Biblish Idioms: Hearts melting
Here’s a challenge:
Read this first sentence:
Our hearts melted as we saw them approach.
Then consider what we expect to come next…
Which seems more suitable?
- The little children looked so cute, we couldn’t be angry any more.
- The warriors were armed to the teeth and utterly fearsome.
They’re quite different aren’t they?
The English idiom of hearts melting indicates an outpouring of compassion, doesn’t it? It’s when we say “aww, how sweet!”
Several times we read in the Bible of hearts melting. It’s a common enough idiom, occurring at least 13 times, by my count in the ESV.
And as soon as we heard it [what the Lord did and what you did], our hearts melted…Joshua 2:11, ESV
Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we…Deuteronomy 1:28, ESV — NIV has ‘lose heart’ here.
The context (most of which I’ve removed above) generally makes it clear that what is meant is terrified paralysis. That’s not quite the same as the English meaning is it?
It would probably be better to have our hearts fell, we lost heart, we were gripped with terror, or we quaked in our shoes/boots.