Why are idioms used in scriptures

Sayings and proverbs of the Bible

Many of the proverbs that we still use today come from the Bible, most of them from biblical textbooks and wisdom books.

Proverbs, wisdom and idioms

Where do most of the popular proverbs, wisdom, and idioms we use come from? Much known actually comes from the Bible and everyone knows the following examples:

Many biblical images and quotations are still alive today as "winged words" in everyday language:

"That's a hustle and bustle!"
"Tohu wa bohu" means "desert and empty" in Hebrew. This is what the earth initially looked like according to the first creation story! (Genesis / Genesis 1,2)

"You are looking for a scapegoat!"
The book of Leviticus (Leviticus) describes how Israel celebrated the great day of atonement: two goats are used for all the guilt of the people that has accumulated over the course of a year. One is slaughtered as an Atonement. The sins of Israel are charged to the other by the laying on of hands. Then he is in the truest sense of the word into the desert and "sent to the devil", namely to the desert demon Asazel. (Leviticus / Leviticus 16)

"Reading the riot act to someone"
The 3rd book of Moses (Leviticus) contains extensive rules of conduct. They concern the worship service and the sacrifices that were performed by the Levites, but also life in the human community in general.
"Going from pillar to post"

Jesus is sent to Herod as the sovereign prince responsible for Jesus during the trial of Pontius Pilate, who initially sees no reason to condemn Jesus. But the latter sent him back to Pilate. (Luke 23)

"You speak like a Pharisee!"
The particularly pious group of Pharisees is criticized in the New Testament for presenting themselves as better than they are. (Luke 18)

The following idioms are also all taken from the Bible. Did you know?

  • Trumpet something (Mt 6: 2)
  • A thorn in the side (Num 33,55)
  • Groping in the dark (Dtn 28.29)
  • The real Jacob (Gen 27:36)
  • Trample (1 Sam 2:29)
  • Put it through its paces (Psalm 7:10)
  • Washing your hands in innocence (Psalm 26: 6)
  • Poison and gall (Dtn 32,33)
  • Don't get on a green branch (Job 15:32)
  • Sins of youth (Ps 25: 7)
  • There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3,1)
  • Letter and Seal (Jer 32:44)
  • Wolf in sheep's clothing (Mt 7.15)
  • To be of one heart and one soul (Acts 4:32)
  • The hair stands on end (Job 4:15)