Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

In The Twinkling Of An Eye

Posted by Elyse Bruce on May 12, 2010

William Shakespeare used the phrase “in the twinkling of an eye” in his play “The Merchant of Venice” in 1596.  Launcelot, in speaking with his father Bassanio, says:

Well, if Fortune be a woman,
 
she’s a good wench for this gear.
  Father, come; I’ll take my leave of the Jew
  in the twinkling of an eye.

However, Shakespeare was not the first to use the phrase in his literary work. Robert Manning of Brunne, wrote Handlyng Synne in 1303 in which the phrase was used: “Yn twynkelyng of an ye

However, Manning was not the first to use this phrase either.  The phrase can be found in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 15:52 where you can find the following written:

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

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