#70 That’s In The Bible!

Can you believe that many of the things that you have been saying for years are taken from the Bible? That’s right, people throughout the world are quoting the Bible every day and don’t even know it! How is this possible? Find out on today’s episode.

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That’s In the Bible!

Today I’m going to bring you a study that’s a bit different than our normal studies on this podcast. While we are always talking about things that are in the Bible, today we are going to focus on particular things in the Bible that a lot of folks would be surprised to find in the Bible. Most of these things are things they have heard of but do not know that those things had their origins in the Bible. After getting saved and then starting to read & study the Bible, I was amazed at the things I found in there. So first, I find these things to be very interesting… But then also I find that once you know these things you can use them to open up spiritual conversations with people. If someone uses a common expression, quotes a song, or a movie, etc. and you know that the quote is in the Bible, you can point it out to them and begin to sow the seed of the word of God. The Lord has given this world His word to communicate to man His thoughts and to reveal to man His nature. This Book, the Bible – is unlike any other.

Psalm 147:15 says of the Lord & His word, He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth his word runneth very swiftly.

God turned His word loose on this world. When He did – it took off running. I mean it went everywhere and it got into everything! Those frogs in Exodus, that got into all the Egyptians stuff… they had nothing on the word of God. It is everywhere. It has even found its way into our popular culture.

*It’s found its way into Book titles and Movie titles.
*It has been incorporated into popular music over and over through
the years.
*And it has made its way into our every day language.

The sports world regularly talks about David vs. Goliath matchups. And additionally the Bible has made its way into our every day language by means of popular & familiar sayings & quotations that are used by Bible-believers and non-Bible-believers alike. These quotations are used sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. The Bible swiftly made its way into our language and people quote it all the time, often, without even knowing they are doing so.

And so where we are going to start today is by looking at some familiar sayings that have their roots or origins in the Bible, and then we’ll branch out from there.

Some of these sayings will be exact quotations. Others, which are not exact quotations, it will still be obvious to see the Biblical quotation as the source for the saying. And if some were to argue that a given saying was around before it was put in the Bible – it is still the Bible that further popularized it and preserved it. The reason these sayings are still in our language today, is because of the influence the Bible once had on the bulk of our society.  There was a day when the masses of people were much more Biblically literate than they are today. A larger percentage of them went to church where the Bible was preached and taught. The Bible itself was used in public education. And it became a natural thing for people to incorporate the Bible’s phraseology into their every day language. It took root into our language and it has not let go. The Bible has run very swiftly into this world and has woven itself into the warp and the woof of the fabric of our English language. It is quoted regularly without being referenced or even realized.

I first noticed this after I got saved and came across Eccl. 10, v. 20 where I read this, Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. And then I remembered my mom finding out something I did and I asked her how she knew and she said, A little bird told me. Boy did I want to get that bird for telling on me.

Many years later, I noticed that the expression telling on someone also had its roots in the Bible. Many a child has said to another, “I’m telling on you.” This comes from David’s time when he joined up with the Philistines while fleeing from Saul in I Sam. 27:9-11, {9}And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish. {10} And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.
{11} And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.

Another one that I noticed early on… after I had discovered Eccl. 10:20 was in the book of Job, Job 19:20 My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. You’ve probably used the expression yourself, saying, I just made it by the skin of my teeth. Did you know you were quoting the Bible when you did? Now when you hear someone else say it, you might point out to them that “That’s in the Bible!” and see where the conversation might go.

I had heard the term “safe and sound” many times before I saw that it was an exact quotation from the story of the prodigal son in Lk. 15:27 which reads, And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. That’s the news all parents want to hear about their children… that they are safe and sound.

Here’s a saying that has its roots in the Bible, but is not an exact quotation, “jump for joy”. It comes from Lk. 6:22-23, where Jesus says, Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. {23} Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

I was also amazed to find out that the term “right hand man” had its roots in Ps. 80:17, Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. Your “right hand man” is your “go to guy”. He’s the guy you can count on in a pinch. Then should it be any real surprise to us that the term in Ps. 80, v. 17 is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ?! Jesus Christ is God’s right hand man. When Jesus walked the earth in human flesh, He repeatedly referred to Himself as the Son of man. After Jesus ascended into heaven, the Bible says that He “sat on the right hand of God.” Eight times the Bible uses the term “the right hand of God” and every one of them directly refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. For I repeat, Jesus is God’s right hand man.

