I’ve always liked the expression “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. See it as generally signifying: frantically and probably unsuccessfully, trying to make something work (likely, but not invariably, in the sphere of finances) by a succession of makeshift short-term fixes.
Trying to look into the origin of the phrase, would seem to deliver an answer of its coming basically from “Christendom” – the Apostles Peter, and Paul, being referenced – but beyond that, “who knows?” – there are assorted possible explanations. One, looks to a suggested situation in England before the Protestant Reformation, wherein church taxes were due both to St. Peter’s church / cathedral in Rome, and St. Paul’s ditto in London: the saying, referring to neglecting the Peter tax due to Rome, in order to have money to pay the Paul tax nearer to home. Another traces the expression to an episode in the mid-16th century, after England’s initial break with Rome, in which the abbey church of St. Peter at Westminster was briefly raised to cathedral status, then once again demoted, with many of its estates appropriated to fund repairs to St. Paul’s Cathedral, London – causing commentators at the time, to object to the inappropriateness of thus robbing “Peter” for “Paul” ‘s benefit.
Yet others are of the opinion that the expression has nothing to do with any particular historical situation, but is just a homely saying thought up at a time when in England, Catholic Christianity was universal; arbitrarily picking on a well-known “duo” of names from the New Testament: in a later era, an expression meaning the same, might have been – say – “robbing Sheldon to pay Leonard”. It seems basically, that the expression might have come from anywhere. Would be interesting to know if it exists in other languages of the Christian world, citing the names of Peter and Paul...?