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    #1

    What does this phrase mean?

    When 'a voice is crying in the wilderness' , or in other words 'a crying voice in the wilderness' . Actually I'm not sure which one is the correct form.


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    #2

    Re: What does this phrase mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by JACOOL View Post
    When 'a voice is crying in the wilderness' , or in other words 'a crying voice in the wilderness' . Actually I'm not sure which one is the correct form.
    In my opinion the first option is correct. Although it depends on what you want to express. For example, in second case 'crying' is kind of feature of the voice, whereas in first case 'crying' is what the voice does.


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    #3

    Re: What does this phrase mean?

    It is a quote from the Bible:

    A Voice Crying in the Wilderness
    Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
    Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
    The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
    -- Isaiah 40: 1-3 (KJV)

    What we mean by "a voice crying in the wilderness" today is "a warning voice no one heeds" -- the wilderness is metaphorical, a lack of sense or reason.

    What no one seems to have heeded in early translations of Isaiah, however, is that the voice doesn't cry in the wilderness at all. In Hebrew, the voice instructs some unnamed prophet to prepare a "highway" through the wilderness. The line was botched (in translation).
    Anticipating the exiles' return home under the guidance of Cyrus II, Persian conqueror of Babylon, the author of these verses harks back to the Hebrews' escape from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan some seven centuries before. Then as now, Yahweh's (Godís) people had to pass through a "wilderness," but this time the Jews, better supplied and trained, will build in advance a path or "highway" through the rocky desert.
    Whoever cried out, the people listened, returning to Jerusalem and rebuilding Solomon's temple, which had been leveled by Babylon. So the phrase was not only mistranslated, it's almost always quoted out of context. But to try changing that would be crying in the wilderness!

    (Quote)

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    #4

    Re: What does this phrase mean?

    I'm not a teacher.

    Hi jacool,

    There is a link where you could find the proper explanation of the expression in question:

    The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Definition from Answers.com

    There are also many others biblical sources for the present expression:

    Matthew 3:3 - For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

    Mar 1:3 - The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

    Luk 3:4 - As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

    John 1:23 - He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #5

    Re: What does this phrase mean?

    Many thanks every one. However,is there any idiom or famous saying with the same meanings?

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    #6

    Re: What does this phrase mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by JACOOL View Post
    Many thanks every one. However,is there any idiom or famous saying with the same meanings?
    That IS a famous saying with the same meaning.

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    #7

    Re: What does this phrase mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    That IS a famous saying with the same meaning.
    I think the problem is that the explanation can be taken to mean - for a non-Christian - "it's just biblical [that is, of little interest to non-Christians]"

    But Jacool should understand that the Bible (particularly the King James version) is one of the most important and influential books in the history of English language and culture. People often quote the Bible without knowing it. A person might refer to people in authority as 'the powers that be' with no idea of where the words came from (in fact I'm not sure either, but I think it's one of Paul's epistles )

    b

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    #8

    Re: What does this phrase mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I think the problem is that the explanation can be taken to mean - for a non-Christian - "it's just biblical [that is, of little interest to non-Christians]"

    But Jacool should understand that the Bible (particularly the King James version) is one of the most important and influential books in the history of English language and culture. People often quote the Bible without knowing it. A person might refer to people in authority as 'the powers that be' with no idea of where the words came from (in fact I'm not sure either, but I think it's one of Paul's epistles )

    b
    I could understand if it was a religiously sensitive quotation, but it could be any voice crying in the wilderness.
    If that's no good, how about "a lonesome wail from the sands of the desert"?; "a howl of angst from within the dense green of the impenetrable forest"?
    There's plenty of words out there.

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    #9

    Re: What does this phrase mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I think the problem is that the explanation can be taken to mean - for a non-Christian - "it's just biblical [that is, of little interest to non-Christians]"

    But Jacool should understand that the Bible (particularly the King James version) is one of the most important and influential books in the history of English language and culture. People often quote the Bible without knowing it. A person might refer to people in authority as 'the powers that be' with no idea of where the words came from (in fact I'm not sure either, but I think it's one of Paul's epistles )

    b
    Well, actually I'm quite aware of that. And you shall excuse me of not being so clear about it. Also, itís not religiously sensitive by any degree. I should know better. The thing is, I only wanted to know if there was, letís say, a synonym, thatís all.

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