Hide his light under a bushel

Posted by Chris on July 14, 2007

In Reply to: Hide his light under a bushel posted by Graziela Vasco on July 14, 2007

: I would like to know the meaning of this phrase "hide his light under a bushel"

It's from the Bible, Graziela:

Matthew 5:15 - Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

It means if you have something useful - a talent, for example - you should use it where it can do the most good rather than keep it hidden. A bushel would, I think, be a pile of grain or fruit and if your light were underneath such a pile it would be invisible.

The phrase is often used ironically, too. If we say a man is not one to "hide his light under a bushel" we might mean he makes the best use of his talents OR we might be suggesting he's a bit of a show-off who just wants you to know he HAS those talents.