All right, here’s another verse from which was extrapolated a common saying in the English language. I will just read you the portion that pertains to the saying It’s from Haggai 1:6,and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. When I noticed this it reminded me of the saying, “Money burns a hole in his pocket.” This is a saying used of someone who spends his money as fast as he gets it. And interestingly enough, if you ever turn a pair of pants inside out, you will notice that many, (if not most), pockets are little bags that are sewn onto the inside of the pants.

Now here are some more exact quotations,

* “In the mean time” comes from Luke 12:1.

* “good for nothing” is in Matt. 5:13 and Jer. 13:10.

* “fell flat on his face” is a direct quote from Num. 22:31.

* “now a days” is in I Sam. 25:10.

* And “half dead” comes from the story of the good Samaritan in Lk.
10:30.

Close to an exact quotation, but not quite is the phrase “peace and quiet” which shows up in I Chron. 22:9 as follows, Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.

The term “sea monsters” is in Lam. 4:3 and is a reference to whales, which as mammals nurse their young. Here’s what it says, Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones…

And if you’ve ever been “lovesick” then you had it bad, like the bride in the Song of Solomon who said “I am sick of love” in Song 2:5 & 5:8.

Then there are some quotes that come from the Bible, but when the world uses them they stop short of the whole quote and miss the true gist of what God was trying to communicate.

For example the world will talk about “fighting the good fight” and apply it to any cause they deem worthy, when the original quotation from Eph. 6:12 is an exhortation for us to “Fight the good fight of faith…

And of course they love to say, “Man shall not live by bread alone” but they don’t love to finish the quote as it is written in Matt. 4:4 which says, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Now that’s a good sampling of familiar sayings that you can find in the Bible. Pay attention to the Bible as you read and study it, and “no doubt” you can find a bunch more on your own… Like “no doubt” which I just used myself, and shows up five times in the Bible as in Job 12:2 & Acts 28:4.

Years ago after I started noticing these things, I began to list the sayings in the back of my Bible until I had over 300 of them. Now, in addition to showing up in our language as familiar sayings, the Bible makes appearances in many other places as well. I’m sure many of you already know, (but some of you may not), that the Liberty Bell has an inscription on it which comes from Lev. 25:10. From that verse these words are inscribed on the Liberty Bell along with the verse reference,

PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF

The Bible has also worked its way into popular songs through the years. In 1965 the Byrds had a hit on their hands with Turn! Turn! Turn! The song is said to have been written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950’s, and maybe he did write the music and add and alter a few words, but the preponderance of the words were written by God! The bulk of the song is a quotation of Eccl. 3:1-8. The Guess Who at the end of a song called Hang on to Your Life quote Psalm 22:13-15.,{13} They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. {14} I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. {15} My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

Now I’ll point out some Book & Movie Titles that have the Bible as their origin. The title of John Steinbeck’s novel, East of Eden, is a direct quotation from Gen. 4:16. The movie Inherit the Wind is a fictionalized account of the famous Scopes monkey trial, and the phrase “inherit the wind” is a direct quotation from Prov. 11:29.

Harper Lee is most famous for her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. But in 2015 she had another book published just months before her death, and it was called, “Go Set a Watchman”. This book rocketed to the top of the NY Times Bestseller list… But
how many people know that the title is a Bible quotation from Isaiah 21:6?

And on and on and on it goes… Running swiftly and inserting itself into our world so that try thought they might, the world cannot escape it.

In II Tim. 2:9 the Apostle Paul said, Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 
Paul said in the verse that he himself had been bound. Yet contrasting his experience with the characteristics of the word of God, Paul is instructing us that he may have been bound and locked up, but you can’t lock up or bind the Scriptures.

And so it is that you can find it inscribed on buildings, like the UN building which quotes from Isaiah 2:4, …they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. The only problem is the UN missed the first part of the verse and the three verses that led up to it, Is. 2:1-4 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. {2} And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. {3} And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. {4} And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Then there is the quote on the building of the University of Texas at Austin at the south entrance,…ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. And that’s a great thing to have inscribed on the building… But again, it helps more to know the context. For the sentence began in the previous verse. And the two verses together read, John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; {32} And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

And that is what I exhort you to do… Continue in the word of God.

The more you know about the Bible, the more you can find natural openings to talk with people about spiritual things and try to lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

 

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