dust and ashes


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dust and ashes

Something that promises pleasure or fulfillment but results in disappointment or disillusionment. The phrase is used in the Bible to describe the unpleasant taste of an appealing-looking fruit. She was a shopaholic until she realized that material possessions are nothing but dust and ashes.
See also: and, ash, dust

dust and ashes

used to convey a feeling of great disappointment or disillusion about something.
Often found in the fuller form turn to dust and ashes in your mouth , the phrase is used in the Bible as a metaphor for worthlessness, for example in Genesis 18:27 and the Book of Job 30:19. It derives from the legend of the Sodom apple, or Dead Sea fruit, whose attractive appearance tempted people, but which tasted only of dust and ashes when eaten.
See also: and, ash, dust
References in periodicals archive ?
What we should make of that fact is another question, one we will take up in examining another biblical text in which dust and ashes figure prominently, the Book of Job.
Abraham prefaces his request to God by saying, "Here I venture to speak to my LORD, I who am but dust and ashes" (Gen.
The other two pairings of "dust and ashes" appear in the Book of Job, and both are spoken by Job himself.
A literal translation of this might read, "Therefore I despise and I am sorry upon dust and ash." (16) Consider, though, how various translators have rendered the passage: [T]herefore I despise myself, / and repent in dust and ashes. (N.R.S.V.) Therefore, I recant and relent, / Being but dust and ashes.
The translation of Jack Miles portrays Job as "shuddering with sorrow." As Miles sees the passage, though, the cause of Job's shuddering is neither Job nor God but humanity, the frail creature of God--as dust and ashes. According to Miles, when Job looks at the pathetic being whom God has created, he feels both disgust and pity.
Good explains that "to 'repent of dust and ashes' is to give up the religious structure that construes the world in terms of guilt and innocence.
From now on I shall live with remorse, in dust and ashes." (24) Such cowardice on Job's part is a betrayal, as Wiesel sees it, of the millions who suffered unjustly in the Holocaust, the millions who "could be seen on every road of Europe.
One pocket contains the words "I am dust and ashes," and the other pocket holds the words "For my sake the world was created." The words are there to be pulled out as needed.