DYK: True meaning of Escaped by the skin of your teeth

Did You Know?

ESCAPED BY THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH – The expression is a Hebrew one that first appeared in this form in the Geneva Bible (1560). In Job 19:20, it reads:

My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.skin of your teeth

This was a change from an earlier translation by Miles Coverdale (1535) which reads:

My bone hangeth to my skin, and the flesh is away, only there is left me the skin about my teeth.

Obviously we have no skin on our teeth, but Job is actually referring to his gums, the “skin” around his teeth. At this point in Job’s lament, he was saying that he had so little flesh left that the only visible flesh on him were his gums.



Discordance: A story of one family’s destiny (The Cottinghams Book 1)