Thrown to the Wolves

June 10, 2010 at 8:55 am | Posted in Common Expressions | 4 Comments
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To “throw to the wolves” once meant to divert attention from, as in the story of the young bride and groom who were flung from a fleeing sled to keep the pursuing wolves busy while the other occupants of the sled escaped. Another origin of this phrase is found in one of Aesop’s fables, in which a nurse threatens to hand her charges over to a pack of wolves if they continue to misbehave. Today, this phrase is used to refer to being abandoned or dismissed to a bad fate.

Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.

Ezekiel 22:27, emphasis added

Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.

Habakkuk 1:8, emphasis added

Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

Zephaniah 3:3, emphasis added

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mathew 7:15, emphasis added

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Mathew 10:16, emphasis added

Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

Luke 10:3, emphasis added

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Acts 20:29, emphasis added

The character of Biblical wolves can best be described as “ravening,” a word which comes from the root “rave,” and which used to mean: to show signs of madness or delirium; wild conduct; aggressively boisterous; furiously rabid.

Thus, the strong Bible command to beware of false prophets. Inwardly they are ravening wolves. This refers mainly not to future-telling prophets, but to religious preachers and teachers who have ulterior motives. One reason to beware is that, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a duty to defend our fellow Christians. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, will hold off a whole pack of wolves, and can even wound them and drive them away.


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  1. […] of freedom) and especially in the dark valleys (times of caution). Sheep can be preyed upon by wolves and lions. Wolves and lions do not fear sheep. They fear the shepherd. Stay close to the Shepherd […]

  2. […] look out for our best interest. He has assigned them to feed us the Word of God, and to fight off wolves who might come in to deceive […]

  3. […] 5. Don’t Beat around the Bush (Exodus 3-4) 6. Forget-Me-Nots (I Corinthians 11:24; Jeremiah 2:32) 7. Thrown to the Wolves (Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk 1:8; Zephaniah 3:3; Matthew 7:15, 10:16; Luke 10:3; Acts 20:29) 8. The […]

  4. […] last one applies not just to physical danger, but to spiritual danger as well. We are lambs among wolves. Wolves do not charge into the middle of the flock and try to take down the ram right next to the […]

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