Fifty common expressions that originated from the Bible that influence our language today.
Putting Words into Someone’s Mouth – There are two aspects of this phrase, the first is the most common and hurtful and the second is the most Biblical and helpful.
Hurtful – To tell someone what to say or to interpret what someone has said for your own advantage. This seems to stem from when Joab went to Tekoah and instructed a woman on how to approach King David for his own advantage. Thus, the Bible records that “…Joab put the words in her mouth” (II Samuel 14:3).
The expression is still often used in a political sense. In 2016, Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison told journalist Leigh Sales, “I will use my words, you use yours, and you’re not allowed to put words in my mouth.” In 2013, Democrat, Jim McDermott, accused newswoman, Megyn Kelly of “putting words in his mouth.”
Helpful – There is also the aspect of God putting His words in the mouths of His prophets (Exodus 4:15; Deuteronomy 18:18; Isaiah 51:16; 59:21; Jeremiah 1:9). The word “prophet” comes from the Latin pro meaning “instead of,” and phet meaning “to speak.” Thus, a prophet was to speak in the place of God (see Exodus 7:1). Today, while we do not speak by “inspiration,” we still have the opportunity and obligation of speaking God’s Words.