Biblical Origins

More Sayings with Biblical Origins

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen

Published October 2012

I often check the Ranch & Rural Living website at ranchmagazine.com to see how many views each of my articles has received. I noticed that my article, “Common Sayings have Biblical Origins” has over 4,500 views, making it among the most frequently viewed of those listed. Since the topic is so popular, I thought I would share a few more common sayings with you. Not everyone is aware that many of the sayings they hear and use come from the Holy Bible and have been around for quite a while. After all, there is “Nothing new under the sun.”

Scapegoat—A person who gets stuck with the blame.
Leviticus 16:9-10  Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.


A Drop in the Bucket—A small amount of a plentiful commodity.

Isaiah 40:15  ‘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.’

In the Twinkling of an Eye—Very quickly, suddenly

1 Corinthians 15:52  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Signs of the Times—Awareness
Matthew 16:3  And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern, the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

Old Wives’ Tale—Questionable stories
1Timothy 4:7  Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

Sour Grapes—Not getting what you want
Ezekial 18:2  What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?

Out of the Mouths of Babes—Childlike simplicity  
Psalms 8:2  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Matthew 21:16  And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

Going the Extra Mile—Do more than is required
Matthew 5:41  If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

Do as I Say, Not as I Do—A person that knows the right way but fails to do as they should. Two faced
Matthew 23:2-3 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."

Like Mother, Like Daughter—As you know, you teach
Ezekial 16:44  “Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ ”

Raising Cain—Causing a disturbance
1 John 3:12  Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.

Stumbling block—Obstacle hindering your thoughts, movements, speech

Matthew 16:23  Jesus turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.

Straight from the horse’s mouth—Statement worthy of belief usually from the source
Numbers 22:28  Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

The powers that be —Those in authority
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.

There’s a time and a place for everything—Wait; It will happen

Ecclesiastes 3:1  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Nursing a grudge—Having a long-term resentment
Mark 6:18-19  For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to.

A still, small voice—Quiet, calm, hushed, untroubled. Quiet as the breath of God.

1 Kings 19:12  And he [an angel] said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”









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