by the sweat of one's brow

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by the sweat of one's brow

By hard work, as in The only way he'll succeed is by the sweat of his brow. This figurative usage appears in the Bible (Genesis 31:9), where Adam's punishment for eating fruit in Eden is "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread"-that is, he will have to work for his bread, or living. [c. 1600]
See also: brow, of, sweat
References in classic literature ?
There is a moment of dumb dismay, and the wanderings must begin again; the painful explaining away of facts, the feverish raking up of illusions, the cultivation of a fresh crop of lies in the sweat of one's brow, to sustain life, to make it supportable, to make it fair, so as to hand intact to another generation of blind wanderers the charming legend of a heartless country, of a promised land, all flowers and blessings .
However that is not always the case and after the first few early days of fishing or hunting, the fish or fowl wise up to the hunter's methods and it is by the sweat of one's brow that one wins.
The classic story of Adam and Eve echoes this contention as, by trying to raise themselves to a higher level, they brought upon the human race the pain of childbirth and the necessity of working by the sweat of one's brow.
Unless one takes seriously the "unmarketable" idea that human bodies should not be commodified, what is the ethical objection to making a profit, not by the sweat of one's brow, but by the efforts of one's renal tubules?
When the rivers are running low, fishing is a hard taskmaster and it is by the sweat of one's brow that one takes a brace.