put one’s house in order; set one’s house in order

to straighten up one’s life; to correct one’s affairs; to organize one’s finances
Before asking anyone to marry you, you’ll need to quit playing around and put your house in order.

When King Hezekiah of Judah became ill, he was visited by Isaiah:

In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness [sick unto death—KJV]. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give your household instructions [set your house in order—KJV], for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” (2 Kings 20:1)

Upon hearing this news, Hezekiah pleaded for his life. The Lord heard his prayers, healed him, and extended his life for another 15 years.

For Hezekiah, house represented his possessions and the royal family. Currently, putting one’s house in order more often refers to the way a person handles his life or how a government or organization handles its internal affairs.

In this verse sick unto death means “deathly ill.” Today we have the phrase sick to death (of), meaning “to be extremely frustrated or bored” about something.

Previous Post
Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    Coming or Going during Turbulent Times [—at A Life Overseas]

    In October of 2001, my wife and I boarded a flight and moved our family from the US to our new home in Asia. Nearly ten years later, in June of 2011, we moved back to our old home in Joplin, Missouri. Those dates may not jump out at you, but the first was one […]

    Langston Hughes: Harlem Ambassador, Dreamer, Joplin Son

    Every day on my way to work, I drive through the East Town neighborhood of Joplin, Missouri, down a street with the dual name Langston Hughes Avenue and Broadway Street. Part of the old Route 66, it used to be called simply Broadway, but in 1976, the city renamed a portion of it as a […]