a house divided against itself cannot stand


a house divided against itself cannot stand


  • things will work out when there is unity amongst those people that are involved in the task
  • success comes from sticking together
  • there is a disintegration of a group, organization, or house, whose members do not agree with each other

Example Sentences

  1. The workers will need to form a union because a house divided against itself cannot stand.
  2. All the aggrieved parties will file a law suit together since a house divided against itself cannot stand.
  3. It is best to go to the principal together since a house divided against itself cannot stand.
  4. A house divided against itself cannot stand when talking about adventure sports.


The speech given by Abraham Lincoln in 1858 which had a passage starting with this idiom. He used it in reference with the government and the slavery rules. It was the most popular passage of the entire speech and led to the legislation against slavery eventually.

The phrase is used in political context more than literary context because of its reference to the word house. It refers to the ‘house of lords’ and the ‘house of common’ which are the political management means of a country.

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It’s also ironic that Jesus said a house divided can not stand seeing that the jewish religious leaders were divided between Saducees and Pharisees. Israel also had fallen as a nation because they were also divided between the southern and northern kingdoms. There was also the history of Ishmael and Isaac which were boyh sons of Abraham but Ishmael’s ancestors still despise Isaacs to this day!

- Jonathon Smith April 26, 2022

Thomas Hobbes in "The Leviathan" written in 1651, used the phrase, "... a Kingdom divided in itself, and cannot stand" in chapter 29. About 200 years before Lincoln used it. Lincoln was most likely familiar with Hobbes.

- Don Frampton October 27, 2021

Matthew 12:25, Jesus says "A house divided against itself can not stand" Lincoln was quoting Jesus and this is the correct origin.

- Dee August 5, 2021

Interesting during USA Insurrection that I hear journalists say these words giving Abraham Lincoln the credit. There are the words of our mighty Lord, not an idiom.

- Roxanne Hartz January 24, 2021

In addition to the Scriptural references above, Luke 11:17

- Val December 18, 2020

What is clear is that Lincoln borrowed a phrase from the bible and used it to drive home his point. For the record, the origin of the phrase should be traced back to Jesus, its original user.

- Paulinus Ike Ogara October 9, 2020

This nation has forgotten who owns it. Jehovah God almighty in heaven who sits high and looks low. Heaven is his throne and this earth is his foot stool. You need to get it right that this speech that Abraham Lincoln made. Belongs to God and God alone! This is why this USA is in trouble now! God will not be replaced by anyone or anything! This is the original word holy spirit inspired of almighty God! The word of God is not an idiom! Get it right America! Matthew 12:22-28 New King James Version A House Divided Cannot Stand 22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the [a]blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" 24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by [b]Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." 25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you."

- Dr Mark S Gillum August 19, 2020

Yes I have read from the Bible at Matthew 12 v 25... When Jesus said "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolution and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand."

- John Quaye June 9, 2020

Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that this idiom is found in the bible, particularly in the gospel of Mark chapter 3 verse 25. So I don't think so this belong to Abraham Lincoln. He might borrowed from bible. It is appropriate to refer the origin of this idiom to bible. Thanks

- N July 29, 2017

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