“So let it be written, so let it be done” is an old, iconic phrase.
In this post, we will explore its meaning and origin and where you can find examples of the phrase “so let it be written, so let it be done.”
Let’s start off with the question…
Is “so it was written so it shall be done” a phrase in the Bible?
A common misconception is that this phrase comes from the Bible. However, there is no direct instance of this phrase in the Bible. It comes from the film The Ten Commandments, which was a classic film in the 1950s. This movie combined fiction and religion and dramatized the Biblical story of Moses.
Meaning of “So Let it Be Written, So Let it Be Done”
“So let it be written, so let it be done” is a phrase said in relation to the orders from the pharaohs, which had to be written down by a scribe and carried out.
This phrase shows the authority of the pharaohs. When the pharaohs make a command, it is sealed with “so let it be written, so let it be done.”
This means that there are no negotiations, and the work must be carried out.
The Origin of “So Let it Be Written, So Let it Be Done”
“So Let it be written, so let it be done” is a quote from the movie The Ten Commandments by Cecil B de Mille in 1956.
It was adapted from a similar phrase in the Bible and was also can be heard in the lyrics of Metallica’s song “Creeping Death.”
In the movie, the pharaoh, played by Yul Brynner, says, “so let it be written, so let it be done.”
Feel free to watch it here:
How long will you refuse to humble yourself before God? If you bring another plague upon us, it is not your God but I will turn the Nile red with blood. As your father's father turn the streets of Goshen red with the blood of our male children. If there is one more plague on Egypt it is by your word that God will bring it, and there shall be so great a cry throughout the land that you will surely let the people go. Come to me no more Moses for on the day you see my face again, you will surely die. So let it be written.
Creeping Death by Metallica
Metallica refer to the phrase “so let it be written so let it be done” in their song “Creeping Death.” You can find the lyrics here.
“Written” Bible Meaning
In the New Testament, you will see repeated instances of the phrase “as it is written.” When you see this phrase, it refers to Old Testament scripture.
An example includes: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)
We also read Pilate’s statement in the Bible “what I have written, I have written.” (John 19:19-22).
This was in relation to the signposted on Jesus’ cross “Jesus the Nazarene the King of the Jews.” The chief priest did not think the sign was suitable and wanted to change the wording.
Pilate was not willing to change it and said in response, “what I have written, I have written.”
The ancient edict “so let it be written, so let it be done” is a phrase with a long and intriguing history.
While its origins are debated, the phrase has taken on a life of its own, appearing in popular culture, literature, and even metal songs.
What do you think about this phrase? Let us know in the comments!
The Ten Commandments Quotes. (n.d.). Quotes.net. Retrieved May 15, 2022, from https://www.quotes.net/mquote/129925.
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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
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