Here we are again! Hope your week went just as fast as mine. My schedule at work was varied this week, so I rarely knew what day it was. That made it go by quicker 🙂 For no particular reason, I think we will explore phrases spawned from the Bible this time around. Most are from the King James version, which is still the most common version of the Bible. I will admit to picking those that I did not realize came from the Bible, and those the tickled my fancy.
a fly in the ointment: a small flaw that spoils the whole. Originally, creams and ointments were most likely for beauty or anointing for ceremonial purpose . A fly could indeed spoil an entire batch. The first reference to it is from Ecclesiastes 10:1:
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.
Later, as the became popular in our everyday lexicon, John Norris directly references that phrase:
‘Tis that dead fly in the ointment of the Apothecary–1707
a house divided against itself cannot stand: no beating around the bush here, this phrase means literally what it says. And I admit, it is most familiar to me from being said by Lincoln in the second “Night at the Museum” movie. So it is interesting to learn that it is actually from the bible; Matthew 12:25, to be precise.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand
a leopard cannot change its spots: a person cannot change who they are. I feel that people can change, however, I don’t see a leopard rearranging its spots!
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
as white as snow: pure, as a layer of fresh, white snow yet to be trod upon is pure. This one was stolen by Shakespeare; his phrasing was “pure as the driven snow” in Macbeth. Chaucer and several others have used this expression as well to indicate purity in their characters. Before they stole it, however, Michael Drayton used it in 1593:
Her skin as soft as Lemster wooll, As white as snow on peakish hill, Or Swanne that swims in Trent
And the original:
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire–Daniel, 7:9